Useful & Underutilised Ad Techniques For E-commerce

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

I love working with e-commerce clients, especially if they are new to PPC, largely because I enjoy planning out the structure which is such a key part in building the foundations of an account, but also because the advertising possibilities can be endless!

There are so many features worth testing and opportunities to increase profitability when it comes to e-commerce, that some are often either overlooked, or not used to their full potential.

We’ve highlighted some common instances of these:

Mobile Advertising

A study carried out by Shopify showed that, in 2014, a third of all e-commerce orders were coming from a mobile device. Furthermore, since Google’s Mobile-Friendly algorithm came into effect, non-mobile friendly sites are disappearing from being in visible positions in Google’s results. If this isn’t reason enough to optimise for mobile, I don’t know what is!

Once you have a mobile optimised site and a mobile-friendly checkout experience, the fun really begins!

Useful & Underutilised Ad Techniques For E-commerce

Mobile Ads

To create a mobile-optimised advert in Google Adwords, make sure you select the “Mobile” tick box next to the “Device preference” setting when you create a new advert. You can explore the different types of mobile ads here.

The limited amount of space means that only the ad extensions (see below) expected to perform best are displayed and as fewer ads per page show on mobile, Google recommends aiming to be within the top 2 positions to maximise visibility.

To improve the quality of your mobile ads, try testing specific Call-To-Actions (CTAs) and tailored ad copy, experiment with promotional codes, apply bid modifiers based on your customers shopping trends …etc.

To take this one step further, you can get some invaluable data from Google Analytics, this allows you to discover whether there are products that convert better on mobile than desktop, this data can then be used to work out whether you should be increasing or decreasing budgets for certain products.

Advert Extensions

Advert extensions are a type of ad format that allow you to differentiate your adverts by adding extra information to them. They can be added at account, campaign or ad group level depending on which extension you choose to apply.

See which extensions are available to you in the ad extensions tab in the AdWords interface and read more about the different types here.

Useful & Underutilised Ad Techniques For E-commerce

Callout extensions

In my opinion, all advertisers should be using Extended sitelinks, callout extensions and review extensions as they have been proven to boost Click-through-Rate (CTR) and increase users’ trust in the brand. They are a great way to overtake your competitors in the search results as they play an important part in determining ad rank.

To summarise, ad extensions lead to higher quality scores, better average positions and lower CPCs – what’s not to like?

Useful & Underutilised Ad Techniques For E-commerce

Review Extension

We recently experimented with review extensions across a number of our accounts and we saw an average increase in clicks of 33%, with new users increasing by up to 40%.

Google Shopping Campaigns

Shopping campaigns allow you to showcase your products using the Product Listing Ad (PLA) format which pulls the necessary data e.g. brand, model, price etc. from a product data feed which you submit to Google Merchant Centre. They are a must-have for all e-commerce clients. For recommendations on how to optimise your Shopping feed, check out our previous blog post.

Ad Customisers

Another beneficial feed-based feature for larger e-commerce clients who have recurring sales or sell large quantities of different brands or models of the same product are the Ad Customisers.

By using parameters within your ad copy, instead of having to updating adverts manually every time product prices change, you can simply make the necessary adjustments in your ad customiser feed which you can upload to the business data section of your account.

Ad Customisers allow for a more personalised experience as they show the most relevant ad variation to each customer every time.

Useful & Underutilised Ad Techniques For E-commerce

Countdown advert

One Ad Customiser that we have found to be particularly effective is the ‘countdown’ parameter. Including time sensitive call to actions for example “Sale Ends In 3 Days – Order Now!”. This increases the sense of urgency and results in higher click-through and conversion rates.


Bing ads can often be overlooked due to its considerably lower market share. However, Bing makes it easy for you to import your top performing campaigns straight from AdWords and cost-per-clicks still tend to be lower so you generally also get lower CPAs – Use this to your advantage!

Stay Calm and Optimise!

In my experience, ad groups containing generic keywords, contrary to what you would expect, tend to convert well. By setting these terms to phrase match, your advert will show for plenty of relevant searches.

However, even if this ad group is performing well just as it is, you should always aim to maximise your profitability by analysing search query reports and identifying which keywords are actually being searched by users and which are converting.

Once you have identified these, you can split them out into their own ad groups and adjust your bids, ad copy and choose a more relevant landing page. These changes will lead to better quality scores, lower CPCs and a better overall user experience which will likely result in an increase in sales.

Watch this space for more from ED!

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