ZeroPark is a traffic network that could be called by two names — quality and easiness. Quality stands for the traffic the network offers and easiness reflects in a user friendly ad platform.
ZeroPark’s saying is “never overpay for traffic.” To make sure it happens in the real life they do three things: offer large volumes on a global level, monitor traffic quality day-to-day and use a smart algorithm for bidding. They also offer a solid support that can assist and advice with a campaign set-up, targeting and optimization.
Let’s see what they look like up close.
There are three traffic types within your reach at ZeroPark: domain redirect, premium PPV and search.
Domain redirect, also called 0-click, comes from a misspelling of a domain name, a generic URL or expired domains. For example when a user types in “youtiube.com” with an “i” he or she is redirected to the advertising landing page.
Premium PPV is a blend of 50% on-site pop-ups and 50% toolbar generated pop-ups. Why is it premium? ZeroPark only works with selected publishers after doing multiple quality tests. Additionally, they have several filters in place to filter out all possible bad and non-converting traffic.
Search is a toolbar generated ad that shows up in search engine results. It is a new traffic type available on ZeroPark. Although the volumes are still low the quality is amazing.
ZeroPark recommends mixing all the three types, as they have different merits. Domain redirect tends to be more expansive, lower in volume and higher in conversion. Pop-ups are usually higher in volume and less converting. And search seems to have the highest conversion rates for relatively low prices.
Once you decide on a type of a traffic you’re up for, you need to choose a campaign type. There are four of them: RON, Multi-Geo, Keyword and Target.
RON, a run of network, is an option when you want to target all traffic from one geo. The amount of traffic you receive is based on your bid. The highest bids get the most traffic, while the lowest bids get what’s left. RON is recommended for general and broad campaigns like mobile app, software installs and sweepstakes.
Multi-Geo is the same as RON campaign, except you can target multiple countries. It’s best for targeting ads designed in one language in many countries.
Keyword is an option to target visitors by searched phrases like diet, credit or dating. You can use generic keywords for maximum exposure or exact phrases to fine tune your campaign. This is the best option if you need qualified visitors. While setting up keyword campaign in ZeroPark, remember to use negative keywords, which sort out unwanted audiences.
Target is a campaign for narrowed audience. Bid it when you have identified the top performing targets from your keywords and/or RON campaigns.
Mobile, desktop and time of day
Apart from traffic and campaign types, ZeroPark offers a range of traffic filters that help your campaigns be effective. There is a choice of a device – mobile or desktop or both, type of an operating system, type of a browser and time of a day when the ad goes out.
The filter option is the one you should be careful with. If you narrow your searches too much, you may end up with one click a month. On the flip side, if you go too wide, you can run out of money easily. Just be alert, split test your campaigns, see how they work and optimize the filter option along the way.
The volume checker
The Volume checker is a cherry on top. It’s the most useful tool on Zeropark and you better reach for it anytime you set up a campaign. The volume checker tells you how much traffic and at what average price, is available for any type of advertisement at any country. With this tool you can easily filter out your niche and, at a glance, see possible traffic for your campaigns.
Offers that convert best
Basing on the advertising history ZeroPark lets us take a peek at the offers that convert best in their network.
- Finance (binary options, forex)
- Mobile Downloads (anti virus apps, utility apps and games)
- Sweepstakes (desktop and mobile)
ZeroPark’s offers also show up in BoxOfAds and here are the top performing ones.
95% of ZeroPark’s traffic is being sent to CPA offers and they say with absolute certainty that it converts.
Fees, registration and support
The minimum top up amount is $200 and the initial deposit is non-refundable. Each account is verified manually by account managers.
They have the following payment options with different fees:
- Bank wire transfer (ZeroPark covers all fees! Minimum top up amount $1000)
- PayPal (4% PayPal fee is deducted, minimum top up amount $200)
- Credit card (2% fee is deducted, minimum top up amount $200)
All campaigns are manually approved by account managers.
Account managers are at your disposal during working hours and their sole responsibility is to help you achieve your campaign goals on ZeroPark.
High quality and ease
ZeroPark is a good option for ad networks, affiliates, performance marketers and agencies who look for high quality traffic. Everybody who runs the platform will definitely enjoy the ease of use and intuitive features that make everyday work smoother.
Amazon currently has 16 fulfilment centres in the UK which as well as shipping Amazon retail products also handle FBA for third party retailers. As well as sites which have recently opened in Warrington, Tilbury and a new site in Doncaster, there are two further fulfilment centres in Doncaster and one each in Coalville (Leicestershire), Daventry, Dunfermline, Dunstable, Gourock, Hemel Hempstead, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Rugeley and Swansea Bay. A UK receive centre will also open in Coventry in 2018 and act as a central hub to receive and sort millions of products sold on Amazon.co.uk each year. If the Sheffield site goes ahead this would be the 17th major distribution warehouse in the UK.
