ecommerce-ppc-strategyWith the holidays right around the corner, you’re probably considering several marketing moves to garner more attention for your ecommerce site. Pay-per-click ads could bring you the fastest results, as long as you know how to optimize correctly. However, you may have some questions -- and we have answers.

Maybe you’ve avoided PPC until now because of cost, relying instead on organic search results. We love organic results, but sometimes you just need a little extra push, especially when the holidays are flying toward us at terminal velocity. A quick PPC campaign could give you that boost in search rankings to drive more traffic to your site just in time for consumers to find that perfect gift.

Where Does My Ad Appear?

When you search for anything on Google, you’ll often see ads highlighted in yellow across the top of the page and then several more in the right-side column. These are all paid advertisements, and that’s where your PPC ad would also appear. 

setting up ppc campaign where ads are located

How Do I Set Up a Campaign?

Through Google, you’ll set up your campaign with AdWords. The model works on a bidding structure, so you’ll choose the keywords you want to target and decide how much you’ll pay for those keywords. If your bid is the highest at any given point, your ad is the one that will appear when those keywords are searched.

How Quickly Does It Work?

Almost immediately. That’s the quickest answer. As soon as you set up your campaign, searchers will see your ads and click through to your website. Because you’ll bid on several keywords, your ads will display differently for each search. Relevance is key when buyers are searching for specific things. If your content is relevant to the search query, buyers are more likely to click through to your website. Relevance also helps to boost your Google Ad Rank, which then increases your chances for being seen.

How Can I Optimize for the Holidays?

Once you set up your Google AdWords campaign, you’ll need to focus on optimization. To do this effectively, you must consider your buyer personas and try to get into their heads. You’ll need to consider the best times for searching first so you’ll know when to target your ad. Then, you’ll need to create ad copy that solves their problems.  For instance, your copy could focus on employees seeking gifts for their bosses or wives searching for something unusual to buy for their husbands.

creating PPC campaigns copy example

How Can I Improve My Ad Rank Quickly?

Because Google ranks their ads according to their Quality Score, you want to make sure your PPC campaign follows all the rules. When your ad gets a higher score, you’ll experience even better success in both rankings and in CTR. The higher your Quality Score, the less you’ll pay for Ad Rank. Your ads will be compared to other ads to determine quality, so you should be sure you have all the necessary parts. 

  • Relevancy – Since you’ll compete with other ecommerce sites using AdWords, focus on keywords that might not receive as many bids. Long-tail keywords are a great idea, because they allow you to be detailed and are less likely to be bid on. For instance, you could be very specific with “last minute gifts for the boss” or “Christmas gifts appropriate for boss.”
  • Correct links – Consider the wording of your ad when linking to your site. If you offer a discount but don’t link to the landing page with the offer, you’ll lose your customers immediately upon their arrival to your page. They want quick and easy, so they’re not going to search all over your site for the discount. Also, the ad copy, links, and keywords together will help you in searches. 

Does a PPC Ad Help with Organic SEO?

While not directly beneficial to your SEO rankings, you can benefit from a PPC ad. By studying the analytics to see what people are searching and what compels them to click your ads. The copy used for one ad may not have worked as well as the wording in another. This will show you the keywords and copy you should use throughout your site to boost your position in search rankings.

What Does Google's [Not Provided] Update Mean for PPC?

PPC can also quickly show you what keywords will convert at the highest rate so that you can continue to optimize your SEO strategy. Given that Google is now blocking keyword data from all searches, marketers are left with a conundrum of understanding what keywords they should optimize for that drive the most sales. Although it may make you feel a little dirty to kowtow to Google's increasingly evil extortion tactics, it's really the only viable choice if you want to know what keywords are going to drive sales.

How Can I Improve My Results?

As with any other marketing tool, PPC ads should be tested, re-tested, and then tested again. You don’t have the same amount of time with your holiday ads as you might with other campaigns, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to improve upon them throughout the season. By monitoring your campaigns, you can see which keywords and copy get the most clicks, and that will allow you to adjust your other campaigns accordingly. Remember that other companies will be bidding on the same keywords you’re using, so be prepared with several different options.

You’re now armed and ready for the holiday season. Go forth and create your PPC campaigns!

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Originally published Oct 31, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated January 18 2023


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