PPC Crash Course for E-Commerce Part 2

So last week, we went over an introduction and the basics of what you want to look for when doing advertising for your e-commerce business. This week, we’ll be going over structuring and budgeting your PPC campaigns. So, let’s dive in!

Ad Group Structuring

Good account structure helps you make changes to your ads quickly, and allows you more granularity when targeting. So, when just starting off with PPC, the best ad structure strategy to use is to copy your site structure, by product. Taking our example from last week, let’s say you’re selling knitting needles. So you have a campaign for steel knitting needles, bamboo knitting needles, ceramic knitting needles, so on and so forth. By structuring it like this, it’ll help you create keyword lists that directly relate to the corresponding ad along with the ads leading to that specific product. This works really well because it aligns ad groups and landing pages for those ads like so:

Google AdWord campaign structure

Courtesy of Google AdWord Answers

 

If you’re feeling frisky, and want to take a look at a more advanced ad structure or feel that the by product structure isn’t for your business, you should check out this article by Sam Owen at Search Engine Land. He talks about structuring ads based on user intent, rather than by product. Definitely worth a read.

Budgeting

Now, this is where things get tricky. Budgeting is always a moving target. You may have a set budget for these ads to begin with, but deciding how you’re going to divide it amongst your campaigns is where things start getting a little murky. There are three things that you need to look for when you first start planning your budgeting for ads. First, which campaigns have products with high search volume? Second, what is their average cost-per-click (which can be found in the AdWords tool we went over in part 1)? Lastly, which product will make you the most money?

What you end up with is a secret sauce mix of giving a higher budget for ads that have a high search volume, where it will make you the most money, and those that have a higher CPC that in turn requires more budget money. However, you don’t want to give too much of your budget to a campaign that’s going to have a high cost-per-click that doesn’t make you as high of a revenue as other products, this will cost your ROI and be a waste of your limited budget.

A good way to get around this when you’re starting out is to just give all of your campaigns equal budgets for the base amount you (or the client) are willing to spend each day, and tweak from there. If you start seeing a campaign performing at a good ROI, start giving it a higher budget. Conversely, if you see another campaign is not hitting its necessary ROI, you can redistribute the money in that campaign accordingly.

This is what makes PPC great for e-commerce. If one of your products is one of your top money-makers than feeding its ad group a higher budget will help you produce even higher sales as long as you have the inventory for it. If you’re a mom and pop shop, that is hand-making everything, you may want to limit yourself to a number of sales per day. But, if you drop ship or are a distributing from a large warehouse, keep feeding those budgets as long as you continue to get a good ROI from them.

Well, that’s it for this week. Next week we’ll go over the last details of using PPC for e-commerce. See you then!

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PPC Crash Course for e-commerce Part 1

So you’re selling a product and you’ve come up with a fantastic e-commerce site. But, you seemed to have reached the ceiling when it comes to growth in your different marketing channels. You’ve seen the ads on Google’s search results and have seen the ads when researching different products, and it made you curious. Congratulations! You’ve just discovered PPC, which is going to be our focus topic for this week. So follow along, we’ll get you started down the road of making sure you know what platforms there are to choose from, what analytics you should pay attention to, and how to get started becoming a PPC monster!

Basics of PPC

Before we dive in, let’s take a few minutes and go over, exactly, what PPC is. PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is a form of online advertising in which businesses accrue costs when users click their ads (i.e. Google Ads on the top and right-hand side of search results). These businesses bid on different keywords and audience types, which a search engine matches to different search queries and pre-defined lists.

Knitting PPC example`

 

 

 

 

 

PPC can be used for all sorts of campaign goals, including increasing sales, generating leads, and promoting brand awareness. PPC ads are all about relevance and gives businesses the ability to show a targeted ad at the exact moment someone is searching for a product that they sell. For example, let’s say someone is looking for knitting needles, and you happen to sell stainless steel, high quality knitting needles. The prospective customer searches for knitting needles, and low and behold, your product shows up in an ad on the search engine displaying your knitting needles for sale.

