PLAs V Google Shopping

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Product Listing Ads (PLA) V Google Shopping Campaigns

Recently we reported on the announcement that all PLA campaigns are to be replaced by Google Shopping Campaigns and gave a step by step run through on how to create a campaign and target your products using the product inventory directly within AdWords.

Traditional Product Listing Ad campaigns are often complex to set up and manage with the product inventory only accessible under Tools > Merchant Centre. With the new Google Shopping Campaign you can now access your full product inventory under the Product Group tab. PLAs have been successful and worked well to date so why have Google announced Shopping Campaigns to be the new default for PLAs?

The advantages of Google Shopping over PLA’s

Good question, Google Shopping Campaigns provide in-depth reporting on individual products or product attributes from within product categories. For example, you can see how many clicks a particular brand got by simply filtering your products view rather than breaking your category into a separate product group.

Competitive data provides insights into your competitive landscape. Use benchmarking features to identify competitive data on CTR and Max. CPC so that you can adjust your bids accordingly to remain competitive. There is also a new bid stimulator feature to help identify growth opportunities, achieve higher CTR and more impressions for your products.

With the entire product inventory being available directly in AdWords you can create custom product groups based on product attributes (category, brand, condition etc.) and set bids for each product group depending on campaign goals.

What We Think

This new campaign type offers many ways to organise your product inventory and create campaigns, as well as providing new reporting and benchmarking tools to monitor and optimise your campaign performance. We welcome these new insights to keep our campaigns as competitive as possible and see Google Shopping Campaigns as a positive step in the right direction.

Transition Period

If you are like us and already have a number of PLA campaigns, you will want to make the transition as smooth as possible. We have put together a few friendly tips to help you with this process.

  1. Remember to carry across negative keywords to block unwanted traffic.
  2. Run existing PLA campaigns simultaneously with Shopping Campaigns for the first week or two.
  3. Set Shopping Campaign to low priority for an initial week or two, so that both campaigns are running at the same level.This can be easily done in the campaign setting. Campaigns > Settings > Campaign Priority.Vrs-article
  4. Groups that were high performing in the old campaign, pause them in the new campaign during the transition period.
  5. After the initial 1-2 week period, once the new campaign has built up some data, gradually transition the best performing ad groups by pausing them in the old campaign and activating them in the new campaign.

Historical Data

It is important to run both campaigns simultaneously for the initial week or two. This is because the new campaign will not have any data associated with it as it takes time to build up, at this stage the old PLA campaigns have an advantage. It is recommended that you allow new campaigns to build up data gradually while the best preforming ad groups still show.

Have you been using the New Google Shopping campaign format? How do you find it? Did your transition process run smoothly? We’re interested to know how other AdWords users are experiencing it, so do let us know.

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