When Google moved their commerce system to paid inclusion, there was a lot of fuss in the digital marketing company community. It was seen as another “evil” move by some, and felt like more of the dreaded “paid inclusion” as opposed to useful organic results. In the end though, for all the complaining and worrying, people have been spending a lot of money and having a lot of success with the Product Listing Ads.
For those of you who have never used them, Product Listing Ads are search result advertisements that are more information dense than traditional results. Once you set up your campaign, if a search is performed and you are selling something relevant in your Google Merchant Center account, your product will be displayed in the results along with a name, price, and image.
In the last quarter of 2012, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) had a higher click-through rate than traditional text ads. Check out the graphs below:
As you can clearly see, PLAs have been enjoying a much higher rate of success over traditional text ads, with 210% more clicks and 60% more impressions. There are no figures for actual conversion available, but it’s safe to assume that because PLAs are so information rich (including price) that they convert at least as well as text ads. At any rate, they have a higher click-through, which almost always translates into conversions.
If you’re in a position to sell your products through search engine marketing, then now is the time to strike. PLAs are more effective and in most cases COST LESS than other paid ads. The high rate of adoption ad the end of 2012 means that the marketplace will likely be flooded as 2013 rolls on, meaning more competition and higher prices. The window isn’t shut yet though, there is still plenty of time for a quick-moving, versatile company to get in there and make some money. So optimize your PLAs with some competitive pricing and nice pictures (click HERE if you aren’t sure how to set it up) and get out there and start selling!