Create Google Product Listing Ads (PLA) Campaign in 5 Simple Steps

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Latest Updates about Google Product Listing Ads

Google has recently announced that they will automatically migrate all existing PLA campaign to new Google shopping campaign in this August 2014. If you still did not migrate your PLA campaign, follow this detailed guide i have just published at OLBUZ Consulting blog.

If you own an eCommerce website and do not run Google product listing ads, you are losing big opportunity. If you are not familiar Google Product Listing ads, please review below screen shot in which you will find ads of “Black Mat Prod Yoga Mat” along with its image and price. Those ads comes through Google PLA! Google Product Listing Ads

As per my vast experience working with eCommerce businesses, Google product listing ads has two major benefits.

Higher conversion rate

I observed that PLA campaign usually gives higher conversion rate as compare to search or display advertisement. See below screenshot of Google ads being served on “Black mat pro yoga mat” keyword. It clearly shows the product image and price from different seller. This type of ads can attract highly targeted audiences which improve the overall conversion rate.

Google PLA search result

Lower Cost Per Conversion

I observed that the CPC (cost per click) is very low in Google PLA campaign as cannot target particular keyword. In PLA, you are bidding on whole PLA campaign and Google display your ads based on relevancy of your product and user’s query. Of course you can manage other targeting methods by including product targets and optimizing feed. See below image depicting auto target setting based on product price range.

Auto target in PLAGoogle has been bringing in new form of marketing tools to the table and the newest additions enhance shopping experience like never before. For businesses who want to do more on the web, Google Product Listing is an effective way to reach the target audience and generate more than the expected revenue. Managing your bids, finding new traffic opportunities and reporting your performance on the web just got easier.

In this article, I will explain the steps required to setup a Google Product Listing Account effectively.

The prerequisites of setting up a Google PLA Campaign include having an error free data feed and a Google Merchant Center Account. Here I assuming that you already uploaded valid feed on Google merchant account. If you don’t know how to optimize the feed, checkout my recent article on Google shopping feed optimization guide.

Once these are in place; here are the steps to follow

Linking accounts

Google PLA Campaigns require linking your Google Merchant and AdWords accounts. For linking, business owner need to log into their Merchant Center account that will have a “Settings” tab in the left navigation options. Choose Adwords from the drop down which will show 2 options as shown in below screen shot. If you are not having Adwords account, you will have to create one by following instruction given in first option. If you already own Adwords account, go to option 2 and enter a valid AdWords customer ID. One can link several AdWords account to one specific Merchant Account. In given screenshot, you will find one active adwords account associated with this merchant account.

Linking Google Merchant and Adwords

Creating new campaign

Once the above link is complete, a new campaign can be created by using specific Product Listing Ads. An important thing to note here is to keep PLA as a separate campaign from general display network and search campaigns. Creating new campaigns need you to navigate to the overview tab in the AdWords account and select the “New Campaign” option. Select search network only and name the campaign as you please but ensure that you have the PLA under Type section of setup. See below screenshot for more information.

Campaign in PLA
Next steps involve setting your location from location options, bidding options, budgets, languages and comfortable delivery methods. Check the “Extend my Ads” option in Ad Extensions section. When linking more than one account for the same campaign, double check the account connected. In case you need, changes could be made at any time.

Ad group creation

Now click on the campaign and create new AdGroup. Setting up an Ad Group requires naming it and having a suitable description in place. If it is the first time you are using the option, keep All Products checked. It is good to start with the minimum safe bid. See below image where you can see different options to select from.

AdGroup creation in PLA

Targeting strategies

Picking up a targeting strategy depends on the existing company goals, its verticals and similar factors. As I mentioned earlier, you can target particular products by different targeting options available in Google PLA campaign. It is totally depending upon your organizational goal and marketing plan.

Targeting options

Ad targeting might be based upon brand, product type, Product ID (SKU) and other custom defined attributes. The choice will again depend on marketing strategies you want to have in place and also the cost per lick bidding options. You can also include additional attributes in your Google product feed to manage targeting by combining different options. See image one in which shows adwords_labels attribute. I have added this field to categorized price range of product in Google feed to manage bids accordingly. Here is the screenshot of Google feed with this new attribute and its value:

targetting options

Review and Analysis

It is very important for one to review their PLA and keep optimizing the same for better performance. It is good to be creative with PLA Campaigns thereby adding value to your performance metrics. Once the PLA is set-up it’s time to start optimizing it.

Jignesh is a Digital marketing consultant with over 12 years of experience in Industry. He is the founder of - an online business consulting firm helps small, medium and large businesses to grow their businesses online with the help of smart digital marketing strategies. Reach him at me[at] Jignesh is a Google Adwords Certified professional and professional blogger who loves writing on Yoga, Tourism, Photography and Digital Marketing.

9 Comments to Create Google Product Listing Ads (PLA) Campaign in 5 Simple Steps

  1. Hi,
    Do you offer any services for the PLA’s, include set up google shopping ads and optimisation. Thanks.
    Looking forward your reply.

  2. Vanrajsinh Bihola

    thanks for reply,you r the right way sirji…you say what i want, one more question about ppc, can we make multiple ads in single adgroup, if we create then it is usefull or worthless??

    • Definitely you can create multiple ads in single ad groups but the number of ads is totally depends upon your campaign size. Initially create 2-3 different ads for one ad group and review each performance in terms of conversion.

      This will help you to understand which type of ads convert best.

      In product listing ads, you can not create ads like you can do in search or display ads as Google will automatically fetch the information like image, product title, description and landing page from your feed submitted in Google merchant account.

  3. Vanrajsinh Bihola

    Can we go with dynamic remarketing to increase the ROI for ecommerce business promotion???
    Whats ur opinion…!!

    • I am not getting your question clearly but here is my input about re-marketing. It is very effective way to target audiences who already visited specific pages of your websites.

      I observed that, when we are running re-marketing campaign, chances are high we receive view through conversion. And the best part is, you are not paying for those view through conversion.

      I strongly recommend implementing re-marketing campaign for eCommerce website but one need to do proper tagging that is require to serve your ads to relevant target audiences.

    • Thank you very much for your feedback Jaydip,

      Yes, i am completely agree with your view about PLA.
      By considering the ROI generated through PLA, i always recommend my eCommerce client to run PLA and trust me, all are very happy and keep running PLA for their websites.

    • Very true Wasim,

      One of the best advantage of PLA is, you will receive highly targeted audience as they can compare price without clicking on your ads and will save your money spend on those clicks.

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