I love working with AdWords and big ecommerce sites. What I like about it is that it makes the revenue slip in easily and at an immediate low cost. In the past couple of weeks I have resigned from an old Client I used to work with back in 2010.
It’s a big ecommerce site and he has over 120 different brands and product categories. His site is wonderful. If we had the product, then in 95% of the cases we could produce a profit with AdWords
When it comes to ecommerce sites like this one, then AdWords becomes a different challenge altogether than simply writing ad copy, finding keywords or bid management.
Finding your Structure At an Early Stage Is More Important Than Just Optimizing
When you have a lot of brands and categories, then one of the most important aspects is to get exposure for all of them. If you have a good website, creating great campaigns is as important as creating campaigns that give exposure to all your products.
If you were to sit down and manually create every single campaign one-by-one in the AdWords interface or the AdWords Editor you would:
- Make mistakes
- Forget essential parts
- Spend a lot of time
However, if you spend some extra time planning your campaigns before just jumping into them, then you would both save time and money.
Create 1-3 Perfect Campaigns for Popular Products or Brands
Of course you’ll never run into completely the same structures when creating your campaigns, but keywords and frameworks can be used again and again.
It’s all about finding that first golden structure and then expanding to other product categories or brands.
In my case we started with the Eastpak brand. We created a campaign for it combining all brand names, products and second-tier keywords in their respective ad groups.
I’ll give you the formula later in this blog post, but for now I’ll just stick to the schedule.
Considering that this brand had a lot of searches on Google I was able to fully optimize every 7 days from the campaigns opening day. That meant we were able to find the ads, bids and negative keywords needed to produce a successful campaign faster than if I had taken a small volume brand.
Procedure for Building An Ecommerce Brand Campaign
It’s a big subject, but let me try to explain how the process goes in order to better understand the rinse-and-repeat effect that will be shown at the end.
1) List The Products The Brand Is Carrying
You first start out by listing all the products included in the brand such as:
- Eastpak rug sack
- Eastpak suitcases
- Eastpak pencil cases
2) List Second-Tier Keywords
Find or research a list of second-tier keywords such as:
- On Sale
3) Combine Related Ad Groups Depending on Search Volume.
This step depends on whether you have a tool to help you and on the amount of time you have to optimize.
Personally, I’ve always been a big advocate of working smart instead of hard. I’ve therefore never really embraced the complete one keyword / one ad group approach to AdWords.
For the list that we have above I liked creating ad groups like this the ones below:
Eastpak rug sack
- [eastpak rug sack]
- [eastpak rug sacks]
- “eastpak rug sack”
- “eastpak rug sacks”
- +eastpak +rug +sack
- +eastpak +rug +sacks
Eastpak rug sack – Misc.
- [cheap eastpak rug sack]
- [cheap eastpak rug sacks]
- +cheap +eastpak +rug +sack
- +cheap +eastpak +rug +sacks
- [buy eastpak rug sack]
- [buy eastpak rug sacks]
- +buy +eastpak +rug +sack
- +buy +eastpak +rug +sacks
And I would also consider all the other second-tier keywords. This way you can create a good account structure that can be expanded on as you go along. If you find out that a lot of people are searching for cheap eastpak rug sacks, then it’s clear that this keyword needs its own ad groups.
However, unless knowing this beforehand I like creating misc. ad groups where I combine a lot of tightly themed keywords to test out the search volume.
4) Create the Best Sounding Ads You Can Think of
I usually spend a lot of time on this step in order to try and come up with a couple of ad variations that can be used in several ad groups.
Reusing ads is not always the best idea, but when you’re first starting out you’re often better off creating similar sounding ads instead of rewriting a completely new ad for each ad group.
As said before it all depends on the amount of time and the kind of tools available.
For this example I would probably go with ads that look like this:
Buy Eastpak Rug Sack
All Models & Colors at Low Prices.
Free 3-Day Shipping on All Orders!
Eastpak Rug Sacks Online
Everything in Eastpak Rug Sacks.
Free 3-Day Shipping on All Orders.
Both ads can easily be altered to match most keywords without having to rewrite them from scratch.
5) Rinse and Repeat With Every Product
Now that you have the basic formula on how to set up each ad group you can easily do the same process with all the products you want to advertise for with AdWords.
6) Remember to Include Keywords that Don’t Fit in Immediately
There are often some keywords that do not show up in your product categories or that you have simply just missed due to their simplicity. Whenever you use procedures or systems to build AdWords campaigns you’ll always be missing some keywords.
You should therefore revisit your lists and see what you’re missing. In this case we wanted to go with a couple of high-volume ad groups as well. These would have keywords such as [eastpak], “eastpak”, +cheap +eastpak etc.
This is of course not always advisable, but in our case it did make great sense (and a lot of profits subsequently).
7) Build Internal Negative Keywords (Negative Keyword Sculpting)
Now that you have built your first campaign you’ll notice that some of the keywords are intertwined. This is especially the case if you’re using broad match modifier or phrase match keywords.
Unless you actively process your campaigns with negative keywords from other ad groups, you could risk having searches that could be showing with the wrong ads.
For instance, if someone was to search for cheap eastpak rug sacks, then the keywords +eastpak +rug +sacks have equal potential to trigger the ad as “cheap eastpak rug sacks” has.
To make sure the right ad is matching the corresponding search term you need to use what I like calling negative keyword sculpting.
It basically means that you should put keywords from one ad group into all other ad groups as negative keywords.
An example again would be to take all the second-tier keywords and put them into our main ad groups. That way the ad group Eastpak Rug Sacks would get the negative keywords:
- On Sale
Considering that these keywords are already included in our misc. ad group it wouldn’t limit the searches that we’d receive exposure for.
8) Optimize for Missed Opportunities
Before you mass-produce the rest of your campaigns with the same procedure I would then advise to optimize the campaign you’ve just created for a month or two. This will give you insight to what changes you might need to make in order to improve your campaign.
If for instance all your keywords combined with the second-tier keyword cheap are producing a lot of sales / clicks, then you know beforehand that you should create separate ad groups for these keywords.
By optimizing your first campaign for a month or two, you can make appropriate changes to your “template” campaign before rolling it out. This will save you several hours of subsequent optimization.
Again – it’s not all about working hard, but working smart.
Rinse and Repeat With Other Brands and Products
Now that you have a set campaign, you can copy this campaign and just make changes related to the brand, add or remove products, alter landing pages, change ads and then you’re ready to launch again.
By taking a framework approach to creating AdWords campaigns you will save a lot of time and ensure the same standard throughout your campaigns.
There are a lot of different ways to build big campaigns. Some are manual while others are automatic but most approaches that are well built can produce great results.