Have you been following lots of guides that talk about the tactics that will help you improve your eCommerce PPC accounts?
But when you been implementing tactics only to find you don’t get the improvements that you were promised?
The problem that you are facing is that you don’t have a good overall strategy in place. Strategy is what will give you the 10X factor and maximise the impact of your tactics.
To give an example there are plenty of good football teams that have world class players that don’t win many games, however there are lots of football teams with a set of average players that work together that outperform teams with much better sets of players.
PPC Strategy is what will get your tactics working together and give you a much better overall result.
There are three main areas of your ecommerce accounts that you need to get right
Be incredibly granular, the more granualar you get the more you will appeal to buyers who are later on in the buying cycle and are much more likely to buy resulting in increased conversion rates at a lower cost per conversion.
Always be relevant and outperform 86% of your competition. Structure your account using only single keyword ad groups.
This does take more time but will fix all of your problems, once you have done this all of your tactics relating to ad copy, negative keywords and Quality Score will start working much much harder.
Know your customer lifetime value. Knowing your customer lifetime value is incredibly important for knowing how much to spend to acquire a customer. This is how companies can spend £18 on clicks to sell a £3 stapler and still make profit.
Get super granular with your ecommerce PPC campaigns
Create adverts for your categories, sub categories, filters and products.
The main reason for mirroring your website structure is to make sure that you can easily find everything and to ensure that you get super granular.
We would suggest that you create a new campaign for each category of your catalogue to keep everything organised.
To get the best result you will not only need to look at different categories but will need to create adverts for the different combinations of sub categories.
For example here are some of the different categories of women’s dresses that Asos sell.
You will want to create adverts for all of the different combinations of colour and size, for example
- Size 8 women’s red dresses
- Size 6 women’s red dresses
- Size 8 women’s blue dresses
You will then want to take users to the most relevant landing page, which will be the page with the filter applied.
So for example if you had an advert for size 8 women’s red dresses it would take people to a page that has only got size 8 women’s dresses in the colour red.
Product level adverts
Creating ads for each product is very time consuming but very effective as it reaches people who are later on in the buying cycle and are much more likely to purchase.
Building ads down to product level is viable manually for smaller PPC advertisers or advertisers who do not have a frequently changing product catalogue.
However if you are a larger retailer that has a frequently changing product catalog then we would suggest using software such as DoubleClick by Google to do this.
To learn more about this I would suggest reading ,”DoubleClick Search Inventory Campaigns Now Auto-Create Ad Groups, Ads, Keywords” by Ginny Marvin
Another method for getting product level adverts would be to use dynamic text ads.
These have come a long way since the were first released by Google and can be very effective when used in conjunction with negative keywords and are correctly structured.
Always be relevant and you will outperform 86% of advertisers
So many advertisers mess this up, but get this right and literally everything else will fall into place.
Even if you are a terrible copywriter, you only need to have a half decent keyword set to considerably out perform your competition and get sky high quality scores of 8 and 9.
Better still because you have higher Quality Scores you can save as much as 50% of your CPC according to studies by Wordstream.
Google search campaign structure
One keyword per ad group within your campaigns
Single keyword ad groups are one of the most effective methods for improving a PPC account.
Sam Owen from PPC Hero published a case study to show the performance increase that Audi found when they implemented single keyword ad groups in to their PPC accounts. There results were as follows:
- Increase in CTR by: 22%
- Reduction in cost per conversion by: 50%
We have also done studies into the effects of implementing single keywords ad groups in some of the accounts that we manage and found the following performance increases.
- Increases in CTR by 14%
- Decrease in cost per conversion of 21%
Single keyword ad groups will help you take an average campaign and turn it into a winning campaign.
Here is why all of your other tactics will start working better within your account when you put all of your keywords in their own ad groups.
First of all because their is only one keyword per ad group you can ensure that it will always appear within the advert. This way your adverts will always look relevant to the searcher.
For example if you had the keyword “size 6 red dresses” and you saw the following advert, even if the copywriting is not great it is super relevant to what you are looking for compared to most of the other ads on Google.
In fact only 1 out of the 7 adverts when i searched for “size 6 red dresses” actually had this term in the advert!
So when you implement other copywriting tactics they should suddenly become more effective
High relevance = hight CTR = high Quality Score = lower CPC = lower cost per conversion.
Better still you can direct people to exactly the right page on your website.
Don’t be lazy and send people to the dresses page or even the red dresses page. Use the refine by filters in your navigation to send people to the right sizes and colours.
This will results in a higher conversion rates as people don’t have to go searching around your website for what they are looking for.
Google Shopping Campaign Structure
There are several different ways to segment your product feed but for the best performance you need to segment products by product ID.
Segmenting products into smaller groups is important as otherwise all of the products in the campaign would have the same CPC bid which is not good for optimisation.
To generate the maximum return on investment you will need to set bids that are proportional to the amount of revenue that you will generate.
For example if you sell car parts and you have all of your products in one ad group you would have the same bid for a wheel nut as you would for a new engine.
However the engine is going generate considerably more revenue so it makes sense to separate these out so that they can have their own bids and you can spend more money promoting the engine that will generate more profit.
Negative keywords are also set at ad group level so by segmenting each product into a new ad group you can ensure that each products gets the most relevant negative keywords.
Image credit: Hallam Internet
When implementing this strategy PPC Hero found that the conversion rate was 230% higher than using an all product category and the CPA was 85% lower with the CPA for the top seller segmented by product Id campaign as opposed to the all products campaign.
Image source: Search Engine Land
This strategy is time consuming especially if you have a large product inventory. To help speed this up you can use tools such as Optmyzr that will automatically build your campaigns out into single product ad groups.
Know your customer lifetime value (CLV)
One of the biggest mistakes that I have seen ecommerce stores making is not knowing their customer lifetime value.
Advertisers often wonder how their competitor can be making money when they are bidding much more than they are.
The answer is that they are doing a better job of increasing the customer lifetime value through upsells and repeat purchases.
But by knowing your customer CLV you can spend £18 on clicks to sell a £3 stapler and appear way above your competitor and still make profit.
If you don’t know your customer lifetime value then the chances are that you are bidding to low and will be able to display your ads further up in the search results to generate more traffic and revenue.
To calculate your average customer lifetime value I would suggest using the formula that are provided by Kissmetrics in the infographic on CLV.
For more advanced commerce users Ometria have a detailed article on calculating customer lifetime value in eccommerce using both historical customer lifetime value calculations and productive customer lifetime calculations that you should check out.
Once you know your CLV you may then want to go ahead and increase your bids if your CLV is much higher than you average basket at checkout
- Create adverts for all of your categories, sub categories, filters within categories and products.
- Put all of your keywords and products in their own ad groups.
- Know exactly how much you can spend to acquire a customer.