Julia Olennikova

SEMrush Study: 5 e-Commerce PPC Myths Busted with Data

This post is in English

Doing PPC for an e-commerce website is amazing. You can literally see how every dollar spent on AdWords is being transformed into real conversions and sales. But sometimes things go wrong, and you watch your money being poured down the drain.

There are hundreds of reasons why your AdWords campaign might be underperforming, and many of them are related to common myths and misconceptions. We all used to trust mantras like “every ad should contain a call to action,” but then discover that this is not always the case. So we decided to rely on data and looked at the most common trends and statements in PPC.

To help e-commerce businesses achieve success in 2018, we carried out a comprehensive study of 8,000 e-shops operating in different verticals. It gives a complete picture of how the e-commerce industry is leveraging SEO, PPC, and content in their marketing efforts and which trends are worth adopting in 2018.

In particular, we wanted to find out if any of the popular myths concerning AdWords strategies in e-commerce are worth trusting. Let’s take a look at the results!

What myths have you encountered about PPC in your work? Please share them in the comments below to help others avoid some of the common pitfalls!

Discover everything you need to get more traffic and boost your online sales. Find out how to build an effective digital marketing strategy, measure your success and evaluate your performance in comparison to the competition. Hallam agency and SEMrush have worked in partnership to bring you a comprehensive guide that will help you achieve these goals. SEMrush gathered and analyzed information...

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Does PPC use for micro niche blog? If yes then please help me.

Thank you for post :)
I think it also boils down to the type of products advertised. Getting the clicks does necessarily translate to sales.
how to use semrush
Does PPC useful to real estate websites? [link removed by moderator]
I don't see any myths busted here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are reviewing what most people did, without looking at the conversions/ ad performance? There's a big difference.

For example, myth "Aim for bigger discounts in your ads" is refuted with "evidence" that people selling health products favour 5% discounts. But it doesn't say how their ads performed if they decided to offer 10, 25, 50% discount.

You also use the fact that 50% of budgets are <$1k to prove that "PPC can be done effectively on a shoestring budget" but that figure doesn't prove that at all. For all you know, those people could be failing at PPC, which is why they don't spend more than $1k.
I think that the fact that 50% of advertisers have less than $1k budget does not assume the inevitable success of the campaign. The statement is, it is only possible to run a campaign on a shoestring.
In fact, the topic of the effectiveness of ads with the low budget is worth developing a separate research.
That's a hell of a job thanks!
Interesting post Julia. 96% of our ads are on desktop. Now, if I run remarketing and display and Google still targets in-game ads, then I'll see 99% on mobile but they are 100% worthless :D
Great Post,
Totally agree with the desktop data we still see a large number of users visiting for PPC ads on desktop
Well done! I did find bits and pieces useful. However not very helpful specifically in my case having a broad non-niche shopping site that doesn't allow you to narrow it down into one area (or niche).

Unless of course, one wanted to only run ads for a particular item or category of, at a time.

A broad shopping department store low priced items site that is driven by selling few of many category small priced items, it appears to be extremely difficult. CPS for PPC is always leaving zero or negative margins and seems impossible to change no matter how much i research PPC.

Or am i missing something here?

Any advice would be great on how to deal with such a model of business in PPC for it to be an effective method?
Myth 4 kind of rubs me wrong, and maybe I am just being way to picky here. However, the myth states that that "all ads should contain a CTA", I emphasis the "should".

The data used to bust it is what is currently happening (3 out of 10 have a CTA) vs A/B Performance of two ads, one with a CTA and one without a CTA.

The data is very insightful but we shouldn't go thinking it's ok not to have a CTA without testing it first. You may find you should have one for better performance.
J. Baugh
Hi J! Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you found the data insightful.

As for the A/B testing, I totally agree with you: as we saw with bigger samples of data, the use of target devices, triggers and even budgets -- all heavily depend on the niche. And it gets even more individual when it comes to a single campaign.

However, we assume that the ads found by SEMrush are more likely to have “survived” the split testing, so they are generally more efficient and ‘live’ longer, which is why they may be worth looking at.

But there again, there are no sure-fire recipes really, so PPC specialists need to try and test different ad variations. This is how great case studies are born :)
Nice. Great stuff as usual! ;)
C. Alex Velazquez
Thank you Alex, glad you liked it!
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