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PPC For Ecommerce

In today’s world, Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for ecommerce brands has remained a steady traffic source despite the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape. Having developed a long-standing reputation as one of the most effective marketing methods, eCommerce PPC, if done right, can consistently produce high quality leads with near immediate results.  

What is Ecommerce PPC?

Ecommerce pay per click (PPC) advertising is a digital marketing strategy that acquires traffic and leads by promoting a business’s products and services through paid ads. PPC ad campaigns can be displayed on various platforms such as search engines like Google or Bing, social media networks like Facebook or Instagram, or specific websites such as YouTube or Amazon. 

In 2020, PPC was ranked in the top three best channels for high volume leads with search advertising expected to amount to $164.6 billion worldwide, an amount projected to grow to $190.5 billion by the end of 2024 – leaving many businesses to seek effective and sustainable PPC strategies for 2022.

Types of PPC Ads

You can also choose from several types of PPC ads depending on your requirements and business goals. Some of the different types of PPC campaigns include:

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Search Ads

The commonest type of PPC ad, advertisers get to choose their own keywords, ad copy, and the budget. PPC search ads use an auction system to determine the ranking of the paid ad and how much they should pay. Although search ads are available on several advertising platforms, the most popular one is Google Ads as Google currently dominates the global search engine market share at 92.37%.
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Display Ads

Display advertising in PPC allows you to advertise by having your ad appear in front of users who have shown an indication that they may be interested in your products or services. Although this results in a lower conversion rate than search ads, display ads often have lower click prices. It is often used to increase brand awareness.
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Remarketing Ads

Remarketing ads are targeted towards your target audience who have visited your site and shown some form of interest. This very profitable PPC campaign is often used to bring back visitors who were close to converting on your sales funnel. Some examples of users that can be targeted include guests who previously purchased from the site, cart abandoners, or those who have signed up to the newsletter. 
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Video Ads

Increasingly an important part of digital marketing, many businesses are now using video ads as part of their PPC marketing efforts. In fact, it is predicted that online videos will make up more that 84% of consumer traffic. These ads allow you to get your videos in front of your target audience. An excellent platform for this would be YouTube as it has about 2.3 billion monthly active users
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Shopping Ads

Google shopping ad campaigns show up just like search ads. The difference is that shopping ads contain a picture of the product, price, title, and description. It can be one of the most profitable PPC advertising efforts as the user would already have the information of the product. This means that users that click on the ad are often higher quality leads that result in improved conversion rates. 
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Paid Social Ads

These ads are shown to users while they are browsing through social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and more. These ads can be used as a remarketing or prospecting campaign on social platforms.  
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Google Sponsored Ads

Gmail sponsored ads are created within Google Ads and enable businesses to advertise on Gmail. Sent to users through a regular email, they are taken directly to an expanded version of the ad after clicking on the email, making it an excellent way to increase brand awareness.
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Amazon Ads

Having one of the most significant numbers of visitors daily, Amazon’s vast product range accounts for more than 12 million listings. In fact, by 2016, there were more shoppers starting their online shopping journey with Amazon rather than Google. This also means it can be challenging getting your products to appear in front of new customers. With Amazon Ads, you can choose between three campaign types:  
· Sponsored Product Ads:
- Ad is shown within search results when one of your keywords is searched for.
· Headline Search Ads
- Ad is shown on top of the page when one of the keywords is searched for. 
· Product Display Ads
- Pictures of your products are shown like in a shopping campaign

Benefits of Ecommerce PPC

After understanding what PPC ads are, learning more about its benefits will help you see why it is crucial to your business. As expected of the high budget allocated to PPC advertising for eCommerce, there are many benefits to this digital marketing channel:

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Cost Effective Method

PPC campaigns allow you to have complete control over ad spend and targeting. This means that by continuously optimizing your PPC ads, you will quickly find that maximizes your return on investment (ROI). Since you are only paying for clicks and never have to pay for ad impressions or reach, it is a cost effective method to reach your potential customers as there is no money spent until you gain clicks. 

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Near Immediate Results

Unlike organic marketing efforts like search engine optimization (SEO) that can take significantly longer for your content to rank, PPC advertising ensures that your ads are ranked above organic content. Not only that, using PPC ads also enable you to track data in real time, allowing you to make the necessary changes to optimize your data. 

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Brand Awareness

Another major advantage of PPC is that it can significantly help build brand awareness. This is beneficial for small or new businesses as PPC ads can be used to create their online presence. Even local businesses will find it advantageous as their customers will be able to shop both online and physically, allowing them more time to browse through the wide range of items on your online store.

