How to Maximize Google Ads Conversions and Reduce CPC
E-Commerce AdWords Tips to Boost Profitability
Easy to learn, hard to master—that’s Google Ads (OK—many will still call it AdWords; I’ll be using both terms here).
Advertising via Google Ads may be the bread and butter for millions of e-commerce businesses, but many of them do not survive the biggest challenge Google presents.
And the repercussions of the failure are not visible immediately.
Paying a few extra cents per click doesn’t hurt, especially when you’re making some profit.
But, when the cents pile into dollars, and then into thousands of dollars, and then you experience slow growth and weak bottom lines, you.
You can find your business turning into an underdog.
If you haven’t already guessed it, let me break it to you.
The greatest Google Ads challenge —and it’s a double challenge— for any e-commerce business is to minimize the cost per click (CPC) and maximize conversions.
[GOOGLE ADWORDS] WAS ONE INITIATIVE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT. “IT’S A PRETTY EXPENSIVE CHANNEL FOR SMALL COMPANIES.”
How Much Money Are You Losing On PPC?
According to research, a typical small business spends an average $1200 a month on PPC advertising.
25% of this budget goes right down the drain.
The wastage is in two forms:
- You’re paying more money per click than you should.
- You’re converting fewer leads into sales than you should.
A typical small or medium retailer may lose 569 product sales each month.
Is that you?
You may be perfectly happy with the results of your PPC campaigns and still lose money on it.
Or, you may be rather … annoyed … with your AdWords performance.
Do you find the per-click costs to be unaffordable?
Do you see most of your paid visitors vanish into oblivion without buying anything?
If you’re not making enough sales to justify the monthly bill from Google, you might abandon the platform and think AdWords simply doesn’t cut it for small businesses.
The fact is that Google Ads can be a powerhouse of business growth for e-commerce retailers. No other medium allows you to.
- Put your products before customers looking to buy similar products.
- Track the complete journey of visitors from query to purchase or abandonment.
- Pay only for the clicks and not for the exposure.
- Earn an average $2 for each dollar you spend on advertising.
- Pay as you go and start, pause, modify, or cancel your campaign at any time.
The problem with Google Ads is that it requires mastering the technicalities—and not understanding them is what leads many small businesses—especially those with narrow profit margins—to skip AdWords. Thus, they miss a great opportunity.
While Google provide strong support for businesses, they also care about their own business. And they’ll happily take a few extra cents per click.
In business, you’re the one to watch out for your own interests. If Google can do it, so can you.
It doesn’t make business sense to leave money on the table, which will happen if you don’t have the time or expertise.
Engaging a PPC expert will save you money you’re wasting on irrelevant clicks. And also convert more of your clicks into paying customers.
The results can be astronomically good for you!
And you’ll get more than just clicks and sales are not all you get. You’ll also get free exposure and lots of brand mileage.
All that said…you can also take steps yourself. Here are a few simple things that you can do to reduce your AdWords CPC and increase conversions.
Maximize Google Ads Conversions and Return on Investment
You’re looking to accomplish two things, which happen to be two sides of the same coin, as we’ve already suggested.
You want to:
- Achieve a high CTR (Click Through Rate) for your ads, AND
- Convert more of the clicks into sales.
You can achieve both of these goals if you aim for one key metric: the Google Ads Quality Score.
It’s Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC ads.
Simply put, it’s a number between 0 and 100, with 0 being the poorest.
A high CTR and conversion rate combine to tell Google that your ads are relevant and high quality.
So, it assigns a higher QS to the corresponding keyword and PPC ad.
Advertisers with higher Quality Scores can save up to 50% on CPC.
Their ads also get displayed higher on the search engine results page (SERP) at a lower CPC.
Improving your AdWords QS is the single most important thing you need to do to reduce your CPC and to increase your conversion rate, as more relevant and targeted keywords are likely to sell more products.
Ironically, the QS depends on clicks and conversions itself, so it’s a chicken and egg situation.
Where do you start? Maybe…we’ll just
Toss a coin.
