10 Most common PPC mistakes in eCommerce

For an eCommerce store owner, the most important thing is to sell and be successful.

However, the competition online is fierce!

The scene is changing every day – some of the stores go under, others open or come up.

So what should you do?

In case you need a fast solution, we got one for you – invest in PPC!

Posted on 19.07.2020 | by Tigran Mirzoyan


What is PPC?

Well, it’s a form of online advertising called Pay Per Click, or simply PPC, when a company pays a certain amount of money each time their ad gets a click. It helps you get noticed fast, thus get revenue fast. 

However, if you are new to it, there are a lot of mistakes that you might have to make before you figure out your own unique formula of perfect settings. 

Here we have outlined 10 most common mistakes when it comes to PPC in eCommerce, so you can learn through the experience of others, don’t waste your budget and speed up the learning curve a bit. 

Wrong Bidding/Budgeting

The correct bidding and budgeting are one of the tokens of the overall success of your PPC campaign.  

When it comes to a PPC campaign, it is like bidding in an auction. 

But here, you are bidding on keywords, securing an ad space for yourself. 

There are 2 main types of bidding – manual and automatic.  

Whereas both have their advantages and disadvantages, you need to see which one works best for your market environment and niche. 

A lot of information can also come from competitors. Observe their behaviour and see how you can adapt to it. 

If you don’t have a PPC expert on a payroll, you can start from the automatic option and go from there. 

When it comes to budgeting, don’t be stingy! 

Allocate enough daily budget to get noticed and watch the numbers closely. If your ads are not getting clicks or you get clicks but no conversions, then you need to look more closely into your targeting. 

Wrong Targeting

Targeting is crucial! 

You need to know your audience like you know your spouse – what they like and dislike, what language they use, what purchasing habits they have, their tastes and interests.

If you get the targeting wrong, no matter how much money or creativity you put into your campaigns, it will just go right over them. 

Imagine trying to sell a luxury watch to a grandma trying to find a toy watch for her granddaughter – it just won’t work! 

When it comes to targeting there is a huge number of variables that you can set, from very obvious ones like geographical location, age, interests and income, language and keywords to some like operating systems of the device, network type and parental status. 

That’s why it’s so important to have a clear buyer avatar in front of you, so you can then create that person through the filters and target them. 

A very important thing here to mention is retargeting. 

Essentially, when you use retargeting, you are trying to bring back the people who already visited your website but didn’t convert. 

This is a great tool to implement in your targeting strategy, as people who have already visited you, know who you are, and are interested in the product, all you have to do is give them an extra nudge.  

Reminding them about yourself will greatly increase your chances of converting them.

Bad Ad Copy

Obviously, your ad copy has to be unique. 

But it also has to be interesting, creative, informative, speak the language of the audience and be easy in the eyes. 

However, don’t overdo it either.

Have a clear vision of what your ad needs to accomplish – which is to convert your visitors into paying clients. 

You have to convey a clear message across and it has to be simple. 

If people love your ad but it doesn’t convert – it is basically a waste of your time and money. 

So be sure you are original, interesting, catchy and focused – but keep it clear and simple! 

Another important point to mention is diversity. 

Do not use the same ad copy for your paid advertising on Google, Bing, Facebook and others. 

Make your language platform-specific and as authentic to the audience as possible.

All Ads – One Landing Page

It is very important to pair each keyword to its ad and landing page

If let’s say, you have 10 different PPC campaigns set, and all of them take the viewer to the same home page, or product page, most likely it will fail to convert. 

The reason is that keywords differ by intent, and combining different keywords with the same landing page just doesn’t make sense. 

Let’s say I am looking for red shoes for sale in London. If the ad takes me to the homepage, I will most certainly leave, as I am looking for a specific product, that I’m ready to pay for. 

Likewise, if your ad takes me to the product page of a red shoe model when I’m looking for shoe shops in London, I will also not convert, as I’m clearly filtering the shops I like, to later on search for shoes, which might be anything from boots to sandals.

Personalize your ads! 

Create different landing pages to match each keyword and ad group. 

Wrong Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting is one of the crucial, if not the most important aspect of your PPC setup. 

There is so much to know and say about keywords, that it could be a separate article, but let us give you a quick overview.

There are many types of keywords, like long-tail and short-tail. 

Keywords also differ by intent –  informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial or “high intent”. 

Before starting to set up your campaign, you will need to do real deep analysis and segmentation of your keywords so you can bid on the right ones and not make mistakes in this sense. 