The Star suggests that the new Sheffield site will be close to Junction 34 of the M1 and would cover half of a 48 acre site owned by Peel Logistics and formerly the site of a steel works. Up to 1,000 new jobs could become available for workers and administration staff to run the new warehouse.
Since 2010, Amazon has invested £6.4 billion in the UK in its UK-based research and development, head office and fulfilment and logistics infrastructure. They are increasing the size of their UK fulfilment centre network to meet increasing customer demands, expand selection and enable SMEs selling on Amazon Marketplace to scale their business through FBA.
FBA is growing at an ever increasing rate hence the need for a new FBA warehouse in the UK and it’s unlikely to be the only one established in 2018 – Worldwide, Amazon Prime delivered 5 billion items in 2017 and a rough estimate would be that half of these items would be from third party retailers. The downside is of course that as Amazon grows they sell an increasing number of products themselves and even through third party seller business is growing faster, Amazon’s share of the pie is now massive and increases the pressure on retailers margins.
Don’t have an SSL Certificate? Google is going to flag your website this year!
We turn to the internet for everything. From selling to buying, it is the introduction of an E-world. With this dominating trend, online security has become a necessity.
Undoubtedly, Google loves its users and therefore, is coming up with every possible way to make us feel secure here on the internet. With its recent announcement, earlier this year, Google will flag all the unencrypted internet by the end of 2017.
When Do You need to Worry About SSL?
With Chrome version 62 being released, websites with any kind of text input will need an SSL certificate.
- Does your website takes text inputs in the form of login panels, contact forms, search bars, etc.
- Is your website on HTTP://?
If it’s a YES to both these questions, you need to install SSL to avoid any risks or warnings. If you don’t implement SSL soon, your visitors will see a “Not Secure” warning on visiting your site.
What is SSL Certificate? And How it Works?
That’s your electronic passport!
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
If you don’t have the SSL certificate, a secure connection cannot be established, that means, your company information will not be digitally connected to a cryptographic key.
SSL Certificate has following information:
- Name of the holder
- Serial number and expiration date
- Copy of the certificate holder’s public key
- Digital Signature of the certificate-issuing authority
Why are SSL Certificates Critical?
Here are some of the reasons to have SSL Certificates:
1. Encrypts Sensitive Information
The information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to.
2. Protects You From Cybercriminals
They are clever!
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybersecurity damages will cost the world over $6 trillion annually by 2021.
It is impossible to escape the rising tide of cybercrime if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate. They will identify weakness(es) in your network…mostly, when information is transmitted. Recently, the black eye masked people have been refining malicious strains that are specifically designed to capture data while moving between destinations. (Told you, these people are clever!)
You surely can protect yourself from this mess by installing SSL certificates that offer a vital means of defending against transit-based hacks.
3. Builds Trust & Brand Power
With SSL certificates, your customers will see visuals like lock icon and green address bar that indicates well-trusted encryption is in use. Well, if I as a customer will see that on your website, I will be assured that my information is traveling safe.
Before Google flags your website, secure it today with SSL Certificates.
Altcoins often struggle in the retailer adoption department. That is only normal, as most retailers want nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Especially complicated solutions are absolutely unacceptable in this regard. Anyone with an interest in Bitcoin Cash can soon accept such payments through a new WooCommerce extension. It is not the first of such plugins, but more competition can only be considered to be a good thing.
Integrating cryptocurrency payments into WooCommerce has become a lot easier in recent years. Various plugins exist to do so when it comes to Bitcoin. For altcoins, there is a bit more work involved in most cases. A new extension for Bitcoin Cash payments will come to market in the next day or so. It offers a lot of functionality for e-commerce store owners to benefit from. There are other plugins which offer similar functionality, though. It never hurts to check out different solutions which try to achieve the same goal.
More Ways to Accept Bitcoin Cash Payments
This new plugin offers an API to take orders paid in Bitcoin Cash. It works similar to using PayPal or BitPay, as store owners will be notified if the transaction is confirmed. It is possible to set up zero-confirmation transaction times. That is always somewhat risky, but the extension can be fully customized in this regard.. Moreover, the merchant will see all orders in the backend as they are placed in real-time. It is a valuable addition to promote Bitcoin Cash adoption among WooCommerce users.
Whether or not a lot of retailers will use this solution, has yet to be determined. There is certainly a lot of positive momentum for Bitcoin Cash as we speak. It’s a cheaper and more efficient form of Bitcoin. Moreover, it is also a rather valuable altcoin, which makes it rather appealing to accept as a payment method. This plugin is seemingly the first which has a native callback for transaction confirmations as well. An interesting development, as improvements like these are always welcome.
Stripe is one of the first existing payment providers that now accepts Bitcoin
Watch this handy Stripe Bitcoin setup demonstration
It would be great to see more merchants experiment with different cryptocurrencies. This ecosystem is about so much more than just Bitcoin or even Bitcoin Cash. With global availability and rather fast payments -in most cases – cryptocurrencies should be preferable compared to payment cards. Right now, that is not the case. Plugins like this one may help turn the tide in the long run, though. An interesting future lies ahead for Bitcoin Cash, that much is certain.