Reducing Google Ads/AdWords CPC with a Better Quality Score
Improving your Quality Score and reducing your CPC starts with keyword research.
QUALITY SCORE IS THE COIN. CLICKS AND CONVERSIONS ARE ITS TWO SIDES.
Select the most suitable keywords that you think are more likely to drive you qualified traffic.
In the beginning, your only option may be to use available resources such as keyword research tools and competitor analysis.
That, along with some consistent and closely monitored AdWords campaigns, can put your business on the right track.
If you’ve been running campaigns in the past, your Google Ads account contains a lot of valuable data.
You should use data to generate lists of best- performing keywords. Then, divide them into coherent Ad Groups.
Don’t cram all of your keywords into a single Ad Group, unless you have money to burn on irrelevant clicks.
Start with high-level keywords that closely relate to your product and drive you the most traffic.
For example, if you’re selling women’s clothing, and your best performing keyword is “wedding dresses,”, you should start with that.
In this case, the differentiating keyword is “dresses.””. The term “wedding” can be used with many other products such as flowers or jewelry, but you’re not selling that. So, one of your top- level keywords is “dresses.””.
Next, you can look for more specific lower- level keywords for smaller Ad Groups that you’ll use in your campaigns.
For example, wedding dresses can come in several styles, colors, and prices. So, your lower level keywords can include “white wedding dresses,”, “modern wedding dresses,”, “custom-made wedding dresses,”, and so on.
Remember also that a “wedding” is both a type of dress and occasion. Occasions can lead you to other top- level keywords such as “birthday dresses” or “party dresses.”.
Additionally, you may also be selling gowns, sportswear, and casual wear, which can constitute more high- level keywords, from which you can drive smaller and more specific Ad Groups.
Creating micro-level Ad Groups will help you personalize your ads for each customer.
Take a close look at these ads triggered by the search “buy leather shoes”.
Ad #1 does a solid job of customization and targeting.
Ad #2 is irrelevant—it’s about sneakers. Few searchers are likely to click it. A low CTR is not good for CPC.
Ad #3 is out of place. Gemalia might be paying a sky- high CPC, owing to a probable low Quality Score.
Ad #4 is OK— they could have used more words to make the ad more clickable.
Compelling AdWords Copy Means A High CTR
If your ads are receiving too few clicks, Google might assign a low Quality Score to your keywords and push your ad further down the listings (or on to page 2—or even page 3, and no one goes to page 3).
Ads nobody clicks might as well not be there.
It can be challenging to pack a punch within the Google Ads character limit, even though Google now allows 3 headlines and 2 descriptions.
While people sometimes click on ads that are “creative”, those clicks don’t lead to sales.
People click on ads and buy because the ads reflect the goals people want to accomplish.
Match your ad’s copy with customer intentions. Consider the following examples.
The first and second ads show that these agencies are more serious about their business than the third and fourth ad. The first ad makes use of Ad Extensions, in addition to highlighting multiple benefits in the ad copy.
The second ad uses multiple links to send users directly to specific pages. It uses famous brand names, but the description is confusing, which is a big negative.
It also uses a longer headline promising to spend 88% more hours on optimizing your account. It looks a little over the top, but that’s me!
Both of these ads do a good job at attracting attention and are probably getting much more clicks than the third and fourth ad. Which ad are you going to click?
Should You Test Your AdWords Ads?
Next comes testing. A/B Split Testing should be part of your advertising process. However, testing doesn’t work for new businesses that have little or no traffic on their website.
Here’s the picture:
If you have a conversion rate of 5% and want to detect a 5% or larger change in conversion rate, you need a sample size of 135,633 visitors per variation to have 95% confidence in the test results.
You’ll need to conduct hundreds of tests, which can make testing unaffordable because it requires hours of staff time.
However, if you have a high traffic count and conversion rate, you must go for testing. It’s the only way to make sure you’ll get the best bang for your buck.
At a full-service digital marketing agency like JoshMeah.com, Turnkey PPC campaigns are common. Our full- stack marketing services include strategy, AdWords audit, creative, testing, conversion optimization, and more. (
Call or email us for details!)