Advertising Platforms

Alright so now that we went over what PPC is, we need to discuss where you can advertise your products outside of Google’s AdWords. Because, if you’re just using Google you’re going to have a bad time. There are a lot, and I mean, a lot of options out there for advertising. Here’s a couple of the top ones that are great for e-commerce:

Nextag.com

Nextag claims to be the #1 comparison site in traffic, revenue, and GMV (gross merchandise value). They offer free tools such as a ROI tracking system, promotional platform for voucher codes, buyer reviews, and a trusted sellers program. Additionally, they offer no listing fees or set-up costs, and you only pay, when they “refer you to a qualified lead.”

Amazon.com

Yes, you can serve product ads on Amazon! You can upload your products manually, or send them a list via FTP. They’ll populate the ads with the information you send them. You can set and track your budget and ad space provides click through to your e-commerce store. The only fee you pay is a CPC (cost-per-click) fee. They also provide different formats, such as detail page, search & browse, buy box, and tower ads, (to find out more of these different ad formats click here). Also, when you sign up, you get $75 in free clicks to start, talk about a nice incentive.

Tracking

One of the most important things when it comes to setting up your PPC campaign is making sure that you’re implementing the proper tracking codes so that you can track goals and optimize your accounts to get the most ROI. The best place to set up your tracking and goals is with Google Analytics, since it will allow you to track your AdWords account along with the other advertising platforms you choose to use.

Google has a great guide in how to set this up and how you can implement the code on your site. Word of warning though this part is where it gets extremely technical, so if you’re programming illiterate, either find a how-to guide or hire a freelancer to set this up for you. Trust me, you want to get this right the first time.

While setting up tracking might be a hassle for you, time-wise or financially, I advise that you don’t even bother with a PPC campaign for your e-commerce site if you don’t have the proper tracking. Otherwise, you won’t know where the leads are coming from, and you won’t know what is working and what isn’t.

Keyword Research

Next, you’re going to want to start researching keywords for your campaigns. My advice is that you start with your own site, specifically, your products. Going through all your products is the easiest way to find the keywords you want to target, because it’s simply finding the keywords that people would use to find your products through the search results. Make sure you keep all these keywords grouped by product, it will help later when you’re going back to research specific products in that product category.

To make the process quicker, I recommend using the Google Keyword Tool. Let’s take the knitting needles example I used earlier, when I type it into the keyword tool, this is what I get:

Knitting needles keyword planner PPC example

Keyword listings on Google Keyword Planner

 

 

 

 

Google Keyword Planner PPC example

Ad Group Listings on Google Keyword Planner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where the tool gets really robust, this goes into iterations and close relations to the keywords you chose, and the ad groups break down individual keywords associated with that ad group. Additionally, you can have it expand the list by having the program find more keywords like the ad group you clicked on.

Each one of these categories can be expanded to show a whole new slew of keywords. I recommend using this tool to get the bulk of keywords you’re looking for with minimal effort. Additionally, once you’re done researching you can export the list to an excel spreadsheet or you can curate the list right in the tool!

Well, that’s it for this week, next week we’ll go into detail about structuring your ads and setting up budgets for your ads. See you next week for part 2!

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SEO Rundown 10/20

Hey All,

Theo from Mountain Media here again for another SEO Rundown. I know that it has been a bit since my last post but it has been very here at Mountain Media and as such I’ve had little time for making this video. However, I feel that with the rollout of Penguin 3.0, it was high time I sent out this video.

Penguin 3.0 has rolled out…now what?

So, Penguin 3.0 was confirmed to have been rolled out Friday evening, this was first reported by SE Roundtable. While no official percentage has been released yet on how many sites have been affected, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on your clients’ websites over this week to see if they’ve been affected by Penguin. If you’ve been following our videos you know that I was predicting a rollout around the holiday season, specifically November. Thankfully, I was very wide on my mark and the rollout now gives people some time to recoup some losses if they were bitten by the Google Boogeybird. Whether this is through paid or organic traffic growth, you can regain some of the ground lost from this rollout.

