[Guest post by Ron Dod]
The world has witnessed a clash of the titans between Google and Amazon Ads, each fighting for supremacy in the market. eCommerce merchants can use both.
But there are differences between these two platforms, and even though there are similarities, you should take each platform separately, optimizing ads on each platform for the best results.
We will outline the key differences to help you reap the full benefits on both Google Ads and Amazon Ads.
In the Blue Corner, the Reigning Champ, Google Ads
The fundamentals of optimizing Google Ads and PPC campaigns is two-fold: target the right traffic that will convert on your site, and minimize the amount of ad budget wasted on disinterested or poorly converting leads. This requires monitoring, testing, and refining your campaigns constantly to reach and surpass your conversion goals.
Most online retailers can’t afford to waste thousands of dollars on a blanket PPC campaign to sift through the rubble to find what works.
So how do you narrow your market to what works and limit what doesn’t?
Let’s walk through each segment to ensure your campaigns are running as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Landing Page Aesthetics
Making your landing page more attractive and informative at a quick glance can greatly decrease your site’s bounce rate and ultimately increase how effective your ads are. Make your landing page beautiful, and perhaps even more importantly make navigation effortless. Fill the page with relevant information that is great follow-up to the ad.
One Size Does Not Fit All Ad Groups
Sure, it is easier to create a one-size-fits-all ad group to suit a variety of keyword phrases, but this approach is, let’s just say it, lazy. Even pluralizing a term (adding an “S” on the end) has significantly different connotations in terms of what a searcher wants to find.
To be competitive, your ad needs to deliver the right message to the right type of traffic at the right time. Your groups should be laser focused enough into a specific subsection of your traffic that will likely be looking for only a few key phrases.
In order to find the perfect ad group, you must take a deep look at the keyword intent and what type of traffic it brings. This will allow you to create ads that will send traffic into the respective part of the funnel or product page. This is where all your prior keyword research and niching down does the heavy lifting.
For example, if your site offers both new apparel and discounted seasonal apparel, you will want to take the respective buyer’s persona into account so they are receiving appropriate ads.
Alternatively, use Dynamic Keyword Insertion to follow the above approach. However, each Ad grouping should be tailor-made to make the ad more relevant.
Variation of Landing Pages
With so much effort into niching down our ad groups and keywords, it would be a major oversight to send traffic to the same landing page (unless that landing page is proven to convert better than any other variation).
Create a variety of different landing pages, each designed to satisfy specific ad groups so that customers know that they have come to the right place and they know what to do next without any effort.
Sound like a lot of work? Here’s a shortcut.
You won’t have to commission entirely new designs since you already have the framework behind the original landing page. Only make small changes to designate the audience and call out what the audience wants. Small design tweaks give you the opportunity to A/B test, seeing which choices perform better.
If you A/B test, remember to isolate either content or design. Only test one at a time.
The last step involves converting visitors into customers. Monitor Google Analytics and Ad conversion rates to understand if your campaign is offering an acceptable return on your investment.
In the Red Corner, the eCommerce Legend, Amazon Ads
Optimizing Amazon Ads has a different twist. Since Amazon has the reputation of being strictly a shopping platform and most users are familiar with the brand, Amazon ads require a different thought process than traditional Google PPC campaigns.
Pick a Campaign Structure and Stick to It
Before launching an Amazon campaign, you must put some work into the PPC campaign structure itself. Campaigns blueprint a rough formation for the purpose of your ads. A campaign structure assumes one of the following characteristics:
- By top sellers
- By product
- By brand
By choosing one of these characteristics, you set the framework for your campaign. It’s good to be consistent with whatever structure you choose for your campaigns. Changing your organization structure could create repeat ads, and that would be a waste of money.
Accurately Name Your Campaigns
Instead of saying “January Campaign 1” go for something more descriptive like “Shoes.” This will make navigation of your ad account much easier in the future.
Put Similar Keywords in the Same Ad Group
Creating ad groups where products with similar keywords are grouped together into the one Ad group will eliminate the possibility of confusion. These products should contextually fit from the searcher’s point of view.
Get Rid of Unwanted Queries
Eliminating unwanted queries will ultimately cut down on the cost of your ad campaigns. Amazon ads don’t precisely match your keywords that you’ve bid on exactly. For example, if you’ve bid on “belt” and someone is looking for a “white cloth belt”, Amazon might show your ad in the search results. The potential customer looking for a white cloth belt will then land on a product listing page for your leather black belt. It’s not exactly what they were looking for, so they will bounce and re-start the search, and your ad campaign just wasted some money.
To sidestep this issue before it arises, you can set negative keywords and keyword match types so tell Amazon ads what to target, and in this case, what not to target.
Negative keywords ensure that your ad does not pop up for user queries that have any of those negative keywords. This can be set up as negative exact, or negative phrases, and each target an exact keyword or phrase respectively.
The keyword match types include:
Broad: Your ad would be displayed regardless of word order, spelling variations, misspellings, and synonym matches
Phrase: Exact order given matches only and only close variations.
Exact: The strictest keyword match type where the ad will only be shown if it matches the search query exactly.
Ad optimization for Google and Amazon are different species. Like a redwood tree and a maple, they need different growth strategies to flourish. But how you develop those growth strategies stems from (pun intended) a singular understanding: know your customers, know what they want, know how they query for what they want; know how your products differentiate. The rest is a matter of platform.