Last October before the big Product Listing Ads (PLA) transition, in my panicked wisdom, I crafted a PLA Dashboard.
It wasn’t pretty, and there wasn’t much to it, but it did help me keep a better eye on my PLA campaigns and improve them short-term.
The dashboard looked like this:
Since then, Google Analytics has introduced a ton of new features to their dashboard framework. And there’s a lot more we can glean about our PLA campaigns because of it.
In light of that, I built a new and improved PLA dashboard:
What are the biggest changes?
Mainly the strip in the middle, but we’ll go through all the widgets step-by-step.
The bottom line should never be at the bottom of your dashboard. It should be the first thing you see. So the ROI block is top left.
Make sure your return doesn’t go topsy-turvy and stay focused on your sales goals.
New to this dashboard is a revenue by location map. If you’re doing business nationwide, or even in different countries, it’s important to know where your PLA sales are coming from so that you can bid more by GEO for profitable regions.
This widget can be modified to look at different countries beyond just the US.
While revenue is still king in this dashboard, impressions and click-through are vital to succeed in PLAs – so there’s a big block dedicated to that.
PLA Ad Content
Which of your PLA promotional messages are capturing the most audience buy-in? You’ll never need to wonder with the revenue by ad content pie chart.
Sometimes it’s hard to know how much budget to give a PLA campaign – especially if you’re just testing it out, or if you have multiple campaigns for different product categories.
With this bar chart, you can visualize the revenue brought in by all your PLA campaigns segmented by ad group.
Much like the original PLA dashboard, knowing your most popular products are key. It’ll help demonstrate where your product title and categorization efforts have yielded sales, and help you apply that logic to other groups of products in your feed.
But my personal favorite will still be the matched search queries. Getting to this report in Google Analytics takes a lot of extra segmentation that many of us don’t have time for with every single client.
Here, you can see the top 10 PLA search queries by revenue, excluding your brand.
Install & Configure the PLA Dashboard
Much like the last one, there are some assumptions:
- First, that you have AdWords and Analytics joined at the hip and you’re using Auto-Tagging, or that you know what a UTM variable is and you’re manually tagging your ads.
- Second, the AdWords Campaign name you’re housing PLAs in is appended with either “PLA” or “Product Listing”.
If you’re not doing the former, fix your tagging! This isn’t the dark ages. You need to know what’s working to be successful in paid search.
If you’re not doing the latter, there’s a regular expression (RegEx) in each widget that looks like this: (PLA|Product Listing|Custom)
All you have to do is replace “Custom” in the RegEx to whatever your PLA campaign naming convention is. For example: (PLA|Product Listing|My Campaign)
Update this, click “Save” and you’ll have a fully-functioning, PLA-aware dashboard!