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by Tara West on 23rd October 2013
Hello, my name’s Tara, and today I’m going to be sharing with you some of my tips on using [Google] AdWords for Ecommerce websites. AdWords has got lots of functions which work really well with Ecommerce sites as well as a few which were designed specifically for them. This makes a great platform to help your Ecommerce business. I’m going to go over a few of the functions I like using and then give you a couple of tips on using each of those functions well.
So let’s start with bid adjustments. Bid adjustments have been kind of advertised by Google as something to use if you’ve got a local business or if you’ve got a business that’s affected by time of day, perhaps like a restaurant or even location if you’ve got a physical store. But, actually, bid adjustments work really well on Ecommerce sites too.
For example, if you look in the data that you can find in the Dimensions tab, and you’ll see that actually there’s probably quite a bit of a trend and you can see certain locations will convert better than others. You can then look at adjusting your location bid adjustments to suit where you get the most conversions. So don’t be afraid of using bid adjustments even though they’re not typically for Ecommerce sites because they do work well with them.
The same with bid adjustments, as I explained with locations, is true with time of day. So you’ll definitely find a trend in the certain times of day where people convert best or when people are perhaps doing more research. You can maybe capitalise by using your bid adjustments to make sure your ads are really prominent when people are more likely to convert.
Dynamic remarketing is a fairly new functionality, and it allows AdWords to kind of step up in line with lots of other remarketing platforms. It basically allows AdWords to pull in the products which your users have looked at dynamically into ads and create them for you based on the cookies that are left on that user’s PC.
So to use them, you need the AdWords remarketing code, not the Google Analytics remarketing code, but you can use both on your site. You also need to customise another piece of code which goes on every page of the site too. You might need a developer to do that for you if you’re not too confident with code, but once that stage is out of the way, the creation of the ads and everything else is quite straightforward. So it’s definitely something I’d recommend doing if you’ve got lots of products on your site because remarketing is really good at generating a low cost for conversions and also great for brand awareness.
Product listing ads are another function specifically for Ecommerce sites. If you’ve ever searched for something online and your search has got a kind of commercial intent behind it, for example, if you searched for prices of shoes, you might find the ads in the top right-hand corner of the search results page have kind of like a grid of square images and they then have a price below them and a little line of description. Those are product listing ads.
To get them, you need to have a Google Merchant Center, and you need to have a really well optimised product feed. So it means filling in every single row of detail that you can for every single field for that product in your Google Merchant Center. AdWords then pulls in data from Google Merchant Center and matches it to user’s search queries.
So it’s kind of a form of dynamic marketing really, and because of this you need to remember to use lots of negative keywords. Google can obviously then try to match your page content to someone’s search query. You don’t have as much control as when you bid on specific keywords. So use lots of negative keywords. Also use product targets, and the most important thing is just to have a really well-optimised Google Merchant Center product feed.
Brand bidding is really important for Ecommerce sites. If you’re a boutique kind of outlet, where you’ve got several brands, make sure you’re bidding on all the different brands that you stock and have them in separate campaigns, because brand campaigns perform incredibly well. If someone is searching for the brand, the relevance of your ad to that brand is going to be really high. You’re going to get a good click-through rate, a low cost per click, and it’s going to overall help the quality score of the entire account. So, because of this, have lots of set product campaigns for each of the brands you stock and make sure that they are optimised well.
YouTube advertising works well if you want to increase brand awareness, but also if you’ve got a product that’s quite visual, it could be really useful for actually selling the product. For example, hair extension websites tend to advertise using video tutorials on how to apply them. Or if you’ve got something more visual, for example, if you’re selling holidays, you might have reviews which are videos. You can use them on YouTube and also on your own site. With YouTube marketing, it’s got a really low cost per click, which can make it cost effective if you’re in an industry which has got quite competitive cost per click normally.
Total conversion value is a metric which sometimes gets overlooked in Ecommerce accounts. Often we get caught up on kind of smaller metrics, like cost per conversion or conversion rate. But, actually, if something has got a really low cost per conversion, perhaps a good conversion rate, we might think it’s been really successful, but if it’s costing you as a total more than it’s making you in your total conversion value, then it’s obviously not cost effective to be bidding on that keyword.
So look at keyword level. Look at the total spend for [each] keyword over a selected time period and look at the total conversion value. Just make sure that the conversion value justifies that spend.
Site links, since they were upgraded with enhanced campaigns, you can now have them at ad group level, which is really handy for Ecommerce sites. So say you’ve got an ad group which contains a certain product type and that product type comes in different variations like different colours or different sizes, you could have the site link at ad group level for each different product and variation, so each size or each colour. Although your ad groups are still going to be really split out and targeted — so you’d have one ad group for red shoes and one ad group for green shoes — within those ad groups, having those site links might actually attract someone even more because they might be thinking “actually I didn’t realise they came in this colour” and then have a look in addition to what they were originally searching for.
So those are a few of my tips for using AdWords for Ecommerce websites. If you’ve got any questions, please leave comments below or follow us on any of our social profiles.