If you can find the exact people who are looking for the exact products you’re selling, tell them you have a special offer, and then let them make a purchase with just a few clicks of the mouse without leaving the comfort of their own home—wouldn’t that bring you more customers and drive more sales?
That’s what PPC ads can do for you.
One of the keys to successful PPC campaigns is driving enough high-quality traffic to your eCommerce website so you can get a consistent stream of visitors who are likely to place an order.
Here are 19 ways to get more traffic to your online store using PPC ad campaigns:
Put Your Ads in Front of the Right Audience
You need to get your ads in front of your target audience in order to drive quality traffic to your website.
Start with a Strategy
As with any marketing initiatives, you need to define your business objectives and devise a strategy to support them.
Your strategy will inform how to allocate your ad budget, how to differentiate your products, which audiences to target, what KPIs to measure, and the mix of paid ads to use.
Diversify Your Advertising Platforms
Google AdWords and Facebook ads are good starting points, but don’t limit yourself to these “usual suspects.”
Experiment with different online advertising platforms (e.g., Reddit, LinkedIn, Instagram) by identifying the ones that are most relevant to your business model, product category, and target audience.
Buying ads on “niche” platforms often allows you to target a very specific audience segment so you can drive higher-quality traffic to your website at a lower cost.
Use Google Shopping
Using Google Shopping ads is a great way to drive traffic to eCommerce websites. They’re displayed at the top of the search results page and feature images of the products.
To get the most out of your Google Shopping ads, make sure you use high-quality product images and optimize your product data feed.
Refine Your Targeting
There are many ways to target your ad campaigns to make sure they’re driving the right traffic to your website, e.g., by geographic location, demographic information, interests, affinity, or “lookalike” audience.
Narrow down the target audience enough to make sure your ads are served to the right people so you aren’t paying for clicks that won’t convert.
However, keep in mind that narrower isn’t always better. When your audience is too specific, you could risk exhausting an audience and drive up the cost of your ads.
Use Long-Tail Keywords … but Not Too Many
Long-tail keywords are great for driving high-quality traffic that’s more likely to make a purchase on your eCommerce website.
Not only are the ads shown to shoppers who are looking for your specific product, but long-tail keywords are also less competitive, which means they’d cost less so you can drive more traffic with the same budget.
However, don’t go overboard, as too many keywords will diminish the relevancy of a campaign.
Start with 5-20 highly relevant keywords per ad groups and refine the targeting as you gain insights from performance metrics.
Qualify Your Clicks
Even though getting traffic is great, you don’t want to pay for clicks that aren’t going to generate revenue for your eCommerce business.
You can qualify the clicks by including pricing information or location in your ad copy (e.g., if you only ship to certain countries) to make sure that you’re attracting the right buyers to your website.
Get the Most Traffic Out of Your Ad Budget
Spend your ad dollars wisely, so you’re maximizing the amount of traffic generated from your ad budget.
Match Strategy to Budget
If you have a small budget (say, $100/month,) you can’t afford to spread your campaigns too thin.
Focus on one or two platforms that are most effective for your product category. Be strategic when selecting your keywords and targeting your audience segments.
If you have a larger budget (say, $20,000/month,) you can put more money behind competitive keywords or broader audience segments, and experiment with different advertising platforms to increase your reach.
Use Remarketing Campaigns
Many shoppers don’t make a purchase the first time they visit an eCommerce website.
Remarketing ads allow you to get these “warm leads” back to your website by promoting the products that they’ve already shown interest in.
You can qualify the audience by a variety of criteria, such as product page viewed, time on site, geographic location, or demographic information.
There are different types of remarketing ads, such as such as standard remarketing, dynamic remarketing, mobile apps remarketing, and email list remarketing, so make sure you’re choosing the best option for your campaigns.
Track Metrics and ROI
You’re spending money on your ads, so make sure they’re sending you visitors that will buy your products.
Tracking your metrics allows you to see what platforms are driving the highest quality traffic that converts and what kind of messaging tend to attract visitors that will turn into customers.
