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Kenshoo-Google-PLA-v-Text-Ads-Holidays-Jan2013Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) outshone text ads for retailers in Q3, and that trend followed on into the holiday season (November 1 – December 31), according to [pdf] a new study from Kenshoo. Looking at the aggregate results for PLAs versus product-related keyword campaigns for the same advertisers during the holidays, Kenshoo finds that PLAs boasted a 31% higher return on ad spend ($4.82 vs. $3.68) on the back of a 23% higher conversion rate (2.49% vs. 2.03%) and a 47% higher click-through rate (2.73% vs. 1.86%). That’s not to mention that due to a lack of competition, PLAs were 20% cheaper on a cost-per-click basis during the holiday period ($0.47 v. $0.59).

The report notes that PLAs, which became the default in the US for Google Shopping on October 17, 2012, provide “prime location on the search results page and feature the inclusion of product images.” They also appeared to have a steadier return on ad spend during the holiday season than text ads, which fluctuated more widely according to the busier shopping days.

An RKG Digital report released in October found that Google PLAs accounted for 20% of Google’s paid search clicks in Q3, with a CPC 15% less than the average non-brand text ad.

About the Data: Product Listing Ads (PLAs) data are taken from all advertisers in the U.S. retail index who ran PLA campaigns through Kenshoo during the period. Comparisons of PLAs to text ads come from product-related campaigns from the same advertisers in this sample but exclude seasonal, special promotion, and brand campaigns.

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