Product Listing Ads (short: PLA, also: Google Shopping Ads) are a paid ad format from Google Ads. Triggers for these shopping ads are keywords or a combination of keywords that correspond to a specific product. In contrast to text ads, product listing ads contain several detailed pieces of information about the product, such as name, brand/manufacturer, price, size and color as well as other product data that might be of interest to the user, and a product image.
Due to the image display, Google Shopping Ads are eye-catching and therefore highly attractive. Another type of shopping ads are so-called showcase shopping ads. These ads consist of a variety of similar and relevant products. The ad is first shown in a minimized form. By clicking on it, the ad is enlarged to show all products.
Like text ads, the most common billing method for Product Listing Ads is Cost per Click (CPC; cost per click). When clicking on the ad, the user is redirected to a target page and the advertiser pays for this click.
Showcase shopping ads are based on a separate billing method, known as Cost per Engagement (CPE; cost per interaction). The billing only occurs when the user maximizes the ad, watches it for at least 10 seconds or clicks on a product in the ad.
The creation of a Google Merchant Center Account is a requirement for the placement of Product Listing Ads. The Merchant Center acts as an interface for advertisers to upload the required product data. A link between the Merchant Center and the Google Ads account is necessary to import the product data as a feed in CSV format.
In contrast to text ads, keywords are not booked for shopping campaigns. The product range is segmented and categorized by AdGroups and AdLabels. Based on this, it is determined which Product Listing Ad is displayed for which search query. The better the conceptual design, the higher the probability that the user will be shown the most suitable and relevant PLA. In this context, it is also of fundamental importance to accurately store all product features in the feed. Any errors regarding product features can result in the shopping ad not being displayed.