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Beneficial to SEO

If your business already has an SEO strategy, PPC user data can also be incredibly helpful as you can test your keyword approach with it before you commit to long-term SEO strategies. For example, paid search offers a complete picture of the budget spent and how well your keywords have converted. PPC keyword data can then be fed back into organic efforts to be used in metadata, keyword optimization, and headlines. 

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Multiple Levels of Targeting

With PPC advertising, you can easily target specific client profiles both globally and locally by inputting metrics like age, gender, region, interests, and more. Testing eCommerce PPC campaigns also allow you to monitor the customers that respond to your ads, so you can refine your ad to reach the specific demographic you are looking for. 

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Smart Retargeting

Through analytics, you can examine how a user interacts with your campaign, enabling you to retarget those who did not convert. It works as you are reaching out to consumers who are already interested in your products or services, but may just need more time to decide. Retargeting is crucial as it has high conversion rates. 

Disadvantages of PPC For Ecommerce

Despite the many pros of PPC for eCommerce, there are some cons of it as well. Some of the disadvantages include:

PPC Can Be Challenging

PPC management can be very time consuming, especially if you are a beginner who is trying to adhere to its best practices. If you do not understand the basics such as keyword targeting, customer segmentation, retargeting, and more, you may give up before you even start. Even with PPC tools, there can sometimes be a large learning curve.  On top of all the technical terms, you would also have to understand the different types of PPC campaigns on various platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more. This is also why many companies tend to employ expert agencies or in-house employees to fully focus on PPC ads.

PPC Is Not A Long Term Solution

PPC campaigns are undoubtedly crucial when it comes to growing your business in terms of visibility and sales. However, it should not be a long term solution as it requires constant investment. This means that as soon as you stop a campaign, your ads will no longer appear to potential clients. Therefore, using other marketing efforts such as SEO in combination with PPC will result in better outcomes. 

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Best Practices for Ecommerce PPC Strategies

To successfully run your PPC campaign, the implementation of best practices can greatly improve your campaign results. Here are some tips on how you can do that:

Improve Your CTR

The CTR or click through rate refers to the number of individuals who see your ad compared to those who click on it. This is important as clicks bring leads through the sales funnel. When you optimize your copy, your ads entice more clicks. Try out different types of ads and monitor the different responses in your ads to see which ones bring in the highest CTRs. 

Choosing The Right Keywords

Keywords are akin to building blocks for your campaign. This means keyword research is crucial for a successful PPC campaign. It should include both short tail and long tail keywords to match the search queries or search terms entered by your target demographic. 

Use Negative Keywords

Funnel optimization looks at your current customers’ path to conversion and looks for ways to improve. Start by looking at how many steps are there in the funnel, what you can do to make the user experience better and analyze current path flows on your site to learn about your most popular pages.

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Adding negative keywords can help filter out users you know will not click and convert. Not only does this help you avoid low quality leads, it also enables you to manage and control your campaigns to a more granular level. 

Optimize Product Pages

One of the goals of your PPC ads is for lead generation. However, in the event where your product pages are not optimized, your leads will bounce off your site. To optimize these pages, add clear relevant information along with images and videos. 

Update Product Feed

The product feed is the information sheet sent to shopping channels to display your product information in the listings. If outdated and incorrect, it can lead to damaged brand reputation, bad reviews, and potential clients avoiding your ads. Therefore, be sure to update your product feeds regularly

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PPC Vs SEO: Which is Better?

The discussion of PPC will generally bring up the comparison between PPC and SEO. However, the answer to which is better depends on your business’s situation and objectives. There are several main differences when considering either PPC or SEO:

Near immediate results
Takes around 4 to 6 months or even longer depending on site history and age
Marketing Budget
Small and medium businesses have been found to allocate 5 to 25% of their total ad budget, a number much higher than what is spent on SEO.
Businesses usually average under $500 per month. However, those that spend more were 53.3% more likely to be satisfied.  
Although “free”, more time and effort are required in SEO with unguaranteed results.
Long Term Value
PPC ads stop the moment you stop paying for it. 
Implemented right, SEO can keep your web pages at the top of search results for years. 
Algorithm Changes
PPC algorithms change less. This means that there is less need for you to stay up to date with new practices. 
SEO algorithms change regularly and you will need to keep up to date with current practices to ensure your website ranks on the search engine result pages (SERPs). 
Testing Opportunities
PPC campaigns allow for fast paced testing and data gathering – enabling you to improve your page based on data in real time.
It can take months to see if your strategies and keywords are working. This can cause loss of valuable time before you gain any insight on your SEO strategies.