Now that we’re at the end of 2017, search engine optimizers and marketers everywhere are working on establishing a budget for their 2018 goals. But with all the recent changes in SEO norms, strategies, and requirements, you may find it difficult to determine a precise dollar amount for the coming year.
The purpose of this guide is to help you understand how SEO changed in 2017, what challenges you’ll face in 2018, and how to determine the right dollar value to spend to achieve the goals you want in the coming year.
Setting realistic Goals
Your first step should be to look back at what you did in 2017, and how you performed. Last year’s budget can serve as a template for this year’s budget; for example, if you enjoyed your results, but want more for this year, increase the amount by a percentage proportional to your desired gains. If you feel you misspent the money, consider dialing down your budget and focusing on the work that really counts.
You should also take this time to establish some goals for your campaign; for example, if you’re trying to boost traffic by a certain amount, you can use your historical data or case studies by external sources to figure out how much you’d need to spend to see those results. If you’re trying to outrank a competitor, your budget may need to be more fluid.
Your next job is to distribute your budget to specific areas, so you can maximize your performance and get closer to your final goals. In 2018, content remains king for SEO, but you’ll need to allocate it slightly differently to stay up to date:
- Quality and originality. Content marketing has flourished for years now, and millions of brands and individuals are constantly publishing content to reach their audiences. If you want a chance at standing out, you’ll need to invest serious resources to create the best content you can. It’s better to invest a bigger portion of your budget to a smaller number of content pieces, so long as they’re proportionally higher quality; an abundance of lesser-quality articles will only blend in as white noise. Don’t be afraid to pay top-dollar for better content.
- Video. Video traffic has grown considerably, year after year, for more than a decade. By 2021, it’s expected that as much as 82 percent of all web traffic will be for videos. If you want to reach your audience in a relevant way, at least some of your content budget should be dedicated to producing and distributing videos.
- Support and promotion. The dream is to have a piece of content that’s so good, readers can’t help but share it, and purely through the course of nature, it will spread virally and earn your brand the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, that rarely turns out to be the case. If you want your content to succeed and earn more links, you’ll need to dedicate at least some of your budget to supporting and promoting that content, through social channels, press releases, and possibly even advertising.
- Mobile focus. Finally, make sure all your content is consumable for mobile audiences. By 2015, mobile traffic had overtaken desktop traffic by volume, and its share has grown even further since then. You can no longer succeed by targeting desktop users exclusively.
You should also take the following points into consideration when deciding on the specific targets for your campaign (and therefore, the destination for your spending):
- Voice considerations. Between 2008 and 2016, voice searches multiplied 35-fold. This year, smart speakers expanded voice search even further. Make sure you’re taking voice search—with its more complex, conversational queries and screenless interface—into consideration. Better long-tail keyword research and featured snippet optimization are great tools here.
- Audience understanding. Audiences are also demanding more personalized, specifically targeted content. Set aside some money to perform more in-depth market research or interview your readers so you can create content specifically for them.
- Local options. Local search is getting even more local—and even more rewarding for businesses who pursue it. If your business is locally relevant, your standard SEO efforts should be enough to build a strong foundation, but you’ll still want some extra money to put into local review development and other locally-specific strategies.
Despite all the advancements by Google’s algorithm and new tactics from SEO practitioners, link building is a necessity for a successful SEO campaign, and should represent a significant share of your budget. Without engaging in a manual link building campaign, you won’t be able to build authority directly; you’ll be left relying on the natural links built by your readership and others on the web.
Make sure you’re dedicating enough resources to gain at least a few high-authority links every month, no matter what your goals are.
Making the Most of Your Budget
Overall, you should be looking to spend at least a few thousand pounds a month, even if you’ve just got a small business; that should get you a minimum threshold of quality and quantity of content, and allow you to stay competitive with some of your biggest competitors.
However, one of the biggest variables in your SEO success isn’t related to how much you spend, but rather, how you spend it. A $1,000 budget that’s wasted on low-quality content and obsolete strategies is worthless, while £1,000 spent on a single piece of standout content, with the right amount of support, can give your campaign a huge boost.
When drawing up plans for your budget, make sure you’re spending it with in-house talent, SEO agencies, or contractors who know what they’re doing and are committed to giving you the best possible ROI.
Pay per click advertising is one of the quickest ways that you can get targeted traffic to your eCommerce store and start generating sales.
It’s also one of the quickest ways you can flush money down the toilet.
Google AdWords remains one of the mainstays in the eCommerce pay per click landscape. But it’s not always peaches and cream.
The lure of thousands of visitors per month tempts many new eCommerce businesses into rushing into Google AdWords without proper knowledge, strategy or optimization.
