Checklist: Is Your
E-Commerce Store Ready for Paid Ads?
Social media and SEO are all wonderful sources of traffic, but if you want quick results, nothing can beat PPC for
However, as effective as paid traffic might be, it can also be expensive. If your site is slow, unusable and lacks key
It may be hard to keep everything in your head, so here’s a checklist of adjustments you’d better do in your online store before starting a paid ad campaign.
1. Check Site Speed
Patience is a scarce virtue in the
If your visitors can’t load your site, they might just bounce off to a competitor’s site. When you’re paying for traffic, every bounced visitors equals lost money. Some PPC platforms, like AdWords, even use site speed to determine landing page experience.
Therefore, before starting a PPC campaign, make sure that your site loads quickly.
How to Check Site Speed
Head over to Tools.Pingdom.com. Enter your landing page URL and select the testing server closest to your target audience location.
Pingdom will show you the load time along with your page performance grade. For
How to Improve Speed
Improving site speed is a vast topic deserving a post of its own. For now, here are some of the easiest ways to make your
- Use optimized landing pages from
third-partyproviders such as Unbounce and LeadPages.
- Use faster web hosting. Try switching from Apache based web servers to faster Nginx based servers.
- Use a faster shopping cart such as Ecwid. Refer to this page to learn how we make Ecwid faster.
- Compress any images you use on the landing page using tools like Kraken.io.
2. Conversion Tracking Codes
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Nowhere is this advice more applicable than in PPC.
Before starting a PPC campaign, make sure that you’re tracking your results.
Your landing page should have:
- Your analytics code (Google Analytics, KISSMetrics or your preferred analytics software).
PPC-platformspecific tracking code (such as the Facebook Conversion Pixel or AdWords tracking code).
How to Check Tracking Codes
Follow these links for help with specific tracking codes:
3. Mobile Friendliness
Mobile friendliness matters.
Unless you are limiting traffic to desktop visitors (possible with both AdWords and Facebook), make sure that your site is mobile friendly. Given that this is now a majority of the web traffic,
How to Check for Mobile Friendliness
Google has a dedicated website to check any URLs mobile friendliness. Enter your landing page URL into the box and hit Run test.
Google will tell you whether the page is mobile friendly. It will also show you what the page looks like on mobile.
How to Solve Mobile Friendliness Issues
mobile-friendlylanding pages. Use tools such as LeadPages to create landing pages. Alternatively, buy a mobile-friendlylanding page template from ThemeForest.net. Pair it with a mobile-optimizedshopping cart such as Ecwid.
mobile-friendlystores. If you’re advertising your entire store instead of a specific landing page, the easiest way to solve mobile issues is to use a mobile-friendlystore such as Ecwid.
Learn more: How Responsive Design Increases Mobile Sales
4. Landing Page Design
The design of your landing page has a big impact on your conversion rate. For
Here are a few things to check for before promoting your landing page:
- Above the Fold: Highlight your value proposition above the fold (the area immediately visible when a user lands on the site). This can be a product image, promotion, or copy that tells the visitor what to expect on the page.
(Call-to-Action):Include multiple CTAs on the page. This CTA should be in a bold, bright color so as to attract the user’s attention. Test different CTA text (“Shop Now” vs. Buy Now), color and placement options.
- Copy: Specify the benefits as well as the features of the product. Make sure that this copy is readable. Use bullet points, tables and images to improve readability. Also include SKU since some users scan for this on
- Product Images: Add a number of
high-qualityproduct images, preferably above the fold. These images should highlight the product’s features. Refer to this article to learn how to optimize product images.
- Navigation: Unless you purposefully want users to navigate to different parts of your site (common when advertising a product category — living room furniture), remove all navigation from the landing page. This will only cause your users to click away.
For example, here’s a landing page from Amazon for a product category. Notice how the above the fold area includes product images and value proposition:
If you use a landing page creation tool such as LeadPages or Instapage (with Ecwid as the shopping cart), you can choose from
5. Add Social Proof to Site
Why should I buy from you?
This is one of the first things users will ask when they land on your site. They neither trust your store or the quality of your product.
To reel these users in, ensure that you have enough social proof on your website/landing pages.
How to Add Social Proof
Social proof is any data, testimonial or visual indicator that shows your site and/or your products in a positive light.
- Reviews: Product ratings and reviews from customers have a positive effect on conversion rates. 63% of customers are more likely to buy from stores that have user reviews on them. Try TrustedSite for website reviews and Stamped.io for product reviews in your Ecwid store.
