‘Our main job is to drive traffic,’ say some paid search teams if you query a lack of sales from their ads through your store. They point you towards landing page improvements and other optimisations and consider their work done.
It’s true that you can’t out-bid a bad landing page. There are no magic keywords where the users searching them suddenly don’t care that a website is hard to navigate or loads slowly.
But as PPC managers, our role is to make sure the traffic we drive is always as good as it can be. If high-quality traffic still isn’t converting, then it’s sensible to say your problem is elsewhere.
Finding high-quality traffic comes down to relevance, like many other areas of paid search advertising. We need to send users to the ideal landing page for their conversion journey, so they have a seamless experience and are likely to convert.
What if we reverse-engineer this logic?
Endless Gain’s optimisation work often starts with product pages, so can we find users who are actively looking for, and expect to land on, a product page? Surely, this is better than redirecting users who want something different.
Through clever targeting we can find these users at scale. We’ll cover 3 tactics:
- Product Feed Optimisation
- Dynamic Search Ads
- Broad keywords + automated bidding + targeting a specific audience
Of course there are other ways, but if you’re nailing these 3 areas you can be confident of your traffic’s quality. Let’s cover each in detail:
Product Feed Optimisation
Arguably, the top way users expect to land on a product page is when they’ve clicked a Google Shopping ad. These are the ads with images and prices which appear at the top of the search result page when you search a relevant query:
In this example, we can see Currys are dominating search results for Macbooks (for me at least—everyone’s results are unique to them). Such a large retailer is probably bidding aggressively, but their product feed (which tells Google which products to advertise and their attributes/specifications) will also be highly optimised.
Product titles can be structured to prioritise certain search terms and attributes like colour, material, processor, and storage space will all be present and correct.
Google wants to give users the optimal experience, and these more detailed listings are the most useful for a typical user. Google knows which search terms Currys want to appear for and believes that their listings should be given first priority to users.
Feed optimisation isn’t a quick fix but done properly it can transform the performance of your shopping ads.
Dynamic Search Ads
Product feed optimisation follows similar logic to SEO; improving the content Google is evaluating so it chooses to show yours over a competitor’s (although in practice they use very different methods).
In contrast, with traditional search advertising we specify our desired keywords explicitly and bid for our ad to be shown.
With Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs), you specify a set of landing pages for your ads and Google will assess which keywords it should target based on the pages’ content (much like SEO).
So, it figures that we can specify our product pages (usually a sub-set, split by brand or category) and see if Google can unearth any queries we can’t.
Your website needs to be well-optimised for SEO for them to really work, but DSAs can be brilliant at finding longer-tail searches which are ideal visitors to your newly improved product pages.
Broad Match Keywords + Automated Bidding + Audience Targeting
Each of the tactics we’ve covered could be a blog post in themselves, this one especially. So let’s be brief:
- Use a Broad Match keyword in your targeting and Google Ads will treat it more like a theme, targeting any searches it thinks carry the same or similar intent;
- Specify an audience to target (such as people in-market for high-end laptops to stick with our Macbook example), restricting who Google can reach to those with the highest potential interest in your product;
- Finally, automate your bids (provided you have enough conversion data) so that Google can leverage its understanding of search behaviour and only bid to show ads to those users likely to be interested in your product, and vary that bid based on how likely each user is to convert.
Of the three methods, this one is the biggest leap of faith, but in a mature well-optimised Google Ads account it can be your new secret weapon. With a good enough negative keyword structure, you can forgo an audience in your targeting, but it’s better to start conservative and scale from there.
Our Job Is to Drive Traffic…
Again, it’s true that paid search advertising works best on a high-quality website but you can always try to drive better traffic to the website you have.
In the case where that website has great product pages, the three tactics covered here are always worth testing to see if you can’t drive more of the right traffic straight to those pages.
This is a post from our partners Be Found Be Chosen. Get in touch with them to boost your performance marketing goals.