I know, I’ve been there. I learned the hard way. In my first eCommerce expedition, I literally threw tens of thousands of dollars down the AdWords vortex with little result.
The unfortunate result for many business owners is that when they lose initial money on a traffic source they write it off with comments like “I tried that and it didn’t work for MY business” as if their business is special or unique.
Google AdWords works for all eCommerce businesses. It can and will work for your eCommerce business.
If you are in the same place that I was years ago, unhappy with your return on ad spend, the first step is making an assessment of where you are at and identifying the steps needed to get the good ship AdWords back on course for your business.
This post is going to help you work out where you are potentially falling down and start you on the road to where you want to be.
For a more comprehensive, step-by-step guide on using AdWords for eCommerce, be sure to check out ourAdWords for eCommerce Training course!
Here’s where to start.
1. Know your numbers
eCommerce business owners often overspend on AdWords because they don’t have a good understanding of their businesses numbers and how this relates to AdWords budgets and bids.
Can you answer these questions easily;
- What is your average order value?
- What is your average profit margin
- What is your website’s conversion rate?
- What is your customer lifetime value?
- How much are you currently paying for a click on AdWords?
- What is your target cost per click (CPC) for a profitable sale?
- What is your target return on ad spend (ROAS)?
How did you go?
If you don’t know the answer to all of these questions (and don’t feel bad if you don’t) then you have a little bit of work to do.
For more help knowing your eCommerce numbers, feel free to check out our
Knowing and understanding these numbers and how they relate to your AdWords bidding and budgeting is key to success with AdWords (and any PPC platform to be honest).
Consider the following scenario;
I know that my average order value is $500 and my average net profit before ad spend on that sale is $200.
If traffic from my Google campaigns converts 2% (more about this later) then I know that I need to pay for 50 visitors to my site to get 1x $500 sale with a net profit of $200 before ad spend.
If I am prepared to pay up to $50 of my $200 net profit to make that sale I know that I have $50 to spend to get the 50 visitors to my site to produce that 1 sale.
So if I divide 50 visitors by $50 I know that I can spend $1 to put a customer on my website. Therefore my target CPC is $1.
If I spend more than this I will miss my target, if I spend less…happy days.
This is a simple model to get started. The picture becomes a little more complicated/more accurate when you consider customer lifetime value but we’ll get to that in point 19 of this post.
2. You aren’t using Google Shopping
Ok so this may seem like a no-brainer on the surface but we do come into contact with a lot of eCommerce store owners who aren’t currently utilizing Google Shopping Ads.
The most common reason I have heard goes back to “I tried that and it didn’t work for MY business”.
Avoiding Google Shopping is a mistake. Yes, there are exceptions but for the vast majority of eCommerce businesses, Google Shopping provides an excellent avenue for getting your product in front of a group of relevant potential customers.
The reason most people don’t find success with Google Shopping is that they are not running campaigns that are optimized to their potential customer’s behavior.
And that’s not surprising as it’s not as obvious how to optimise Google Shopping as search text ads.
The AdWords side of Google Shopping appears relatively easy at first glance, Google does most of the work for you and you don’t need to worry about setting keywords or ads etc.
The downside of this is that it’s easy to fall into a false sense of security and it’s not as obvious as to how you go about optimizing the ads.
The good news is however that once you possess the right knowledge and have a bit of practice, optimizing Google Shopping is not difficult at all and can, in fact, produce stellar outcomes.
Points 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 17 will give you further insights into how you can improve your Google Shopping results.
3. You aren’t using Remarketing
The average eCommerce customer will visit up to 9 times before they make their first purchase. Very few first-time customers will purchase one their first visit to your site.
The number of visits and time elapsed from the first visit to purchase increases as the value of the purchase increases with high ticket items $1000+ almost always requiring multiple visits before the first purchase is completed.
What this means is that you need to stay top of your customer’s mind while they are considering their purchase.
You need to remember that your customer is considering not just which product to buy next but also WHO to buy it from.
Remarketing is the solution to the WHO part of that equation.
Effective remarketing is the key to your business staying top of your prospective customer’s minds until they are ready to make a purchase. Remarketing gives you an opportunity to get in front of your competitors.
Google AdWords provides a suite of retargeting options that all eCommerce stores should use. You may well be familiar with retargeting on the Google Display Network but did you also know that you can retarget past visitors using Search Text Ads?
At a minimum you should be using the following Google remarketing options;
- Dynamic Remarketing (Display network)
- Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs)
- Display Network Remarketing (not Dynamic)
You can use these options to target the following;
- Cart/Checkout Abandoners
- People who visited specific pages but didn’t purchase
- Previous customers (using customer email list)
- Customers who have just made their first purchase
- People who have interacted with your Youtube videos
We won’t go into how to set up each of these types of remarketing in this post (it would turn into a book) but your first step is to check your account to see what remarketing you currently have set up.
