\r\n\r\nWe know as well as anyone, Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) can be challenging at times, particularly for marketers who are completely new to it or those who have little experience in running a retail PPC account. So we\u2019re taking a look at some of the common PPC challenges facing retailers in 2018.\r\nCustomer Acquisition\r\nOne of the primary reasons for retailers to embark on a PPC campaign is to acquire customers. But how exactly do you acquire them? The key to answering that question is knowing your audience, who they are and where they are. Do you know their age, gender, interests, or even which search engine they use?\r\n\r\nFor example, if you know your product is something which is commonly searched for, then paid search could be an ideal method. Alternatively, if you know that your target audience spends a lot of time on social media platforms, paid social media marketing should be considered.\r\nAccount Structure\r\nHaving a clean and clear account structure could prove to be the difference between having an average or even underperforming account and having an account which is easy to manage, analyse, report on, and most importantly, is profitable.\r\n\r\nThere isn\u2019t a \u2018perfect\u2019 account structure, as everyone\u2019s accounts are different and have different products and objectives, however there is best practice guidance to follow when setting up a new account.\r\n\r\nAlthough this is a very basic representation of an AdWords account, it still gives a good idea of how your account will look. Each campaign will have its own \u2018Ad Groups\u2019 \u2013 you can have as many \u2018Ad Groups\u2019 per campaign as you like, and each one will have a set of keywords, with each keyword having an advert, or several, associated with it.\r\n\r\nIn the example of a technology retailer, their account structure may have televisions, home cinema and computing as campaigns. The \u2018Ad Groups\u2019 for the \u2018televisions\u2019 campaign may then be \u2018Sony\u2019, \u2018Samsung\u2019, \u2018LG\u2019, \u2018Panasonic\u2019 and \u2018Hisense\u2019.\r\n\r\nWithin each of these categories, relevant keywords such as \u2018Sony Bravia XE90\u2019, \u2018Sony TV\u2019s for sale\u2019 or \u2018Sony TV deals\u2019 may be included, with an advert for that product associated with it.\r\nCompetitors and established retailers\r\nRetail is a competitive industry, and so there are likely to be many other retailers selling a similar product or service to the one you are trying to sell. The more common your products, the more difficult it is likely to be to run a profitable campaign, with keywords likely to be have a more expensive cost per click.\r\n\r\nIn addition to this, well-known retailers such as Amazon, Argos, Currys PC World and SportsDirect all have considerable budgets when it comes to marketing, and part of this budget usually finds its way into their Paid Search accounts. They also have very strong, organic search presence, which makes competing with them a considerable challenge.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019d advise not trying to be too clever when it comes to competing with the major players within your sector. Instead, focus on tailoring your ads by localising your keywords and ad copy.\r\n\r\nLots of traffic, not so many conversions\r\n\r\nIf your campaigns are seeing a high volume of traffic yet very few conversions, then you should reassess them. By looking at your account at keyword level, you will be able to analyse whether a particular keyword is driving a high proportion of the non-converting clicks.\r\n\r\nIf this is the case, you will need to analyse the keywords negatives, match type, locations and \u00a0ensure the campaign settings are correct. Check day parting schedules. You may find by making some small tweaks it may become one of your best performing keywords.\r\n\r\nYou may also find that traffic isn\u2019t being converted because the landing page isn\u2019t relevant to your advert. If this is true, then consider using an alternative landing page which is more relevant. For example, is an ad for \u2018Sony Bravia XE90\u2019 actually taking the user through to your websites \u2018Sony\u2019 category page, or worse still, the page of another model?\r\nMobile Shoppers\r\nIt seems like marketers have been talking about mobile for years now, but it\u2019s still surprising how some retailers haven\u2019t embraced the mobile age and ignore consumers who are searching for products on their portable devices.\r\n\r\nShoppers on mobile devices typically want to complete their purchase quickly as well, which means mobile PPC campaigns should be as consumer-friendly as possible, with landing pages being correct and sitelinks and ad extensions being made use of.\r\n\r\nEnsuring an all-round seamless mobile experience will mean that your customers return the next time they\u2019re on the lookout for products similar to yours. Also, consider your attribution model as well \u2013 not all consumers will convert on a mobile device, but they will then convert on a desktop at a later point.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCircus PPC is a team of PPC experts dedicated to improving PPC accounts who are passionate about performance, driving growth and reducing waste.