Ecommerce Advertising: 3 Powerful Ways to Drive Sales with Mobile Ads

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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Running a successful eCommerce store isn’t easy when behemoths like Amazon dominate the marketplace.

Thankfully, digital merchants have more opportunities than ever to get the word out about their offerings. One of the most effective ways to do so is through PPC advertising, as this can effectively boost traffic and sales when executed intelligently.

Considering that over 51 percent of global web traffic is driven by mobile devices, it is vital for merchants to understand how to properly employ mobile campaigns, especially because this trend will only continue to grow.

Mobile Shopping

This is made clear by a recent Forrester mobile web study that revealed smartphones are used at various points of the buying process in over one-third of retail sales. Combine this with the fact that mobile devices accounted for 24 percent of all eCommerce sales in Q4 last year, and the picture becomes clear.

At this point, you are likely somewhat familiar with PPC best practice for eCommerce stores. It starts with keyword research, utilizing product listing ads, prominent and concise CTAs, seasonal optimization, A/B testing, bidding strategies and other commonly discussed pieces of advice.

However, these elements don’t paint a full picture of the path to success. For that reason, we will be covering three underutilized components for building successful mobile PPC campaigns for eCommerce brands.

If you’re ready to expand your traffic and sales by the click, then keep reading!

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#1: Employ Ad Extensions

Mobile extensions are a powerful tool for optimizing mobile AdWords ads. Firstly, they increase an ad’s size and prominence on-screen. Additionally, these features present searchers with unique functions that can drastically boost your campaign’s performance. Best of all, they’re free to use.

According to Google, using extensions tends to boost CTRs by 10-15 percent. There are several extensions that are particularly effective for eCommerce retailers:

Googles Ad extensions

Call Extensions

If your brand has a customer support call channel for consumers to utilize, call extensions can be a goldmine. Supporting this notion, HBR reports that even 61 percent of mobile users want to talk to a person before they complete the purchase phase of the buying cycle.

petsatlanta search result

When employing a call extension, be sure to make it mobile-preferred so that it’s more likely to surface for mobile searches. Doing so will place a call button on the page alongside your ad’s text, enabling searchers to call your company directly from the SERPs. This greatly reduces any friction in the buying process.

Message Extensions

Message extensions are a mobile-exclusive element. This works just like the call extension, but they leverage SMS instead. This is great for prospects who don’t like talking on the phone.

In a Google blog on message extensions, the company quoted one of its users, the CMO of LeadRival, as stating:

“Since our chat rate is more than 2x the conversion rate for the online lead form, routing people through messaging is ideal to help increase lead volume.”

This is an excellent option for eCommerce brands that have the capabilities to employ this critical service.

Price Extensions

Price extensions create a menu of offers and prices for users to view on your ad. Those who click an offer are taken directly to a corresponding landing page for that item. This extension caters to users who are looking to buy now with as much ease as possible.

price extension

To effectively utilize this extension, ensure that you:

  • Make offers specific and appealing
  • Qualify your prices appropriately
  • Link to the correct, mobile-optimized landing page for each item

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelink extensions send ad viewers to specific pages on your website from the ad. This can include anything from a product page to store information, special promotion pages and more. Using this extension, you can highlight certain benefits and features your store offers.

promotion extension

Additionally, this enables merchants to send prospects to deeper pages on a site with a single click. From there, your site should be optimized enough to solve their search query and gets users to check out some of your other pages via internal links.

Promotion Extensions

Promotion extensions are a fantastic tool for highlighting any specials or promotional discounts your store is running. These extensions appear below your ad’s text, taking up more space on-screen and helping to drive sales for eCommerce advertisers.

promotion extension sample

Specific case studies have shown promotion extensions can drive a 10 percent click-through rate (CTR), making these add-ons particularly effective marketing tools.

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Optimize for Voice Search

When running a mobile PPC campaign for your eCommerce company, it is vital to consider how mobile users search.