4. You aren’t using negative keywords in Google Shopping
Google Shopping ads differ from search text ads in that you don’t actively set target keywords for Google to show your ads to.
Instead, Google matches your products with search terms that they believe are relevant when their searchers make them. Generally, Google does a good job of this but sometimes they miss the mark.
Negative keywords are our way of guiding Google and making sure that our ads are only showing for relevant search traffic.
If you don’t have any negative keywords set in your Google Shopping campaigns it is almost 100% likely that your ads are showing to some traffic that will either never click your ads or never buy from you.
This is a problem as low CTRs affect your overall performance and a low conversion rate means you could be losing money.
Check your negative keyword lists today and make sure that you are a) using them and b) that they are up to date.
Keyword targeting for Google Shopping
Did you know that you can actually target keywords in Google Shopping?
This piece of knowledge is a breakthrough for many eCommerce business owners.
Keyword targeting is one of the most significant ways to reduce costs, increase CTRs and increase ROAS for Google Shopping ads.
But you don’t do it in the same direct way that you do for search text ads. You don’t actually “set” target keywords.
Instead, you reverse target keywords by telling Google which search terms you don’t want to show for. Using Negative Keywords.
If you tell Google what keywords you don’t want your ads to display to then you are effectively telling them which search terms you do want your ads to display to.
Having this level of control over your Shopping ads can drastically reduce your costs and increase your return on ad spend.
5. You aren’t using a funnel method for Google Shopping
Once you have been exploring the search term report for your Google Shopping campaigns you will notice that there are a broad range of different search terms that your ads are showing for. Some will seem very relevant and others will be broader and less relevant.
You could easily group search terms into the following categories;
- Generic. E.g. coffee table
- Product specific. E.g. brown wooden coffee table
- Brand specific. E.g. Freedom Furniture coffee table
- Brand & Product specific. E.g. Freedom Furniture brown wooden coffee table
If I sell coffee tables then each of these categories is going to be relevant to my business. But are they all as relevant as each other?
Is each of these categories as likely to convert to sales as each other?
If was selling coffee tables would I be prepared to pay the same amount for someone searching “coffee table” to come to my site and someone who is searching “Freedom Furniture brown wooden coffee table”?
Well, if I’m selling a brown wooden coffee table made by Freedom Furniture then I definitely want to make sure that I get as many people making the last search as possible. I would be prepared to pay the maximum I can profitably do to get that person to my site
On the flip side, while “coffee table” is still relevant to me, there are a lot of coffee tables on the market and maybe that person isn’t interested in the type of coffee tables that I have. They might convert but the chance is much lower than the Brand & Product specific term. So, therefore, I don’t want to spend as much to get them to my site because I will need more of those visitors to make a sale.
If you are running a single campaign, single ad group strategy with Google Shopping it isn’t really possible to prioritize one type of relevant search term over another.
Nor can you choose to bid more for one type of relevant search term over another.
You can just choose the binary option of yes/no for your ads to display for individual search terms.
It is possible however in Google Shopping to develop a multi-campaign, multi-ad group “funnel” to prioritize one type of relevant search term over another.
The benefits of doing so can be;
- Lower cost per acquisition (CPA)
- Advantage over competitors via lower CPA
- Higher search impression shares
- Higher overall CTRs
- Improved profit
There are different Shopping funnel methods that you could implement depending on your market and the search behavior of your visitors.
What is important is that you start implementing a Shopping funnel today.
6. You aren’t using Google Analytics to help you measure your results
Google AdWords has a pretty good reporting interface compared to most PPC platforms. You can get a lot out of it.
It does, however, pale into insignificance next to Google Analytics.
While most people know that Analytics provides the complete view of all of your websites traffic many people are unaware of the specific AdWords and eCommerce data that it can provide.
Effective use of Analytics alongside the data provided by AdWords will enable you to make the most informed decisions and assumptions about what is working possible. This, in turn, will help you decide where and how much to spend to get the best possible result.
Analytics can be overwhelming but even if you only use a quarter of its potential regularly you will be in a much better place than if you don’t use it at all.
Want to know where to get started? Check out this great video we put together to help you get started. In the description, you will find a link to a Bonus FREE AdWords Campaign Report download that you can use in your account. It’s the same one that we use in our own stores!
Also be sure to check out our Data Analytics for eCommerce course for even more great reports, tactics, and strategies on using data to scale your eCommerce business.
7. You don’t understand your competition
Google AdWords and Google Shopping in particular are at their heart comparison engines for consumers.
Searchers will see your ads directly next to those of your competitors. They will be comparing your message at the same time and in the case of Google Shopping will be comparing your price, shipping cost, reviews, and promotions on the same page.
If you don’t know what your competitors are doing you are already losing.
Either you or one of your employees needs to be regularly checking what your competitors are up to on whatever platform you are competing on.
If you are running Shopping ads a great way to do this is to search for your ads in the wild as a customer would (this works best if you are selling the same product as other people).
