Paid Ads: Seven Advanced Tactics to Bring More Traffic to Your eCommerce Store

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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Paid ads are undoubtedly one of the best ways for eCommerce retailers to increase brand awareness and drive online sales.

That said, with features like Google Shopping ads, smart Shopping ads and the like, eCommerce has quickly become one of the most competitive verticals in the SEM landscape.

As Google Shopping is one of the largest growth opportunities for online retailers, an increasing number of ad dollars are being filtered into this format.

Due to the increasing levels of eCommerce competition in paid ads, merchants are continually having to seek out more advanced tactics to integrate into their PPC strategies. If sellers fail to follow this road, ruin inevitably lies ahead.

However, using PPC to grow an eCommerce business can be challenging when retailers are fresh out of ideas on how to continue scaling their efforts.

Today, we’ll go over seven advanced tactics for paid advertising that help remedy that issue and help eCommerce merchants drive more clicks and conversions.

Utilize In-Market Targeting

No matter if retailers are looking to get more out of their Bing PPC ads or their paid ads run through Google, utilizing in-market audiences is an essential strategy.

Now, it is essential to note that while Google’s Custom Intent Audiences feature is quite similar to in-market audiences, there is an important difference in these components. Without digressing too much, Custom Intent Audiences provide retailers with a greater degree of control.

Cutom intent audience

That said, through both Google and Bing, in-market audiences enable retailers to connect with consumers who display high purchase intent based on their previous searches, browsing history, habits, interests and other vital details.

To qualify a consumer to be included in an in-market audience for a retailer, Google and Bing will each utilize machine learning technologies to analyze the content of pages visited, the frequency and recency of those visits, potential clicks on paid ads and other indicators that help the search engines to correctly categorize consumers who are highly likely to purchase a retailer’s goods.

As a result, in-market audience customization is a natural fit for advanced techniques that merchants can use to drive more traffic and sales through paid ads.

Additionally, merchants can utilize in-market audiences in conjunction with other advertising tactics. For instance, sellers can layer in-market audiences with Facebook retargeting campaigns or Sponsored InMail campaigns on LinkedIn.

Naturally, the most significant advantage of utilizing in-market audiences is that retailers can drive substantially more traffic and conversions with this targeting option. After all, through this feature, merchants can more effectively reach bottom-of-the-funnel shoppers.

Moreover, retailers can easily set up in-market audience targeting in just a few minutes. In-market audience targeting also does not require sellers to create their own lists. Retailers simply need to select the categories that accurately reflect the business.

Segment Keywords in Shopping Campaigns

Paid ads that are based on keyword targeting allow merchants to more easily identify user search patterns and optimize campaigns to those ends.

However, Google Shopping campaigns use a product-based model in which Google’s auction chooses which items surface for a given query. As a result, retailers lose valuable optimization insights that hinder eCommerce brands from bidding differently throughout a customer’s journey.

However, there is a way for merchants to get around the lost insights and apply a keyword segmentation strategy to their Shopping adverts.

By using campaign priority for Shopping campaigns, sellers can control how much they bid for different types of queries.

Segment Keywords in Shopping Campaigns

Here’s how this works:

When merchants feature the same product in more than one Shopping campaign, they can establish which paid ad participates in Google’s auction through setting the campaign priority as either low, medium or high. Naturally, the highest priority campaign will enter the auction, no matter how much a merchant is bidding.

To produce a keyword segmentation structure for Shopping ads, sellers can start by creating three different campaigns for the same item or group of items, setting a different priority level for each.

The different priority settings will effectively serve to filter down more specific keywords through negative keyword implementations. For example, retailers can set up a campaign using the following structure:

The first campaign will target short-head, non-branded queries, set to high priority. Retailers should include branded queries as negative keywords for this effort. At the same time, the bids on this campaign will be low as the search volume is also likely to be moderate.

The second campaign targets long-tail, non-branded searches and will have a medium priority. Additionally, retailers will use brand queries as negative keywords. The bids for this campaign will be mid-ranged, as there is likely to be a higher search volume of shoppers who show an intent to buy.

The third campaign will target branded product searchers with a low priority. Because of the branded nature of this final campaign, no negative keywords are necessary. Moreover, the bids here should be quite aggressive as shoppers are likely to convert.

Using this model, sellers can establish greater control over their Shopping campaigns, while simultaneously driving more traffic and sales.

Target the Competition, Craft Better Copy

Much like using branded and unbranded searches for SEO success, retailers can engage in competitor targeting with their PPC campaigns.

Using paid ads, merchants can target searches for competition businesses, thereby alerting those shoppers to an alternative provider.

This strategy can be immensely valuable for sellers who have not managed to reach a prominent position in the SERPs as it allows them to build awareness, traffic and sales–all of which will contribute to elevating a brand’s rankings.

However, in order to steal a customer from a rival to one’s own store, retailers have to convince them that their products are better.

That’s where copy comes into play.

Retailers who opt to target their competition’s branded searches with their paid ads must draft incredibly copy.

The fact is that the searchers who see these ads are already aware of the benefits provided by the competing brand’s benefits. Heck, they might even have some degree of loyalty to that business.

