How to Best Set Up Google Adwords for Your E-Commerce Start-Up

Google Adwords is a powerful tool for any e-commerce start-up looking to make their presence known online. E-commerce businesses are reliant on online sales for their survival, and therefore need to acquire relevant traffic. In other words, ensuring that potential customers can easily locate and access your customer-friendly website is the #1 priority. Gogoprint, a Southeast Asian online printing start-up, is sharing some insights on how to best set up your business’ Adwords account. Since most internet users rely on Google searches to find suppliers, the cornerstone of your Adwords strategy should be to occupy the top ad positions, increasing your click-through rate and therefore traffic.

Occupying the highly disputed first position requires two main things. First of all, your company needs a well thought-out Adwords account structure and strategy, all the way from the keywords that you target to the campaigns, ad groups, and ad text that you build. Secondly, it is important that your website offers exactly what users want when they are searching for the keywords that you target. In the end of the day, you want to make sure your site receives increasing traffic and therefore increasing sales.

How to select the keywords to target?

First of all, and quite obviously, Google Adwords is by no means a free platform. You pay for every click or impression, and therefore you will be constrained by budget, forcing you to optimize your campaigns in order to make your account financially sustainable. If left unmanaged, Adwords campaigns can get very expensive and will likely not be successful.

Setting up a strong account starts with the right keywords to target. The first step to identify those is to understand how people search for the product/service that you have to offer. Of course, this will include the name of the actual product that you offer, but you need to research how potential visitors combine the product name with other search terms to find what they want. For example, you might be offering pest control services in your hometown. Depending on your Adwords budget, broad keywords such as “pest control” might be among the ones you target, but search terms like “cockroaches in my house” or “ants in my home” need to be part of your keyword list. In a nutshell, you cannot think narrowly and need to put yourself in the shoes of somebody that is actually looking for your product online. How would they search for it?

In this regards, Adwords’ native Keyword Planner tool is a great way to conduct directly actionable keyword research. Its main functions are to: (i) get keywords’ estimated search volume and estimated bids; (ii) search for new keywords that Google believes are related to a website or phrase; and (iii) multiply keyword lists to create new keywords. It is definitely worth strolling around this tool, as it might help you set up and optimize your campaigns.

How to organize campaigns and adgroups

Once you have established a solid list of keywords that you need to target to acquire qualified traffic for your website, you need to start thinking about how to best organize campaigns and ad groups. Here, you have to bear in mind that as your account grows (in terms of keywords, ads, and campaigns/adgroups), its level of complexity will grow too. That is why it is crucial to work out a structure from the outset that will reduce the level of complexity, increase the ease of management, and therefore provide more flexibility, efficiency, and scalability. The exact structure that is best for your company will depend on the very nature of your business and the structure of products/services that you offer.

For example, one common way to do this is to create a campaign per product or service that you offer. Within each campaign, create one adgroup per search intent (which is related to searchers’ purchasing intent). It is important to keep adgroups narrowly targeted around a couple of keywords, to keep it easy to manage, and see what works or not.

How to create adtext

To create successful ads, it is crucial that your adtext is in line with the search intents (or other categorizations) that you used to create your campaigns’ different adgroups. The adtext that you use needs to reliably tell people “Here is where you will be able to get exactly what you are looking for”.

As a result, adtext have a direct impact on your ads’ quality score (which helps Google determine who wins bids for impressions), and on their click through rate. Basically what this means is that if you have bad ads, they won’t get shown, nobody will click them, and/or everybody will bounce. For this reason, it is crucial to put thought into your adtext, follow best practices, and most importantly, test different versions at the same time. It is crucial that you understand what works best in your market, for your specific products/services.

How to improve your Quality Score?

As mentioned, Quality Score is a little known but crucial metric that influences the performance of your Adwords account. The higher the quality score, the better your ads can perform. What a higher quality score signals, is that your ads for certain keywords lead to a landing page on which visitors can find exactly what they are looking for. So while working on your adwords account and improving your ad text is important, here are two additional factors to take into account:

- Regularly go through the list of search terms that triggered your ads, and isolate the bad search terms, then add them as negative keywords. The list of negative keywords basically tells Google to not show your ads for those specific keywords. This is a good way to keep bad traffic out and reduce cost.

- Make sure that your landing pages are clear, work fine, and contain what people are looking for

At the end of the day, as with most things in life, practice makes perfect. A trial-and-error phase is therefore simply part of the process. A good start is to list as many potential keywords as possible and then test which perform best. Once you have narrowed the scope, it is good to focus on the strongest keywords with the highest potential for benefitting your business.

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