AdWords is a common jargon used in digital marketing. You would have heard about this at some point in time. This is also referred to as “Google AdWords”. In simplest terms, AdWords is an advertising service provided by Google for businesses keen on displaying their ads on Google and its advertising network. AdWords for ecommerce is an important aspect for any e-commerce business and also is the main source of earning for Google.
Google AdWords earlier referred to as Google Ads, was first launched on October 23, 2000. Advertisers pay to display advertisements, service offerings, product listing, and video content with Google’s ad network which would be shown to web users.
Let us first quickly check on the benefits of using AdWords in the first place.
- With AdWords, you can increase brand awareness. AdWords has revolutionized the way digital advertising is carried out. With this, you can display your advertisement on a relevant partner website.
- AdWords provide better and faster results than SEO. While SEO has its own challenges, AdWords, on the other hand, provides a better spectrum and can reach target audience faster.
- AdWords let you outrank your competitor. You can choose “Target Outrank” automatic bidding strategy to automatically adjust your bid and outrank your targeted competitor.
- With this, you can influence the audience to make a purchase.
- You can easily choose a high-quality With AdWords, you can choose an enhanced cost per click strategy to adjust your bid based on previous conversion, location,and many other influencing factors
- AdWords can be constantly revamped. You can keep improving your conversion by applying a bid strategy and testing.
- Based on the traffic, you can analyze your demographics and target customers. This is especially useful while running marketing campaigns.
- With AdWords, you can schedule the Ads to reach your target audience at the right time. This could be a particular day or time in a week.
- Remarketing is another strategy which can be applied to improve the sales funnel. This helps in capturing the audience who have visited your website, browsed through a product but has not added it to the cart. You could return back with a discount on the product or a cashback.
- Keywords are the key to a successful AdWords campaign. Over a period of time, with analysis, this keeps improving.
The benefits of AdWords are definitely exhaustive. Needless to say, it has a steep learning curve. However, it can be mastered over a period of time.
Next, before we get into the details of the best AdWords ideas for e-commerce, let us quickly understand a few jargons related to AdWords. This would help in understanding how a specific change in AdWords strategy can help your e-commerce business.
How does AdWords work?
Google earns over $32.2 billion from advertising. This is almost 97% of their earning. This all starts from a query that a user types in on the Google’s search bar. The moment you type in something on Google’s search bar, Google looks at the AdWords advertisers pool to determine if there will be an auction.
If there are one or more contenders for a specific keyword, then Google chooses ads specific to the search query and an auction is triggered.
Advertisers identify keywords that they want to bid for. They also decide how much they want to spend and create groupings of these keywords that are paired with ads. Google then enters keywords from your account it considers is most relevant for the auction along with the maximum bid you have specified for the Ad.
This initial step only puts you as a contender for the auction. This in no way guarantees your Ad would be displayed. Post this, Google decides which Ad appears where. This again is not very simple. Once you have entered the auction, Google looks at two key factors to determine where your Ad ranks. It considers the maximum bid and your quality score. This is also referred as “AD Score”
AD SCORE = CPC Bid x QUALITY SCORE
This determines the best position to display the Ad. CPC Bid is the maximum bid you specify for your keyword. Quality score is something that Google decides. It is a metrics to determine how relevant and useful your ad is to the user. This is evaluated based on the CTR, relevance and landing page. The higher the quality score, the better it is. CTR here stands for Click-through rate. CTR is a ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of users who view a page, email or advertisement.
Just to illustrate how Ad Score is determined, check the below example.
|Advertiser||Max Bid||Quality Score||Ad Score|
So Ad 1 gets the preference.
After this, your Ad does get showed up on a website while the user browses. If your Ad is clicked, then you pay a minimum amount for that position. This again is mathematical and the way Google determines this is,
What you pay = The Ad Rank of the person below you/ Your Quality Score + $0.01
This can be simplified a bit by understanding that, the higher the quality score, lesser is the amount you pay.
To illustrate this further, let us check the below example.
|Quality Score||Ad Score||Price|
|Ad 1||$2||10||20||16/10 + 0.01 = $1.61|
|Ad 2||$4||4||16||12/4 + 0.01 = $3.01|
|Ad 3||$6||2||12||8/2 + 0.01 = $4.01|
|Ad 4||$8||1||8||Highest CPC|
These auctions are run multiple times every month. With these auctions –
- Users find ads that are more relevant to what they are looking for
- Advertisers can connect to potential customers at lower rates
This also happens to be the major chunk of revenue building for Google.
Next, let us check AdWords ideas that can help your e-commerce business.
1. Always use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords help you refine your search. These are words for which they do not want their ads to be displayed. AdWords allows you add the single negative keyword as well as multiple keywords.
