6 Best Practices for Effective Ecommerce PPC Management

Author's avatar Marketing UPDATED Sep 30, 2022 PUBLISHED Sep 26, 2022 16 minutes read

Table of contents

    Peter Caputa

    To see what Databox can do for you, including how it helps you track and visualize your performance data in real-time, check out our home page. Click here.

    Ecommerce PPC management is the key to making sure you’re getting sales from the investment you make in running PPC campaigns for your store.

    Without it, you’re likely going to waste most of your ad spend — only to end up questioning the effectiveness of running ads for your store’s growth and sales.

    With it, however, you make data-informed decisions that help maximize your ROI. Looking for ways to better manage your PPC campaigns? We’ve got the best insights for you — coming straight from 41 experts in the eCommerce field who are doing PPC.

    Of these people, 63.41% are eCommerce owners or employees. The remaining, 36.59% are either agencies or consultants working with eCommerce businesses.

    Here’s what you’ll learn today:

    Dive in.


    What is PPC Management?

    Pay-per-click or PPC management is the process of strategizing and optimizing a business’s ad spend. Its aim is simple: to improve the performance of your ad campaign and increase the ROI.

    There’s a lot that goes into managing PPC campaigns, though. This includes landing page creation, keyword analysis, and channel targeting among other action items.

    How Online Stores Typically Manage PPC Advertising

    Ecommerce businesses either manage their PPC campaigns in-house or work with an agency to do so.

    In fact, there’s almost a tie between the two options with about half of eCommerce businesses managing PPC in-house while the other half hiring agencies to manage their PPC campaign.

    How Online Stores Typically Manage PPC Advertising

    The remaining respondents shared they’re an agency, so they manage a handful of PPC campaigns for their eCommerce clients.

    This response makes complete sense. Since eCommerce PPC management is no walk in the park, stores that have the right understanding of and the skillset to manage PPC campaigns do so themselves.

    Others, however, rely on agencies. This way, they can make the best use of the money they’re putting into running eCommerce ads.

    Related: 4 Expert Tips for Conducting an Impactful PPC Analysis

    What is the Average Monthly PPC Budget for Ecommerce Businesses?

    Our research shows that over half of eCommerce businesses have a monthly PPC budget of over $5,000.

    Some 20% also set aside monthly budgets of more than $10,000. Only about 10% have a PPC budget that’s under $1,000.

    Average Monthly PPC Budget for Ecommerce Businesses

    Dedicating a significant budget to eCommerce PPC ads, however, stands as the most popular option among eCommerce stores since ads are an effective customer acquisition channel for them.

    If ads don’t convert your target audience into buyers in one go, they succeed at raising awareness about your store in their heads.

    Alternatively, a buyer may see an ad for your product(s) repeatedly and head over to your site directly (without clicking the ad). In such a case too, you win. This also confirms that there are several benefits of eCommerce advertisement, which is why dedicating a sizeable budget to this marketing tactic is always a good idea.

    One caveat though: as important as it is to set aside a budget for PPC campaigns, you need to dedicate resources to its management too. It’s only then that you can make data-backed decisions that help you maximize your profit from the campaign.

    Related: Best PPC Tools to Increase Your Ad Presence in 2022

    Most Popular PPC Channels for Ecommerce

    An important aspect of eCommerce PPC management is identifying the right channels to run your ads on.

    While the exact platform you select for your PPC campaign depends on who your audience is and which platforms they use the most, it turns out Google and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) are the most popular ad channels among eCommerce businesses.

    A significant minority also runs their ads on Google Shopping Ads and YouTube.

    Most Popular PPC Channels for Ecommerce

    Other channels include Amazon, Bing, Pinterest, and TikTok.

    To choose the channels to run your ads on, review your website analytics to see where most of your traffic comes from. If social media is the greatest traffic driver, for example, you’ll want to consider starting with social ads.

    Irrespective of the channel you select, make sure to keep an eye on the results you’re driving with your PPC campaign. If you don’t see good results, chances are you’re targeting the wrong channel.

    Related: 20 Ways to Conduct a Meaningful PPC Audit

    PPC Best Practices for Ecommerce Businesses

    Now for the actionable bit on how you can improve your eCommerce PPC management. Here’s what the experts shared with us:

    1. Optimize all aspects of your ad
    2. Research your keywords thoroughly
    3. Optimize product pages
    4. Make proper bid cap adjustments
    5. Pay attention to ad groups
    6. Retarget visitors who didn’t convert

    1. Optimize all aspects of your ad

    ROI-driving ads don’t just feature a compelling image of your product. Instead, everything about them — from their ad copy to the landing page’s CTA — is optimized for conversion.

    Robert Johnson at Coast Appliances has seen incredible results from eCommerce PPC management by taking this approach. “Creating well-crafted and updated landing pages on our site increases our PPC ad conversion rate from 2.1% in 2021 to 3.5% this year,” according to Johnson.

