Do Product Listing Ads double the bang for your buck or double the confusion of your Analytics?

Recently we’ve started a program where our users can reach out to us directly with support questions through the blog. Below we answer a question from Ryan. Here’s his question:

I am having trouble determining exactly how Google Shopping ads are affecting my text ads. For example: In AdWords, if both a text and a G Shopping ad are both showing, I assume that counts as 2 overall impressions on the account; the problem with that is that you can really only get one click. This can skew how people look at CTR, Conv. rates, etc. What is the best way to look at this, report on this, etc.? I know there are other issues/overlap, but just wanted to give an example. Thanks! Ryan

Four CPC Strategists chimed in:

Jason:

From my point of view having both of these could be a good thing as you own more real estate on the SERP.

You can also separate out the data between product targets (PLAs) and text ads. Combining the data is the only way this would skew the data. You would separate out the data by having different Ad Groups/Campaigns which separate PLAs from text ads.

In my eyes they shouldn’t be combined because they act and should be managed separately.

Josh:

Everything Jason said + Yes this may negatively affect CTR when looking at the data at the account level and not by campaign. This is a small, and in my opinion negligible, risk you take when running the ads in two different formats at the same time. Since this issue has now been identified, I would put less of a premium on CTR and more emphasis on conversion rate and overall revenue if he does have to look at things at the account level.

David:

Agreed with Josh and Jason.

Even in the instance where text and shopping ads show concurrently, the PLA is most likely going to have a.) higher CTR because ad is “sexier”, and b.) lower avg. cpc because the PLA market is less mature. So even in the case where cannibalization is an issue and PLAs are stealing away traffic and conversions from text ads, it shouldn’t matter because their effective cost should be lower – ROI higher.

Like Josh mentioned, rather than segmenting the two channels and evaluating ROI individually, combine the two and evaluate ROI on a more holistic level.

Tien:

Google repeats the same things which you can point to too

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2454022?hl=en

Benefits of Product Listing Ads

More traffic and leads: Many businesses experience significantly higher clickthrough rates (CTR) with Product Listing Ads compared to text ads shown in the same location for Google Shopping searches. In some cases, advertisers have experienced double or triple standard clickthrough rates.

Broader reach: More than one of your Product Listing Ads can appear for a given customer search and, if relevant, a Product Listing Ad and a text ad can also appear at the same time. This means your reach with shoppers for a single search could double.

Got a question of your own? Ask it here.

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About the Author+Andrew Davis is CPC Strategy's Director of Marketing, an expert in ecommerce marketing strategy, product marketing and all things shopping engine related. You can contact Andrew directly at andrew@cpcstrategy.com or via phone at 619-297-3798. See all posts by this author here.

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