If you run an eCommerce website or online business, PPC Ad campaigns can be an essential part of your marketing efforts. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about organizing a PPC campaign for your eCommerce store, with step-by-step instructions for applying it directly to your business.
First, let’s get into the basics of PPC Ads and why they can be so beneficial.
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, and it’s an essential and potentially very effective aspect of your online advertising efforts for your e-commerce business.
Types of PPC Ads
There are several types of PPC ads, which come in a variety of formats and can be designed to show up in a variety of different places on the internet.
PPC: Search Ads
Text ads, as you would imagine, involve words only. These are the text ads you will see when you search for something on Google. In order to elongate them, you can add extensions to provide additional information and contact details.
PPC: Responsive Ads
These types of ads will automatically adjust size, appearance, and format to fit whatever ad space is available for them.
PPC: Image Ads
If you’re looking to showcase the look of your product or service, image ads might be a good way to go. You can even insert animated .gif ads into this category.
PPC: App Promotion Ads
If you have an app and you’re looking to drive downloads, you can reach more of your ideal customers this way. Keep in mind that this type of ads only works with compatible devices, such as mobile devices that use the Google Play store.
PPC: Video Ads
If you have a great video promotion or testimonial to display, you can run video ads either as standalone videos or embedded into streaming video content.
PPC: Product Shopping Ads
If you’re looking to drive customers to purchase as quickly as possible, Product Shopping Ads can be very effective. This kind of ad will show users an image of your product, pricing information, more details about your product, and will direct them to your online cart for purchase.
PPC: Showcase Shopping Ads
If you want to show an ad to users doing research on where to buy a product (rather than simply a specific kind of product), you can create this type of ad which will expand when clicked to show your store information and related products.
PPC: Call-Only Ads
If you’re looking to drive people to your business phone line, you can also set up these kinds of ads that will display only on devices that make phone calls.
How Can PPC Ads Help Your Business?
While you may associate pay-per-click ads simply with the cost, they should be thought of in terms of the opportunities to grow your revenue. In other words, they can potentially have a high ROI, or “return on investment.” PPC ads can give you the visibility you need to attract new customers by appearing in search results instantly for targeted search terms. Put together the right kind of campaign with the right keywords, and the benefits are nearly endless. Here are a few of the specific benefits of PPC campaigns:
PPC Campaign Can Drive Revenue
Ultimately, the key to growing your business and attracting new customers is finding ways to increase the positive attention on your business. While SEO can be a powerful way to organically bring in new potential customers, PPC ads will immediately jump to the top of search results (if done correctly) or show up in places where you know your potential customers are giving their attention. Couple that with some compelling calls to action, and you’re likely to drive revenue to your business or eCommerce store.
You Only Pay For Performance
The beauty of PPC advertising is that you only pay for the times that potential customers click on your ad. So if you’re able to make a compelling case for someone to become a new customer, the investment is entirely dependent on the people that engage with your advertising efforts.
You Can Get Great Feedback on Keywords
PPC is a great place to test keywords to see whether they are effective for your website and your business, which can then help with your SEO efforts. Google AdWords will give you precise data on each keyword, so you’ll be able to make adjustments on the fly.
You’ll Get Quick Results with the PPC campaign
While SEO is a slow-moving strategy to rank highly in search, PPC ads can give you quick results and fast feedback, as mentioned above. If monitored correctly, you’ll be able to make targeted and educated adjustments in order to make your ads more attractive – and more visible – to your ideal customers.
You Can Increase Your Business Opportunities
Instant results will lead to an instant increase in opportunities. If you’re able to show up at the top of the search for a popular keyword that’s highly relevant to your business, you’re bound to generate more leads and attract more business opportunities.
PPC Campaign Structure
Now that you have an idea of the kinds of ad campaigns you can run and the potential benefits, it’s important to understand that one of the main keys to a successful AdWords campaign is how your account is structured. In other words, it’s important to understand what types of ads your business should be running to get in front of your ideal customers.
There are a lot of ways to structure your PPC campaign. Below, you’ll find a brief introduction of the different levels of organization for a PPC campaign and how they can be structured differently for your eCommerce business. Later, we’ll get into detail about how each level works.
The Campaign level is where you’ll start, and it’s where you will select your advertising type (which we reviewed earlier in this article). For the purposes of brevity, we’ll focus on the most popular type of ad, text ads, for the purposes of this article.
At the Campaign level, you’ll also set your budget. Don’t worry, you can always adjust this later, but this will let Google know how much you want to invest in promoting your business through AdWords.
The next level is the Ads group, which lets you create different themes within a campaign and manipulate the relationship between specific keywords and ad copy.
ADS and KW
You can then create different ads for different groupings of keywords. Different types of keyword groupings can be broken down as follows: product keywords, brand keywords, category keywords, and general keywords.
