Adwords managements for web stores requires a highly controlled and structured approach to management. Often in retail margins are thin and overheads are high. Unlike the service industry where businesses can afford to spend up to 50% of revenue to marketing. Retail does not afford that luxury.
In order to run a profitable web store marketed using Google Adwords, a variety of different criteria needs to be met.
Structure your Adwords campaign like your web store.
Campaigns should start off mirroring your web store, you’ll find that the web store usually has products listed in logical categories and product ranges. Mirroring the Adwords campaign closely to your web store allows you to manage changes to your Adwords campaign better. Remember, your e-commerce store will have products on automatic inventory management – it will list products for sale until inventory runs out and then it will display 0 items left and remove the buy now button. Your Adwords campaign does not have that feature so you should be able to locate the relevant ad groups easily and quickly.
Oh and let’s not forget, always land visitors onto the appropriate product/category pages. Do not land all the visitors onto the homepage. Ever.
Target both category keywords and product keywords.
Past experience has shown me that there’s about an equal conversion rate between searches for a product category, and searches specifically for one product. What do I mean by this?
A category search might be: 10MP digital camera
A product search might be: Nikon 10MP DL-510A digital camera
For the former keyword you would be advised to create a page which lists all your 10MP digital camera and land them onto that page. Fully commercial shopping carts systems will have lots of features in place to do this, but for freeware shopping carts like zencarts, magento etc. You can tag all your 10MP digital cameras as such and locate the tag url for 10MP digital camera and it will list all your items there.
Yes! the tag view does have a worthy purpose and aren’t just designed for SEO keywords nerf.
Alternatively if you have an actual broad yet specific enough category such as “waterproof digital camera”, you can target that keyword and land visitors onto that category view. In this case the category is specific enough. A category like “blue sofa” isn’t really specific, there are all sorts of different types of blue sofa as well as price brackets.
Expansive product range.
Have plenty of alternative products and substitutes in your inventory. If you grab visitors from Google by bidding on the keyword “WD 500GB hard drive”, you best have quite a few different models of WD 500GB hard drives, as well as 320GB, 1TB, 750GB variations. It’s natural human psychology to compare and contrast the price and more importantly the value of what they’re getting for their money. Firstly, the buyer wants to compare prices on your site with the prices on competitors website. If your prices are overall better value they will return to your site with the intention of buying, they will then compare different product variations and pricing to ensure they are making the best purchase. If you have a computer store and you only have one hard drive in your inventory, it does not inspire confidence.
In addition to this, having lots of alternative products in your inventory allows you to maximise your ROI. After running your Adwords campaign for a period of time and after exhausting all techniques to hammer down bid costs and improve conversion rate, you will reach a point where you cannot increase the campaign performance any longer. Then, the only way to increase Adwords performance is to increase the basket value of all purchases, you do this by offering plenty of alternative products.
Restructure your high converting and profitable keywords into their own campaigns/ad groups
Remember what I said about mirroring your adwords campaigns to reflect your site structure? Well this is when things start to get complex. You will invariably have some items in your inventory which convert well, or you may have some items that are frequently searched for and have high spend. You want to watch these clicks carefully and make sure that costs don’t spiral out of control, and they are regularly maintained.
Case in point, you may have a high traffic & high converting keyword. It’s not just the case with you, but your competitors too, so they’ll be looking to increase their profits and they may increase the bid, change their ad copy to reflect current buying trends etc. So their actions may affect your ad performance, so you need to stay on top and make sure your ads are current and your bid strategy is sound.
Promotional items go on their own ad groups.
Obvious reasons really, Christmas sales/January sales items always go on their own ad groups, and so do other one off or seasonal ads. You want to be able to start and stop them easily. You probably don’t want to have special promotional sales to keep displaying ads long after the stock has cleared.
Hopefully these tips will help you out, this should give you a rough start on how to manage your Adwords campaign for your web store. There are other Adwords strategies which I can’t really go on about, maybe another time. If this is still going over your head and almost sounds like a foreign language. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m available for hire. Click on the hire me link, and drop me your info.