The Importance of Product Listing Ads: an In-Depth Guide

Digital Advertising
Maisha Farzana
12 min read

The success of an online retailer depends on its capacity to draw new clients to its web store, and Product Listing Ads are one of the primary sources of traffic for that. 

Google created its Product Listing Ads platform with e-commerce in mind. You cannot utilize them to advertise news or blog material. They are a vital marketing strategy for every eCommerce firm because they are focused on increasing online sales for your firm.

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about product listing ads so you can use them properly to advertise your fantastic products.

What Are Product Listing Ads?

Product listing ads (PLAs) appear when you search for a product on Google. E-Commerce businesses utilize product listing advertisements to advertise their products, increase website traffic, and produce high-quality leads. 

With PLAs, all your items are more easily found by all your clients, making it easy for you to entice your customers without trying too much.

Why Use Google Product Listing ads?

They Put Your Products Front And Center

Brands have the potential to connect with a more extensive yet highly relevant audience thanks to product listing advertisements. 

Customers will likely pay attention to Google PLA advertisements due to their prominent placement and appealing presentation.

More Traffic

Other network channels cannot dispute Google Shopping's predominance. 

Businesses continue to enjoy exceptionally high Click-through Rates (CTR) with Google PLAs, enabling them to reach out to a broad spectrum of audiences.

They Capture Commercial Intent

Brands might anticipate more significant sales than they would with conventional display advertising since PLA advertising targets consumers while they search for items.

They Provide A Seamless User Experience 

Brands can better connect with consumers by using product advertisements. While this is excellent news for businesses looking to increase sales, it also benefits customers who want to complete their purchases swiftly.

Retail-Centric Campaign Management

Google displays your PLAs alongside applicable searchers based on the product characteristics from your Merchant Center Data Feed. 

Direct product browsing is available in Google Ads.

Increased Visibility

Reaching the proper personnel with precise information in your ads will make it simple for them to decide and make wise purchases. 

A price and image in an advertisement indicate that the user is probably prepared to make a purchase. The Lead Quality and Conversion Rates will improve as a result.

Powerful Reporting

With Google PLAs, you can also keep an eye on and improve the success of your advertising campaigns. 

They have built-in reporting functions. You can track how many people click on or view your brand.

7 Prerequisites of Product Listing ads

1. Can you link your Google Merchant Center with your Google Ads account?

If the two accounts aren't connected, your campaign won't be able to run since Google Advertising utilizes the data feed that you submit to the Google Merchant Center to produce Product ads.

2. How many products do you sell?

You can see lower exposure than companies with over 500 goods if you sell fewer than 500 products.

3. What is your product category?

Using PLAs to advertise products in less competitive categories, including furniture, baby products, tools, and transport equipment, is fantastic. 

If you're not a renowned brand like Nike or Adidas and selling more competitive items like garments or footwear, you can find it challenging to make money from this campaign.

4. How much can you spend on Google?

Be ready with the funds necessary to take advantage of Google PLAs and guarantee that your adverts appear all day.

5. How much do you need to sell to profit with Google Product Listing ads?

When your margins are too tight, you can have trouble making a profit or have to cut back on your daily expenses. 

This means changing vastly depending on your items, the competitors, and the margins.

6. What is the quality of your site?

When determining the quality of a site and a business, Google focuses a great deal on links and site quality.

7. Can you quickly change your data feed?

If you are unable to do that, then you won't be able to conduct several technical tasks like:

  • Establishing your campaign
  • Making ad groups for top-selling commodities, goods that fall within or outside a given price range, seasonal goods, etc.
  • Modifying or updating campaign sales
  • Repairing validity issues (when setting up ad groups)
  • Avoiding having your campaign rejected due to incomplete or inaccurate data feed aspects

How To Set Up Google PLA Ads

1. Set up an account in the Google Merchant Center 

You must visit Google and enter some fundamental company data. This will be seen by anyone who views your product advertisements. Google will also request information about any additional users who require account access, and this first step requires a google account.

2. Verify your store 

Before launching any PLA advertising efforts, you must show Google that you are the legitimate owner of your shop. You may easily accomplish this by integrating your website's Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics. However, this isn't always doable if a third-party platform like Shopify powers your business.

Alternatively, you might include a file or HTML element on your website. Return to your Google Merchant account and click the "Verify URL" button in the bottom right to complete the procedure. 

3. Create a New Shopping Campaign 

Select the "+Campaign" option on the Google AdWords website. As with several campaigns you may conduct, a few alternatives appear after hitting the button.

4. Make a Campaign Name and Set Shop Settings

On the campaign settings page, you may design a campaign name. 

You should be aware that you could eventually run different product ad campaigns. 

Therefore you should be able to tell them apart. Since we already linked the Google Merchant Center account, the merchant identifier is also loaded. 

