Why All Small Businesses Should Be Using PLAs

Google Shopping

After switching from free listings to commercial in October 2012, a lot has been made of Google’s transformation around Google Shopping. While maybe no concrete winners (besides Google’s bottom line) can be drawn in the sand, we have seen significant opportunities for small businesses within Google’s increasing focus in its shopping channel.

Looking specifically at clients currently enrolled in Portent’s small business PPC package, PPC Essentials, e-commerce clients utilizing PLAs are seeing sizable returns on their ad spend. While the dollar values of those returns will not impress mega-buck enterprise companies looking to spend and earn big, an extra one or two thousand dollars in additional monthly revenue from paid search can make all the difference for small businesses looking to get their feet off the ground in the PPC marketplace.

Pulling from the full list of active PPC Essentials clients utilizing Product Listing Ads, we can see the positive impact low budget advertisers are earning via Google Shopping. Here are a few statistics from our program-wide survey:

Average Budget Allotment

Budget Allocation

Average Cost per Click

Average CPC

Average Return on Ad Spend



  1. Get PLAs Going Now!

    If you currently are not up and running with a product feed, no need to go back to your board and pitch for more money. Allocating a small percentage of your current monthly budget can effectively get the ball rolling in the PLA game. Monthly PLA spend in the accounts surveyed ranged from under $10 to just under $800 – regardless of spend level, ROAS was positive.

  2. Lower CPCs

    Dependent on industry, driving a Google Shopping click will cost you less per click than a traditional Search Network click. In fact, within the accounts we surveyed, not a single account posted a higher average PLA CPC than average Search Network CPC.

  3. Compete with the Giants

    Product Listing Ads can become a viable piece of your paid search revenue source. Through effectively targeted product feeds and campaign structures in AdWords, SMBs can go up against the giants in their industries and come out in a positive position.

If you are a product-driven business engaged in paid search and don’t have a product listing feed – it’s time to get one. There are plenty of guides to help you get started and with Google’s feed specifics, getting up and running can be simple and straightforward.

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