Having a PPC strategy is essential to generate traffic to your website and as a result, boost your sales. To ensure your PPC strategy is effective, you need to have certain practices in place, so here’s our top 10 tips on making it happen!

1. Have you set up your merchant centre account?

Correctly setting up a merchant centre account is the first step to building a successful PPC strategy. A well setup merchant centre account can be used for Google, Bing and Facebook. Review the guidelines provided by Google to make sure you are using the best practices: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/6363310?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=3163841

There isn’t just one correct way of structuring your PPC account. However, a good way of doing it is to have the structure of the account reflect the structure of the website. This way you can keep a close eye on the different areas of your website and easily manage the categories.

2. Do you have KPI’s in place?

This is a no brainer. If you have no KPIs in place you cannot measure the success (or failure) of an account – or anything for that matter! Knowing where your accounts perform best, and where they’re struggling will allow you to adjust your strategy and achieve better results.

Whilst CPA is a metric used by many in the world of PPC, it is important to have an ROI or cost of sale target in retail to guarantee profitability.

To be able to understand the KPI tracking is very important. Not just Adwords, Analytics, Bing or Facebook tracking but also Call tracking as well.

3. Have you prepared a budget?

You should really look at forecasting based on market trends and you historical data. A good agency will be able to do this for you with the historical data they have and some industry data they have from other clients they will have managed within your sector. This will help you understand the ROI you can expect with your budgets.

Always agree on a budget! A good agency will discuss budgets and realistic, achievable results, even if you don’t go to them with a set budget in mind.

4. Ensure you’ve broken out all of your campaigns

Make sure your account is broken down by campaign type. Search, shopping, display and video campaigns all behave a differently, and therefore it is a good idea to track their performance separately so we can have a separate strategy.

Make sure you break out the shopping campaigns and use prioritisations to help send traffic down the correct channel. There are many different ways of doing this. I personally prefer to break out not just by brand but also by price range.

5. Remember to use merchant promotions and promotion extensions

Promotion extensions are still in beta but merchant promotions have been around for quite a while. They help you stand out from the crowd, especially when the price offering might be similar.

Promotion extensions for search ads are currently in beta but if you have a good PPC agency they should be able to get you on to the beta for this.

6. Plan for seasonality

Each account won’t work all the time. It is important to look at trends data to ensure you are planning in advance.

You can get insights data here: https://trends.google.co.uk/trends/ . However, if your account has been live for a while, your account data is invaluable. Bear in mind, if you have a wide range of products the seasonality of different products will be different as well.

7. Take advantage of remarketing and RLSA

A lot of visitors will be coming to your website and not converting the first time so it will be vital to ensure you retarget these people on the display network whilst also ensuring if they search for a relevant term again you appear in a strong position. By increasing (or decreasing) the bid, you can make sure you reach the right audience.  For example, if someone searches for strollers and comes to the website and then leaves, but later does a search for a chrome luxury stroller, they are more likely to convert so you may increase the bid for these people by 10% (You would adjust the bid for RLSA based on performance).

8. Do not forget about Bing

We find Bing usually performs better than Google in terms of conversion rates for retail although the search volume is lower. Many people forget about Bing. We have written blogs about this in the past here: http://circusppc.com/why-your-ppc-strategy-should-include-bing-ads/

9. Ensure you are always on top of your ad copy

Ad copy is one of the keys to the success of retail search. Ensuring you have a good blend of driving a strong Quality Score, making sure your special offers and USPs are included, and the copy reads well is crucial. We have written many blogs on the best ways to write ads, but the best way to achieve great results is by testing various options and then choosing the one which converts best whilst continuing to test more.

10. Make sure you look at attribution data

A lot of people forget (and ignore) that some keywords drive a lot of the initial traffic at the beginning of the funnel, which leads to sales. By pausing these keywords, you will see an overall decline in the performance. We have gone into a lot more detail here: http://circusppc.com/ppc-attribution-attributing-your-ppc-accurately/

For more information on retail strategies or to help with your strategy please do get in touch.

Written by Ahmed Chopdat PPC Director at Circus PPC Agency

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