Pay-per-click, or PPC marketing, can be a highly effective method for bringing in new leads to your online store and generating sales, and eCommerce PPC services can help you generate the highest return.
In contrast to organic marketing, in which leads are earned through practices like eCommerce SEO and social media marketing, in PPC, you can bid on keywords, effectively paying for your ads to appear in the search results.
It can be a very cost-effective way to generate leads and drive sales. However, there is also a skill to it. Ads don’t just result in sales. Believe it or not, there is a whole science to eCommerce PPC services – and many issues that can arise if the campaign is not run properly.
Perhaps you know firsthand what sorts of issues can plague a haphazardly organized and slip-shod PPC campaign. These are ten of the most common of them.
1. Low Impressions
If one of your ad groups has a low impression share, it means not enough people are actually seeing it, meaning it doesn’t come up in their search engine results pages at all.
The problem is fairly obvious. If your PPC ads don’t show up, they can’t possibly result in a sale because no one can click on them.
The solution is less straightforward. Several things could cause low impression shares, such as having a lower than ideal budget or targeting keywords with very low search volume. However, a more troubling issue is not bidding enough on the keywords that you are targeting, resulting in your ads not being shown.
2. Low Click-Through Rate
If your ads have low click-through rates, it means they are showing up but no one is clicking on them – which is a separate issue. Congratulations; you’re not paying for those clicks, but the flip side is you’re not earning any revenue either.
The most common cause of low-click through (assuming your ads have decent impression share) is that your audience targeting is off-base. For some reason or other, you’re either showing your ads to the wrong people, or the search intent behind the keyword you’re targeting is not aligned with what your Google Shopping Ads are advertising. Either way, it calls for an adjustment.
3. High Clicks, Low Conversions
High clicks on your ads can be a good thing: it means you’ve caught customer attention and they want to learn or see more, or possibly make a purchase.
But, for whatever reason, they don’t convert. It could be because your landing page is poorly optimized. It could be because your ads were promising something your company doesn’t deliver. Whatever the issue actually is, the last thing you want is high clicks that don’t convert because you have to “pay-per-click,” literally.
Fortunately, a provider of services for PPC for online stores can help you identify the relevant issues and rectify them.
4. Bad Landing Pages (An eCommerce PPC Services Provider Can Help with Page Development and Suggestions)
Yes, landing pages can be objectively bad, which will kill an eCommerce PPC campaign’s chances of generating conversions. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that a landing page could be considered bad.
It could be totally irrelevant to the search intent of your customers. It could be poorly aligned with the messaging of your ad copy. It might mesh with the user’s expectations, but be slow or seem insecure or untrustworthy. It might be hard for customers to figure out where to buy or how to find the specific products advertised. Perhaps the page is simply not brand integrated.
Regardless of the reason why, a bad landing page will cause conversion rates to drop even if you get a lot of clicks. This is why many digital marketing specialists that offer eCommerce PPC management services also offer landing page development services. It’s tough to author a successful pay-per-click advertising strategy if the client’s website has landing pages that just can’t close the deal.
5. Poor Location Targeting
Location targeting is more important for some sellers than for others. For instance, a business advertising lawn care of automotive services in the northeast would be working against itself if their ads were displayed on devices in the southwest – even if search intent was partially met. People in the southwest might need lawn care and automotive services – just not from providers on the other side of the country.
You get the picture. That’s why PPC management accounts allow you to conduct geographic targeting. It’s wasted ad spend if you show your ads to the wrong people. They may want to buy, but just be in the wrong area of the country!
6. Bad Ad Scheduling
Interestingly, you can get a lot about ad targeting right, such as demographic and geographic targeting, and still show your ads at the wrong time – literally.
This can leave some marketers scratching their heads, wondering what went wrong. It’s fairly obvious how a demographic may or may not be a part of a target market, but when it comes down to time-of-day targeting, the details become a little finer.
A true expert in PPC for online stores will analyze search and buying trends down to the time of day, ensuring your ads only show up in the feeds of interested buyers not only when they are online but also when they are most interested.
It’s also worth mentioning that an eCommerce PPC services provider will also take pains to target specific devices and demographics based on user behavior.
7. Targeting Keywords That Don’t Have the Right Search Intent
Targeting the wrong keywords is really disastrous in PPC for online stores since the ones you select need to be closely aligned with user interest and search intent. It’s like targeting the wrong keywords in SEO, but the deleterious effects will be more immediately noticed since you will have to pay for each click through your ads.
Subtle variations in keyword targeting can have broad consequences. For instance, “tennis shoes,” might have a vastly different search intent from “buy tennis shoes.” One is clearly transactional (the latter) and one might be – or it might be informational. A PPC expert will put in the time and do the research to be sure before running your ads, because that costs money.
8. Targeting Too Many Keywords
Targeting too many keywords is like throwing darts at a big dartboard, but every time one sticks, it costs you money.
You get the picture although the metaphor is sloppy. Going after too many keywords is not likely to be cost-conscious or cost-effective. It could be, depending on the level of competition in your market for those specific keywords, but likely you’ll just end up paying too much for too many keywords and not recouping the investment.
Digital marketers with experience know not to paint with strokes that are too broad. It’s in their best interest and yours to target only the most relevant keywords and extract the most conversions from those clicks associated with them.
9. Competitors Stealing Your Brand! (An eCommerce PPC Services Provider May Be Able to Get them to Stop)
Some online merchants will intentionally bid on the keywords associated with their competitors, in an attempt to capitalize on their competitors’ better brand awareness, luring in unsuspecting online shoppers to their watery…purchases.
Seriously, it’s an unfortunately common practice, and though it isn’t a problem with your campaign, it can cause you money.
You and your PPC services provider have two legitimate options to get it to stop. One is to bid on your branded keywords in an attempt to win them back from competitors. However, that can result in a bidding war with no clear winners.
The most reasonable recourse will result from you already owning the branded keyword. You can both go to Google and alert them of the copyright infraction on your brand, and Google may stop the competitor from advertising using your branded keywords. It’s no guarantee, but it’s probably your best bet.
10. Trying to Play the Role of eCommerce PPC Services Provider Yourself
There are a lot of moving pieces in eCommerce PPC management. Keyword research, ad copy creation, device, demographic, geographic, and time-of-day targeting are only a few of them. Then you have bid management, continuous monitoring and optimization, and more.
If it sounds like a full-time job, it is. Oftentimes eCommerce PPC services providers make it a full-time job for a whole team, enlisting the help of analysts, content producers, and project managers in a joint effort to deliver the best services possible.
Make no mistake about it. You absolutely can set up an AdWords account and run your own campaign. But there are professionals in this industry who stake their living (and make it) on the skills they bring to the table.
Working with a professional can help you refine your targeting, streamline your bid strategy, and generate higher returns on your investment and ad spend.
How eCommerce PPC Services Can Help
Almost needless to say, an eCommerce PPC management company can solve any of these problems through an established process. For example, our PPC experts begin with either a PPC audit or an industry deep dive, before conducting keyword research that enables us to identify which keywords to target and which to exclude so we can form a big strategy.
We also invest significant resources researching your target market so we can closely craft our ads and curate our landing pages to the most highly qualified users. Even then, we monitor ad performance on a daily basis so that we can be sure our clients’ ads are showing where, when and to whom they should be shown in order to result in conversions.
If your current PPC campaign is not generating the results you’d hoped to see or your current provider doesn’t seem to be invested in the process, get in touch with us for a free eCommerce PPC audit so we can offer you actionable insights into how your campaign can be improved.
- Michael Esposito
- March 4, 2022