Pay per click advertising is one of the most profitable marketing strategies for eCommerce stores today.

47% of the total global purchases are completed online. And eCommerce PPC ads reportedly generate $2 for every $1 spent. This makes PPC advertising a useful strategy for your eCommerce store.

It works for businesses of every size, with plenty of data available to streamline your campaigns.

This article shall examine what PPC is and explore the basics you need to start using this strategy to grow your eCommerce store.

What is eCommerce PPC

With Pay per click advertising, you only pay the platform when a user clicks your ad, regardless of the number of people who see it.

Ecommerce Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising tactic to promote store products through PPC ads.

You may use the ads on search engines and social media platforms as well.

How does eCommerce PPC work?

When launching an effective PPC campaign, here are a few steps necessary to get started:

Keyword research and selection

Before setting up your ad, you must find appropriate keywords to trigger them. Your ads appear only when users search for your chosen keywords or similar phrases.

When finding keywords, you must know which terms or phrases a user is likely to input when looking for the products you offer.

Keyword research enables you to find intent-driven keywords for your ads, to increase traffic and conversions.

It also helps you determine the effectiveness of your keywords. That way, you can prioritize and save yourself time and money.

Key factors you should consider when choosing keywords include:

Branded keywords: Branded keywords cover your name and unique items, or phrases related to you. These are generally cheaper and have high intent.

Using branded keywords will help you dominate your search result page. It is also likely that your competitors may bid on your brand keywords to steal your traffic, so you may want to stay ahead.

Competitor terms: These are brand keywords of your competitors. Using competitor terms works best when dealing with bigger competition.

It helps with brand awareness and more traffic. Additionally, you get the chance to appear within the same search results as them. That increases the likelihood of other uses finding you.

General keywords: Generic terms cover phrases that represent what your store offers. Such words are excellent options for new stores and are great for attracting new visitors.

Ad creation

With the right keywords in place, you can now start creating ads. The type of ads you create depends on the platform that you are placing them on.

eCommerce PPC

Ads mainly contain the title, description and URL. For Google Adwords and Bing ads, for example, you don’t even need images or video.


After finding the right keywords and creating your ads, you must decide how much you are willing to spend for your ad to be displayed.

Your bids vary based on the competitiveness of the keywords you chose. High volume keywords that many bidders are targeting will cost more.

However, outbidding your competitors does not guarantee you the first position in Search engine research pages (SERPs). Other factors that influence your ad placement on search engines include:

  • Quality of your ad
  • Relevance to the search query (using Quality Score)
  • Context of the search
  • The format (e.g. extensions)
  • Landing page quality

Ecommerce PPC Platforms

For PPC advertising, Google ads and Bing ads are the most widely used platforms.

Google Ads

Also known as Google Adwords, the platform allows you to run ads on various Google platforms. For example, video ads on YouTube, Shopping and search ads on Google, display ads on the Google Display Network, etc.

Google ads enable eCommerce businesses of all sizes to advertise and achieve their business goals through PPC.

Bing Ads

Also known as Microsoft ads, Bing ads is very similar to its Google counterpart. It allows you to run ads on Bing, AOL and Yahoo. However, Bing ads cover a much smaller audience size and potential reach, only about 4.45% in the US.

Nonetheless, it still drives the needed traffic and conversions, yet with a much lower cost per click. This is an advantage for small eCommerce businesses.

Apart from Google ads and Bing, other ad networks available are Adroll, RevContent, Amazon ads, etc.

It is advisable to start with Google and Bing ads. Then, you can expand to other platforms. Social media ad platforms are also worth considering. Though, they work almost independently from search engines.

Why use PPC for ecommerce?


Fosters business goals

PPC advertising helps to achieve a series of business goals. These include increasing brand awareness, increasing traffic, increasing sales, among others.

Additionally, you can track metrics for each of these goals. It, therefore, becomes easier to achieve and monitor the overall marketing and business goals.

Can be measured

Pay per click advertising can easily be measured and tracked. For example, you can access detailed performance statistics, like clicks, conversions, etc.

These stats are essential to know how your campaigns are performing.

Unlike other marketing channels, eCommerce PPC results are more specific. The ads drive traffic to particular pages, so it is easier to assess the effects regarding how much money and effort went in.

Quick entry

PPC advertising is fast and easy to get into as compared to other marketing strategies. With other techniques, it would require a considerable amount of time to set up and gain momentum. Also, your initial results only stem form an already existing audience.

However, with PPC, you can reach other potential customers within a short time. The platforms do most of the heavy lifting, like customer research, ad building, etc.


Ecommerce PPC advertising provides excellent opportunities for targeting. You can use targeted keywords, focus on specific demographic audiences, among others. It is thus a great way to reach your ideal audience.

Furthermore, you can quickly test your ads. That enables you to narrow down on high converting groups to maximize your conversions. It also gives you the chance to reach targeted new customers.

Cost flexibility

PPC advertising for eCommerce allows you to conduct marketing activities on your ideal budget. Your campaign can be small with PPC and gradually scale up to bigger campaigns while reaping your desired results.

This setup beats other mass advertisement methods like where you must pay upfront—for example, influencer marketing. Here, you only pay when users click on the ad.

Multiple ad formats

For an eCommerce store, it helps to show your products in the Search engine result pages. And, PPC shopping ads can help with that.

Remarketing tactics, text ads, video ads, Gmail ads, etc., are all possible with eCommerce PPC. That way, you have the freedom to present your offering in the best way.

Best practices in using PPC advertising for your eCommerce store

Use multiple platforms

It is great to focus on Google Ads. You can reach large audiences of millions. However, explore other platforms as well, where you can get your target customers. Also venture into social media ads like Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, etc. That is if they align with your ad goals.

Use ad extensions

Extensions have been a valuable addition to paid ads for a while. The platforms also continuously expand their lists of ad extensions.

Useful ad extensions you should explore:

Call extensions: these make it easier for customers to call you directly. They are most useful for impulse purchase products.

Message extensions: This extension helps customers to reach your business. It can be either on email or a designated phone number.

Price extensions: These are a must for eCommerce stores. They offer additional information about your products and prices on the go. In so doing, it becomes easy for your customers to buy from you.

Test often

You must continuously monitor your PPC ads performance. That way, you can tell what is working and what is not and adjust accordingly. Experts recommend doing A/B testing.

When experimenting, test numerous factors such as:

  • Ad copy
  • Bids
  • Audience targeting

, among others.

Design for mobile

Mobile sales are expected to increase by 23% in 2021

Additionally, over 50% of ad clicks occur on mobile.

It is therefore critical to maximizing mobile-friendliness when creating your eCommerce PPC campaigns. Ensure that your ads display well on mobile devices. Also, ensure the landing pages load fast and deliver an excellent user experience.

ecommerce PPC


PPC advertising for eCommerce can be a good marketing plan for your store. It comes with several benefits, most prominent of which are higher traffic, conversions, and sales.

It is also easy to implement compared to other strategies. With the basics now in your pocket, you can go on to learn how to create, optimize and launch a PPC campaign to grow your store.

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