Images are driving online media, and it is no different with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Brands using paid advertising are gravitating toward Product Listing Ads…but what are PLAs?

shopper-browsing-paid-advertising

Product Listing Ads, or PLAs, are a form of paid advertising using Google AdWords and the Google Merchant Center. The ads appear with a product image, the name of the product, the price of the product, and the retailer offering the product.

Oftentimes, you will see a PLA show a percentage discount or a product rating.

 

On Google Search, PLAs are shown separate from paid text ads and organic search results.

On Google Search, PLAs are shown separate from paid text ads and organic search results.

 

PLAs are not limited to Google search results pages. They can also be shown on Google Shopping and on Google Search partner websites that display and link to products for sale.

Who is best served by a Product Listing Ad?

Product listing ads are ideal for the shopper who knows exactly what they want. In the example above, the shopper is typing “le creuset dutch oven” into the search bar.

The reason PLAs are best suited for these types of shoppers is because the ads are so narrowly focused on a specific product. This type of paid advertising is not designed to educate customers but to show them products once they are ready to buy.

If you are currently planning which of your products to list for the holidays, these types of ads can help you reach customers who prefer online shopping. PLAs can also foster a connection from seeing a product online to buying it in the retail store. 

Should PLAs replace my text ads?

Not necessarily. In fact, a better approach may be to combine text ads with product listing ads. This helps your brand take up more real estate on search results pages, giving you more opportunity to serve different customers at various stages of the buyer journey.