- Customer Testimonials: Written or video testimonials from customers add to your social proof. Even positive tweets from customers can help.
- Security Badges: Trust seals and security badges (such as Verified by Visa, Powered by Paypal, McAfee SECURE etc.) can improve your store’s trustworthiness. This form of trust leverages the authority of the brand behind the badge (such as Visa or Paypal) to improve your trust perception.
- Social Following: A large number of followers on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest shows that you are
For example, Amazon highlights product reviews on its product landing pages:
Beyond reviews, you can also show curated tweets from users (ask them to tweet their purchases with a specific hashtag in exchange for a coupon) to build social proof.
If you’ve been featured in a respected publication, consider adding their logo on the landing page as well (“as seen on…”).
6. Align Your Bidding Keywords and Landing Page Copy
A common cause of poor PPC conversions is a misalignment between the keywords you’re bidding on and the copy on your landing page.
Simply put, if you’re bidding on the keyword living room furniture, you should tell users landing on your site that your page is, indeed, about living room furniture. This keeps users
The easiest way to do this is by using the keyword(s) in your landing page title. You can further emphasize the relevancy of your page by using appropriate product images.
For example, here’s a landing page used for the keyword living room furniture:
7. Shipping and Delivery Information
Your customers want to know two things when they land on your
- Whether you deliver to their location.
- How much you charge for delivery.
Before starting a PPC campaign, make sure that you have this information on your landing page.
You can use geotargeting to ensure that you only show ads to people you actually deliver to. Alternatively, use a dynamic form to capture pin code and show shipping information, like Amazon:
8. Set Up Google Shopping
If you’re advertising on Google Shopping, you first need to ensure that you’ve set up an account on Google Merchant Center and linked it to your AdWords.
9. Ensure You’ve Got Easy to Use Forms
Although rare, there are times when you’ll run PPC campaigns to capture information, not sell products. This usually happens when you’re running surveys, contests or building up your email list for a promotion.
In such cases, the quality of your form will have a big impact on your conversion rates. Even if you use your PPC campaign to get more sales, you will want to make sure your forms are working well in case someone would like to sign up for your newsletter or contact you via email.
How to Improve Forms
Here are some ways to make better converting forms:
- Keep Forms Short: Every extra form field increases your ask from your visitors, lowering conversions. Keep form fields as low as possible. Ask for only the most critical information (name, email, etc.).
- Place Forms Above the Fold: In
form-focusedlanding pages, the form is the highlight of the page, not the buy button. Highlight the form by placing it above the fold. Auto-SelectForm Fields: A neat trick to improve conversions for e-commerceforms is to automatically select the top-fieldwhen the user lands on the page. In one case, it increased conversion rates by 45%.
- Test Different CTAs: Instead of the usual Submit, test different CTAs such as Continue, Get Your Discount Coupon, etc.
10. Add Live Chat
Live chat can have a marked effect on your conversion rates. On average, live chat can improve conversion rates by as much as 40%.
Live chat usually appears as a floating help box at the
Customers can get answers to their queries without leaving the site over chat (provided your customer support people are online).
Although it’s not essential for running a PPC campaign, adding a live chat option is highly recommended before starting PPC advertising. It will help maximize the conversion rates from your site, improving PPC results.
How to Add Live Chat
Incorporating live chat into your site is easier than ever thanks to a number of integrations. Usually, you only need to add a small piece of code to the page to get started with live chat.
If you’re using Ecwid, you can use any of these five options to add live chat to your store:
- Chaport ($9.80/month).
- Tidio Chat (Free to $15/month).
- LiveChat (From $16/month).
- JivoChat (Free to $14.99/month).
- Chatra (Free to $11/month).
To Sum Up
PPC campaigns can be wildly effective but also wildly expensive. Make sure that you minimize wasted clicks by setting up your site to maximize conversions.
If your site meets these requirements, you are ready to run a PPC campaign:
- Your site loads within
- Your site is mobile friendly.
- You’re using a
conversion-optimizedlanding page design.
- You’ve added all important tracking codes to your site.
- You’ve added social proof to your landing pages.
- Your landing page is aligned with the keywords you’re bidding on.
- You’ve set up Google Shopping for your store.
- You have shipping and delivery information on the landing page.
- Your online forms are working (in case you’re collecting information)
- You’re using live chat.