PPC56% of Marketers Using Mobile PLAs [Study]

56% of Marketers Using Mobile PLAs [Study]

A new Kenshoo study looks at whether marketers view Google's product listing ads (PLAs) as a good investment, budgets, mobile PLA adoption, and what marketers are doing wrong. Here are the key findings, and how they impact your Google Shopping ads.

Understanding how your competitors leverage data and manage campaigns is important, especially for competitive advertising platforms like Google Shopping.

Digital marketing software company Kenshoo has released a study outlining how 89 search marketers use product listing ads (PLAs) in their marketing campaigns. Below are some of the key findings, and how they impact your Google Shopping ads.

What Are Marketers Doing on PLAs?

Most Marketers Think PLAs Are a Good Investment

How do You Rate the Performance of PLAs in Relation to Paid Search

  • 83 percent of marketers find PLA performance to be on par with, or better than, traditional text ads.

Of the Google advertisers polled, only 17 percent believe PLAs perform worse than traditional paid search text ads, while 67 percent think PLAs perform better than paid search ads.

What Does It Mean for You?

For most merchants, PLAs will bring much more traffic and spend due to the nature of the PLAs in a retail-based search on Google. Advertisers are using PLAs to generate revenue, often more than their current paid search campaigns.

If you aren’t running Google Shopping ads, you’re in the minority. Be sure to continue to test PLA structure, bids, and budget for optimal performance.

More Than Half of Google PLA Marketers Don’t Have a Separate PLA budget

Where is the Budget for PLAs Coming From

  • 62 percent of marketers bundle PLA budgets in with their traditional search budgets, while 29 percent allocate new, incremental budgets to support PLAs.

So while 83 percent of advertisers think PLAs perform as good as or better than paid search, only just more than half of them are allocating a portion of their total paid search ad budget to Google Shopping ads.

What Does It Mean for You?

Only 29 percent of Google PLA advertisers have a separate budget for product listing ads, even though most admit the program has a better ROI than paid search. It’s easy to create a separate budget for PLAs within AdWords with a separate campaign, and PLAs are likely to perform better for you. If you can afford it, you most likely want a separate PLA ad budget.

Note: This isn’t always true for merchants with very large PPC campaigns that are built out and mature or websites which are selling specialized products (e.g., FSA Stores) or services.

Almost 60 Percent of PLA Merchants Use Mobile PLAs

Marketers Using Local Availability Storefronts Mobile PLAs

  • 56 percent of Google Advertisers are using mobile PLAs.

Among Google’s newer features, mobile has a significant adoption rate for advertisers, which notes how valuable advertisers deem mobile. In comparison, 67 percent of advertisers aren’t using local storefronts, another newer feature. Local storefronts aren’t widely available to merchants yet, but 17 percent of advertisers don’t even know they exist – compared to 7 percent for mobile PLAs.

What Does It Mean for You?

Advertisers are using mobile PLAs to increase traffic and conversions across devices. Depending on your site and inventory, you may want to test mobile for your PLAs. If you are eligible, you should also experiment with local storefronts, as most advertisers aren’t yet using that Google feature.

What Marketers Are Doing Wrong on PLAs

Including Their PLA Budget in Paid Search

The majority of Google advertisers include their PLA budget as part of paid search, even though 83 percent of those marketers admit PLAs traditionally perform better.

Having All Products in One Product Group

Ten percent of Google advertisers are still using one product group for PLAs (e.g., all products). While this is a good introductory structure when you’re first testing PLAs, you should build out your campaign structure. Only 42 percent of the advertisers polled have multiple category levels for ad groups, which is the type of campaign structure you should have for PLAs.


Product listing ads are transitioning into Google Shopping Campaigns in less than 100 days, which is how long you have to learn how to use the new campaign structure, and figure out what your competitors are doing on Google.


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