Be sure to choose your nation of purchase. You'll then notice some sophisticated shopping settings. 

This offers features for campaign priority, local inventory ad setup, and filtering. If you're only running one campaign, none of these are that important, but the campaign priority feature is excellent.

5. Walk Through the Defaults

All devices compatible with your advertising will display them, according to the Devices section. 

As a result, your adverts will still be visible to users who conduct a Google search on a smartphone or tablet. 

Given that there's a chance you don't sell to customers outside of your home nation, the Locations section is among the most crucial. 

Additionally, there is a section called Advanced Locations Options, where you may choose precisely who you want to target depending on your prior location preferences.

6. Set Your Bid and Budget

Enter the amount you want to bid for each ad in the Default Bid area. Regarding the budget, everything relies on how much you want to spend—using a strategy-driven campaign. 

Just be aware that Google may exceed that budget by 20% if it determines that the advertisements are doing effectively at that time.

Click the Save and Continue button when you're done.

7. Set Product Groups

You will get the option of establishing different product groups depending on the selected product parameters. 

Even though you have the choice, most customers will start by choosing one product category with a single bid for all goods. 

Following that, you can begin classifying things into various groups.

8. Upload your products 

A.txt file or an automatic feed are acceptable methods for submitting your product data to Google. 

Therefore, you must ensure that they are included in your product names and descriptions at this early stage if you want to see any relevant keywords in your advertising.

9. Set up your PLA advertising in Google Ads

To create unique ad groups and targeting criteria for your items, go to Google Ads. You can also set ad bids from this page. 

Once Google's PLA advertising is configured, the Microsoft Google Merchant Import tool makes it simple to import your product advertisements to Bing.

10. View Your Campaign

After completing your campaign settings, you may view the campaign on the main list. 

You'll be able to see vital data like clicks, impressions, CTR, average CPC, and the campaign's overall cost when the campaign launches.

Ad Specs and Requirements


  • Required: Unique product identification
  • Syntax: Max 50 characters
  • Product.SKU
  • Use a distinct value for each product (where feasible, use the SKU)
  • When updating your data, keep the ID fixed.
  • Only use legitimate Unicode characters (avoid invalid characters like control, function, or private area characters)
  • Use the same ID for the same product in all languages and countries.


  • Required: Brand name
  • Syntax: Max. 150 characters
  • property:
  • Titles that appropriately represent the product on your post-click landing page should be used.
  • Don't use foreign characters, all capital letters, or advertising material like "free shipping."
  • Include a differentiating characteristic, like color or size, for variations.
  • Include "with contract" if a contractor was involved in selling mobile devices.


  • Required: Product information
  • Syntax: 5,000 maximum characters
  • property: Product.description
  • Titles that appropriately represent the product on your post-click landing page should be used.
  • Don't use gimmicky foreign characters, all capital letters, or advertising material like "free shipping."
  • Include just facts on the product; exclude links to your store, information about sales, specifics about rival items, other products, or accessories.
  • Use formatting tools like italics, line breaks, and lists.


  • Required: Post-click landing page for your product
  • property: offer.URL
  • Utilize a domain name that has been confirmed and begin with HTTP or HTTPS
  • Use an RFC 2396 or RFC 1738 compliant encoded URL.
  • Unless legally needed, avoid linking to an interstitial page.
  • If necessary, use an in-domain tracking URL


  • Required: The primary picture of your product
  • Accepted file formats: GIF (.gif), JPEG (.jpg/.jpeg), PNG (.png), BMP (.bmp), and TIFF (.tif/.tiff) are all non-animated file types.
  • Non-apparel items 100 × 100 pixels minimum
  • Clothing items 250 × 250 pixels minimum
  • 64 megapixels maximum (or 16MB max file size)
  • Don't submit a thumbnail or enlarge a picture.
  • Borders, watermarks, and promotional material are not permitted.
  • No generic pictures or placeholders

Image link

  • Required: The link to the main picture of your product
  • property: Product.image
  • Link to your product's primary picture
  • Begin with either HTTP or HTTPS
  • Use an RFC 2396 or RFC 1738 compliant encoded URL.
  • Make sure Google can crawl the URL

Additional image link

  • Optional: the web address of an extra picture of your goods
  • Syntax: 2,000 maximum characters max
  • Meet the standard standards for image links
  • Add this property multiple times to up to 10 additional product photos you submit.

Mobile link

  • Optional: If your product's mobile post-click landing page URL is distinct from the desktop.
  • Syntax: 2,000 maximum alphanumeric characters
  • Fulfill standard link standards

Don't forget about Bing Product Listing Ads

Bing Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are a powerful way to showcase your products and drive traffic to your website. With PLAs, you can create ads that feature product images, pricing, and other information.

To get started with PLAs, you'll need to create a Bing Merchant Center account and submit your product feed. Once your account is approved, you can create PLA campaigns in Bing Ads.