Therefore, writing great advertising copy that taps into the shopper’s pain points is vital to succeeding with this method. It might even be wise for sellers to point out the downsides of another seller’s product. That said, merchants must be careful to follow Google’s trademark rules and not explicitly mention a trademarked brand name, so getting clever is critical.

Employ Dayparting

As most retailers who have ever run paid ads understand, customer searches come in peaks and valleys, meaning that they are looking for items at specific points of the day and week.

Based on the brand’s industry, this is likely to differ. For instance, B2B eCommerce marketing strategies would dictate that buyers are likely looking for products during business hours, Monday through Friday. However, those seeking out sleeping aids such as eye masks are probably going to be searching at night, due to a bout of insomnia.

Because of this dynamic, retailers should apply dayparting to their paid ads to achieve better PPC performance.

To establish when is the best time to advertise on Google, retailers can head to the “Ad Schedule” tab of their Google ads account. You can then see data based on “Day”, “Hour” or “Day & Hour”. 

Dayparting

From here, sellers can select from a variety of options. It is advisable to filter the data by “Day & Hour” At this point, merchants can see when their ads receive the most impressions, clicks, the average cost-per-click and other essential details.

With this data in hand, sellers can create an ad schedule that will maximize the traffic and sales the campaign produces.

Moreover, those running ads on social media can also use dayparting on Facebook, though the process is a bit different.

Leverage Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Creating relevant ad copy is critical for driving eCommerce traffic with paid ads.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) is an excellent strategy for crafting more relevant ads by customizing the headline of paid ads based on user queries without having to create and design multiple campaigns manually.

Naturally, the result of this is that ads instantly become more relevant to consumers. When an ad is more applicable to a user’s search, they are more likely to click-through.

Therefore, this feature is quite important since merchants cannot guess every potential keyword for which shoppers might search. By having Google automatically insert the searched term, sellers can have an easier time generating traffic with paid ads.

Showcase Ads

Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google LLC, used with permission.

Moreover, through creating more relevant adverts, sellers can boost their campaign’s quality score.

Increasing a campaign’s quality score is a significant priority for advertisers as doing so can help obtain better positions in the SERPs, lower the cost-per-click and reduce the cost-per-acquisition.

One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to focus on the relevance of paid ads. This is done through creating spot-on copy and linking to ideal landing pages. With Dynamic Keyword Insertion, sellers can quickly and easily help to boost this vital metric.

Adopt Showcase Shopping Ads

Google Shopping ads are an undeniably effective advertising format. Taking things to the next level, Google’s Showcase Shopping ads provide retailers with the ability to highlight a variety of products for broad, non-branded, commercial searches.

With this paid ad type, when consumers click a merchant’s Shopping ad, it opens up to reveal numerous relevant products. However, despite the utility of the advert (and its age), Showcase Shopping ads are still woefully underutilized.

Using this ad format, sellers can complement products with supplemental items that shoppers are likely to be interested in as well.

In the SERPs, Showcase ads appear at the top of the page, highlighting a custom hero image that relates to the search and the two accompanying smaller product images.

When a user clicks the ad, they will be met with a custom description and up to 10 separate products.

Outside of the visual differences from standard Shopping ads, Showcase Shopping ads utilize maximum CPE (cost-per-engagement) bidding, where retailers set the highest amount they are willing to pay per engagement.

Retailers are only charged when a searcher clicks the ad to expand it and views it for 10 seconds or more, or if they click through to the website.

Showcase Shopping ads are perfect for driving traffic from paid ads as they are an excellent top-of-the-funnel tactic for introducing new shoppers to a brand and its product catalog.

Create Voice Search-Specific Campaigns

When it comes to eCommerce mobile advertising techniques, creating campaigns specifically for voice searches is essential.

According to voice search statistics from 2018, more than one billion voice searches are conducted monthly. In the two years since this stat was reported, the figure has undoubtedly increased.

For this reason, it is critical to target voice searches with paid ads and SEO efforts.

Sellers can begin creating voice search paid ads by looking at the company’s previous campaigns. However, it should be noted that merchants will want to look at high-traffic campaigns only, as these will provide advertisers with the most potential data for optimizing ads for voice search.

To begin this process, log in to Google Ads and select one of the high-traffic campaigns mentioned earlier. From here, click “Keywords” in the sidebar menu and navigate to “Search Terms.” Download this report.

After the download has been completed, search through the document for the phrase “ok Google” as this is indicative of a voice search. The words that follow this phrase are the keywords that retailers can consider using to build paid ads that target voice searches.

 Final Thoughts

Paid ads are an essential component to driving traffic to eCommerce websites and generating sales. However, as the landscape grows increasingly competitive, retailers must continually deepen their knowledge and upgrade their PPC strategies.

By employing the tactics listed above, merchants can more effectively reach the audiences that matter and earn the opportunity to transform them into loyal customers.

That said, successfully implementing advanced tactics for paid ads is much easier said than done. If your brand wants to ensure that it is building campaigns that will result in a substantial uptick in clicks and conversions, reach out to Visiture’s paid media masters.

Our team of professional eCommerce advertisers can help you put together a custom strategy that has a positive impact on your brand’s bottom line.

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