As part of this weeks series on gearing up your PPC campaigns for the holidays, I’ll be touching on one of the most important tools in an eCommerce PPC campaign this holiday season: product listing ads!

Product listing ads take the consumer directly to the product. It’s as close to real shopping as you can get with PPC ads. Maybe the parents of these children with gifts were able to find the perfect thing for all of them because of YOUR product listing ads. Way to go, you!

Here’s a quick bullet pointed list of optimizations I’m making to my PLA’s in my eCommerce accounts especially for the Holidays:

  • Make a new, holidays-focused PLA campaign at least a week before you really need it.
  • Segment your products by categories you expect to perform differently during the holidays.
  • Include special holiday deals as promotions.
  • Have special ad groups in this new campaign for Black Friday and Cyber Monday if your deal is the same across all products, since your ads will only run for a couple of days.
  • Review your data feeds to make sure there are no errors and all products are listed.
  • Review your negatives list and the search query report to make sure there’s nothing wasting your money or blocking your money!

I suggest making a new PLAs campaign, as this will best allow you to optimize and create targeted messaging for the holidays and leave your old PLA campaign nice and in tact with all its wonderful non holiday season data waiting  for you when January rolls around.

While I suggest making Cyber Monday and Black Friday their own ad groups targeting all relevant products, this should certainly not be the case if you plan on running these ads for longer than a couple of days or plan on spending a super serious chunk of change. In these cases, it probably would be best to make an ad in each segmented and targeted ad group with special Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions. Just unpause them when you need ’em!

I’m sure as a good eCommerce PPC manager, you’re totally on top of all the specials and promotions going on for the holidays, black friday, and cyber monday, but make sure you include all your best promotions in your PLAs. Just in case I’m dealing with newbs, you just click “new ad” and you can put in a new promotion. Looks like this:

You’ll definitely want to review your data feed to make sure there are no errors and everything is listed properly. The last thing you want is to have a data feed upload error during prime holiday shopping time and miss all those buckets of money. Make sure all your products are listed as well!

Lastly, make sure to review your negatives list and your search queries for these guys. Something that was blocking just a wee bit of traffic before could be blocking buckets of money, now. Buckets! And vice versa, something that was wasting just a little baby amount of money before could kill you during this high volume season. Make sure you do a total audit of your search query reports and negative lists to prevent any holes in your dam from breaking the whole thing!

So, there are my holiday PLA optimization tips. What are you guys doing this holiday season with your PLA’s?