Google is Now Speaking the Language of Retailers
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) have been a disruptive force on the retail landscape. They've fundamentally changed how consumers interact with paid search ads (with images, as opposed to with text only). However, and perhaps even more importantly, PLAs have fundamentally changed how retailers interact with paid search campaigns. Previously, in paid search, retailers had to "speak" in the language of search engines — that of keywords, match types and ad groups. Now with PLAs, retailers can speak in their own language — that of products and categories. They're quickly realizing that speaking in their own language is a whole lot easier.
Before diving into the various applications and benefits of retailers speaking in their own language vs. search language, it's important to demonstrate the drastic difference between the two. Given the crisper air the winter season brings, let's use the following sweater as an example:
We can see how this sweater is described by the retailer: brand, sleeve length, type of sweater, material, size, and color. The listing provides all the attributes associated with the product that we would expect to find in a product catalog.
In a traditional search campaign, retailers need to predict which queries consumers are going to enter that would be good matches for this sweater, and then list those queries as keywords in their campaign. Examples of possible keywords might include the following:
- blue sweater;
- turquoise sweater;
- sky blue sweater;
- warm sweater;
- blue cardigan;
- blue cardigan sweater;
- easy-to-wash sweater;
- pretty sweater;
- cheap sweater;
- sweater on sale;
Here's how the campaign appears within an AdWords’ report:
Clearly, the keyword campaign must be designed by those in the organization who are familiar with paid search campaigns — people with experience generating keywords and match types that will generate a high volume of impressions, clicks and conversions. As a result, search marketers are highly trained specialists, a different breed from a typical marketer.