Your tracking should account for multiple conversion sources to capture all conversion actions.
For eCommerce sites, you’d most likely be measuring the ROI based on revenue, but it could also be brand awareness or leads generated.
Make sure you clearly define the business objectives and set the right KPIs to measure the effectiveness of each campaign.
Optimize Your Ad Campaigns
Tracking your metrics is only half the story … you’ve also gotta do something with them!
When you’re analyzing the metrics, make sure you have a large enough sample size. The ads should have run long enough to eliminate fluctuations due to factors such as day of the week or time of the month.
Use the insights from analytics to help test and optimize your ads’ targeting, creative, and bidding strategies to maximize your ROI.
Scale Your Campaigns
After you have found out which ads are driving traffic, you should double down your ad budgets on those that work (and pull the plugs on those that don’t.)
Gradually step up the spending on ads that are doing well while keeping an eye on their performance to make sure they’re not only driving traffic but also sending visitors that turn into customers.
Spy on Your Competitors
You can find out what’s driving traffic and what isn’t, before spending a dime on ads, by analyzing your competitors’ campaigns.
In addition, knowing how your ads are performing compared to your competitors’ ads can help you figure out how to cut through the clutter and drive more traffic.
There are many tools you can use to “spy” on your competitors, depending on the information you want to get, such as the keywords they’re ranking for, their traffic sources, and other PPC metrics.
Entice More Clicks with Compelling Ad Content
The text and images of your ads need to provide the right information and appeal to your target audience in order for them to click through.
Write Effective Ad Copy
The ad copy is easily the most critical component when it comes to getting searchers to click through.
It should include your unique selling proposition, the keywords you’re ranking for, the benefits that your product delivers, a structured snippet, and a call-to-action.
Don’t forget the basics—make sure to proofread your ads for spelling and grammatical mistakes. They’re distracting and can diminish your credibility.
Also, avoid slang terms and all caps, and never go crazy with exclamation points!
Use High Commercial Intent Keywords
Using keywords with high commercial intent in your ad copy can get the attention of shoppers that are ready to make a purchase.
There are different types of commercial intent keywords, such as:
- Buy now keywords, e.g., buy, coupon, discount
- Product keywords, e.g., review, brand name, product category
- Information keywords, e.g., how to, the best ways to
- Tire kicker keywords, e.g., free shipping, free download
Both AdWords and Bing have a feature called ad extension that allows advertisers to include additional links and information in their ads.
You can use sitelink extension to feature specific products, call extension to encourage shoppers to call your business, message extension to get prospects to text message from the ad, price extension to show pricing information, and callout extension to add text such as “free shipping.”
Use Compelling Imagery
If you use images in your ads, make sure they’re high-quality, reflect your brand personality, work well with the platform, and show specific aspects you want to emphasize (e.g., texture, craftsmanship).
Don’t forget to optimize the image size for each platform. For example, if you don’t follow Facebook’s recommended image sizes for the campaign’s objective, your ad may not be shown in your chosen formats.
Stay Current with New Display Features
Social media platforms, especially Facebook, regularly roll out new display features.
For example, Canvas ads and Facebook 360 on Facebook can help capture the attention of the audience and increase your click-through rate.
Focus on “Selling” the Click
Especially on social media, your audience isn’t there to look for a specific product and aren’t likely to pay attention to ads with a lot of details.
Trying to communicate too much information may make them scroll pass your ad.
Keep your copy simple and straightforward, with the goal to pique enough curiosity so the audience will click through to your website.
As you can see, there are many ways to optimize your PPC campaigns to drive more traffic to your eCommerce site.
The key to success is to gain a deep understanding of your audience so you can target your ads and deliver a compelling messaging that’ll entice them to click through.
In addition, your ad creative should be tailored to each platform to maximize the interaction and engagement with the audience.
Don’t forget to A/B test your ads. Most online advertising platforms offer robust testing functionalities to help you continually fine-tune your ads to maximize the ROI.