Ecommerce PPC / 3 reasons Ecommerce PPC campaigns fail to deliver a strong return on investment

3 reasons Ecommerce PPC campaigns fail to deliver a strong return on investment

Andy Thorne
5 piles of silver coins

Spending digital ad campaign budgets wisely and well requires a great deal of thought, research and planning. We look at 3 possible reasons why your Ecommerce PPC return on investment is too low.

The great thing about Google Pay Per Click advertising is that it can be a quick and easy way to boost your website traffic and revenue. The problematic things about Google PPC advertising is that it can be a colossal waste of money if it’s done incorrectly!

You need a checklist of features that make PPC worthwhile, including strong, well thought out content in your ad and an attention-grabbing landing page for traffic generated. The landing page should be specifically designed to capture email addresses and ‘woo’ site visitors. From there, the list continues with User Experience features that drive visitors to completed transactions.

However, you can tick all these things off and still find that your ROI is falling short of your goals.

(It’s worth noting here that if you spot you have a poor ROI you’re already in a winning position. Many organisations fail to monitor and measure their PPC activity and ROI at all!)

To help you turn this shortfall into a sales windfall, here are 3 tips for improving the value of your website traffic and optimising your PPC spend.

PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase something than organic visitors.

1. Lack of effective keywords

Lack of effective keywords

Ensure you are analysing your Ecommerce PPC campaigns and removing any keywords that are not successful, dont be wasting your ad spend.

The success of Google AdWord activities hinges on choosing the correct keywords. Which is not always as simple as it sounds!

It’s important to prospect deep and hard to find the effective ones that link inextricably to your products and their main attributes. Which keywords rank well on searches by your target customers?

Using anything that’s vaguely right is a waste of your advertising spend.

This may be a broad match – when the order of the words used in a search doesn’t matter as long as it brings your ad to the fore. Or, you may need exact matches in your keywords, to be sure that your PPC campaign hits home.

Sometimes, you only realise keywords are underachieving when Google Ad campaigns are underway. Making continuous measurement of Ecommerce PPC campaigns crucial. If it is not working as well as hoped, ditch the keyword and try a different one, to improve your ROI.

Keep in mind that Google updates are regular. These shift SEO and ad goalposts slightly but significantly! It’s another reason for continuous Ecommerce PPC reviews.

2. Failing to update your negative keywords

Failing to update your negative keywords

Remove misleading keywords and focus click spend on genuine leads.

Regularly reviewing and improving your PPC ads is commercial common sense and should include steps to identify things that are watering down lead generation and conversion.

What are negative keywords? These are words or phrases that mislead internet users. They could attract them to click on your ad – costing you money – when in fact they have no genuine interest in what you are selling.

For example, a ‘West coast hotel’ that’s in Blackpool, on the west coast of Lancashire, could well get traffic from people hunting for California holiday accommodation.

You need to exclude ‘west coast’ as a PPC keyword.

Similarly, if you offer ‘user research insights’ as a service, you need to exclude ‘user research training’, as that is not the same thing.

If you don’t strategically exclude certain terms, you could waste your PPC budget on website visitors who are looking for subtly different services or products to the ones you’re selling.

Get rid of the misleading keywords, to focus click spend on genuine leads.

3. The mistake of not using Ecommerce PPC Ad Extensions

The mistake of not using Product Extensions

Using the Ad Extension tool when creating ecommerce campaigns means you’re ahead of the game. Remember to check this out.

This relates to the wider topic of constructing your Ecommerce PPC ads with great care, to ensure they offer maximum opportunities for success. This includes adding the right extensions, to optimise your search terms and impact.

Fortunately, Google now provides handy help on ad creation, including a tab that takes you to extension options. Use this to mould location, social and product extensions and other signposting enhancements, to improve PPC success rates.

So, for example, when ‘family-friendly hotel in Lancashire’ results in your ad appearing in search results, product extensions such as St Annes on Sea, your telephone number and site link features such as Easter Offers or Gym & Pool are included. It all increases your click rate but also your ability to get meaningful website traffic.

These extensions need to be genuinely attractive though, as the wrong ones can be counterintuitive. For example, ‘Booking T&Cs’ or ‘Additional charges’ appearing in a hotel listing reduces the incentive to click and view the venue!

Also, remember to integrate your AdWords account with your merchant account, to mesh all product ads and extensions together.

One solution, for all Ecommerce PPC pitfalls

Identifying the right keywords for your PPC campaign, customising ones to exclude, and structuring extensions are all important ways to reduce waste on your digital ad spend.

However, if you need help with formulating and delivering digital marketing strategies with a high ROI here are some more articles worth reading:

  1. Hubspot – 7 Digital Marketing Strategies and How to Plan Your Own Campaign
  2. 7 Marketing Mistakes That Nearly Broke Me… Literally