    So how can you improve your ad performance and ROI? “PPC campaign conversion tracking effectively involves breaking it down into smaller ad groups,” advises Johnson.

    “We use this strategy to target various appliance brands that we offer for text ads to align with the search engine query,” Johnson writes. “Choosing the right appliance-related keywords and writing compelling text ads are crucial to entice online shoppers to click on our appliance store instead of our competitors. We also leverage ad extensions for a remarkable ad.”

    2. Research your keywords thoroughly

    A lot of eCommerce PPC campaign’s success depends on the keywords they’re targeting.

    As Custom Neon’s Clare Jones puts it, “When it comes to managing PPC advertising for eCommerce, effectively selecting relevant keywords — and excluding irrelevant ones ­— is a vital step toward driving clicks and increasing conversions.”

    In fact, our respondents say keyword research is the most effective way to improve your eCommerce PPC results. This is followed by optimizing ad copy and product pages — both of which are covered in this guide.

    most effective way to improve your eCommerce PPC results

    With that out of the way, let’s circle back to PPC keyword research. The foundational step here is setting out time for keyword research for your PPC campaign before running the ads.

    Even if this may seem time-consuming, it’s not an action step that you should compromise with.

    Jones agrees, “In my experience, taking the time to thoroughly research keywords, whilst time-consuming, will give your business the best chance for success by serving as the bedrock for your overarching PPC strategy.”

    To begin with, use the right tools for keyword research. Jones recommends Ahrefs and SEMrush; explaining that these tools can help you determine important keyword research aspects such as keyword volumes across multiple markets and expected cost per click.

    “We frequently review relevant search terms at Custom Neon, with the aforementioned tools allowing us to identify emerging or trending keywords and integrate them into our PPC strategy,” Jones says.

    Another tip related to keyword optimization as part of eCommerce PPC management comes from Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers who recommends targeting transactional or commercial keywords for PPC ads.

    “A lot of marketers are targeting broad keywords or informational ones. This is good for brand awareness but not so much for lead generation or sales,” notes Aufray.

    “By targeting keywords with a purchase intent, you’re sure that people clicking your ads have the intention to buy your products, so they won’t be surprised to land to a product or sales page.”

    3. Optimize your product pages first

    “In order for PPC advertising to be effective, your website needs to be optimized,” advises Manukora’s Michael Bell.

    The solution? “Focus on your product pages.”

    “Your ads are leading potential customers to your product. If your pages aren’t optimized, you run the risk of them bouncing and ignoring your ads in the future,” warns Bell.

    By focusing on “providing clear, relevant information about each of our products, as well as engaging images,” Bell’s team has been able to convert more customers from their ads.

    You can do so too. Begin with reviewing your product images. Make sure all images are high-quality and show the product from every angle. If you can, add product videos on top of images to help buyers make the decision in favor of your product.

    Next, study your product copy from a buyer’s lens. Does it answer all the questions they may have about your product? For example, information on shipping costs, delivery timelines, and product return is essential information buyers look for before ordering online.

    Apart from adding all the important details, make sure your product copy is easy to understand and succinct.

    You’ll also want to look at your call-to-action button — is it easily visible? Is it easy to click? Is the copy simple enough to encourage action? From there, focus on making your checkout process short and friction-free.

    All these steps help you improve your buyer’s experience with you, which not only encourages sales but also breeds loyal customers that place repeat orders and send referrals your way.

    Related: 23 Ways to Improve Your Landing Page Conversion Rates

    4. Make proper bid cap adjustments

    In addition to optimizing your product pages, you need to work on your PPC ad budgeting. Two main areas of focus here: make bid adjustments as necessary and don’t overspend.

    For one, Samuel Edwards from PPC.co observes, “When auditing accounts, I often find that clients either don’t know that they can or don’t know how to make bid adjustments in Paid Search that target Age, Gender, Household Income, Parental Status, Location, Devices, etc.”

    However, “because CPAs can vary based on more than simply keywords, it’s imperative that bid adjustments are not just made to keywords, but these other overlapping elements as well, that are often underutilized,” Edwards recommends.

    Jitesh Keswani of e-intelligence highlights, “To maximize the effectiveness of your ad campaigns, start low and gradually increase your bids as data becomes available. You may also want to lower your CPCs on products that do not generate a lot of sales and raise them on those that are producing the most valuable conversions.”

    Says Keswani, “While this method requires you to use manual bidding, you can also switch to an automatic bidding strategy [aka dynamic targeting campaigns].”

    “If you’re looking for an effective way to manage eCommerce PPC, dynamic targeting campaigns are the way to go,” Keswani shares. “These campaigns use a variety of techniques to ensure that you only pay for traffic in areas where you already have a strong presence.”