Direct or Indirect

One of the things that has been stated about this latest iteration of Penguin is that you can be affected both directly and indirectly. With this iteration of Penguin, Google wanted to take a deeper look at link value and quality. So if you’re indirectly affected by Penguin, it might be due to links in your website’s link profile being re-evaluated as weaker than they were before, or considered “false votes.” My advice is to re-double your link building through content marketing and outreach. By creating deep, quality content on your website and reaching out to other webmasters, writers, and bloggers in your niche, you can help rebuild your link profile organically and maybe regain some of your lost traffic due to Penguin. If you’ve had a direct hit from Penguin, you’ll be able to see it via a message from Google in your WMT. I would still recommend following the advice above, unfortunately though, you won’t see any removal of the penalty until the next rollout of Penguin. Which according to Google, should be more frequent now. But until then, to quote Search Engine Land, the clock is running.

Well that’s it for this week’s issue of SEO Rundown. I promise that this will be the last episode about Penguin for a while, unless there is some major breaking story that requires attention about Penguin. As always, if you like what you see, subscribe to our YouTube channel, Follow us on Twitter, G+, or Facebook, or check us out at MountainMedia.com!

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SEO Rundown Sept. 23

Theo from Mountain Media here again for another episode of SEO Rundown. Today’s topics; Yelp or how I stopped worrying and learned to love other review aggregators, Google stops following its own webmaster practices briefly, and an update on P3.0.

How I learned to stop worrying and love other Review Aggregators

First off, Yelp, the recent Supreme Court ruling that Yelp has the right to make you pay for your positive reviews is a clear signal that you should be considering other review aggregators than the pay-for-play bully in the local review yard. While Yelp is the catch-all for reviews there are many other review websites out there that are gaining traction and show that Yelp isn’t the only major player when it comes to rep management and local SEO. If you are any sort of restaurant or hotel there is TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, Google Places, Google+,Facebook, Twitter, Bing Local, and local town and city websites who love, love, love to showcase their local businesses. Which will give you a nice juicy backlink for SERPs local and organic.

I know, at this point you’re saying, “But Theo, I’m not a restaurant or a hotel, I have to use Yelp or else I won’t have any sort of human reviews.” To that I say, use Angie’s List in addition to the search engine products and social media sites I just listed, Angie’s List is a great spot to be on because all of the users are paid subscribers so you have a gated review community. While Yelp is getting front page SERPs, Angie’s List is close behind them and if there is a community shift away from Yelp, they will be forced to change their practices or go out of business. Also, Angie’s List is a great way to gain high-end leads for your business as they put you front and center within their search. Plus, it’s free for businesses. If you don’t want to go the Angie’s List route; Facebook is great for reviews and while you will have to deal with some spammy reviews, again, no anonymous reviews.

Google Black Hat for a Day, Update on Penguin 3.0

Next, while this isn’t really trending I did find it comedic and somewhat ironic, Google decided to go black hat for a day and started indexing its own search results. While it was a mistake and was quickly fixed it is funny that even the Great G sometimes makes mistakes in its robots.txt file. Speaking of the Big G, Google has released an update that Penguin 3.0 will most likely be run in 2014. What that means to me, is that they might be waiting until right before the holiday season to run it. Which means it could be a present in some stockings and coal in others, make sure it’s a present for you and your clients and run those link audits folks. I know I spoke about this last time, but this is the SEO boogeybird we are talking about. Make sure your backlinks are squeaky clean folks, if you have even a shadow of a doubt then Run. Those. Audits. If you are a business owner and need some help, give us a call over at Mountain Media, we are here to help you.

Well that’s it for this week folks, as last time, if you liked what you saw, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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