3 Steps to Building a SKU-Driven PLAs Campaign

If you saw my previous post on PPC Associates’ Blog, titled Master Product Listing Ads (PLAs), you may recall how interesting SKU-based PLA campaigns can be. Imagine the power of having one product listing ad for every SKU in your catalog! Here I will show you how to set that up, in 3 easy steps.

Step 1. Download your product feed from Google Merchants.

Log into your Google Merchant Center account (http://www.google.com/merchants) and navigate to the Data Feeds section. Locate the Status area on the right of your screen and click the link pointing to your last set of items inserted. From here click the link to download your feed (screenshot).

Note: if you don’t see a download link, your feed settings are probably leveraging Google Docs to edit and upload your feed. In that case, navigate back to the Data Feeds section, click Edit Feed, then choose one of the download methods in the File menu (screenshot).

Step 2. Open the product feed in Excel.

Open your feed in excel and remove all columns except the ID column. This is your unique identifier for each product. Just for simplicity we will assume each ID in your feed maps to a single, unique SKU in your catalog.

On a new tab in excel, add the following headers across the top, starting in cell A1 (screenshot).

I will assume your PLA campaign is called “PLAs,” and the new ad group “Product ID.” Product Target Condition 1 should have the constant value “id” below it, and Product Target Value 1 is where you will place all of your feed’s IDs from the other tab. Just copy those IDs and paste them here. Next fill down all the items under Campaign, Ad Group and Product Target Condition 1 (screenshot).

Still with me? Great! The only thing left to do is to fill in Max CPC values for each ID. This is up to you and depends on your target economics. Just remember that if you have a product target somewhere else in your account set to All Products, it needs to have a lower Max CPC value than the IDs you are bidding on individually; otherwise, All Products will steal traffic from anything with a lower bid.

Select and copy everything from cell A1 to the bottom-rightmost cell on this tab. [Tip: Click cell A1, then hit Ctrl + right arrow, and then Ctrl + down arrow. Now hit Copy.]

Step 3. Launch AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor makes it easy to paste things from excel. In this case, since we have specified the campaign name in our excel sheet, we will go up to the File menu, select Import CSV, then choose Paste text (screenshot). Paste your clipboard contents into here.

You are probably already familiar with what to do next. If not, a little trial and error will help you understand how to bring data from excel into AdWords Editor. It is time well spent! And don’t worry about screwing anything up — you always have the option to Reject changes.

There you have it, 3 main steps with a few minor steps in between. Please leave questions or suggestions in the comments so we can refine this process of converting all of your SKUs into AdWords Product Listing Ads. Happy bidding!

  • Hi Joey.

    Thanks for this. Is this putting all the ids into one adgroup? If so do we lose control of setting differing promo messages and also in adding negatives?



  • Ian, thanks for reading and asking a great question. Yes, you would lose control over different promo messages, but the solution there is to name each ad group with the product ID. You would set that up in Excel fairly quickly by clicking the ad group field, referencing the ID field and applying to all rows.

    Now you have single ID ad groups (one ID per ad group) to which you can apply negative keywords (not negative IDs at this point).

    Make sense?