The Ecommerce Marketer’s Guide to PPC Advertising

Pareto Legal

Pareto Legal

June 5, 2023

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If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already a little familiar with how PPC ads work.

If you’re not, the idea is simple:

  1. Businesses bid on specific keywords that potential customers may use while searching for products online.
  2. The ad then displays in the search engine results page (SERP) and if a user clicks on it, they’re taken to the advertiser’s intended landing page.

When it comes to a competitive space like ecommerce, PPC advertising is one of the most effective ways to drive targeted traffic directly to your website.

However, it’s not just enough to slap up some ads and hope for the best.

This can be an expensive way to acquire customers if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide covering our top tips to help you get a better ROI from your ecommerce PPC management.

Before that, let’s look into…

Why PPC is Important for Any Ecommerce Business

Let’s face it, ecommerce is a tough and competitive industry.

It’s also one of the few industries where success depends largely on how visible you are online.

Successfully selling your product requires you to be visible at all times with as little effort as possible—especially when it comes to marketing.

And that’s where effective ecommerce PPC management comes in. It gives you the following advantages:

Benefit #1: Generating Targeted Traffic

One of the main reasons why ecommerce firms choose to advertise on PPC platforms is because of how effectively it drives targeted traffic to your website.

If you’re selling cameras online, for example, ecommerce PPC will help increase your chances of getting more relevant traffic from users who are searching for “cameras” or “buy cameras online”.

Benefit #2: Getting Real Exposure

If you’re just starting out with ecommerce, you don’t get the luxury of having your brand name under every search result.

Having your product listed on top of Google SERP even when someone is not specifically searching for your product name will help put you on the map.

Benefit #3: Improving Conversion Rate

Spend enough time optimizing your ads and you might start seeing conversions filtering in from these website visitors who were just window shopping.

You’ll then be able to retarget them later with other relevant offers or ad campaigns that they’re more likely to convert on.

It all adds up to more revenue for your business.

With more targeted traffic and audience, you’ll be able to sell more of your product. This is how it adds up to more revenue.

Now that we’ve established why PPC advertising is important, let’s get down to business with our top ecommerce PPC tips.


Tip #1: Know Your Customer/Audience Inside Out

One of the most important factors that determine the success or failure of a PPC campaign is what you’re actually selling.This refers to both your product as well as who your target audience is.

Before spending money on ads, make sure you know your product and audience inside out. This will help you to better understand what types of keywords and ads would be most effective in driving targeted traffic.

Here are a few ways to learn more about your target audience:

  1. Review your website’s analytics: By reviewing what keywords are bringing organic traffic to your website, you’ll be able to determine which search terms and phrases they’re using. This will help you identify new keyword combinations that you can use in ads.
  2. Look at the comments on your product page: Try reading through some of the recent reviews and comments left by customers on your website’s product page. By doing this, you’ll be able to see what aspects of your product are piquing people’s interest (and which ones aren’t).
  3. Analyze social media: You can also try analyzing the content that is being shared on social media related to your business. Look for common topics that keep coming up and how people talk about them. This will help you determine which points of discussion are worth addressing in your ads.

How you decide to go about ppc management for ecommerce is entirely up to you. While there are many factors that determine the success of an ecommerce PPC campaign, your product and audience play a crucial role in determining which ads would be most effective.


Tip #2: Target Both, Broad and Specific Keywords

Here’s the thing: your product name is only known to a small percentage of the population.

If you want to reach more people, you’ll need to use specific keywords that are known by less people but are still relevant to your product. For example, instead of using “camera”, use keywords like DSLR camera, Nikon camera, etc.

The same is true with broad keywords like “men’s shoes” or “shoes online”. You might be able to get more visitors but they’re less likely to convert because your ad wasn’t relevant enough.

Using both specific and broad keywords gives you access to a larger pool of potential customers, which improves the chances of converting them.


Tip #3: Tap Into the Power of Long-Tail Keywords

There’s a lot of debate going on over the effectiveness of long-tail keywords.

Some claim that it’s an effective way to get more quality traffic while others think it doesn’t work at all because there are too many variables to consider.

What we can tell you is this: it works if you know what you’re doing.

Long-tail keywords are simply long and specific phrases related to your product.  For example, a search for “Nikon digital SLR cameras” would be considered a long-tail keyword because of its length and specificity to Nikon products.

Include these in your ecommerce PPC ads when you want to get more traffic from people who are looking for specific products (usually people who would be more likely to convert).

Three things to keep in mind when choosing long-tail keywords:

1)  Make sure they are relevant to your product. There’s no point in wasting money on clicks from people who will not convert anyway.

2) Use broad match (with modified broad match negatives) instead of phrase match because it generates more traffic.

3) Use tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner to find new long-tail keywords for your product.

Your choice in keywords will ultimately come down to how much you know about your product and audience.


Tip #4: Reverse Engineer Your Competitors Keywords Strategy

Although you want to create a keyword strategy that is unique to your own products, sometimes it helps to reverse engineer what the top players in the industry are doing. This gives you a better idea of what keywords work and which ones don’t.

The first thing successful marketers do when creating a PPC campaign is to look at what keywords their competitors are using. This helps them get a better idea of how they can do things differently in order to rank higher and drive more consistent traffic and conversions (and eventually, sales).

You don’t need to copy your competitor’s strategy but you should know what they’re doing and why it works for them. Because it might work for you too if the competition is not too high.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want to create an ecommerce PPC campaign for men’s shoes. You know that your competitor is using keywords like “men’s shoes” and “shoes online”.

So you could try the same thing or look at other keywords they are not using but are still highly relevant to their product.

You might find something like, “rugged work boots”, “timberland boots” or “nubuck shoes”.

Being able to see your competitor’s keywords strategy gives you a better idea of the type of traffic they’re getting and how you can improve on it for yourself.

Tip #5: Run Dynamic Targeting Campaigns

A new way to generate more relevant traffic is to run dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) campaigns.  It means that you can change the keywords in your ads based on what the search query contains.

So if you’re advertising men’s shoes and someone searches for “dress shoes” or “cowboy boots”. Instead of showing them an ad with “men’s shoes” in it, you can show them an ad that contains the keywords they searched for.

This reduces the chance of people not clicking your ads just because it wasn’t relevant enough for them.

However, you need to have a high CTR for this feature to be effective. It can drive away more specific traffic if you’re not careful, which in turn lowers your quality score.

It’s definitely worth giving DKI campaigns a try for yourself though because they are easy to set up and manage.


PPC management for ecommerce isn’t rocket science. Once you get a hang of it, it’s an effective way to direct highly targeted traffic to your website.

Do keep in mind that it is dependent on keywords. It’s important that you know how to find the right ones, have a strategy for them and keep track of them over time.

Make sure you are being relevant with your long-tail keyword strategy but don’t be afraid to try something different. You should also be looking at what your competitors are doing (and why) and reverse engineer their PPC game.

Don’t forget to use dynamic keyword insertion campaigns for more relevant ads and remember that you can always improve on things as time goes by.   

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