Optimize Product Pages for More Google Ads Conversions
AdWords can send you visitors, but that’s just the first part of this project.
It’s up to you to convert the clicks into dollars with the help of custom landing pages.
Each of your Ad Groups should correspond to a specific conversion-optimized page.
For e-commerce websites, the landing page is the product page.
The average cost per click for AdWords search ads is $2.32, so you must sell enough products for PPC to make sense…heck, for anything to make sense.
You must create consistent and detailed product pages that correspond to the customer’s pain points—making it easier for them to buy your product.
There are 10 essential elements of a high-converting landing page.
E-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Amazon come with built-in product pages that you customize for your products and needs.
10 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A HIGH-CONVERTING LANDING PAGE
- A captivating headline and a striking hero image
- A persuasive sub-headline, selling the core benefit of the product
- Awesome images illustrating the product benefits and features
- A compelling description or explanation of the product
- A value proposition: Your headline, sub-headline, images, and copy should answer the question “hat’s in it for me, the customer?”
- A logical workflow that helps the prospect navigate the page
- Trustworthy reviews or testimonials
- The call to action (CTA) button with some great direct action copy
- Multiple payment options
- Live chat/on-call support: This can help answer critical customer questions that might stand in the way of the sale
WordPress website owners can create high converting product pages using tools such as Unbounce or InstaPage.
Where The Little Things Are – The Details Of AdWords
I’m reminded of Danny Elfman’s song:
Let the heavens wait;
I can deal with fate;
But not the little things!
There are dozens of details that you need to address before your AdWords campaign can really take off.
Here are the 10 most important ones:
- Match Type: Choose the correct match type for your target keywords. Google recommends using broad match to show your ads to the maximum number of people, and narrowing down to an exact match after tracking the results of various campaigns.
- Attribution: To save money on clicks, you need to understand where your conversions come from. AdWords insights will tell you only the last ad that the customer clicked. For more detailed insights, you need to use Google Analytics on your web pages.
- Enhanced CPC: Use this Google Ads feature to automatically bid up to 30% higher on keywords that are more likely to lead to conversion.
- Page Speed: Speed is a killer when it comes to conversions. Nearly half of your visitors will leave your page if it takes longer than 2 seconds to load.
- Consistency: Your sales funnel should be consistent from top to bottom. This consistency means your ads should carry a single brand voice and color scheme. In addition, each stage of the funnel should correspond to the customer intent.
- Ad Extensions: Ad Extensions increase the CTR by several percentage points. They also improve your Quality Score over time.
- AdWords Account: It’s crucial to continuously clean up and optimize your Google Ads account and Ad Groups. Track your traffic and conversions and get rid of the keywords that are performing poorly. Also, select Negative Keywords that you don’t want to trigger your ad.
- Retargeting: You must retarget the people who come to your website but leave without buying anything. Retargeted ads are 10 times more likely to get clicked and 70% more likely to result in conversions.
- Mobile First: Have you noticed that most of your website traffic now comes from mobile devices? Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other mega brands follow a “mobile first strategy,””, and you should follow their lead.
- Conversion Tracking: You’ll be surprised to know how many PPC advertisers don’t bother to set up conversion tracking in their Google Ads. It’s almost criminal negligence, and the penalty is low conversions and high costs of advertising.
Conversion tracking will tell you which ads and keywords convert the best, and which ones are wasting your money.
You should also set up call tracking if you’re displaying your phone number in your Google ads.
Digital marketing agencies can recommend hundreds of best practices for AdWords advertising. Success with PPC is about three things:
- Attention to detail
- Consistent optimization
- Ability (Time and expertise)
Google AdWords is often misunderstood as a DIY platform, and customers keep paying Google more than they should.
We regularly meet clients who’ve been wasting far more money on PPC than the cost of hiring a PPC specialist.
They’ve also been selling fewer products than they could.
So, if you think you’re selling enough products and not wasting money, maybe you should think again.
Reach out to us; we’ll discuss your PPC and overall marketing strategy.