Google’s Pay Per Click Advertising for Online Retailers

As an online retailer, your pursuit to pull more buyers to your website is an ongoing effort and one that even the most established online stores invest time in.

When we launched SaleHoo Stores last month, we had a flood of sellers snap up the opportunity to set up their own store (the easy way). It's great to know that so many of you understand the benefits of selling products on your own store. 

Pay per click, or PPC advertising, through Google AdWords is an affordable and highly effective way to pull more buyers to your store. Today, I’ll give you a quick overview of how it works and how it can help you drive more traffic to your online store.

What is PPC Advertising?

PPC advertising, such as Google AdWords, is a form of online advertising that has been around for about 10 years now. You will have seen PPC advertisements yourself when you search in Google. They look something like this:

Other PPC advertisements appear on websites and use images or graphics to attract interest. However, even simple PPC ads with just a few lines of text and a URL are very powerful. Here’s why:

Why PPC is a Powerful Form of Advertising:

It’s highly targeted, so only relevant people will see them. Unlike with television advertising or traditional “offline” advertising, with PPC, your advertisements are put in front of people who are already searching for products you are advertising. This means that your ads find ready buyers sooner and gets them to your site faster!

For example, if I search Google for “baby shoes”, I will see regular “organic” Google listings, as well as PPC advertisements for related products or services that someone searching for “baby shoes” might be interested in.

It’s cost-effective. The genius part of PPC is that you only pay when people actually click your ads and visit your store. Rather than spending say, $500 per month listing an advertisement on a website and hoping for it to attract traffic, with PPC, you’ll pay only when you are given an opportunity to make a sale.

The Cost of PPC Advertising

How much it costs to run a PPC ad campaign isn’t as simple as listing off a bunch of rates and fees: Every ad campaign is different. It depends on what keywords you are trying to target, how many other people are trying to target them, and also how high quality your ads are.

That doesn’t exactly answer your question, but one thing you should know is that you can decide how much you want to spend by setting a maximum limit, and once that limit is reached, your PPC ads stop displaying until you set a new limit or reset your campaign.

Your daily budget could be anywhere from $5 to $5,000, depending on what you can afford and how much you want to invest in your PPC campaign.

The pricing of your campaign is determined by how much competition there is for that keyword. For example, keywords like “car insurance”, “loans”, “mortgage” and “attorney” are all very expensive keywords and you could pay $50 or more every time someone clicks on your ads if you are trying to target them.

On the other hand, you might only pay a couple of dollars per click if you want to target a keyword such as “red coffee mugs”.

Choosing Keywords for Your PPC Advertising

Choosing the right keywords is crucial to the success of your PPC ads. Keywords also determine who you target and the cost of your campaign.

In Google Adwords, when you setup your ads, you will choose which keywords you wish to target. Targeting keywords means that when a web user searches for the keywords you are aiming for, your ads have the opportunity to appear.

So for example, if you sell baby clothing in your store, you might target the keywords baby shoes, baby clothing, baby socks, baby gifts, or perhaps more specific “long-tail” keywords like “organic cotton baby clothing” or “baby girl panda top”.

Top marketers spend a lot of time deciding which keywords are best to rank for, and which will make them the most sales. There are many tools on the web to show you which keywords are searched for most and to help you decide which keywords are best for you including the Google Keyword Tool which is a good tool to play around with.

If you are interested in learning more about PPC, I recommend you start with Google Adwords which you can learn more about using Google's official AdWords resources here

Are you trying to get more buyers to your online store? Do you have a question about SEO or PPC? Share your thoughts and questions below!


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Comments (10)

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Dan on 18:48 6 Oct
Quality blog Alice. I feel though, you might be talking over most of your reader's heads. If they are paying monthly for stores, don't you think advanced internet marketing tactics might just result in them losing thousands of dollars without a proper strategy? Just saying since something like organic SEO and link building can be much more prosperous for new marketers to E-Commerce or internet marketing in general. PPC can be one of the fastest ways to lose a significant amount of money.
Alice Delore on 20:00 6 Oct
Hi Dan,

Thanks for your comment :)

You are certainly right that PPC can lose you money without a good strategy in place, and this blog post by no means offers that. Instead, it offers an introduction to one of many traffic-pulling methods.