Cut and paste one of your product titles into the Google search bar and see what results are shown in the Google Shopping box.
Find your products and see who they are being compared against. Click down to see the more detailed comparison and using your customer’s eyes think about how your ad presents.
Are you prices competitive? Is your shipping cost in the right place? Do your competitors have far more reviews than you?
Being behind on any one of these factors can significantly reduce your performance on Google Shopping.
Identify the areas that you are lagging on and get to work on those.
If you are running search text ads, have a search for some of the main keywords that you are targeting. Pay attention to the text ads being run by your competitors. Once again try to put yourself in your customers position.
Are they using ad extensions and what are these? Is their ad copy more enticing than yours and how? Are they offering a specific promotion?
Once again if you can find areas that you feel your are lagging behind your competitors start thinking about how you can improve your ads based on this knowledge.
Here’s a helpful video we put together on why your offer and your website could be holding your PPC ads back.
8. You have a website conversion issue
Ok, I get it. As eCommerce store owners we all have a conversion issue…In that, we always want more!
Lame marketing jokes aside, I often hear people say “I ran ads but they didn’t convert”.
It’s easy to form this impression but often the focus is in the wrong area. In my experience more often than not the ads are on target (or close to it) but the website sucks.
This can be harder to admit, particularly if you build your own website.
Remember, the purpose of any traffic channel is to get the right traffic to your website at the right time (when they are ready to buy or close to it) for the right price.
If you have the right traffic coming to your website the rest is up to your website and/or your customer service to convert that visitor into a customer.
If the right customer gets to your website and has a bad experience it wouldn’t have mattered how great your ad was.
Have a look at our Perfect eCommerce Product Page System to learn more about increasing your website’s conversions.
9. Single Campaign. Single Ad Group. Single Ad. Many Keywords
If you are running search text ads (and you should be) there is a good chance that you have fallen into the trap of having too many keywords in each ad group with a single ad. It’s where many people start and it is costing you money.
The emphasis here is on “many keywords”. There is a time and place for having Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) which we will touch on at number X.
Search text ads work best and are at their most cost-effective when there is a high congruency between the ad, the keyword targeted and the landing page that the ad leads to.
If you have a lot of different keywords targeted by a single ad and leading to a single landing page then it is unlikely that for most of those keywords you will have a satisfactory level of congruency.
The result of a low level of congruency will be a low-quality score and you will pay more per click than you need to.
Here is what a high keyword to ad group ratio will produce;
- Low-quality scores for many keywords
- Higher than necessary CPCs
- Depending on bidding lower ad position
- Low Click through Rates (CTR) for many keywords
The above 4 points are things that you definitely want to avoid and will have a negative impact on your return on ad spend.
A similar effect will be caused in Google Shopping if you are running a single campaign, single ad group, single product group model (with the exception being if you sell a single or small number of products).
10. You aren’t split testing
If you are running text ads, display ads (including remarketing) or Youtube ads, you need to be constantly testing different ad content.
Even slight differences in the copy of a search text ad can have a dramatic impact on CTRs, conversion rates and CPCs.
I like to look at split testing as a game where you are constantly trying to beat yourself. Yes, split testing is more time consuming but the results are worth it.
Here’s the basic approach to split testing;
- For a new ad group set at least two ads
- Each ad should be the same except for one area. E.g Different headlines.
- Make sure that your ad rotation settings are set to rotate indefinitely (Google tries to discourage this, ignore them). This means that both ads will get more or less the same number of impressions. This is essential for a test.
- Let the ads run for a few days at least.
- Check the results over that time period.
- Pick a winner. The winner will usually be the ad that drove the most conversions at the lowest cost but you may take into account things like CTRs as well.
- Delete the loser(s)
- Write a new ad to test something different.
- Rinse and Repeat.
Two key aspects of successful split testing in Adwords are;
- Split test 1 change at a time. E.g. Don’t split test a heading change and a description change at the same time. How will you know what impact each change had? Just test the Headline change, then test the description change.
- Give your test time to play out. You need to get a decent amount of eyeballs on your tested ads to make a call. 100 impressions aren’t enough. Aim for at least 1000 before you make a call.
11. You aren’t using Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are additional chunks of information about your business that can display below the main body of search text ads.
There are different types of extensions to encourage the viewer to take different actions. Here’s the current list;
- Sitelink Extensions. Adds a description and link to a specific part of your website. You can display up to four at once.
- Call-out extensions. Adds a short call to action for viewers. E.g. “Free Shipping”
- Structured Snippet extensions
- Price extensions. Adds category or product pricing info to your ads so shoppers can see your products directly in your ad
- App Extensions. Encourage people to download your app if you have one.
- Message Extensions. Encourage people to send you a text message straight from the ad
- Call Extensions. Lists your business phone number in a clickable fashion so that people can call you directly when viewing the ad.
- Location Extensions. Shows your business location and a link to your Google Business page where people can see your hours, phone number etc.