You can add as well as edit negative keywords. This allows you to-
- Add individual negative keywords to Ad groups or campaigns
- Add multiple negative keywords
- Copy negative keywords from another Ad group or campaign
- Copy negative keywords into more than one Ad group or campaign
A common negative keyword would be “free” since this is a very generic keyword and can appear anywhere. This will definitely not bring in customers. By optimizing your negative keywords, you can filter and eliminate potential keywords that waste your ad budget.
Creating negative keywords and monitoring your ad performance can help you ensure your ad budget is used efficiently. You might have to revisit your negative keyword list time and again.
This is how it appears in AdWords.
Negative keywords work differently in Display and Video campaigns. When you start first it is practically impossible to hit the right set of the list at the very beginning. However, over a period of time, you can create a substantial negative keyword list.
The next challenge here is to search for negative keywords. Google does not upright give you an option to search for negative keywords. The AdWords Keyword planner is used to search for a keyword. This can also be used to search negative keywords.
So if you search for the keyword “calendar”, you would get the corresponding searches as shown below-
In case free and printable are not suitable search for the product you wish to sell, then you can add it to the negative keyword list. This way you can keep modifying your negative keyword list.
2. Bid on Competitor’s Names
Google AdWords allows you to bid on competitor’s name. This is a great way to reach your competitor’s customer base and also expanding your base. Not only this enhances brand awareness but also customers get to know of multiple other options which are available in the market. This could very well be tested by several customers who are looking for newer product offerings.
The advantage over here is you target potential customers who are having an interest in a product similar to what you sell. Also, this is a great way of showcasing your products and giving reasons as to why the customer should consider you.
There are a few rules that Google sets for brands who wish to use this tactic. Google forbids you from pretending your competitor in the ad. Similarly, you cannot use the competitor’s name anywhere in the text. In case you follow the rules defined by Google, then this is again a great way to make a mark in the market.
In the example below, while we search for Avast, you can also see another ad being displayed.
However, this is a good technique to be followed in case your competitor is a big brand. In all other cases, this does not guarantee success.
Using a tool such as SpyFu or iSponage you can check the kind of searches and clicks your competitors are getting. These competitive analysis tools give a detailed analysis report about the search.
For instance, a search on McDonald gives the below results.
Once you get their branded terms, you can also search and click on volumes. A company which has over a thousand branded search terms would be worth bidding. As a thumb rule, it is best to first compare your search volumes with your competitors. If you get a lot more searches and clicks than your competitor, bidding on them isn’t going to do you much good. On the other hand, if they get a lot more traffic than you do, it might be a good idea to try and snag a bit of that traffic for yourself.
3. Check the Quality Score of the Keywords
AdWords do predominantly depend on quality score. To minimize your cost, it is best to maintain a high-quality Keywords having low-quality score. This should be refined by improving their relevance to landing pages and ad copy. If the keywords do not perform well over a period of time and if they have a low-quality score, then it’s better to delete them.
Google provides a Key Quality Score only for keywords. It provides a Key Quality Score out of 10.
For each keyword, you can see the quality score as shown below.
Once you get to know your quality score, you can monitor it for a couple of days and then eliminate them in case these keywords are not helping.
Remember a poor quality score only puts you under more pressure and eventually you end up spending more.
4. Monitor the conversion
Removing keywords and at times Ads which are not performing as expected is definitely important. However more important is the fact that one needs to also monitor the conversion. At all point, watch the size of your ad group.
When an ad group starts to get bigger, then this would start hindering your performance. You need to ensure that your ad text and landing pages are highly relevant to your users. In case a group is growing very large then you can split it into multiple or at least two groups. This will help you to create a better-personalized user experience and also help you improve your quality score.
With group size, one should also monitor what type of people help in this conversion. While keywords are important, it is also equally important to know your audience type. You need to monitor the type of people who end up landing on your page and converting.
While monitoring you might likely encounter broad match keywords that people use to reach your ads, clicks or engaging with your website. Such newly found keywords can be added to your existing keyword list to further enhance the conversion.
Along with this you also need to monitor your list of keywords. This is especially true in case you have broad match keywords. A misfit of keyword will only drain your budget and would not be performing. At regular intervals check the performance of your ads and remove the ones that are not performing as expected. The click-through rate or the direct conversion rate can determine which ads need to be changed.
5. Landing Page
For a lot of brands it is a high pressure, to earn high ranking using a perfect set of keywords. Organic search rankings are never easy to achieve. While you work towards improving your organic ranking, you can draw a lot of attention and traffic using AdWords campaign. This helps you to build the presence you need for these search terms.
Through AdWords, you can also collect data about how people respond once they reach your landing page. This will also give you tips on how you can improve and enhance user engagement.
Most importantly your ad has to be relevant to what you sell. When people click on your Ad and reach your website, the landing page should show relevant content and answer the needs of the user.
