Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has become a cornerstone of ecommerce marketing, offering an effective way to drive traffic and conversions in a short period of time. However, many businesses find themselves making easily avoidable mistakes that can undermine their campaign’s success, and can also mean thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars lost in ineffective ad spending. In the following blog, we’re going to take a look at ten of the most common ecommerce PPC mistakes – and how to avoid them. Let’s get started!
Not harnessing the power of negative keywords
One of the first mistakes businesses make in PPC advertising is failing to use negative keywords effectively. Negative keywords are a powerful tool in PPC that can prevent your ads from appearing in irrelevant search queries, and can help increase the overall efficiency of your spending. For example, if you’re selling new luxury watches, adding “used” and “cheap” as negative keywords will ensure your ads won’t appear to users seeking used or inexpensive watches. This can save your budget from being depleted by unwanted clicks, and increase your ads’ relevancy, leading to improved Quality Scores and ad rank.
Ignoring the mobile market
With an increasingly mobile world, failing to optimize your PPC ads for mobile devices can be costly, but mobile optimization involves more than just responsive design. It also includes ensuring your ad copy is concise yet compelling, your call-to-actions (CTAs) are thumb-friendly, and your landing pages load quickly and display correctly on smaller screens. By optimizing for mobile, you’re tapping into a significant market share and enhancing the user experience for mobile shoppers.
Overlooking landing page content
The landing page is where your prospective customers end up after clicking your ad, and represents the final hurdle between them and that all-important conversion. It’s therefore crucial to ensure a seamless landing page and user-friendly navigation: this means having a fast load speed, a clear and engaging value proposition, optimized landing pages, and a strong, visible CTA. Additionally, the landing page content should directly align with your ad copy, delivering on whatever promises were made in the ad. Failing to do this can result in a negative bounce rate, impacting your store’s performance in the long-run – and let’s not forget the wasted ad costs.
Neglecting ad extensions
Another common mistake is failing to use ad extensions; ad extensions are additional pieces of information that expand your ad to make it more useful to users. They come in various forms, such as sitelinks, call buttons, location information, and more. These extensions not only make your ad more attractive but can also improve your Ad Rank. By overlooking ad extensions, you could end up missing opportunities to provide potential customers with useful information that could encourage them to engage with your ad.
Failing to implement remarketing
Remarketing is a strategy that allows you to target users who have previously interacted with your website but didn’t convert. It’s a powerful way to re-engage potential customers, reminding them of their interest and nudging them towards conversion. Remarketing often yields higher conversion rates since you’re targeting individuals already familiar with your brand or product, but many businesses fail to take advantage of this.
Lack of campaign segmentation
Segmenting your PPC campaigns is essential when it comes to getting your ads in front of the right customers: segmenting allows you to tailor your messaging and bidding strategy to different audience segments. For example, you can segment based on geography, device usage, time of day, and more. Without proper segmentation, you risk showing generic ads that may not resonate with your audience, leading to lower engagement and conversion rates.
Setting campaigns on auto-pilot
While setting up a PPC campaign can be labor-intensive, it’s not a one-and-done process. Regular ecommerce PPC management is necessary to keep up with changing market dynamics and performance trends; this could involve tweaking bids, refining keyword lists, experimenting with ad copy, or adjusting targeting parameters. By regularly reviewing and optimizing your campaigns, you can ensure that they continue to deliver optimal results.
Avoiding A/B testing for ad copy
A/B testing involves creating two different versions of your ad copy to see which one performs better, and this can provide valuable insights into what resonates with your audience and help you continually improve your ad effectiveness. Without testing and refining your ad copy, you might be missing opportunities to enhance your click-through rates and conversion rates – always run an A/B test before settling on a long-term campaign.
PPC campaigns generate a wealth of data, and ignoring this valuable resource can lead to missed opportunities and strategic missteps. Tools like Google Ads’ built-in analytics and Google Analytics provide insights into which keywords drive the most traffic, which ads have the highest conversion rates, and much more. This data can guide your PPC strategy, helping you allocate your budget effectively, optimize your campaigns, and maximize your ROI.
Competing solely on cost
While keeping costs down is a valid concern, trying to compete on cost alone can be a slippery slope. Bidding lower might save you money in the short term, but it can also result in your ads being overshadowed by competitors willing to bid higher. Rather than focusing purely on cost, consider factors like ad quality, relevance, and landing page experience. A well-crafted, highly relevant ad can earn a high Quality Score, which can improve your ad rank and even lower your cost per click.
The bottom line
PPC advertising is a critical component of any ecommerce business’s marketing strategy, and when executed well, can end up driving substantial traffic to your store – while also boosting conversions and delivering a strong return on investment. However, as we’ve discussed above, there are still several common pitfalls that can end up compromising your campaign’s effectiveness.
From utilizing negative keywords and ad extensions to optimizing for mobile and refining landing pages, each aspect plays a vital role in your campaign’s success. Don’t also forget that PPC ads aren’t going to be able to perform miracles if your on-site content isn’t optimized, fast, and user-friendly for those clicking on your ads. Regular monitoring, testing, and optimizing on-site content are all essential in keeping your campaigns on track.
And if the task seems too daunting, remember that PPC experts are available to help guide your efforts, bringing their expertise to help maximize your campaign’s results. By investing time, and sometimes professional help, into optimizing your PPC campaigns, you’re not just avoiding mistakes; you’re actively paving the way towards a more successful and profitable ecommerce business.