There are also many options when it comes to bidding on your keywords. 

There are also different match types when we talk about keyword targeting. 

You can choose to either bid on the exact match – which is the exact keyword as you put in; broad match – similar keywords to your bid; exact phrase match – the exact match of your long-tail keywords and broad match modifier – which pretty much means that you can choose a couple of keywords, and any phrase match with an individual one of them.

Not Using Negative Keywords 

It is also very important to mention that using negative keywords in your settings is very important to use your resources wisely. 

What does a negative keyword mean?

It’s a keyword, for which you don’t want your ad to be triggered and show when this keyword is in the mix. 

Let us explain what we mean. 

For example, you are bidding on the same buy red shoes in London

You put the exact march, the board match, like buy shoes, you put the phrase match, like buy women’s red shoes in London, and the broad match modifier, like red shoes for sale near London

Let’s say your shoes are expensive. In this case, you want to eliminate people looking for cheap shoes, so you put the negative keyword cheap or affordable.

Now, anyone looking to buy cheap red shoes in London will not see your ad, and you will save yourself the money that would otherwise be spent on triggering the ad.  

CTR vs. CR Confusion 

There is a big difference between CTR and CR and it’s very important to keep track of both. 

CTR is the Click-Through Rate of your ad – which pretty much shows the ratio of people clicking on the link and the total number of people who see the ad. It is one of the factors, by which you can measure the success of your ad campaign. 

Whereas CR means Conversion Rate – which in sense of the ad campaign is the number of conversions obtained per click. 

Now, it’s important to know that your CTR may be low, but the CR high, and that’s ok! 

When your ad was viewed 100 times but only 20 people clicked on it, you have a CTR of 20%. That’s not so good, isn’t it? 

But when your ad has been clicked on 20 times and 10 people made a purchase, your CR is 50%, which is an amazing index, and that’s what you actually want! 

You want the highest CR possible! 

Not Split Testing 

Split testing or A/B testing is when you are testing various parts of your ad to see to which one the viewers react better. 

Split testing is very important, and no matter how skilled you are in PPC and how long you have done it, you will always need to test your ad to see what works, as nothing is for certain in the dynamic world of eCommerce. 

In general, you will be testing these 4 main parts of your ad: 

  • The keywords
  • The link
  • The headline
  • The copy

The key here is not to change everything in one ad, but rather have the same ad and change just one component, so you can then see which variable affects the response to the ad. 

Monitor their performance closely and you will see which one is the winner and can then change your ad accordingly. 

Failing to Do Ad to Revenue Optimization

When you are calculating the profitability, the CPC (Cost Per Click), the RIO (Return On Investment) and the CAA (Cost Per Aquizition/Sale) of your ad campaign, ultimately what you need is sales to generate revenue!

And an ad that doesn’t generate sales and revenue is useless – just a waste of money. 

So what do you need to do here? 

The only indication that should matter for you is your revenue. 

Your CR could be high, your CPC could be high, but if you are spending more than you are getting, you are wasting money. 

But how can your indicators be good and still not bring profit? 


You are spending more than you are getting. 

If your CPC is higher than the revenue from the single product, then you are at loss. 

That’s why it’s so important to include revenue in your calculations and optimize your ads to tailor them to maximizing just one index- your revenue! 

Not Constantly Monitoring

This one goes without saying! 

You always have to monitor your activities and the behaviour of your market niche. 

Make sure you are closely watching your ads, how they are performing, and if one of the indicators is not performing well, you need to optimize the ad, in order to use your resources wisely and avoid waste. 

Each day, each hour that your ad is performing poorly you are losing money. 

Your competitors might increase bids and your ad simply won’t come up in the search, your ad might have problems within itself. 

Even a single misspelt word or a wrong phrase, a different colour of the button can affect the performance of the ad.  

Monitor closely and react fast to make sure you are getting the maximum from your ads.


Here you go, the most common mistakes to stay away from! 

If you make sure to avoid those and keep a close track of everything you will set yourself on the path to success. 

Also, be sure to always keep up on the current news, and use all the latest features that the PPC platform offers, as they are being updated regularly. 

There are also new trends and competitors constantly emerging, and you need to stay relevant and interesting to ensure your ad space and revenue generation.  

Tigran Mirzoyan

Tigran Mirzoyan is the CEO at Smarketa and also loves to share his experience and expertise in blogs. Since 2010, the year Smarketa was founded, Tigran has worked tirelessly to grow eCommerce businesses, and now he can share his experience with those in need of professional advice.