Boost your online sales this Holiday | Part 1: Optimize your online ads

2020: what a year. Our lives, our work turned upside down and inside out. Business hasn’t been easy for many. But there is a glimmer of hope—and it smells of eggnog.
According to Deloitte, this upcoming holiday season will help reverse, if only briefly, 2020’s dire drift. The consulting giant predicts a 1% rise in sales during the holiday time. But there’s a catch: most of the shopping will done via online sales.
So if you have been reluctant about it, now is the time to give your digital activity a big multivitamin gummy bear.

In this 3-part series, we’ll talk about how you can optimize your three major touchpoints, namely:

  • Your online ads
  • The webpage your customers land on
  • The moment they decide to leave, alas, without buying

Ready to roll up the sleeves? Let’s look at the first touchpoint: your ads strategy.

With online ads, you’re paying for every click or display. So don’t fall into the “the more, the merrier” trap. What you should do is get the right people to land on your website. Here’s how you can do that.

Boost your online sales by harnessing the power of Google’s targeting functionalities

As you run your ad campaigns, you’ll be able to find certain patterns of users who convert better on your webpage. They could be a specific age group. They could even be people who share an intent.

Google allows you to finetune your ads on a myriad of categories like demographics, affinity, topics, specific keywords. If see that you get higher-converting traffic from a particular search topic or a region, direct your ad spending there. Bet higher, if necessary. A slight increase in cost per click (CPC) will be worth the quality traffic you’ll be getting.

A word of caution, though. Don’t overlap too many filters at once. You’ll restrict the amount of data to the point where you won’t collect enough quantitative insights to compare the different campaigns’ efficiency. Start large and zoom in through time.

To increase your online sales, test your Ad copy. When you’re done, test it again

Digital marketing is a journey with no finish line. If an ad copy brought an increase in online sales last month, it doesn’t mean it will keep on performing well forever. Keep your hand on the pulse, and adjust the copy to improve your performance or test some uncharted territory.

Parade a different product benefit (there’s always more than one, right?). Change your title into a question. Soften up the CTA from “buy now” to “discover more.” Who knows, maybe you’ll discover that users felt too pushed with a salesy verbiage, and a milder call-to-action gives you higher conversions.

A good rule is to always run at least three different ad copies on the same campaign.

Better still, use the power of Dynamic Search Ads

Let’s be honest. You can have the best ad managers and the swiftest copywriters in the world. Still, you can’t bet on a keyword and produce a relevant ad copy every time a user comes surfing by. 

Wouldn’t it be great if an ad would “write itself up” when needed? 

Cue in Google Dynamic Search Ads.

This functionality uses your website’s content to generate your ads on your behalf for the keywords you bet on. All you’re asked to chip in is a creative description, and the rest is done automatically. Google generates headlines and ad descriptions based on the content it finds on your website.

The results? This is what a company reported to Google:

  • 26% higher click-through rate (CTR)
  • 30% lower cost-per-click (CPC)
  • 37% decrease in cost-per-acquisition (CPA)

40% off the cost of your online sales doesn’t sound bad. But keep in mind that this functionality makes sense only if you’re running a big e-commerce website and have a large inventory of products. Also, your website needs to be optimized and top-notch, or else the content will not be fetched properly.

Ramp up your negative keywords list

Your negative keywords list is probably something you spent a lot of your time on when creating your AdWords account. But are you regularly monitoring it three months down the line?

When creating the initial negative keyword list, you base your rationale on assumptions and experience. But as you run your campaigns, your insights grow. Did a certain keyword+word generate a lot of traffic but had zilch conversions? Take it out because you’re putting your ad budget towards duff clicks.

Online sales in your overseas markets: never translate your ad campaigns word-for-word

Did Best dishwasher keyword bring you a fair amount of online sales? Good for you, but it doesn’t mean that mejor lavavajillas will do the same for your Colombian e-commerce website. The user intent, reflected in the use of search terms, is culture-specific. Search engines know that very well. So trust the keyword research to an apt localization expert. 

See you back here next week for more tips on boosting your online sales.