As of Q1 2018, Google Shopping ads drove 76.4 percent of retail search ad spend.  These shopping ads have eclipsed text ads in markets around the world.  Since Product Listing Ads (PLAs) has become more competitive, how do we maximize ROI without adding more to the budget?

What we need here is competitive search intelligence, which is the understanding  of where your spend will have the most impact, discovering hidden opportunities, identifying both your strengths and your competitor’s weaknesses, and eliminating waste.

Having an in-depth analysis of categories, devices and ad types, search marketers can finesse their approach to focus spend on the most lucrative opportunities.

For a number of retailers, even a small CTR increase can mean a huge uptick in revenue.  This is why finding a niche opportunity or mitigating the impact of an encroaching competitor can make a huge difference.  There are six steps a retailer should consider to optimize PLA spend in an increasingly competitive landscape, according to :

  1. Take advantage of AI.
  2. Watch your back.
  3. Prep for seasonal shifts.
  4. Compare product by product.
  5. Reduce waste.
  6. Think page position.

As PLAs continue capturing a large share of search spend, markets need to be more efficient in how they execute on this channel.  In order to optimize, streamline and get even more from Google Shopping campaign, we should be looking at the market in a holistic way:

  • Investigating the value of competitive intelligence.
  • Integrating Google Shopping campaigns with AdWords/text ad campaigns to remain agile in a competitive landscape.
  • Conducting gap analyses across the retail market to find opportunities.
  • Leveraging machine learning for search term categorization.
  • Building a comprehensive understanding of consumer search behavior.

Want to learn more? Check out our detailed report on The Rise of Google Shopping.

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