To improve your ecommerce site returns, you have to focus your marketing efforts on proven methodologies. This includes pay-per-click, or PPC, campaigns.

PPC uses the natural online search habits of consumers to give them paid advertisements whenever they input keywords into Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. This is the reason searching for the term “hiking boots” not only produces organic results, but advertisements for companies selling hiking boots and related items come up as well.

Advertisements like these are called PPC because your ecommerce site doesn’t have to pay anything unless someone clicks through to your designated landing page. Then, you are charged whatever you agreed to pay for the click, regardless of whether the visitor buys.

Which Ecommerce Items/SKUs Should You Target?

One of the biggest dilemmas for ecommerce site owners is determining how to effectively market their merchandise using PPC advertisements. One ecommerce site could have literally tens of thousands of SKUs with individual web pages. Should you try to write unique PPC ads for all of them and come up with keyword parameters for each? You could, but that would be time-consuming, costly, and inefficient.

Generally, when you’re starting a PPC campaign for your ecommerce site, you need to remember the good old 80/20 rule. That is, about 80% of your profits are likely come from 20% of your products. If you can determine the 20% of your products that are selling best — e.g., they sell quickly, have high markups, are big ticket/popular items — you can taper your PPC campaign to fit them. From that point, you may be able to create one landing page on your website that encompasses several items, such as all the “kids’ jewelry” you offer.

Not only is taking the time to narrow your focus going to give you an easier way to start your PPC campaign, but it’s going to save you money.

Get an AdWords Account and Write Your Text

While you can have a PPC campaign through Facebook and other platforms, beginners usually opt for Google AdWords as a starting point. AdWords makes it simple to set up a free account, and there are plenty of Google tutorials online to answer any questions you have along the way. However, you still need to compose solid AdWords text for each ad.

You will have a limited amount of space, so be sure to write succinctly. Most AdWords PPC advertisements include the product name, price (or special offer), short product description or list of descriptive words about the product, brand name(s), and a call-to-action.

AdWords also offers you the option of being able to purchase ad extensions. These are additional lines where you can include consumer/seller reviews in the form of stars, social media indicators, and your ecommerce site links. Ad extensions aren’t necessary elements, but they can make your PPC ad more attractive to shoppers.

Determine Your Per-Click Rate

Figuring out how much to spend on your per-click rate takes a bit of guesswork. AdWords will give you an indication, but you have to make the final bid decision. You don’t want to go too low, and at the same time, you don’t want to spend too much.

To begin, you’ll probably want to start with a mid-level bid unless you have such limited funds that you feel you have to go with the lowest possible bid amount. Remember that the more you spend on your per-click bids, the more competitive your AdWords PPC advertisement placement will be. Naturally, Google wants to get as much money per click as it can, so higher bidders will be given preference.

One way to strategically maximize your money is to target your AdWords PPC ads to keywords that are long-tail and not overly popular. Yes, you will be limiting your reach, but you may be more likely to attract buyers who are absolutely looking for what you sell on your ecommerce site.

As an example, if you sell affordable wedding rings, you could probably guess that phrase is highly competitive. Therefore, you might want to change your keyword to “cheap gold women’s wedding rings.” This will take quite a bit of trial and error, but the good news is that an AdWords campaign can be changed at any time, giving you tons of flexibility.

Be Patient: PPC Takes Time

Although everyone wants PPC to produce immediate results, it rarely does. Like anything else, it will take several weeks for you to get an understanding of what’s working best, and how you can make improvements.

In the meantime, don’t get frustrated or fall into the temptation to check your PPC performance every hour. Eventually, you’ll get a more definitive handle on PPC, and you will be able to construct better ads for your ecommerce site.

How to Start a PPC Campaign for Your Ecommerce Site

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