- Affiliate Extensions. Shows other places where people can buy your products if you wholesale.
Not all extensions are available in all countries and not all extensions will be relevant to your business.
At a minimum, you should be using;
- Sitelink Extensions
- Call-out Extensions
- Call Extensions
Ad Extensions are a must for a few great reasons;
- They are shown to increase click through rates by up to 30%.
- They allow you to take up more space on the results page. This is a huge advantage if your other competitors aren’t using extensions. Your ads will look bigger.
- It gives customers additional ways to get to what they really want quicker. This, in turn, can increase your conversion rates.
Setting up Ad Extensions is pretty straight forward. When you start a new text ad campaign you will be given the option to add them in the setup process.
If you want to modify or add extensions to an existing campaign simply navigate to that campaign and click the “Ad extensions” tab.
You’ll notice here that Google give you individual stats for each extension. This is great as it gives you the ability to test extensions and see what works best.
Now once you’ve set your extensions don’t freak out if you don’t see them appearing with your ad.
Having extensions set doesn’t make them automatically appear. Google will choose when to show them and which ones to show based on their understanding of the individual searchers behaviour. For example they will usually show call extensions to mobile searchers because it is easier for them to click on and use that extension. Whereas showing the full list of site link extensions is more likely on a desktop search.
12. You are sending traffic to your home page
There are very few occasions where it is appropriate for any of your ads to land your visitors on your home page.
One exception is covered in the next point (13) but if you are running ads that promote products or categories of products you should never land people on your homepage.
The goal of your ads and your website is to get the right person to your checkout page in the fewest amount of steps possible.
Every step you place in the way will reduce the number of people who follow through to checkout.
So go ahead and double check all of your ad to make sure that no one is landing on your homepage. Your visitors should be landing on the page of your website that is the most directly relevant to their search query. The majority of the time this will be a collection, product or blog page.
13. You don’t have a Trademark Campaign
Following on from our last point, there is one situation where you should definitely be sending people to your home page.
We call this a Trademark Campaign. It is basically where you are advertising on your own name. This becomes important as you grow and your customers become more familiar with your brand.
People will start searching for your business name. Yes they should be shown and organic listing for your website but there is still space above that for a search text ad or two. You want to be filling the top spot.
Why? Because if you don’t someone else may. There is nothing to stop one of your competitors targeting your brand as a keyword to try to divert customers away from your website with text ads.
Yes, Google does have trademark rules in place that can prevent some from using your brand name in ad copy but this only applies if you have trademarked your brand name and Google won’t stop people from using your brand name as a keyword.
At the end of the day it’s also nice to take up as much of the first page as you can. Never underestimate the chances for customers to get distracted. Get in peoples face as much as you can.
Here’s an example of a trademark campaign in action.
You can see the trademark ad at the top sitting above the organic listing for the same site.
Setting up these campaigns is very straight forward. They are just a regular search text ad with your brand name as exact match keywords. Make sure you use ad extensions and call outs to send people to the relevant sections of your website.
14. You haven’t checked your ad account in a month
Ok so this is a simple but it happens. Many people think that Google ads are “set and forget” advertising. It’s not.
Not keeping a regular eye on how your ads are performing is a recipe for you to be paying Google far more than you should be and most likely missing out on sales along the way.
15. High SKU numbers but no Dynamic Search Ads
Having a search text ad for every product in your inventory would be nice but what if you have 3000 products? It’s rarely going to be feasible to get that granular and take individual ads to the individual product level.
Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) provide somewhat of a solution to this problem.
DSAs appear as search text ads but how they are generated is somewhat different.
There are no keywords set for DSAs and nor do you set an ad headline.
Google takes a feed of the pages on your website and then matches these to search queries made by searches. In this way, DSAs are more similar to Google Shopping ads.
When a close match is found Google will show an ad with a dynamically generated (meaning that Google generates it) headline that matches the search term and the relevant page.
So if you have 1000s or even 100s of product pages DSAs provide a way for individual product pages to be linked to an ad and shown to very specific search queries without having to go through the work of setting up 1000s of ads.
To get started with DSAs all you need to do is start a new search text campaign and select Dynamic Search Ads on the first setup page.
You then need to choose whether to use the Google index of your page as the source or whether to set your own url feed.
If your site is well indexed by Google then using this as an option is fine. If your site is very new however and hasn’t yet been fully crawled and indexed you may want to submit a feed to get up and running quicker. Here are Google’s instructions on how to do that.
16. You aren’t adding urgency to your text ads
Adding urgency to your text ads is a sure fire way to increase CTRs and conversions.
One of the best ways to do this is through the combined use of an offer (e.g. a discount) and a countdown timer.
Did you know that you could add a countdown timer to a text ad? You can and they are really cool, here’s what one looks like.
To get this happening in your search text ads you will need to use an AdWords Script (outlined in point 17).
