Scaling and different types of targeting in PPC campaigns
Running ads on Google is almost a mandatory operation for every eCommerce business. While Google Shopping is pretty simple to deal with and everything depends pretty much solely on bidding strategies and daily budgets, the other 2 options are much more complex and if not carried out properly, they can lead to significant financial losses.
This is why we will to explain the basics for each approach, as it is of a vital importance to first identify the winning strategies, and then to scale up your operations in a way that will provide productive and profitable traffic.
As we already mentioned, managing Google Shopping campaigns is pretty simple. The key is to find the bidding strategy that will generate more profit than the investment and then roll with it, upscaling the investment and additionally optimising the entire process by constantly adding negative KWS and adjusting the bidding strategy. In this way it is hard to fail in making a successful campaign once you find a winning formula. Of course, it is necessary to keep an eye on the sales seasons and global trends regarding the trade, and target scaling up during predicted peak sales.
Search campaigns are more complex and harder to optimise. There are steps that need to be taken in order to prepare the campaign, but it is sometimes necessary to constantly optimise the entire process in order to obtain sustainable results.
It is not enough to just conduct a KW research with all the relevant KWS to the industry, and paying attention to the things such as volume metrics and competition. These are the values that can actually change quite rapidly, and are very susceptible to seasonal fluctuation. It is necessary to constantly optimise the process.
The optimisation is somewhat different than with the Google shopping campaigns. Namely, it is necessary to pay attention to the bidding strategy, but there is even more to it!
Since the targeting in Search campaigns is somewhat different than the Shopping campaigns, different bidding strategies can give somewhat odd results.
For example, it is not advisable to follow the Google recommendations. It will most likely burn out the entire daily budget on just a few clicks, while not producing sales at all.
Sometimes the less is more, and if you start optimising your PPC campaign from the bottom upwards, the results may be quite spectacular. Manual bidding strategies are required in this case, and sometimes you will notice that the lower bids actually produce much better results sales wise.
While the number of impressions and the click through rate usually drop in that case, the actual return for the money invested is better!
Since this type of targeting allows more specific KWS to trigger the clicks, the actual audience acquired in this way is of a far better quality.
Of course, many beginners make a beginners mistake and try either to target broad KWS or the exact match types. In the majority of the cases both approaches are rather inefficient.
The exact match type filters a lot of the potentially good traffic, and the usual outcome is a low number of clicks, at pretty steep prices.
The reverse approach where the advertisers target the market with broad match types, brings even worse results. The campaigns get a huge number of low quality clicks that have little to no potential to convert.
Instead of that, it is best to target using the “phrase match” approach with constant filtering and optimisation. This includes adjusting bids manually whenever a significant drop in conversions is noticed, and with adding the negative KWS from the list of KWS used to reach the website, if they are irrelevant for the type of the business involved.
Scaling up in this case can be brought to the table only once the key parameters have been established, but even then it is required to pay special attention to possible fluctuations and changes and react fast enough in order to prevent huge losses.
The fact is that the retail is less and less dependent on Search campaigns as it is quickly substituted by more visual oriented media such as Google Display or advertising via social media. However, this is mostly the case in fashion and beauty industries, while more specialised products, especially if they come packaged with the service on-site can still pretty steadily rely on this source.
Google Display campaigns pretty much depend on the visual effects of your banners. They need to be made professionally, as only the products that are easily caught by the eye will produce clicks and ultimately sales.
The optimisation in this case mostly revolves around A/B testing. The best way to do this is to develop several different graphic solutions and test them against each other. It will be quickly clear which approach engages potential customers the best, and only when this part is done, you can proceed to upscaling the campaign. Needless to say, the best performing ads still need to be profitable, as any upscaling using the solutions that created losses is likely to do it again, but on a much higher scale.
Once everything has been optimised, you need to pick the right time to upscale your efforts. If your business is dealing with staples that are being sold every day, then the upscaling is not a matter of season. Still, the most advertised niches include items that are not being bought daily. It is necessary to try and match the planned upscaling with the peak seasons sales wise.
There is a single mantra that should be respected whenever upscaling your advertising, no matter which advertising channel you use – you push only the successful campaigns, and you push them only until they start generating significant losses.
The challenge can be represented by a small sample size when you start your campaigns in that way, but it is still better than burning your budget virtually over nothing!
It is hard to take everything relevant into consideration, and it is always best to consult the experts in order to assess your chances and the right steps for the beginning.
We at Studioworx can provide both consultation on these issues or a full managed service in this field. Give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you out.