    “One example of such a technique is dynamic search ads, which can target potential customers and capture existing demand. The key is to determine which group is most relevant to your business and choose the most appropriate targeting method.”

    “Using dynamic ads can save time for websites by removing the need to map keywords and write ad text for every product,” Keswani continues.

    “These campaigns are more effective because they allow you to bid directly on highly relevant keywords that will drive traffic to your site. These campaigns can be used with static or dynamic search ads to complement the structure of your existing campaign. For example, dynamic ads can be integrated with a product catalog to help you better manage your marketing expenses and maximize your PPC ROI.”

    Related: Cost Cap vs. Bid Cap: Which One Will Supercharge Your Facebook Ad Campaign?

    5. Pay attention to ad groups

    “What we’ve found to be the most effective way to manage an eCommerce PPC campaign, specific to Google Shopping, would be to determine the campaign structure and product segmentation,” points out Christopher Marrano of Blue Water Marketing.

    “In order to be effective, eCommerce businesses must edit their subdivisions and divide their products into specific ad groups and campaigns,” Marrano suggests.

    “Segmenting your products with specific ad groups allows you to have the necessary control for bidding and success. We like to use keyword-targeted campaigns with negative keywords and campaign priority specific to various search terms with a manual cost-per-click bidding strategy initially across varying ad groups. By doing so, you can funnel traffic to maximize your budget and effectiveness.”

    Another tip related to your products in eCommerce PPC management comes from Filip Silobod of Millennium Machinery Ireland.

    “To be effective in eCommerce PPC you need to know which products convert the most,” Silobod notes. “Check the product conversion rates in Google Analytics. If you rank well organically and convert, check those landing pages and make PPC campaigns for the same products with the same landing pages. They obviously work. Create search ads because you have the most control over them. Manage the keywords with exact and phrase match.”

    6. Retarget visitors who didn’t convert

    This one’s a hat tip to Payam Karbalai of Trinity Packaging Supply who notes that remarketing helps you convert visitors who clicked through your ad, and arrived at your store but didn’t purchase right away.

    “Most first-time visitors are usually browsing websites for the best bargains and products they might be interested in and usually depart without taking any action,” Karbalai notes. “That means the one best way of effectively managing your PPC campaign for eCommerce is dynamic remarketing.”

    “The big thing is to remain in front of the searchers that are interested in your product and remind them of the brand. Also, one of the biggest benefits is the perfect timing these types of ads can have,” continues Karbalai.

    “Again, you are targeting people who have visited your website which means the interest is active. At the same time, it can also increase engagement and attract your competitor’s customers. This is the one best way to take advantage of an effective PPC campaign.”

    Related: Maximize Paid Advertising with These 6 Ecommerce Facebook Remarketing Strategies

    University Frames Inc.’s Tom Biehn also commends remarketing. “Funnel-based retargeting should be used in any eCommerce PPC management task. We can layer separate campaigns or ad groups with a different set of non-converting audiences (throughout the purchase journey) and then show customized ad messaging.”

    To explain this further, Biehn shares an example. “When someone visits the product pages of our online store and exits it without making any purchase, then we chase them across the web (through all the PPC channels like Google, Facebook, or Instagram), showing the exact product they searched for. This strategy helps in recall uplift of our brand and increasing the ratio of conversions.”


    Manage All Your PPC Campaigns in One Place with Databox

    Effective eCommerce management boils down to extensive keyword research, retargeting site visitors that don’t convert right away, and dynamically managing your ad budget.

    All of this also includes making sure everything from your ad copy to landing pages and product images are optimized so they can encourage conversion.

    On the whole, aim to offer the best experience to your customers — from the moment they see your ads to the point where they checkout.

    But to get here, you need to first get your house in order. To this end, it’s essential you monitor your eCommerce ad metrics effectively so you can see what needs improvement.

    So how can you effectively monitor your eCommerce PPC campaign’s performance? The answer is simple: use a Databox e-commerce dashboard.

    By creating and monitoring your Databox dashboard regularly, you can see all the important campaign metrics such as conversion rate, revenue by channel, revenue by product name, and average order value in one place.

    Not only does this make it easy to calculate your ad spend, but it also helps you understand which channels to target and which metrics to improve.

    The best part? Making a dashboard with Databox is a piece of cake.

    All you’ve to do is to connect your metrics’ sources, such as Google Adwords and GA the tool will then create a visually engaging dashboard for you. From there, customize the dashboard according to your preference — change its color, change the data visualizations, tweak the block size, decide which metrics to see on the dashboard, and more.

    And if you still have trouble setting up your dashboard, simply shout to our support team and they’ll help set up your first dashboard with Databox for free.

    So who’s ready to use a Databox dashboard to improve their eCommerce PPC management? Sign up for free today and grow your sales.

    Author's avatar
    Article by
    Masooma Memon

    Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.

    More from this author

    Get practical strategies that drive consistent growth

    Read some