Paid Advertising

In this day and age, where the internet is crowded with many sites, it is inevitable that you will need to consider some forms of paid advertising to get your e-commerce website, products and services seen by potential customers.

Pay Per Click

The most common form of marketing your website is using Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. This is where an advert is displayed on a third party site, often a major search engine such as Google or Bing, and when someone clicks on that advert they are taken to your site, and you are charged a fee for that visitor referral.

Adverts are linked to keywords or phrases that you select that are relevant to your service, and when people search for these keywords, your adverts will be displayed, based on certain other factors.

This is probably the quickest and easiest way to get visitors to your site, especially if it is new, or you have been struggling for visitors. However as you pay for each click regardless of whether the visitor buys anything on your site you need to make sure that your PPC campaigns are set up correctly.

  • Be as targeted as possible with your keywords - if you are selling books on a certain subject don't advertise for "books" instead make sure your keywords contain details of the specific subjects that you offer.
  • Consider your landing pages - don't just link to your home page, if someone searches for a specific product, get them to that page on your site as quickly as possible, so land them straight on the relevant page.
  • Think about the visitors you want to attract - ideally you want to only pay for visitors that are ready to be converted into customers so tailor your keywords to those who are at the later stages of purchasing rather than those who might still be in the research phase.
  • Make sure your adverts are eye catching but clear - if the visitor feels that the site that they land on does not live up to the promise of the advert they will quickly leave and you will have paid for a wasted click.

We can help with the creation and maintenance of your PPC campaigns. We have developed tools to assist with the creation of keyword variations.

With a refined PPC campaign it is possible to draw in very targeted traffic in a cost effective manner. It is also possible to monitor the performance of your PPC campaings very closely, and we always build in the relevant tracking code for the advertising network that you chooose, plus our own proprietary tracking into your site for reporting purposes.

The most common PPC Advertising services are :

  • Google Adwords

    Google Adwords

    The original and best known PPC service. Due to Googles search market share, it's critical to be present on Adwords.
  • Microsoft AdCenter

    Microsoft adCenter (MSN)

    Improving service and systems, and also traffic levels, adCenter should be considered to supplement your PPC efforts.


A more recent development in paid marketing is Retargeting - this is where a visitor that has been identified as a prospect is shown links back to your site even after they have moved on to visit other sites. The theory is that it helps to establish your brand with the prospect, and that they are more likely to return to complete the sale.

In practice Retargeting works in the follwoing way :

  • A customer visits your website and browses various products - the retargeting service anonymously logs the items they have looked at.
  • The customer leaves your site and later on visits other sites, search engines, portals etc - whilst on that site they will see an advert for your site, that can be specific enough to show them the items thay have already looked at.
  • The customer follows the advert and comes back to your site - and hopefullly purchases.

It is proving to be a very effective marketing channel. Generally payment is made per advert that is clicked on, but you can get services that only charge if a sale is made but that is generally a higher fee - the balance needs to be considered.

With Google now offering their own Retargeting scheme this type of marketing is going mainstream, and alll the large e-commerce sites are joining in.


Whilst nowhere near as popular as it used to be, there is sometimes still a benefit from residency type marketing.

This is where you pay for a banner or link to be present on a third party site for a certain length of time, or perhaps a certain number of impressions (views).

The drawback is that you pay even if you get no traffic at alll directed to your website. You would only really want to consider this type of marketing if the site that will carry your links is closely related to your own site - for example if you sell car spares, a car maintenace forum might be an appropriate place to have your links as the visitors are effectively targeted.