As a follow-up to last week’s blog series on holiday PPC management, which included tips on holiday keyword research, account structure, ad position and holiday-specific landing pages, I thought it would be beneficial to discuss Google’s recent improvements to their Product Ads, and why investing in Product Ads may be useful to you or your ecommerce clients this holiday shopping season.

Before I get into Google’s recent improvements, in case you’re aren’t currently using Product Ads, and/or you’re not familiar with them, Product Ads allow you to promote your specific products on Google, displaying your product image, price and seller name with your PPC ad text (pulled from your Google Merchant account). You’ll see the product ads below generated by my Google search for “fake Christmas trees.”

Google Product Ads

For more information about Product Ads, including setting them up in your account, here’s some good information from Google. And you should also check out Amy’s previous post here on PPC Hero about Product Ads and Extensions.

So, back to Google’s recent improvements to Products Ads, and how they’re beneficial to ecommerce clients this holiday season…

  • Google is now displaying more featured product ads (maximum of 5) in the top page position. This means searchers will see more products, i.e. your product extension has a better change of being shown at the top of Google search result pages.
  • Product Ads are now available to all U.S. advertisers, and rolled out to advertisers in the U.K., Germany and France at the beginning of this month. Google reports that Product Ads have increased traffic to retailers utilizing these extensions by 600% since last year.

Personally, I think the reason Product Ads do so well is simple: people like to see what they’re buying. If your ad includes a picture and a price I immediately have the information I need to decide whether or not I want to purchase from you. This means that I’ve likely already made the decision to purchase from you when I click on your Product Ad. Although, keep in mind that Google charges for Product Ads by CPA (cost per acquisition), so you’ll only pay for the clicks that generate actual purchases.

For more tips on how to get the most of your Product Ads for the holiday season, check out Google’s recent post. I also highly recommend this article from Search Engine Watch: 10 Takeaways from Google’s Holiday 2011 Consumer Intentions Report.