Blog | Marketing

7 Ways AdWords Can Improve Your eCommerce Strategy


AdWords should never be seen as a tool that guzzles money – it should be treated with care, as a tool that could be your secret weapon to eCommerce success.

I expect a number of folks initially reading the title of this article will feel that AdWords is a bottomless pit of money that almost all of your margin falls into.

However, after reading this I am hoping you see it in a different light and, by following my insights, will increase your own campaigns performance as well as strengthening elements that can feed into other parts of your strategy.

1. Speed of Promotion

Organic takes time and a lot of hard work networking within the digital world to get your brand recognised and to get articles like this one linked back to as good reference points.

However, AdWords, when monitored correctly, can accelerate your online growth and be a very effective sales and customer acquisition tool.

Once your campaigns and Ad Groups are optimised, you can then turn it up or down with budgeting controls.


2.  Forces You To Improve Your Landing Pages

This is a benefit I am very passionate about because a lot of the failures online are down to poor performing landing pages.

With AdWords you are paying for your visitors and, when you pay for something, you are going to make sure everything is in order before and even during their stay to provide the best possible user experience. This is not just for the page they land on but the pages that they then move onto as well.


This encourages you to seriously question the quality of your landing page, by making sure you have all the necessary pieces of information for people to make an informed purchasing decision.

Do you have enough images for the consumer to get a great understanding of what you’re selling? If not, get back in touch with your supplier or contact a local photographer.

3.  Gives Insight into User Needs

ubersuggest-resultsYou not only have the opportunity to hone in on the specific keywords that you think people use, you get a true representation of what people actually use before they click on your ad.

As a quick insight, here’s two things you could take from the keyword data shown within analytics:

  1. You may find questions that people use before they want to buy
  2. You’ll may see what people want the product for

With the first point, you may start to develop a content strategy around a particular product (or category) to fill educational gaps within organic search which means your brand will enter a much earlier stage of the buying process as well as feeding new material into your social media channels.

The second point could inspire a new way of grouping your products, or inspire you to create additional types of landing pages (categories) based on what people are needing the product for.

In both cases, you’re becoming more in tune with what the user wants and therefore adjusting different areas of your strategy to suit.

4. Negative keywords Can Protect Your Budgets

People get lost with their keywords, causing conflicts between Ad Groups and so on because they try and upload all the possible phrases people could use. Sorting out your keyword research should always be first and foremost on your to-do list when creating an eCommerce website, but negative keywords can be equally important.

My tip is to find a few of words that are across all the ideal phrases you’d like to target and use Broad Match Modifier but immediately optimise your negative keyword list.

Broad match modifier is when you place a + symbol before each word (+one +two +three).  On first hit, it will show your Ad for any search query that contains them exact words but in any order. However, with an extremely well optimised negative keyword list you can again sniper down the target list but keep your keyword list within AdWords neat and tidy using, say, five lines instead of 35.

We’ve taken this approach with a client here at Spiral Media and, as a result, reduced their spend but increased their sales. This is purely because their Ads were better targeted and investment was being spent on the golden search terms.

5. Encourages You To Think Hard About Your USPs

Before starting with anything, you need to take a step back and think about your sales messages. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and try to understand what their needs are and what they’re going to use to decide between sellers.

Call Out Extensions gives you more text space within your ads, to display things such as offers, promotions or other types of value you may provide a consumer.

Call_outsThe great thing about AdWords is you can test what people are more attracted to, and you can use this information to trigger better click performances within other channels.

Having tested call out extensions on certain campaigns, we’ve recently seen click through rates from search engine increased 3.5% (service-based business) in one case and 5.7% (eCommerce campaign focusing on specific range of product).

6. Re-Marketing Gives You a Second Chance

If people have visited your website but not purchased, you can send out specific Ads based on the page they visited to entice them back.

In this example, I found John Lewis ads related to products I’d looked at appear on a website I was reading about the best travel blogs.  It’s important to John Lewis that I don’t forget about them, or where I may have seen the items.  It’s also important as a consumer that I have a clear path back, for when I am ready to buy.


I often see companies using the same Ad on a site-wide basis, what you should do is create an Ad specific to what the customer was interested in and (if you’re willing!) include a small discount coupon to attract them back.

Remarketing is a two step investment; you firstly invest to get people to your website, then invest again to bring them back. But, consider long term value of a consumer before writing this activity off.

7. Great For User Testing

AdWords is a great way to get a lot of traffic, this is a fact.

This is extremely useful in situations where you’re trying to test the effectiveness of two customer journey styles.  You can run multiple Ads, each going to a specific page and then measure the results and even monitor movement using heat map software.

You can also serve up alternative versions of pages as a way to test what works best.

In Summary

The aim of this article is to encourage you to look at AdWords in a different light. Ok, you could break even, or worse yet, lose money trying to optimise campaigns yourself, but, what does the data tell you about your eCommerce website or business offering?

Before jumping into AdWords and testing the above, I encourage you to read my other article about the things you need to think about before starting.

Good luck and if there’s anything you think we may be able to help you with, give us a call.