I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't make sure our members knew all their options for getting traffic to their stores :)

One of the good things about PPC is that for many e-Commerce sellers, they bid on long-tail keywords, so it works out to be very affordable, yet very effective for them.

I'm a big fan of SEO and getting organic rankings - I truly believe it is key to getting sustainable, long-term buyers. We actually provided all our Premium Store owners with a video course on SEO so many Store owners are already learning the ropes.

I wrote some notes about this for a member on the forum if you want to take a look:

Thanks :)
Johnny - Costa Rica Resorts on 20:26 6 Oct
Before starting your PPC campaign read very carefully the terms and cons You never want to be banned by google as they really pull lot of traffic and very targeted if you just dedicate your time for a decent campaign.
Dan on 23:31 6 Oct
Alice, you're dead-on with your comment ^ and I couldn't agree more. To be honest, organic SEO is the primary form of traffic I push to all of my clients. I actually run an SEO firm (not pushing anything here just making a point haha), and I've talked to too many clients that prior to dealing with us lost thousands of dollars due to poorly managed PPC campaigns. I simply wanted to write a disclaimer since some people might still not realize. We put all of our time and resources into ranking on the first page for high-traffic and generally highly competitive keywords because as you said, that's what brings the masses to your business and has the targeted demographics you are going for. Unless, someone has $5,000 a day to invest in media buys and PPC, you're right about organic rankings. By the way, great videos before ... wish they weren't taken down heh!!
S I on 15:41 8 Oct
I agree, its way over my head. I worry about the monthly fee I pay on my website store & eBay store every month. I need to generate more sales.
Alice Delore on 20:06 9 Oct

With a solid SEO knowledge under your belt, (which you obviously have if you run an SEO firm!) you are at a huge advantage for starting an e-Commerce business. Good for you! Keep in touch with us and let me know how you get on.

One of the great things about SEO for sites selling physical products (as opposed to digital/affiliate products) is that buyers convert more often, because they generally go looking for an item to buy, not information on a product... so conversion rates, or the ratio of visitors to purchasers increases.

Also, we offer an option for experts on related topics to guest blog on our site. If you are interested in writing some content for our blog on SEO, and getting some exposure for your company (including a PR 5 backlink), check out
Alice Delore on 20:11 9 Oct

Don't worry too much if this goes over your head. To be honest, this post was somewhat of a test on my part because we often have our more advanced SaleHoo members asking for more advanced content that can help them take their business to the next level.

We try to make sure we cater to everyone!

With your online store, search engine optimization, which is getting your website ranking highly in Google and making it easier for people to find is your best bet and something you should dedicate some time to.

You might want to start by checking out this recent thread on the SaleHoo forum:

All the best!
BAMIDELE AJAYI on 9:40 13 Oct
Halo Alice Salehoo, I have been a regular reader of your quality posts and tutorials,but yet to benefit from the New Salehoo Stores your recently launched, because my location does not have connect, but I have my VISA Domiciliary account CARD that I use in buying online,can you refer me to a more secured transfer network that I will use to buy a subscription on the new Salehoo Store,where I can showcase my affiliate wears to the world. you can reach my on this mail : Regards
Gaetano Cammarota on 23:33 28 Dec
I think I have found the page I am looking for. Right here is my dilemma. I have recently launched my store here in Australia and I have sourced one supplier for now which is through Salehoo, Now I have a Face Book page under the same name BellaNess, I decided to start two campaigns, one campaign is WC website conversion which at the moment I have 816 people reached and 3 website clicks and the other campaign is strictly advertising a product with 3 post engagements. In the advert I put in keywords which corresponds with the product but not a single sale.

What do I need to do in order to better what I am doing as I am new to this but keen to succeed.

My store is and my face book page is

Thank you

Melissa Johnson on 3:50 2 Jan
hi, Gaetano!

Effective social advertising is tricky business. What works for one company doesn't work for the other, and the best tactics for a new business versus an established one are very different. It's honestly a lot of trial and error.

You can work on learning more about writing compelling advertisement and web copy, and the best tactics for social media management, which may help remove some of the guesswork. You can also ask other sellers who have faced the same struggles on our forum:

Good luck!
Hannah Joy on 7:07 5 Jan
I am new in this field. I didn't know about PPC before. Now I clearly know why PPC is important.
Thanks for sharing such a helpful post.


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