PPC Mistakes: Keep Customers From Buying Your Products in 5 Easy Steps

Kitchen Sink Ad GroupsYou’ve decided to launch your own e-retail store. You’ve worked hard implementing an engaging site, slick shopping cart and amazing Zappos style customer service. Now you’re ready to start promoting your products with a shiny new paid search campaign. Here’s how to waste all that hard work in five easy steps.

1) Create a “Kitchen Sink” Ad Group

I get it. It’s a pain in the neck to create a bunch of small, highly targeted ad groups with 10-20 product specific keywords and handful of ads that directly promote those products. It would be so much easier to generate hundreds or thousands of keywords that describe all of your products, and generic ads to make it all easy to manage from a single, massive ad group.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. In order to get the most from your PPC campaign, you have to take the time to create highly targeted ad groups. This will not only let you specifically target the shoppers looking for those products, it’ll also let you test your keywords and ads to identify which ones are working best.

2) Use Broad Match Keywords

It’s not enough that you have to create dozens or hundreds of highly targeted ad groups for your products, now you have to use broad and exact phrase match keywords to keep the search engines from serving up your ads when people are searching for a related term, but exactly not the product you sell. If you don’t know the difference between broad match, phrase match and exact match keywords, you can read about them in a great blog post by Elaine Ellis.

3) Use Irrelevant Keywords to Drive Traffic to Your Site

When you’re just launching a new web site and itching to get visitors, it can be tempting to run keywords that sort of relate to your products but aren’t really that relevant. Resist the temptation! In paid search, it isn’t about visitors to your site, it’s about conversions. Save the traffic campaigns for social media or low cost CPM campaigns. You’re paying for every click in a PPC campaign, so make sure you don’t drive your cost per conversion through the roof with irrelevant clicks. Do your keyword research properly. There’s enough keyword research tools out there that there are no excuses.

4) Keep your promotions and free shipping a secret

If you offer free shipping or are running a product promotion, don’t wait for shoppers to get to your site to tell them about it. These are great items to write into your PPC ads to differentiate yourself from your competition. But don’t forget about your time bound promotions! Set a calendar reminder for yourself to pause ads that have promotions with an expiration date.

5) Send shoppers to your home page

Ok, you’ve gone to the hard work to create small, highly relevant ad groups with exact and phrase match keywords. You’ve written compelling ads with exciting promotions to steer shoppers to your site and away from your competition. Don’t fumble the ball on the one-yard line by sending those shoppers to your home page! One of the benefit s of small, targeted ad groups is that you can send shoppers to the exact product they were searching for that caused them to click on your ads. Don’t lose the opportunity to convert visitors that are looking for something very specific. Instead, drive them to specific landing pages that will help them buy quickly.

Have other ideas about how you can keep customers from buying your products? Share them with is in the comments section below.

3 responses to “PPC Mistakes: Keep Customers From Buying Your Products in 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Anonymous

    Good stuff.  Also, broad match has it’s place, but using negatives is key… usually a handful of low hanging fruit (obvious) negatives can really help minimize your exposure to searches that are somewhat relevant but most likely are not actually interested in what you’re selling. Playing with keyword generation tools will often quickly show  themes of common user queries that are tangentially related, but not actually what your site specifically sells… add these as negatives before you put your campaign live.   If your campaign is already up and running, looking through your broad match reporting to see which user queries returned your keyword listing is a good best practice to 1) identify potential negatives to add, and 2) identify new relevant keywords to add as exact match.

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