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How to give your e-commerce a leg up with PPC

Once all your e-commerce pieces are in place, the last thing you need to think about is Pay Per Click advertising, or PPC for short. PPC is all about getting yourself out there by pushing your niche products to the top of Google’s rankings for a fee. Although it’s not a long-term strategy, and should be used in parallel with a longer-term SEO plan, PPC is perfect for giving your goods a good boost.

With PPC, advertisers set an amount they want to pay per click. Every time someone clicks on their ad, they then pay the amount they’ve set. Adverts are displayed based on a ranking system which takes into consideration a number of factors including the quality and relevance of the ad, and the budget that’s been set per click.

Set yourself a budget

The first thing to do when it comes to PPC is set yourself a clear budget. As it says above, it’s only a short-term solution, and not setting a budget can mean things drag on indefinitely. This will cost you money and lose you sales.

Setting a clear budget will ensure that if you don’t get the ROI that you want, you can stop and analyse what’s worked and what hasn’t so you can do better next time. Google AdWords allows you to set a budget for each campaign based on your targets and how much you want to spend each day.

Set targets

Once you’ve set your budget, the next thing to do is set your targets. In this way you will develop a system where you’re investing in a clear goal and are able to systematically analyse and improve the performance of your PPC advertising.

An example of a target might be selling a certain number of a particular product. This target can then be tied to a budget. Once the budget has been depleted, you can analyse whether the campaign has been a success or failure, whether you’ve sold enough items, and if necessary work out how to do better next time.

Do your research

The Keyword Planner tool in AdWords allows users to research keywords to determine the ones that will have the most impact. This helps PPC advertisers to avoid investing in keywords that no one is searching for.

It only takes one keyword to get a wealth of suggestions using the keyword planner tool, though those using it can refine their searches based on location, language and a range of other parameters. The results will indicate roughly how many searches the keyword gets a month, the level of competition, and suggested bid. The suggest bid is only a suggestion, and users can determine their own cost per click which could be higher or lower than Google’s recommendation.

Where your ad will rank when it’s displayed is determined as much by the quality of the advert and your website, as it is by the amount you’re bidding. So simply bidding above the recommended amount won’t guarantee a high position.

Longtail keywords are key

Although it can be tempting to go straight for the most obvious keywords that get the highest volumes of searches, the competition will be higher. It’s better to invest in keywords that get less traffic but are much more targeted. This increases the chances of the person reaching your site being someone who’s found exactly what they’re looking for.

These more targeted search terms are called longtail keywords, and are generally queries made up of three to five words. For example if you specialise in selling left-handed stationery and want to sell more children’s scissors the keyword to go for would be “left handed children’s scissors” rather than “scissors”. This means you won’t waste money on everyone who’s searching for scissors, but will reach a lot of the people who are searching for that specific kind of scissors.

When you’ve selected your keyword, it’s important to use it in the copy of the advert, as this will send a signal to Google that your keyword is relevant to the advert and of value to people searching for it.

Quality and Clickthroughs

Finally, you should ensure that the copy and imagery used in every step of the process is of a high quality. If your copy is relevant to your keywords, the call-to-action clear, and the images attractive, then ads will be more likely to rank higher and potential customers more likely to click through. Likewise your site should offer quality content and a user-friendly experience that will get the people clicking your ads to where they need to go as quickly as possible.

If you’ve got any questions about how to get started with PPC, or have a campaign that’s not performing as well as you’d like, get in touch with Vu’s team of e-commerce experts. We can help with every stage of the process and make sure you get the maximum return on investment for your PPC budget.