If you're not sure how to get started with PLAs, our team can help. We specialize in assisting businesses to create and optimize their PLA campaigns. Contact us today to learn more!

12 Google Product Listing Ads Best Practices

1. Invest in High Quality, Unique Images

As the first item that draws a consumer's attention, images are one of the most critical components of product feed optimization. 

A merchant's most significant advantage in pulling in potential clients with Shopping advertisements is the use of beautiful visuals that sell.

2. Segment Product Groups

The "All products" choice is the default. On the other hand, you don't want to use the same bid on all of your items, just as you wouldn't use the same offer on all of your keywords. 

So, using a tiered, relational structure, build several product groups:

Start with broad classifications by utilizing factors like product type and category. Continue segmenting items using the same or more targeted qualities if there is sufficient data and a requirement for more divisions.

3. Write Product Titles and Descriptions for Humans

The title is one of the most crucial sections in your Shopping ad for driving traffic. Why? "The product title is the key to determining what search phrases your Google Shopping advertisements appear on. In other words, your keyword is in the product title.

4. Integrate Keywords in Titles and Descriptions

Utilizing pertinent keywords in the product's title and description is crucial, much like constructing better product pages that rank in the SERPs.

5. Create Brand and Non-Brand Campaigns

When customers perform branded product searches, using distinct branded and non-branded ads helps you increase your traffic. The procedure is easy, and you should create two shopping campaigns:

  • As negative keywords for the non-brand campaign, include your brand phrases.
  • You may budget and bid correctly for brand and non-brand searches, which often merit their separate bids, by setting the brand campaign priority to "low" (a unique shopping campaign setting).

6. Optimize Your Data Feed

To leverage the power of your brand, put it in the product title. And to improve match rates and click-through rates, you should choose the most exact Google Product Category .

Finally, to further classify your items depending on marketing objectives like ROI or price range, we recommend you to use Custom Labels.

7. Be Holistic

PLAs cannot be used with the ad rotation and optimization options provided for standard text advertising. You can build up AdWords studies if you must test numerous variations, but it could be more effort than it's worth.

8. Update Your Product Feed Regularly

Sellers that want their product feeds to remain optimal must follow Google's upgrades and modifications since they might affect how successful a feed is.

9. Regularly Review the Merchant Center

Any cautions, mistakes, or violations your stream may experience will be reported by the MC so you can instantly fix them. Most problems are simple to resolve; all that is needed is knowledge to identify them. Your items will all be live, and your data quality score with Google will remain high if you regularly examine the MC and fix any errors.

10. Add Enhancements to Your Ads

Your PLAs can include improvements to draw in additional viewers. Options consist of:

  • Special deals to include your advertisement with your online promos. 
  • Although there is no additional charge for them, CPC pricing is still in effect.
  • Google Customer Reviews: A 5-star rating system and a total number of reviews displayed to get insightful comments from customers.

11. Stay Relevant

For eCommerce retailers, staying relevant is an essential skill on which the product sale will depend.

12. Deploy Strong Bidding Strategies

Instead of activating individual goods to get the correct CPC, launch all products with a low bid.

Common Mistakes to Avoid with Product Listing Ads

Overusing the All Products Group

It is recommended to create separate ad groups for your top-selling items so you can develop the most pertinent and persuasive ad content for that ad. Use your All Product ad group with caution.

Optimizing images for your store and not your PLA feed

You may make the process more productive and efficient by ensuring your production picture approach achieves a suitable medium between appearing excellent on your site and for PLAs afterward.

Forgetting To See What The Consumer Sees

Viewing what consumers would see when searching for your most crucial product phrases is one of the finest strategies to optimize your PLAs.

Figure Out You Can Do it Without Automation

Review the available technological platforms in the area to determine whether one of them can assist you in moving forward.

Disregarding The Lessons You Learned From Paid Search

Aim to counter your worst-performing advertising while supporting your top ones with your bids and budget. To determine which fresh ad creative or bids are effective, conduct A/B testing. Then, employ the results to develop.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a product Listing ad?

A product listing ad is the type of advertisement that appears when a client searches for a product on Google.

How do I create a product listing ad?

You can create a product listing ad following a few steps such as:

  • Link your AdWords and Google Merchant Center accounts
  • Create a campaign
  • Create an Ad Group
  • Target Options

What is PLA marketing?

Product Listing Ads are adverts that provide customers the ability to more thorough information than regular text-based advertisements. 

It encourages people to visit your website by clicking through. 

The details in the advertisements are taken from your product data feed.

Final Thoughts on Product Listing Ad

A tremendous prospect for consumer recruitment is provided by PLA advertising. Additionally, these commercials are fantastic for raising brand recognition. But they're also significant for convenience and client satisfaction.

Brands need to be present everywhere consumers look for items. Everything you can do to simplify customers' lives will help your business.

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