March 11, 2013
In part 2, we’ll cover account structure & budgeting.
You’ve come up with the perfect eCommerce site. Maybe you got in on a great wholesale deal for miniature furniture for dollhouses. Maybe you spin your own yarn out of your angora bunny’s hair and it’s selling like proverbial hot cakes. But, you seem to have reached your limit for growth through the marketing channels (or lack thereof) you’re already using. Someone or something told you about PPC, and you were interested enough to look into it. Well, this handbook is just for you. I made it for yooooou.
I told you we’d get to it!
The best structure strategy for beginners is one that mimics your site, which should be by product. So, have a campaign for your rabbit yarn, one for your alpaca yarn, and one for your yarn accessories. Hopefully this matches your site navigation. Within each campaign, each ad group should be the most specific groupings possible for each product. This will depend on your product, of course, but a good one for our example website could be by color of yarn. You could make your ad group themes by what makes people prefer one over the other, like color, but the main point is to think of what qualifying feature people will search for. If people are not particular about color, or your website allows a drop down menu for color, then that’s not a good choice. Perhaps you more often see people searching (based on your research in Google Insights for Search or your organic keyword referrals) based on thickness of the yarn, or weight, as I believe it’s called. Then developing ad groups by weight would be more appropriate. For you, this could be a specific product type by season, by brand, by functionality—whatever people search for based on and/or your website separates them by.
There are a lot of theories out there about account structure. For instance, I have a lot of accounts that separate match types into their own campaigns. Some accounts I’ve seen are segmented by geographic locations. This is all stuff that is a preference of the account manager or something implemented to make the most of something data analyzation discovered, like California orders have a 75% higher ROI than every other state. While none of these strategies are bad, they are not where you want to start. Start with a very basic structure that’s easy for you to manage and understand that has the most basic product segmentation. You’ll get to the more advanced stuff eventually, and we have pleeenty of articles to help you get there. But you have to walk before you can crawl, my friend.
Budgeting is always very tricky to plan. You may have a set amount you can invest to begin with, but deciding how to divide it amongst your campaigns is tricky business. You need to analyze which campaigns have products that will have the highest search volume, the average estimated cost-per-clicks (which you can find in the keyword tool from earlier), and which product will make you the most money.
The resulting budgeting plan is a magic sauce mix of giving more budgets where there will be a lot of search volume, where you’ll make more money, and where CPCs will require more budgets. But you don’t want to give too much budget to a campaign with a product that doesn’t make you much money for each sale that’s also projecting to have a high search volume and a high CPC, as that will waste your budget without providing a good ROI.
One way to get around this is to just set equal budgets across all campaigns for the amount you’re willing to spend each day and optimize from there. Once you start to see one campaign gaining a good ROI, give it more budget. If you see one campaign is never hitting its daily budget while several others are, distribute accordingly!
The really great thing about eCommerce PPC is if something is making you money, you should keep feeding budget into it. That is, any inventory issues aside. If you are hand-making each ball of bunny yarn, you may want to limit yourself to so many sales per day. But let’s say you’re a drop-shipper for a huge production facility: pump those budgets up as much as possible as long as you’re getting a good ROI.
Stay tuned next week for Part 3, the final part of Starting PPC For eCommerce Sites: A Beginner’s Handbook, in which we’ll cover campaign settings.