How To Prepare Your Store For Advertising
Before you can even begin to structure your PPC campaigns, you’ll need to make sure your online store is organized and structured well. For example, if you run a clothing eCommerce store, you’ll want to make sure your shop is organized into categories such as “shirts,” “pants,” “dresses,” “accessories,” and so on and so forth. You’re going to be creating different PPC campaigns for each category, so in order to get the valuable data you need, it’s important to have this correlation between your store and your Ad structuring.
Choose Your Product
Before you get started with your PPC ad campaign, you need to know what you’re going to be advertising, and you need to make sure your product is ready for purchase on your site. The rest of the decisions you make below will presumably drive your potential clients to your product pages, and if you’re not set up to make sales or capture leads, you’re simply throwing money away. You also need to have a firm idea of which products you’re advertising, because all of your targeting and keyword decisions should relate directly to what you’re selling.
Geo and Language Targeting
When it comes to targeting, one of the best things about AdWords is that you can be pretty precise when it comes to the locations of the customers you want to advertise to. If you’re a local business only serving customers in a particular city, you’ll want to zero in on that area for your ads. If you’re serving customers throughout the country, you can broaden your geo-targeting, but you might want to do some research as to where your ideal customers most likely might be. You might even want to tailor specific ad groups to different locations and keywords.
You also want to make sure that your targeting customers who speak the language you’re advertising in. For example, if you’re targeting Spanish-speaking customers, you want to note this before proceeding.
Branded vs Non-Branded Keywords
Simply put, a branded keyword is a keyword that includes your company’s name, whereas a non-branded keyword does not. For example “Catapult Revenue eCommerce Marketing” would be a branded keyword, and “eCommerce Marketing Company” would be an unbranded keyword. While choosing branded keywords certainly does narrow the number of users that would see your ad, the conversion rates will be consistently higher. So it’s important to find a balance between casting a wider net and maximizing conversions.
PPC Campaign Setting
A campaign consists of a series of ad groups, and at the “campaign” level, you’re going to need to make some decisions that affect each one of your ad groups, ads, and keywords under that campaign.
Your budget refers to how much you’re willing to spend on clicks or conversions from this ad. You’ll be able to set the maximum you’re willing to spend per day. When you’re just getting started, it would be unwise to count on immediate financial success. It’s probably best to start with a small budget you’re comfortable with while you test the efficacy of your ads and keywords. Then, as you learn what’s working and what’s not, you can add to your budget and get more aggressive with your spending. Explore how to calculate your PPC budget.
When it comes to search PPC ads, there are a variety of additional targeting options, including the following:
- Affinity Targeting – This allows you to target users based on their interests or habits.
- Detailed Demographics Targeting – This allows you to target users based on long-term life facts.
- In-Market Targeting – This allows you to research users based on their recent purchasing intent.
- Remarketing – If users have already interacted with your business in some way online, you can target them.
- Customer Match – If you have a large list of existing customers based on your CRM data, you can target them with ads directly.
- Similar Audiences Targeting – Create a targeted audience of users with interests similar to those of your previous website visitors.
Examples of a Good Structured Campaign vs. A Poorly Structured Campaign
Let’s say you own an online clothing store that sells both men’s and women’s casual beachwear.
At the campaign level, you may want to set up separate campaigns for “men’s beachwear” and “women’s beachwear.”
Now let’s examine how NOT to structure your campaign. Maybe you’d create one campaign for “men’s and women’s clothing,” rather than setting up different campaigns so you can target different demographics.
At the ad group level, you may want to further divide your product categories. Let’s focus on the women’s beachwear campaign for the purposes of this exercise. You may want to divide your ad groups into “women’s sun dresses,” “women’s swimwear,” “women’s beach coverups,” etc.
In a poorly structured campaign, you’d create only one ad group under the campaign.
ADS and KW
With a properly structured campaign, you’d have different ad groups that you can target completely differently, with different keywords and different ad copy.
With a poorly structured campaign, you might just throw all the possible relevant keywords under one or two pieces of ad copy. Your targeting is going to be far too broad, you won’t get many clicks, and you’ll likely think PPC marketing isn’t for you.
PPC eCommerce Campaign Examples
Many eCommerce business owners try PPC marketing but don’t truly understand how to structure their campaigns. This form of marketing is extremely competitive, and there are a lot of skilled professionals building campaigns for various companies. When they don’t see the results they were hoping for, they might want to give up on this form of marketing. But with a properly structured campaign, any business owner can gain valuable insights about their potential customers and continue to make quick adjustments in order to receive a tremendous return on investment.
If you’re unsure of where to start or how to structure your campaign, the experts at Catapult Revenue can help you design, structure, and run the most effective PPC campaign possible to bring new customers to your brand.