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Product Listing Ads definition

Product Listing Ads (© /

Product Listing Ads (© /

Product listing ads are one of the many tools that modern marketers have at their disposal. However, they can be somewhat intimidating to the first-time user, nor are they the right solution for everyone. In this article, we will be looking at product listing ads in great detail, so that you can determine whether or not they are right for you and have enough information to be able to consider them as an option.

Product Listing Ads Defined

Product listing ads are a form of cost per click advertising that allows you to advertise directly to people that may be looking for a place to buy a product that you sell. The thing about product listing ads is that they are very distinctive. They appear directly underneath the search results when someone types in a buying keyword. For example, if someone were to type in sports memorabilia, you may be able to have your ad listed showing the sports memorabilia that you have for sale. As you can imagine, this can easily result in a conversion. There are some downsides of product listing ads, which we will get into shortly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Product Listing Ads

As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to using product listing ads. The great thing about product listing ads is that they almost always allow you to feature a product image which may be exactly a match for whatever the person typed in as their buying keyword. In addition, these ads are tailored towards certain products and product categories. That means that you are very likely to get the sort of customer that you want by advertising.

Another advantage to this program is that you are able to use it, even if you do not qualify for a search engines shopping program. For example, Google shopping tab has a lot of different options and some of them are brand-name sites with a great deal of authority. You may not be able to get your products listed on the regular Google shopping tab, which means that you never have to rely on organic search through the regular web results or you have to choose some sort of premium advertising program.

Of course, there are disadvantages to using product listing ads as well. The main one is that if you are in a competitive market, you’re going to have to pay a great deal of money to get your products in front of customers. In many cases, websites listed on Google shopping are not as concerned about making a profit on the specific product that they are displaying as they are about getting their brand out there associated with those products. You may not be able to compete and still make money.

How to Use Product Listing Ads

Although there are lots of search engines out there, and several of them have product listing programs, we will be concentrating on Google for the purposes of this article. This is mostly because Google has the biggest product listing program and the one that is easiest to use as well.

The way that the Google program works is combined with other advertising programs that you may already be familiar with. For example, if you have done any sort of pay-per-click advertising with Google, then you probably already have a Google AdWords account. This is vital to using product listing ads.

The program that is used to create product listing ads through Google is called the Google shopping campaign. However, in order to set up a shopping campaign with the search giant, you first have to have a merchant account on Google. If you have a business, you may already have a Google merchant account and have all your information entered in the Google merchant center. If this is not the case, then you’re going to have to set up that account as well.

Once you have both of these accounts, then all you need to do is link your AdWords account with your Google merchant account and set up your campaign through AdWords. It works basically the same way as setting up a regular AdWords campaign, with the exception being that you will be setting up product listing details that usually don’t get with AdWords ads. For example, you will be entering things like price, product pictures and other options that only come with a shopping campaign.

openPR tip:  After you have set up your campaign through AdWords, Google will take it and show your ads to customers that you are targeting not just on their main search results on the computer, but also on mobile devices.

Expert Advice: Making Product Listing Ads More Effective

Here is some expert advice on how to make your product listing ads even more effective. These are advanced tips that may not be suitable for the beginner, but they are definitely effective.

  • Set up multiple campaigns, with the highest priority campaign triggering normal campaign keywords, but with the list of negative keywords that you don’t want to trigger. Set up your medium priority campaign so that it will only trigger on the negative keywords that you set for the high priority campaign. You can even take it a step further with a low priority campaign as well. The best way to do this is to use non-brand keywords for the high priority campaign, brand keywords for the medium and everything else for the low.
  • If your product titles are not optimized for search, which is the case with many online stores, then edit your product title so that they contain your keywords when you’re doing a Google shopping campaign.


Product listing ads are ads that are displayed when bank keywords are typed in, containing a product image, title and a buy button. These are located in a prominent place above the buying keyword results. Google shopping is the biggest and easiest to use product listing campaign program out there. Make sure that you have a merchant account as well as an AdWords account.