Sales, promotions and offers aren’t usually things you want to have in every ad all the time. They should be used strategically for maximum affect. But you should use them, used correctly they can make a huge difference to your bottom line over time.
As an added bonus, most of your competitors are doing this so it’s another way that you can grab a competitive advantage. We doesn’t love that!
17. AdWords Scripts?
Ok, I admit that this one is a bit more of an advanced topic.
Many advertisers that use Google AdWords are not aware of the AdWords Scripts feature.
A script is like a little program that you can set to carry out a helpful task for you that would otherwise be repetitious or take up time that you could be spend doing other things.
Sounds good, but what can you actually do with Scripts? There are so many things that you can do with Scripts but here’s a little taster;
- Analyze your accounts Quality Score in detail and track your historical Quality Score over time
- Track your competitors performance over time
- Allow you to set hour by hour bid modifiers throughout the day (Adwords only allows 6 bid buckets per day).
- Set keywords for your Google Shopping campaigns to show for (Yes you read that right).
- Adjust your bids based on the weather (Yes I’m not joking and shopping behaviour does change based on the weather)
To set a Script all you have to do is visit the Bulk Operations option in the left side navigation (down the bottom of the nav) and click “Scripts”
Scripts aren’t necessary for new AdWords accounts with a low spend but as your accounts grow they become more important to help manage the increase workload. I think it’s worth getting familiar with them early and have a little fun along the way.
18. You aren’t using SKAGs
Sexy acronym hey? Single Keyword Ad Groups refers to using a search text ad group with two ads (split test) to target a single keyword.
There are some great reasons why you should do this;
- You ads will be highly targeted to the keyword which will result in much higher CTRs
- You will be able to select a landing page that is also super targeted to your ad and keyword which will result in an increase in conversions
- Finally putting the two points above together you will be able to maintain a high quality score for that keyword which will help you get great ad position and a lower cost per click, which increases your profit.
Ideally, you would have an ad group for every search term that could possibly be relevant to your products but that would be crazy overkill.
I recommend you identify that top 5% of keywords for your website when looking at conversions and clicks and start by implementing SKAGs for those.
If you have an existing active account you will already have a wealth of keyword data from your existing Shopping or Text Ad campaigns. Start with that.
If you are starting up a new store a little bit of keyword research will put you in the direction of a handful of keywords to start this approach with.
19. Taking a short term view and ignoring CLV
It’s very easy when analysing your efforts on AdWords to only consider the first conversion per customer that your ads have generated.
An equation like “I spent $X dollars in X days and it resulted in X sales in that timeframe”.
That’s an important set of data to be considering but it does miss the bigger picture.
As RJMetrics found 32% of buyers will make a second purchase from you within 12 months and 5.48% will purchase from you 6 times.
Often with repeat purchases, there is not a direct marketing cost. You might reach people via emails to your customer list or your customers may come directly to your website. Once you’ve paid to acquire a customer you don’t have to pay the same amount to sell to them again.
If you’ve been in business for some time you should be able to consider your average Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and use this to also measure the effectiveness of your marketing budget.
Consider this; if I pay $20 on AdWords to make a sale of $300 with a margin before ad spend of $50 it looks ok.
But if I know that I will sell to that person twice in 12 months without them clicking on an ad again the margin might look like I paid $20 on Adwords to make sales of $600 with a margin before ad spend of $100.
That’s a much prettier picture. And I would evaluate the effects of my advertising efforts in a different light when viewing them in this way rather than just the first direct conversions from my ad.
20. No YouTube Ads
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. Over 100 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube every minute and the social platform has over 1 billion users.
It’s no secret that video is huge at the moment. Are you taking advantage of it?
Here are a few great reasons in favor of advertising on YouTube;
- The barrier to entry is seen as high by many eCommerce businesses. People think it’s hard to develop the ads. This is an opportunity for you. The field is still more open than other AdWords options.
- The CPCs are usually significantly lower than say search text ads.
- There are a number of targeting methods available outside of plain keywords. For example, you can target based on a topic.
Developing video ads for YouTube is definitely more involved than running a Shopping campaign or setting a few search text ads. But don’t let that put you off, with a little perseverance you can get a great outcome.
Remember, you aren’t producing Game of Thrones here. You can record a great video ad on an iPhone, or, you can just outsource it.
Here’s are few content ideas to help get you started;
- A how-to video that demonstrates a problem that your product(s) solves.
- A demo video of your product in action
- A testimonial video of someone who uses and loves your product
If you haven’t tested YouTube ads yet I strongly encourage you to. Just get started and improve as you go
How did you stack up?
Don’t worry if you are missing out on a lot of our 20 points above. These are all things that can be implemented relatively easily and with a little testing can dramatically improve the performance of your AdWords account.
For a more comprehensive, step-by-step approach to learning Adwords for eCommerce, be sure to check out our AdWords for eCommerce Training course.
Having issues we did not address in this post? Share it below in the comments and we’ll all pitch in to help you out. Original Post Source