Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Will Raising Bids Increase PLA Traffic?

Will Raising Bids Increase PLA Traffic?

This is another frequently asked question when it comes to running Google PLA’s. Google doesn’t report impression share for traditional PLA’s and average position is always zeroed out. So how do you know if raising your bids will really increase traffic?

Well, if you are lucky enough to have a Google vertical team or access to a Google team via your agency you can request an impression share report from the back-end. Otherwise on the traditional format you simply can’t see how much you’re leaving on the table. You have to find your bid ceiling by trial and error.

The Fix

Google has solved this problem with the introduction of Shopping Campaigns. Now we get impression share data right in the AdWords UI. You’ll find this at both the campaign, ad group, and product target levels inside your Shopping Campaign under the columns drop down.

Shopping Campaign Impression Share


So now that we have the metric available how granular can we get?

Very granular! The most granular reporting option for impression share is at the product target level so your campaign structure plays a big part in how much you can actually see.

In the example below we’re targeting the full product category of umbrellas and we can drill down further, even all the way to the product ID to see impression share at the individual product level. Yup, we can now see impression share of individual products, but they’re coded by product ID so you will need to pull this data out of AdWords and match up your product ID’s with your product names in excel to see what you’re actually looking at unless you have your product catalog memorized.

Product Level Impression Share

The best practice of a sku-level segmentation on top performing products still stands and makes things easier if you use product titles as your ad group names for these important products. Not to mention you’ll be able to control negative keywords and promotional ad copy at the product level with this level of granular segmentation for additional testing and traffic sculpting.

The added visibility of Shopping Campaigns is yet another great reason to update sooner rather than later. Don’t forget, Google has announced that all traditional PLA’s will be auto-upgraded to Shopping Campaigns in late August 2014 when traditional PLA’s are retired.

This is a guest post by Heather Cooan, Director of Client Services at ClixMarketing. Frequent writer and speaker on digital media related topics. Technical editor of Google AdWords – Managing Your Advertising Program (O’Reilly Media, 2011). Listed in PPC Hero’s The Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts in 2013.

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