Product Listing Ads: What Are They & Why You Should Be Using Them

By Sarah Bonner | Nov 11, 2013
More Articles by Sarah


With more and more people doing their shopping online, Google Shopping and Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are becoming increasingly important for online retailers, especially with the recent update for Mobile PLAs. The holidays are coming up fast and it is the perfect time to start selling more products online with Google Shopping’s Product Listing Ads.

What Are Product Listing Ads (PLAs)?

Product Listing Ads are advertisements on Google that include extra information on a product, including a product image, price, and merchant name. To set up the ads you’ll need both a Google Merchant Center account and a Google AdWords account.

Desktop PLAs

Benefits of PLAs

Advertisers using PLAs have experienced higher click-through rates than with text ads, and the shoppers clicking on those ads are typically better qualified and more likely to purchase because they are more informed about your product—after seeing the relevant information directly on the ad. Not only can users see relevant information, but PLAs can extend or even double your reach for relevant searches by showing multiple products and text ads on the same results page (see how both Nordstrom and Macy’s have two PLAs in the screenshot above). Product Listing Ads can also be easily managed in AdWords with product targets, keyword lists, and other attributes.

Mobile PLAs Get A Facelift

In mid-October, Google updated the look of mobile PLAs on Google searches to help shoppers easily browse through products on their mobile devices.  See the Scooby Doo PLAs below:

Mobile PLAs

Searchers can simply swipe to see more products in the PLA unit instead of having to leave the search engine results page, and mobile PLA units now feature larger images and titles. According to Google, early tests show that this update drives more traffic to retailers. With 80% of consumers planning on using their phones for commerce in the next year, mobile Product Listing Ads are poised for big things.

By creating mobile bid adjustments in PLA campaigns, advertisers can opt in to show their product listing ads on mobile devices. This is definitely a good idea for any advertiser using PLAs, especially with the mobile use for shopping sky rocketing. According to the Digital Buzz Blog, 68% of mobile phone users research retail products on their phone, and 35% of those users actually make a purchase with their phone. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, be sure to read Amanda Sides’ article on how increasing mobile visibility can increase holiday business.

Do you want to know more about Product Listing Ads? Tweet @smb1213 to ask me questions!

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