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Tips for Successful Product Listing Ads: An Interview with Bruce Clay

As part of our SEJ interview series, I recently caught up with Bruce Clay of Bruce Clay Inc. to discuss product listing ads.

A lot of people have been struggling with product listings ads as of late, myself included, so I asked Bruce to provide some tips that we can all use to be more successful with them.

Hear his advice in the video below:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • When you can actually get your product listing ad (PLA) placed, you’re good, Bruce says. Where people run into the most difficulty is when it comes to jumping through the necessary hoops and getting the PLA placed.
  • The second biggest problem with PLAs is setting the price. You want to be able to bid on the product listing ads to get them to show up, and then once they’re showing up you still need to have a compelling price point because that’s what customers are going to look at when choosing one PLA over another.
  • Another issue with PLAs is not knowing how they are going to be rendered. Will they be in a carousel or not in a carousel? Bruce says at this point there is no way to effectively optimize PLAs for carousels.
  • You don’t have visibility on PLAs to a lot of the same things that you do with PPC ads. Bruce says PLAs are primitive in comparison to PPC ads. The process Bruce goes through when optimizing his PLAs is to understand conversion rate, and then back track that into PLAs, and then determine whether to raise or lower the bid.
  • Almost everyone is flying blind when it comes to PLAs, Bruce says. You set the price, you set your bid, you don’t have any visibility, and you’re just hoping it’s going to work.
  • If your PLA isn’t near the top it might as well not even be there, Bruce says. The only way to ensure your ad will show up near the top is to pay more.
  • When it comes to optimizing images for PLAs, Bruce says we know Google has a preference for the jpeg format. When the PLA is viewed on a desktop you can usually see more detail, whereas on a phone you can’t, so that’s something to keep in mind when optimizing for different devices.
  • Bruce says he has found that a light background performs better than a black background, but these are fundamental things that work for all images regardless of the device it’s being viewed on.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.

Category PPC
John Rampton Founder at

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, full-time computer nerd, and PPC expert. Founder at payments company I enjoy helping people ...

Tips for Successful Product Listing Ads: An Interview with Bruce Clay

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