Pay Per Click advertising is a great way to generate leads and sales, especially for new e-commerce businesses. It can help you get instant results, whereas something like an SEO strategy can take months. Some of the benefits of PPC advertising are:
- Targeting prospective customers precisely based on location, demographics, interests, etc.
- Tracking ad campaign goals is simple.
- It is easy to test what produces the best results quickly. You can A/B test keywords, headers, descriptions, etc.
- Paid ads provide a wide range of formatting options compared to SEO through ad extensions.
As an e-commerce brand, you can maximize your ad spend and improve your conversion rate through proper PPC campaign management. The challenges and roadblocks e-comm companies face are distinctive from B2B companies or brick-and-mortar retailers. To help you improve your e-commerce PPC management approach and get the best performance marketing results possible, we have put together some optimization tips to support your efforts:
Tap into Targeted Dynamic Ads
Google allows you to target specific website pages that reflect the search intent of your users. Google does this by crawling your website for things such as text phrases, headlines, descriptions, and other custom labels. These are called dynamic search ads.
If you are an e-commerce website with many product pages, a blog, and landing pages for your downloads or newsletters, you might want to set up targeted dynamic ads.
Google can crawl your website and automatically match the content to the PPC ad. Additionally, having an alternative to AdSense would help you set up dynamic ads based on different target types, custom labels, page types, content, or target URLs. An example of custom labels for different page URLs is shown below.
Remember that you can upload an excel sheet with all your custom labels and other product tags. With dynamic search ads, you will generally want to stick to demand gen ads focused on accelerating sales and leads.
You should also split-test your headlines and descriptions to see which previews are best. For example, the image above shows a preview test of two different product descriptions.
Focus on Product Page Optimization
A product landing page for your paid search campaign is primarily designed to convert a lead. Your product pages should align with your PPC ads to reduce bounce rates and optimize conversions.
On top of that, you’ll need social proof, compelling CTAs, and a fast-loading product page to convert most of the traffic coming in.
Let’s take the example of a keyword search for “IT solutions company,” and the Google ads pop up below. We click on the second “Freshservice” ad.
Clicking on this ad result takes us to the landing page in the next screengrab. This landing page does something effective; it provides social proof of the product (“trusted by global brands”) and has a strong CTA (“Get Started for Free” or “Request Demo.”)
So, how do you optimize your product landing page? Here’s how:
- Use strong headlines, prominent call-to-actions, and an attractive design
- Make your landing page mobile-friendly and easy to navigate
- Add visuals showcasing your product
- Utilize social proof on your landing page
The use of relevant keywords is encouraged on your landing page. But make sure to maintain optimal keyword density to avoid Google treating your content as spam.
Leverage Google Shopping Ads
Shopping ads appear at the top of organic search results, but they pack a little something extra. Shopping ads are more visual and can also be enriched using ad extensions.
Both Google and Bing offer shopping ads. An example of Bing shopping ads is shown below.
Numerous industry case studies support the effectiveness of Google Shopping Ads in driving traffic and boosting conversions.
You can optimize your Google Shopping Ads by applying the following useful tips:
- Fill out completely your Google Merchant Center shopping product data feed - this should include descriptors like product ID, description, category, type, availability status, sale price, etc.
- Create different ad groups if you have a wide array of different products.
- Create a separate ad group for your best-selling items.
- Add promotional text to your shopping ads, such as “Get the Winter Sale Discount” or “Free shipping for all orders above $100”.
- Use HD pictures and use catchy titles and descriptions for your ads.
You have a greater chance of moving products quickly with shopping ads. For example, if you are dealing with products with a shelf life, you can pull an inventory aging report for all your products and list at-risk products on Google or Bing shopping ads.
Choose Keywords That Align
Most PPC campaigns focus on growing leads and sales since this is where you get the most ROI for your advertising budget. Thus, you should conduct keyword research that aligns with the campaign that you are running. You might want to identify target transactional or commercial keywords for a sales campaign.
Some tactics you can use to identify and implement rich PPC keywords include:
- Targeting long tail keywords with transactional search intent and low competition.
- Targeting affordable branded keywords of your competitors.
- Conducting competitor analysis to identify their target keywords.
- Create ad groups for your selected group of PPC keywords.
You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs to get keyword ideas for your campaign.
In the example below, a business is targeting the keyword “espresso machine.” From Ahrefs, it’s possible to know metrics such as the monthly search volume, long-tail variations of the keyword, etc.
Important metrics to note as you do your keyword research include CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click-through rate) for each keyword.
Finally, include negative keywords in your campaign to eliminate similar but irrelevant or non-performing keywords that could impact your ad spend.
Improve the CTRs of Your Ads
Click Thru Rate refers to the number of people clicking on your ad from the total number of impressions.
For example, a CTR of 5% for 100 impressions would total five clicks. This might seem small. However, for an e-commerce click that costs, say, $1 per ad, a return of $20/item can be considered a good ROI.
You can employ several tactics to improve your CTR:
- Use ad extensions to showcase additional information. You can use extensions like site links, product reviews, features, and structured snippets.
- Use relevant keywords for your headlines, product descriptions, and captions. Adding relevant keywords is good for both your PPC and SEO campaigns.
Here is an example of a well-done e-commerce PPC ad utilizing ad extensions (price, reviews) and keyword-rich product descriptions and captions.
Finally, don’t forget to improve the quality score of your ad keywords continually. For example, you can test the same ad with slightly varied keywords and analyze them. High-quality scores will result in lower CPCs and better ad positions.
E-commerce PPC management that is streamlined, easy, and effective offers numerous benefits to your business by saving you time, headache, and precious internal resources. Make your life easier by automating parts of the PPC campaign management process, such as ad targeting, attribution tracking, budget pacing, and reporting.
To effectively carry out an e-commerce PPC campaign, use methodical strategies such as setting up dynamic search ads, doing intense keyword research, optimizing the product page, leveraging Google Shopping Ads, and improving your CTRs.
Most importantly, your business must have a clear e-commerce PPC management strategy in line with your business goals. Track your business metrics and campaign performance constantly using MarinOne, Google Analytics, and other tools. You can also hire e-commerce PPC management services or a digital marketing agency to help you make solid gains.
Matt Diggity is a guest contributor to Marin Software. He is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.