Getting a free shopping listing is fine enough. It gets your products put into search engine results and it might even generate some sales. Product listing ads, although a premium product, can make those results much sweeter. It’s still a similar process to the free ads, but they offer better results. Why? Because they offer consumers an image of your product, a direct link to purchase it, a comparison price, and a complete description of the item itself.
To get the most out of your product listing ads, these best practices will help you achieve the best results possible. It all starts with the quality of your content. Your product description might only be a few characters, but it is the only thing that people will see. If your copywriters can be ultra-precise in their item description headline, then you’ll be able to hit your target audience time after time. Here’s a hint: don’t waste all of your space with the name of your business.
1. Focus on the nature of instant gratification.
The reason why product listing ads work is because a potential customer receives some instant gratification in the fact that they are receiving product listings and images with one simple search. Take advantage of this face by enhancing the instant gratification as much as possible. Include one stunning image of your product, whatever it may be, so that consumers can see as much detail as possible.
2. Don’t go crazy by creating dozens of ad groups all at once.
You might have metrics and analytics from other product listing ad campaigns, but unless you’re using the same service, that information is nearly worthless. Each campaign host will collect unique data that will help you better manage each ad group. If you’re first getting started, create 4 ad groups at maximum and then watch the analytics begin coming in. Once you get platform specific data, you’ll be able to see what trends are positive and should be expanded upon.
3. Keep all of your ad groups structured.
If you’ve already got an ad group going for $0.30 on a bid and you create a new ad group that will bid at $0.40, guess which one will get all of the traffic? Every platform will go toward the highest bids set for the products that are included in the ad groups. If you’ve taken the time to structure your ad groups to reach different demographics, then the bid price will matter a little less, but the higher bids will still dominate over the lower bids. Separate your groups at the product type and you’ll have the structure that you need.
4. Create categories just like you’d create brands.
If you have category ad groups working with your brand ad groups, then you’ll be able to work two different spectrums within the same wavelength of your product listing ads. This often tends to be the catch all category where every business puts every advertisement into the campaign, but that’s not the way to go. Think about what product types you have, select the top products, and then group them together in a way that is cohesive and works with your other campaigns.
5. Include multiple product targets as much as possible.
The ultimate goal of product listing ads is to market a specific product to a specific demographic at a specific time. In order to do that, you’ll need to assign the data to the ads that will get them in front of the right person. That means assigning categories, brands, and pricebucket labels in a way that all make sense for what you’re attempting to accomplish.
6. Be patient.
As soon as you validate changes or additions to your product listing ads, it can take some time for the entire system to update. Allow for at least a couple of hours for specific campaign changes and a day or two for new campaigns to take effect. The goal is to provide customers with instant gratification. It isn’t to provide yourself with instant gratification. The numbers will come in eventually.
7. Put on your SEO hat.
Just because descriptions get cut off around the 500 character mark in a listing doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be taking full advantage of the entire space. You can optimize your listing by including content that incorporates your product’s keywords seamlessly as a description of the item. You may have up to 10,000 characters with which to work and those all work toward getting your listing found, even if the description isn’t fully read in the search engine results.
8. Think left to right… or right to left.
People process data based on how they read. If someone’s language reads left to right, then the most important search descriptors should be first and on the left because they’re the most likely to generate a sale. The opposite is also true. Right to left readers should have the most important descriptions on the right.
9. Be as aggressive as possible.
Spending concerns are the primary reason why the average business doesn’t get involved with product listing ads. It’s an understandable concern because high bid prices require a high daily budget and if you’re running 6 campaigns all with $200 limits, that could run a business over $30k per month with no guarantee of results. The more aggressive you are with your bids, however, the better your results will tend to be. You can also limit your daily spending to specific amounts that work with your budget so you’re not spending too much.
10. Always validate your URL.
The most common mistake made in the world of product listing ads is forgetting to validate the retail site’s URL. Search engines require that your site be visited to make sure that you’re really a retail outlet and not some scammer trying to collect credit card information. Make sure you’re avoiding the banned products list each platform has with your campaign as well so that you don’t get your account stalled or suspended.
Product listing ads can seem complicated and time consuming, but they are also a valuable resource. Use these best practices today and your next campaign may just pay for itself in a few clicks.
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