Social media and SEO are all wonderful sources of traffic, but if you want quick results, nothing can beat PPC for e-commerce.
However, as effective as paid traffic might be, it can also be expensive. If your site is slow, unusable and lacks key Call-to-Actions (CTAs), you can end up spending money without getting any customers.
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.
Checklist: Is Your E-Commerce Store Ready for Paid Ads?
Essential steps you need to complete before running PPC campaigns.
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1. Check Site Speed
Patience is a scarce virtue in the on-demand online world.
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 e-commerce landing pages, look for a loading time under 2-seconds and a performance grade of at least B.
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 e-commerce landing pages load faster:
- Use optimized landing pages from third-party providers 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-platform specific 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, mobile-friendliness will go a long way towards improving conversions.
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
For e-commerce businesses, the easiest way to solve mobile friendliness issues is to:
- Use mobile-friendly landing pages. Use tools such as LeadPages to create landing pages. Alternatively, buy a mobile-friendly landing page template from ThemeForest.net. Pair it with a mobile-optimized shopping cart such as Ecwid.
- Use mobile-friendly stores. 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-friendly store 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 e-commerce stores, this landing page should clearly identify the core value proposition, showcase product benefits, and highlight the CTAs.
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.
- CTA (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 e-commerce pages.
- Product Images: Add a number of high-quality product images, preferably above the…