Steal This Product Listing Ads Dashboard Before Wednesday
Michael Wiegand Oct 15 2012
If you’ve followed my blog musings in the last year or so at Portent, you’ll know that I’m a bit of a dashboard nut.
My Perfect Google Analytics Dashboard post took off in ways I never imagined. (Thanks guys!)
But here’s the thing: I was lying to you all – or misleading you, anyway. There is no perfect dashboard. There are many.
The New Google Analytics PLA Dashboard You Need
Elizabeth wrote about the Google Shopping transition going down on October 17th. It’s all moving to a paid service through Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
With that move comes the need for greater analysis and insight. What greater way to do that than a dedicated PLA dashboard in Google Analytics?
So you have a choice: either scramble for a way to track this after the transition, or steal this dashboard now and be prepared!
The Anatomy of the Product Listing Ads Dashboard
Much like the dashboards I’ve shown you before, the layout on this one is very intentional:
- Most important stats: Top Left
- Sexy graphical element: Middle
- Some detail, but not too much: Right, Bottom
Let’s walk through the widgets individually.
How much did I make? How much did I spend to make it?
Two stats that are essential to any paid advertising campaign, and PLAs are no different.
I have a rule about not putting anything on a dashboard that you could get by applying basic math to existing metrics. But since we’ll want to watch ROI very closely out of the gate in October, I’ll make an exception here:
PLA Impressions & Clicks Timeline
How many people are seeing my PLAs?
Whether you’re just launching your product feed or if you’re uploading it manually, it helps to visually see when your impressions start kicking in (or when they drop off):
PLA Product Performance
Which products are people buying when they click on your PLAs? How much is that worth to your bottom line?
Ad Group Clicks, Conversion Rates & Revenue
Can I break down PLA performance by ad group?
PLA campaign structure will usually dictate that you establish ad groups geared towards either adwords_grouping(s) or adwords_label(s) that align with the product categories in your feed.
This widget will tell you which of your themed ad groups are pulling their traffic and revenue weight and which ones are wasteful with the clicks:
Matched Search Queries for PLAs
Which keywords trigger my PLAs?
This, my friends, is the Holy Grail of PLA advertising. Before this report, it was tricky to figure out which searches were actually triggering PLAs, short of some inventive tagging in the adwords_redirect field of your feed.
But it turns out the queries can be seen in the Matched Search Queries report, which can then be added to a dashboard widget:
Installing the PLA Dashboard
Or paste the link into the browser you’re currently logged into Google Analytics (GA) with. Either way, GA will prompt you to apply it to the profile of your choosing.
Configuring the PLA Dashboard
Every widget in this dashboard assumes a couple things:
- That you have Google AdWords and Google Analytics properly linked and are utilizing Auto-Tagging, or that your AdWords Campaigns/Product Feeds are Manually Tagged properly with utm variables.
- That the AdWords Campaign you’re running PLAs in has either “PLA” or “Product Listing” in the campaign name.
If #1 isn’t true, go fix your tagging! It’ll behoove you to have that fixed, even if you’re not running a PLA campaign.
If #2 isn’t true, my widgets allow you to fix it. In each widget, there’s a regular expression that looks like this: (PLA|Product Listing|Custom)
Simply replace “Custom” in the regular expression to match the campaign name you’re running PLAs from. Like this: (PLA|Product Listing|My Campaign)
Do this in the all the widgets and click “Save” and you’re good to go!
Run Your PLA Campaigns Fearlessly
With this data at your fingertips, you’re equipped to optimize your PLA efforts and reap the rewards.
Be sure to comment on this post with any questions!
In 15 years as a marketer, Michael's experience has run the gamut from design, development, direct mail, multivariate testing, print, and search. He now heads Portent's Analytics practice, overseeing everything from Google Tag Management, to CRM integration for closed-loop analytics, to solving ponderous digital marketing questions. Outside of work, he enjoys recording music, playing JRPGs and supporting Seattle Sounders FC. Read More