Setting up your first PPC campaigns for eCommerce stores

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Setting up a PPC campaign can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first foray into online advertising. You are spending real money up front for the chance that the user will buy something later.

Let me dispel some myths today about running effective PPC campaigns and learn how advertising in general and PPC specifically can be a tool to help grow your eCommerce store.

PPC Campaigns: Lead Quality > Quantity

Running ads is about generating quality leads over quantity. You don’t need to target the biggest keyword to run a successful PPC campaign. Instead, you can target a small keyword (and potentially save yourself some money in the process) as long as those users convert.

In fact, that is often the goal of advertising. Find the largest highly convertible pool you can.

  • 1000 users with 1% conversion = 10 sales
  • 100 users with a 10% conversion rate = 10 sales

We found that the average business gets all of their conversions from just 6% of their keywords . The rest of the capture is worthless, but still consumes 76% of the PPC budget.
PPC Hero

Since you generally pay per click, look for keywords that have a high conversion rate to set up your campaigns. You probably won’t get it right right away; however, it’s important to start collecting data on ads and conversions, because the more data you have, the better you can target quality leads over time.

PPC Campaigns: Segmentation

The key to getting a high converting group is to segment your audience. Try to find the best leads and only the best leads.

If you’re using a search engine like Google, use keywords to your advantage. Target keywords long tail (long tail) ; they are much more targeted and your ad is more likely to be shown to a good potential customer.

You can also use negative keywords . If you sell a training plan for fitness, you could target Fitness Training Plan ; what can work better is if you write down Fitness Training Plan -free. In this case, “-free” is the negative keyword (because it has the negative symbol before the keyword).

You probably don’t want someone who is looking for a free training plan. While they may result in a conversion, you don’t want to spend your money on leads; you’ll want to spend it on real potential customers.

If you’re using Facebook instead of search-based ads, use the incredible amount of data they offer you. Basically, everyone is on Facebook and has data on various aspects of each person’s life. You can target geographic areas or interests, and you can target a potential customer at any point in the customer journey, which is incredibly powerful.

  • You can target someone who has never visited your website.
  • You can target someone who has visited your website
  • You can target someone who has visited your website and is or is not in your newsletter.
  • You can target someone who has visited a specific product and, by retargeting, show them that product again.
  • You can target someone who has added the item to the cart but has not purchased.

So if your website hasn’t been discovered yet and you’re getting very little organic traffic, you can target people who haven’t been to the website and point them to content that should sell them on your services. If your website has been explored, target people who have already visited your website and perhaps show them a specific product page.

Finally, if you’ve already had a ton of hits on your product pages and want more people to buy, you can retarget those users again. Facebook provides tools for websites at virtually any stage of “product launch”

Getting high-converting (i.e. profitable for you) campaigns is all about targeting, so make sure you spend some time narrowing down your target audience.

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PPC Campaigns: How Much Should You Spend?

Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. As Megan Adams who is known for being a marketer said:

“In the beginning… start with $5 a day and see where it takes you. Or $100 per campaign”

Amber Turril, Chief Funnel Strategist at White Coat Digital says:

“You can start a $5 a day campaign on Facebook and see where it goes. Or $10 / day in AdWords “

Start small to start collecting data on what works for you, and then you can scale up your campaigns later along with optimization.

PPC Campaigns: How much time do I have to invest?

Ads don’t take long to set up. If you’re setting up PPC campaigns and you know what you’re doing, you can do it in less than an hour.

The same goes for Facebook – if you already have a Facebook page set up with product photos, setting up your first ad shouldn’t take more than a few hours. This is also a worthwhile investment, as after that ad setup will be much faster.

Once you’ve set up your ads, they’ll run on their own. You don’t have to do anything to keep them.

For example at Lift Off Summit, Megan Adams recommends logging in once a week and adjusting campaigns. Don’t log in mid-week or mid-campaign; when you start for the first time, you won’t have enough data and will waste your time:

“I recommend two hours a week”

PPC Campaigns: Conversion Tracking

One last thing! To make sure you can actually measure and track your progress, make sure you have conversion tracking set up. Each ad platform will have different technology that you need to set up on your site so that you can track eCommerce sales.

Measure the success of PPC campaigns

PPC is not magic. You can’t just put in a dollar and expect two dollars to come out, at least not at first. The first thing to look for is to break even. Amber Turrill says:

“Will that one dollar become two dollars? it will be. But first, go for balance. And then look for that positive return on investment.”

Managing effective, revenue-positive PPC campaigns is a process, just like anything else. And there is a learning curve. If you can’t spend 5€ a day for a month to learn how to use this channel, you probably shouldn’t get into PPC yet. But if you can spend a few hundred bucks learning the channel, you should be able to turn it into a cash-generating machine.

Carmen Marín

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