Increasingly, mobile shoppers are utilizing voice-enabled assistants. Google’s voice assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices. As of 2016, 20 percent of all mobile queries were voice searches. ComScore predicts that this number will skyrocket to 50 percent by 2020.

Googles Voice Assistant

So, what does this mean for mobile PPC campaigns?

It means that eCommerce providers should be focusing at least some of their mobile ad groups on voice-centric, conversational keywords.

Voice searches tend to see longer phrases, casually formed as a question. The AI behind these tools will extract the most important keywords. As Nick Rojas of the American Marketing Association put it:

“A query like ‘Broadway plays Wednesday afternoon’ can become ‘What plays are playing on Broadway Wednesday afternoon?’ Search engines typically search for the keywords ‘Broadway,’ ‘Wednesday,’ and “afternoon,’…”

To effectively establish mobile ad groups that target voice queries, you need to do a bit of digging using AdWords and the Google Search Console to identify some prime ideas.

Even though you are capable of filtering results by device type in these platforms, you can’t refine results by voice search just yet. There is, however, one major tell that specific searches came via voice.

Voice searchers tend to phrase their queries conversationally. This means that they are typically longer, fully fleshed-out questions. You can usually establish which queries came through this feature by their length. As noted by both Microsoft and Google, voice searches are, on average, 4.2 words long while text is about 3.2 words. If you set 5 words as your benchmark, you are more likely to be targeting voice-enabled search phrases.

From there, you can begin sorting questions by user intent and craft various mobile ad sets that target specific motivations. Additionally, be sure to build your voice search groups by the highest-ranking queries in your Search Query Reports to obtain the best results.

It is also important to remember that Google isn’t the only advertising game in town when conducting a mobile PPC campaign for your eCommerce store.

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Get in on Instagram Advertising

Instagram is one of the most powerful advertising outlets for eCommerce merchants. In June of this year, Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users, making the site the second most popular social networking app.

Leveraging this platform’s visually focused adverting features not only puts your products in front of a massive audience, but also impacts sales in a meaningful way.

instagram advertising

Sixty percent of Instagram users claim to learn about new products on the platform. Moreover, a recent study revealed that Instagram is the single most dominant platform for influencing shopping habits, with 72 percent of users stating that they made a purchase after seeing an Instagram post.  

Fortunately for Facebook ad veterans, Instagram employs the Facebook Ads Manager, making it super simple to place ads on Instagram. If you’ve never run an ad on either platform, however, Instagram provides several options for creating compelling eCommerce content.

With Instagram, online businesses can share their brand story to raise awareness and increase their customer base through:

  • Photo ads
  • Video ads
  • Slideshow ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Stories ads

For newbies, it is recommended to start with photo ads as these are the simplest to implement. All you need is a single image and some great copy. To garner clicks, however, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Blend In

This may seem counterintuitive, but when users are scrolling through their Instagram feeds, they don’t want to be bombarded with intrusive ads. This can disrupt their experience and give them a reason to not visit your store.

When selecting an image to utilize, make sure it looks like something that belongs in someone’s feed–something a friend would post. If your ad sticks out in an unnatural way, it’s not going to be compelling or effective to your audience.

Keep it Simple

The best Instagram ads are those that are concise in messaging and make it clear how to move forward with a purchase. If your ad uses words like “special offer,” “sale” or “discount,” make sure that it appears toward the beginning of the copy. If it doesn’t, folks might skim right over it.

Additionally, your CTA should be prominently featured with large text and clearly let the customer know how to proceed. Effective phrases might include “buy now,” “learn more,” “shop now,” because they direct the viewer to the next step and complete the purchase.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into this strategy, check out our ultimate guide to getting started advertising on Instagram.

Mobile shopping is only going to continue to grow in the coming years. It’s vital to understand how to effectively advertise your online store’s products through Google and powerful social media platforms like Instagram.

Adding PPC optimization techniques to your marketing strategy will increase your eCommerce traffic and sales, as well as help grow your brand presence online.

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