How to advertise your online store with Google AdWords
3 years ago
Undoubtedly, there are a lot of different methods of acquiring customers on the Web. However, sponsored links are on the lead on this subject. Therefore, Google AdWords is a basic advertising tool used by most online store owners.
In theory, the preparation of AdWords campaign is not very difficult. Google strives to achieve a maximum simplification of its tool in order to allow everyone, even beginner advertisers, to implement and carry out the campaign without any difficulties. The problem arises, however, when it turns out that not only are taken measures not bringing expected results but also invested money is not returning. You may be wondering what is the source of this problem? In many cases, it’s a poorly prepared strategy.
How to design a sponsored links strategy for an online store to achieve your sales goals? Here are some tips:

Before you start- set the goal of your campaign

Having a clear goal of your campaign is the basis for starting to work in AdWords and choosing the right bidding strategy. A campaign can be focused on:
  • brand awareness (with CPM bidding)
  • sales (with CPC or CPA bidding)
Determining the objective of your campaign will allow you to choose the best bid strategy for you.

A campaign focused on brand awareness- CPM bidding

If you want to focus on the overall image of your business, the CPM (cost per mille) bid is the best method for you. It’s a commonly used measurement in online advertising which refers to the cost incurred for every thousand impressions (times your ads are shown). CPM bidding allows advertisers to maximize the number of impressions an ad (text or image) generates in Google Display Network. In this case, you set a maximum CPM bid as the highest amount you’re willing to pay for 1000 views of your ad.

A campaign focused on increasing sales- CPC bidding

CPC is undoubtedly the most popular bidding method in the AdWords. CPC means cost per click, in which advertisers pay the publisher for every single click on their ad. For CPC bidding campaigns, you can set a cost-per-click bid- or simply “max. CPC” – that’s the highest amount that you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad (unless you’re setting bid adjustment, or using Enhanced CPC). Moreover, when someone clicks your ad, it won’t cost you more than the maximum CPC bid amount you set so it’s possible to effectively plan your budget. However, if you don’t know what CPC bid amount will be suitable for your keywords, you can choose automatic bidding, in which Google sets bids to try to get the most clicks within your budget.

A campaign focused on increasing sales- CPA bidding

CPA bidding is typically recommended for online shop owners. Advertisers usually convert from CPC to CPA, the transition usually happens when the campaign is already sufficiently optimized, which means:
  • they’re achieving a relatively constant level of advertising revenue
  • they’re achieving a constant level of traffic caused by paid clicks
  • there’s no need to introduce any major strategic changes in their campaign
CPA, means cost-per-acquisition, in which you set the maximum amount you're willing to pay for a conversion (e.g. sales). Thus, CPA focuses on maximizing conversions, not clicks. CPA bidding is a part of Conversion Optimizer, where the AdWords system automatically sets CPC bids in order to obtain the highest number of conversions at the cost of acquisition (CPA), which had been previously set.

In order to use the CPA bidding, you need to set up conversion tracking, and get at least 15 conversions in 30 days, and then turn on the Conversion Optimizer for your campaign.

What to sell, for who and for how much money?

A key step in the process of developing your marketing strategy is to determine what kind of goods you’re going to advertise with AdWords. You need to think carefully about whether you want to advertise the entire range of your store, or you prefer to focus on the selected products that will provide you the best return on investment. In this case, it’s important to analyze what your customers are most frequently looking for in the Google Network and what is the ratio of searches to your competitors who are also working with AdWords. In this case, Google offers two, available for free tools: Display Planner and Keyword Planner.
It’s also important to analyze the preferences and character of your target group in terms of age, gender, interests, place of residence etc. As a result, you will see how to create the headers and advertising messages, how to target them and how to differentiate your offer to meet their customers’ needs (eg. free delivery, the possibility to return the goods, safe delivery, etc.).
It’s also worthwhile to estimate daily and monthly budget spent on advertising. It will certainly help you to achieve the greatest return on investment.

Choosing the campaign type that is right for you

The type of campaign depends on which network you want to target your advertising. You can choose from following campaign types targeting these networks:
  • Search Network
  • Search Network with Display Networką
  • Display Network
What are the characteristics of each network?

Search Network

If you create a Search Network campaign, which is the most frequently applied by advertisers, your ads will appear beside, above, or below search results on Google Search. For this campaign, you can use one of two bid strategies: CPC or CPA (CPM is unavailable).

This campaign type is chosen by advertisers who want to connect with customers who are looking for products using the search engine. In this case, ads are keyword-targeted text ads showing on Google Search Results.

A shopping campaign in the Search Network

It’s a method designed exclusively for online stores that have already a Google Merchant Center account and have prepared the correct XML file with their product range. Ads are in the form of a header and a small image that shows the product. They appear in the organic search results. It’s worth considering the possibility of using this form of advertising as it usually catches the eye of a user better than other forms.

Search Network with Display Select

Search Network with Display Select is a combination of both networks, but in practice more clicks are achieved with the Search Network. This type of campaign, in terms of budgets, keywords and ads, and bids, is managed exactly in the same way as Search Network campaign. The difference is that in Search Network with Display Select campaign, ads can with search results on the Search Network, websites that show relevant ads and on the Display Network.

Display Network

Ads can be displayed throughout Google’s Display Network, which is made up of more than a million different websites, videos and apps. There are several methods you can use to get your ads on websites:
  • contextual targeting
  • interest targeting
  • managed placements
In the contextual targeting, ads are matched to relevant sites in the Display Network using campaign’s keywords or topics. This form is used most often by advertisers who want their ads to be shown on pages which contents are related to their products or services. Google’ s system analyzes those sites on the basis of selected keywords. In the contextual targeting, an ad can be also displayed in the format of an image. Moreover, advertisers can use all three discussed above bid strategies, however, in this case, CPC is the most frequently used.

Campaigns based on interests are addressed to users who Google’s system has assigned specific interests based on their search history. For example, the owner of a computer shop targets his new laptops ads to users who are searching for information about computer hardware. In practice, it’s worthwhile to take a cautious approach to this type of targeting because users’ interests identified by Google do not always turn out to be truthful.

Managed placement allows advertisers to choose the target website. For example, a pet shop owner can display their ads on web pages (eg. online forums) regarding animal husbandry. A placement has to be a part of the Display Network for your AdWords ads to show there.

Remarketing campaign

In the remarketing campaign, ads are shown to people who have already visited your online store. It's a great way to reconnect with people who left your website without buying anything. The campaign can be started after the previous implementation of code that adds your website visitors to remarketing list. In fact, those lists are the basis for targeting your ads. Showing your ads to specific groups is possible on Display Network.

Another type of remarketing campaign is RLSA, which means remarketing lists for search ads. In this case, however, the ads are not displayed on the Display Network but on Search Network.

Advertising on YouTube

Last but not least form of advertising for online store is a video ad on YouTube. Ads are available in two formats:

  • In-Stream - displayed before video content, after 5 seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad. In practice, they work well for remarketing campaigns and interests targeting.
  • In-displays - displayed on the YouTube Network. They are effective when users search for specific words in a search engine.

Choosing the right type of advertising and developing solid strategy are the basics for success in Google Networks. If you want to successfully advertise your online store through AdWords, please contact us. We'll help you to prepare and carry out a campaign which will attract customers to your online store.
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