#SMX Liveblog: Power Boosting Sales with PLAs #32B

Hey, online retailers! You’ve got to be doing product listing ads with Google and now Bing!


Bing Product Ads

Speaker: Brittney Thomas from Bing Ads

Brittney is the retail vertical lead for Bing Ads in Microsoft. She’s bringing the Microsoft vision for retail and Bing Product Ads to this audience. She shows us a video about how Bing interviewed consumers in their research to bring marketers and consumers closer together — the “Consumer First Advertising Approach.”

The foundation of this approach is the retailers most powerful asset: the product. Product ads starts addressing that for consumers on the front end. This month there will be product feeds across the Yahoo-Bing Network.

Product Ads give consumers rich info in an engaging format. It will show custom images from an advertiser’s own product catalog plus promo text and pricing.

Product Ads set up in 3 steps:

A campaign import tool will let you transfer your Google PLAs into Bing. And shopping ads are in the Bing roadmap as of a couple weeks ago. She notes that campaigns should be optimized for the Yahoo-Bing Network since the audience is different than Google.

Campaign Management: If your campaigns aren’t properly organized, you’re less likely to succeed.

There are a set of required feed attributes that you should figure out how to scale. Then, adding info in the recommended attributes makes the experience richer.



An optimized data feed can be considered in terms of data validation, product discoverability and conversion.

Setting up your campaigns: the more specific your product targets are, the more control you have over which product serves. Create at least one Product Target that targets all products. Group similar product IDs. Then create additional Product Targets that include specific brands or product types. Product Target attributes are critical for success. As a rule of thumb, think of reporting. You’re looking at what can be manipulated to increase ROI. (Brand, Condition, Product Type, BingAds label, BingAds group, etc.)


Advertisers sometimes spend a lot of time getting granular in setting up campaigns but fail to create a product target “all” bucket. This lets ads and opportunities slip through the cracks. Don’t use a blanket strategy for your Google PLAs and Bing PLAs since audience is different and performance is different.

Google Shopping Ads

Speaker: Santiago Andrigo, Product Manager for Bidding Strategies within Google Shopping

Google Shopping in 2013:

  • 1+ billion products promoted
  • 200% growth (PLA clicks YOY in September)
  • 23 countries

Retailers are enjoying the experience of showing their products online as though on a digital shelf. Feedback is a desire for operational improvements and better insights for optimization. The biggest insight they found overall is that retailers would like to manage their online inventory in the same way they manage it offline (brands, models, manufacturers, etc.). Google is changing the Google Shopping campaigns for advertisers in 3 ways.

1. Retail-centric campaign management
Streamline how you manage and bid on your products.

  • Browse your data feed directly in AdWords.
  • Select the products you want to bid on more granularly with product groups.
  • Ensure all products are covered within your campaign.

2. Advanced reporting
View your performance by product attributes or individual products.

  • Analyze and expert performance metrics.
  • Able to track item-level performance regardless of product group structure.
  • Identify new opportunities to optimized your campaign.

3. Competitive landscape data
Optimize with competitive metrics reported in a new bid landscape report.

  • Track against your competitors with benchmark max CPC and CTR.
  • Get insights into your competitive landscape with impression share.
  • Estimate your opportunity with a bid simulator.


3 steps to getting started:


Create a Shopping campaign in AdWords, customize your Shopping campaign, switch to your new Shopping campaign.

In one beta tester they saw a 13% increase in conversion rate and 20% decrease in CPA.

Optimize PLA Campaigns

Speaker: Patrick Bennett, co-founder of Showroom Logic

Some of his hacks got trumped by Santiago because the new Google Shopping Ads fix the problems. These things are sure to make a positive impact on your sales.

1. Get in alignment. Think how consumers think, not how manufacturers think. Shoppers aren’t looking for a specific product, they’re looking for a category of products.

In his experience, out of 360 sales in 3 months, only 40 had the product title n the ad. 89% of all sales from PLAs were not from keywords that contained the product title.

2 Play with your feed. Let search queries drive your product titles. Put that high volume search term at the beginning of your product titles.


3. Be descriptive in your “product_type” column. Messing with this column has given him more results than any other column. He calls this PLA keyword expansion. He’ll see more data coming in from Google, then he can scale back with negative keywords and removing words from the product type. Think of your Product_Type as a breadcrumb.

Additional columns worth testing:
Price: test moving the price up/down look at CTR/conv impact
Images: if your product has option, test using the best seller and variations like little logos around the product, or showing all the options

Campaign structure (this advice is obsolete under Google’s updates): Have a separate AdGroup for each product to allow you insight into keywords and have control over bidding.

Search queries = $ — he uses 3 filters weekly:
1. Costly conversion – draw a line in the sand
2. Keyword heroes – may want to break this into its own ad group or create a search campaign on it
3. Keyword hopefuls

4. Create search campaigns off your search query reports. Let your PLA campaigns dictate other search network campaigns. CPCs are very low in PLAs so it’s a good testing ground. Build a search campaign off search query data to see high volume and low CPAs.


In-House Campaign Management

Speaker: Onrpaka Vudhikosit

PLA Profit Maximization Goal

ROAS = Online Revenue / Advertising Spend
The question they had to ask is, while they may be making sales, are they getting revenue. There are a number of multipliers that you have to calculate



How to apply to concept of product/category profit maximization?
1. Obtain historical data of avg CPC, spend, clicks, and online sales
2. Determine offline impact from your online sales
3. Understand related adjustments and expenses
4. Test target ROAS/CPC at different level of bidding spend

Profit Maximization Example


Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

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