Pay per click (PPC) ads are an excellent way to reach new customers and bring back old ones. Even so, they’re not money-making machines you can simply plug in and leave running without supervision. A profitable return on investment (ROI) from your ecommerce PPC efforts demands proactive measures. Fortunately, at Logical Position we’ve dealt with this challenge before and found ways to optimize the process. Here are 7 best practices to boost your ecommerce PPC ROI in your own campaigns.
Continuous Bid Strategy Testing
Here’s an obvious truth: different initiatives call for different bid strategies. That’s not just true between industries, it’s true within accounts. Don’t try to develop a one-size-fits-all approach across an account to encompass all its individual campaigns and products. There may be a return on ad spend (ROAS) goal for the account as a whole, but assigning that goal as a Target ROAS bid strategy across all campaigns is unlikely to be a perfect fit for each one.
Keep in mind the idea that not all campaigns are alike. It’s important to run bidding strategy tests to design the approach that reaches your end goals with the greatest amount of efficiency. Note, even with a winning strategy, this isn’t a set it and forget it situation. We recommend constantly evaluating bidding strategy results, end goals, and more to determine when it’s time for a new course of action.
Keep the Budget Flexible
Blowing through daily budgets is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when running their own Google Ads campaigns. When a company consistently exhausts its entire campaign’s daily budget, Google learns to adjust their eligibility to stretch the ad spend through all hours of the day. Effectively, this pulls your ads entirely out of auctions earlier in the day (Google uses auctions to quickly decide which ads to show during a Google search or a site visit). While this does allow ads to serve through more hours later in the day, it is rarely the most efficient way to operate.
To illustrate, say a campaign’s budget is $20 a day, but the bid strategy is aggressive enough for the campaign to spend $40 a day if the budget was increased. Even though we’re taking an aggressive approach with bidding, the campaign’s ads won’t be placed in as many auctions as we’d like, despite paying a premium cost per click (CPC). If the intent is to keep your budget limited to $20 per day, consider decreasing CPCs to the point where the budget can be increased to $30 while the campaign consistently spends $20 per day. LP’s approach is to stay flexible, assess successes and failures for individual campaigns, and change approach accordingly.
Campaign Type Testing
Easy to set up, do-it-all campaigns are tempting, but they’re not always the best choice for a business. Multiple campaign types are underutilized by advertisers. Give new campaign types a chance to prove themselves and work before writing them off and sticking with what’s worked in the past. For example, Discovery campaigns are a relatively new Google product that more digital marketers should employ. Discovery ads are eligible across a number of Google properties, are highly interactive, and a great opportunity to showcase more visual products or message promotions.
The Full-Funnel Approach
Develop an understanding of what campaign types or search terms serve as a top of the funnel opener for attracting new customers and which operate as closers. Ideally, users get to know your company before they find your competitors, but it’s just as important to be present when the user is ultimately ready to purchase. Conversion path analysis is important in figuring out how someone initially finds your brand, as well as what brings them back to convert. Discover what initiative originally introduced them to your brand and how you can repeat that connection with other potential customers. Above all, re-engage with these users and appear for them when they’re ready to make their purchase. To do so, design lower-funnel initiatives to ensure ads are present for users seeking to purchase particular products.
Ad Copy Preparedness
Ad copy—that is the text part of an ad—should remain compelling and relevant. Ensure evergreen ads promote a business’ competitive advantages in the marketplace. Build new ads to promote sale periods, and prepare sale ads well in advance so they’re ready to run exactly when a sale is occurring. For example, a weekend like Black Friday through Cyber Monday could benefit from customized ads for each day and should succinctly convey the sale the user enjoys when they reach your site.
Google Merchant Center Audits
Watch for warning signs from Google Merchant Center. If data fails to meet their quality requirements, it may be subject to disapproval. That can lead to products not showing up as ads even when a user’s search is highly relevant. Maintain high-quality product titles, descriptions, images, and other product attributes while adhering to Google’s standards. Ensure price, shipping cost, and GTINs’ (Global Trade Item Numbers’) accuracy. Manufacturer-assigned attributes like GTINs help Google identify products and can increase their eligibility on shopping programs.
Finally, when building a presence on Google, make a point of mirroring efforts into Microsoft Advertising. While it seems easier to focus on one platform, it is important to remember that Microsoft has many of the same key campaign types as Google. Microsoft also makes it simple to import directly from Google. However, recall each of the previously mentioned best practices when operating an Microsoft Advertising account. An approach that works in Google will likely need some adjustments to provide the same ROI for a business in Microsoft. If a business can find success with Google Ads campaigns, there will always be an opportunity to optimize Microsoft Advertising campaigns to a point of profitability.
Those are our 7 best practices to boost your ecommerce PPC ROI. Improvement is the watchword for ecommerce PPC efforts. Always improve campaign messaging, placement, scheduling, and more for a bigger and better return on investment. This can help with deciding on the most efficient, affordable, and ultimately profitable campaign strategies. Want to push the envelope and profit further? Contact an ecommerce pay per click agency like Logical Position. We offer numerous ecommerce PPC services and more. Contact us for a free consultation today!