Thumbnail image for hope is not a strategy.pngAccording to a study commissioned by, the online retailers surveyed said that 46% of their marketing budget is dedicated to paid search (40% for traditional paid search, plus 6% from product listing ads). This is almost half! So, why is almost half of a retailer’s budget dedicated to paid search?

When it comes to online marketing, paid search is one of the most measurable forms of marketing. Every dollar spent in a paid search campaign can be tracked and measured. This allows retailers to quickly identify areas where they are wasting money and focus their efforts on more profitable products and categories.

“What you can measure, you can improve,” Timothy Seward said in a recent interview by Marketing Sherpa.

Once retailers understand why paid search is important to their marketing strategy, they must then focus their efforts on driving the right traffic to their stores. This is where the paid search strategies for multi-channel retailers get interesting. Let’s look at four key paid search elements that multi-channel retailers can leverage for a better return on investment:

1. Targeting the right location & demographic – With the launch of AdWords’ enhanced campaigns in 2013, retailers have more control over targeting and bid features than ever before. For retailers with physical store fronts, location bid adjustments can be beneficial to driving local traffic into your offline store. Pure play ecommerce retailers can garner major wins by controlling location bids based on conversion rates.

A more recent development has been the addition of bidding by household income demographic. This feature allows retailers to use the data in their AdWords campaigns to see which segments of income demographics are purchasing their products. This is huge for high-end and specialty retailers who have a very narrow demographic for their products.

2. Speak to mobile buyers – In addition to the location and demographic bid adjustments, retailers can also adjust how much they want to pay for mobile shoppers searching for their products. Depending on how well a site converts mobile shoppers will depend on how much retailers are willing to pay for clicks from a mobile device.


Even better for retailers advertising on mobile devices using AdWords is that you can write a ‘mobile preferred’ ad. This way when a shopper is searching for products from their smartphone, your mobile preferred ad will be served to them instead of your regular ad. This is important because retailers can tailor the messaging to speak to mobile buyers by using phrases like “Shop from your phone” or “Stop by our store.”

3. Migrate to Google Shopping campaigns – By the end of the summer, Google will be migrating all Product Listing Ad campaigns to the new Google Shopping campaign format. From a consumer’s perspective little will change. However, for retailers the new campaign migration comes with streamlined structure, condensed custom category options, and industry benchmark data for better insights. As with most Google migrations, the key for the Google Shopping campaign migration is to get started with it early so there is little to no effect on sales and traffic.

4. Implement dynamic remarketing – This new type of remarketing campaign is the perfect option for retailers wanting to effectively leverage the Google Display Network. While it still functions under the same principles of remarketing – targeting only a list of website visitors segmented by their actions and time since last visit – dynamic remarketing adds a twist that has produced mind-blowing results for our clients.

By dynamically inserting the exact product of a shopper’s experience into a display ad after they’ve left a site without buying, dynamic remarketing is producing over 5 times more sales than regular static remarketing. While this campaign format requires access to a retailer’s product feed through the Google Merchant Center and an extra snippet of code, the reward of setting up dynamic remarketing means more buyers coming back to shop.

Google is constantly tweaking and changing its AdWords platform. As these changes keep rolling out (and Bing Ads keeps adopting the changes), retailers stand to have major gains as Google focuses on bringing searchers the right product at the right time in the right perspective.

How are you leveraging your paid search efforts to grow your business either online or offline?