If this is not relevant, then people would use your Ad to reach your website and drop off from your website with no conversion. This will only end up overshooting your budget. Focus on your landing page design and ensure it helps customers. The landing page needs to be appealing and eye-catching at the same time. This will ensure, fewer visitors drop off of your website.
6. Use All Possible Ad Extensions
Along with the various areas where you can add your text, Google also offers few extensions. These extensions are designed to boost your site performance. Few of the useful extensions provided by Google include-
- SiteLink Extensions – These are additional links which you think might be useful to visitors.
- Callout Extensions – These are extensions where you can include guarantees or any kind of similar promotional statements that can build customer confidence.
- Structured Snippets – Here you can add additional information about the features included in your Ad. Here you will have to select a category from a predefined list.
There are many other included such as App extensions, Price extension to name a few. This can be viewed in the AdWords itself.
7. Use Location for Higher Precision
AdWords provides several tips which can help you improve your AdWords campaign performance. These tips should help you better identify and target your audience. AdWords allows you to target and display Ads to people who appear in certain geographic regions. This is a beneficial strategy when you have a growing e-commerce business.
A lot of local business find this a useful feature since their most likely demographic consists of those within a certain radius of the location. However, this can also be used by large companies. Especially when you want to promote certain products specific to a season or climate condition or a festive offer.
For instance, an e-commerce business selling winter garments might want to target colder regions. It’s unlikely that people in warmer climates might be interested in viewing your products.
With AdWords, you can use geo-targeting to create a more precise list and helps in control cost by boosting your campaign success.
8. Use a Shopping Campaign
In case you are targeting to use AdWords for e-commerce, then use shopping campaigns. Your ad campaign would be incomplete without a shopping campaign. Shopping campaign allows Google to know the products you want to display, along with a brief description and price.
This way you can ensure your products appear when customers type in queries indicating that they want to purchase a specific product. In order to create a shopping campaign, you would have to upload a list of your products to Google merchant center.
This can be easily done through your Google AdWords account. Similar to other campaigns you can set a minimum and maximum bid and can also set the priority of your campaign. Once you complete these steps, your product will be ready to be displayed during the relevant purchase query.
One such example is as shown below-
9. Right keyword match types
When it comes to AdWords, there are multiple types of keyword matches. In the simplest view, you can have-
- Broad Match
- Broad Match Modifier
- Phrase Match
- Exact Match
Broad Match allows keywords similar to the words you specify, including synonyms. For example, if your keyword is women’s hat, then a search for “buy ladies hat” will also result in your site getting displayed.
A Broad match modifier means you want your keywords to appear on a search query in the order you specify, but you do not mind if there are some additional words in between them. For example, if your keyword is +women’s +hats then a search on “women’s traditional hats” would result in your site being displayed.
A phrase match means that you want the ad to appear only when the phrase exactly matches the one you have listed. So if you have “women’s hat” as your keyword, then a query such as “buy women’s hat” will result in your site being displayed.
Finally, an exact match is the most restrictive match types. It requires your keywords to be exactly matched. So if your keyword is “women’s hat”, then your website will be displayed only when someone searches exactly for women’s hat. In all another search query this will not be displayed.
Select the type of match that will best fit your needs. The more constrained you make your keyword match, the more control you have over the audience, but the smaller audience you will have. Balance this tradeoff to find your best solution.
10. Adjust Your Ad Schedule
Adjust your ad schedule to improve targeting. There would be different times of day when your ad would perform better. This could also be varying between different days of the week. Analyse your ad performance to check the effectiveness of the Ad.
Using this information, you can schedule the Ad. This allows you to create a more precise audience by bidding only during these particular times. With a more precise audience, you will improve the success of your campaign. This can be done using AdWords.
11. Mobile performance
Mobile Ads vary from the regular Ads. So if you are targeting mobile users, then ensure you check the performance of the Ad over mobile. Brands who do not give much importance to mobile users will be left behind. Owing to the high increase in the number of mobile users, you also need to check the performance of your Ad campaign over mobile.
If you are purely focusing on mobile users, then creating a separate AdWords campaign for mobile users would be beneficial. You can copy the landing page and other key components to ensure your Ad is correctly rendered over mobile. Mobile searches use different keywords. This makes it all the more important to separate out mobile users from regular users.
On mobile phone, you can have Text ads, Image Ads, Mobile App Promotional Ads and Call-only Ads. From AdWords you can select device as a Mobile device. On choosing Campaignà Ads, you can select Mobile device if required.
We have seen how AdWords work. More importantly through this post, I have provided 11 AdWords ideas that can help to enhance your business. AdWords requires in-depth understanding and might take some time to grasp the concepts. However, AdWords are extremely powerful and can boost your business sales.
You have to keep revisiting your AdWords strategy time and again to enhance it. Over a period of time AdWords can be mastered and used to benefit your business. Though AdWords has a steep learning curve, it is worth walking that extra mile.