• eCom PPC Blog

PPC - Unpicking Where to Advertise & Who to Target

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

In this paid search blog we take a look at the most visited sites in the world and the core principles of different advertising methods. You can tailor your Ad type to increase ROI saving you some big bucks.

With so many people online, it is easy to ask where is everyone, and why are more of them not visiting your site? If you’re trying to grow an online business, it is vital you know where everybody is ‘hanging out’. Just like in high school if you throw a kick ass party, everyone comes to your house, everyone has a good time, and you become popular. Which is great because if you can throw a kick ass party on your ecommerce store you can drive increased traffic, and sales.

So, let’s take a look at the “high school cool kids”, once we find out who they are, we can go to their party and do something cool to get attention like, have a dance off, do a keg stand, tell some jokes even do a magic trick. Now I know you’re thinking hang on I’m pretty sure if I went to a high school party and did magic tricks I wouldn’t walk away with friends but If you keep reading you’ll learn you could probably show off your Pokémon socks at one of these parties and walk away with friends! A bold claim but all will be explained further on.

So first of all, we need to know which sites are visited the most?

  • Google.com 60M

  • Youtube.com 24M

  • Facebook.com 20M

  • Baidu.com 9.7M

  • Wikipedia.org 4.7M

  • Twitter.com 3.9M

  • Yahoo.com 3.7M

  • Pornhub.com 3.4M

  • Instagram.com 3.2M

  • Xvideos.com 3.2M

  • Yandex.ru 3.0M

  • Amazon.com 2.4M

  • Live.com 2.3M

  • Netflix.com 1.8M

  • Whatsapp.com 1.8M 

Data from Visual Capitalist monthly visit figures from June 2019.

With 3.5 billion searches per day on Google and 60.5 billion visits to the it is indisputably clear that it is the dominant search engine on the internet. Got a question, Google it! Got a problem, Google it! Heard of a new product, Google it! Got a strange looking growth on you elbow, Google it! It’s obvious Google’s powerful functionality has seen it seep in to our culture, behaviour and language. However, Google is not alone in building a frame work that connects the world wide web, nearly every site in the top 20 has a powerful search feature, yes even Pornhub. [ I should note that you’re likely to have to spend more time trudging through filth on twitter before finding what you’re looking for than on Pornhub].

Google, Baidu, Yahoo and Yandex are thought of the being the “real search engines” on our list and listing sites to help a user when faced with a search may be their primary function but all these sites have a greater overall purpose. With over 75 billion visits to these sites monthly shareholders and company execs would consider it criminal to not monetise the largest body of human traffic ever seen in our history.

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp dominate internet usage across all age demographics. Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Reddit also take up a sizeable chunk of bandwidth too. These platforms have figured out how to get users to create accounts, fill out demographic questioners, hoard further details of peoples lives and how to get you to spend as much times as possible scrolling through and engaging on their platforms.

Great, so now we know where most of the traffic is going, we use this information to effectively place our ads. There are two schools of thought when it comes to advertising, the first relies on high amounts of traffic; more eyes on your ad the more sales you will make. The second is a bit more strategic, to increase the number of potential customers that see the advert to actual paying customer advertisers will target the ad to people who have already shown an interest in the product or service.

So, if we want to try method one then you better bet that we are going to be on Google, advertising on Google is like advertising in Times Square, its going to get millions of eyes on your ad! The only problem is advertising in Times square isn’t cheap. If you’re positioning your ad on high traffic sites you better make sure it is a product the majority of people have a need for. Even if your ad can be applied to virtually anyone circumstances could mean that people aren’t interested in your product, i.e. bought one last month or have a similar product / service provider they are happy with. These concerns are why Pay Per Click campaigns are so popular.

Having a smaller ad budget shouldn’t be the sole reason for looking to target your advertising. This works best for retailers who want to advertise specific products that are only useful to people with specific interests in specific demographics.

Any marketer worth their salt knows you should be driving traffic to your store using both methods.

Let’s take toothbrushes for example, if someone is searching for this product on a search engine then its likely they are looking to purchase one in the near future and have taken to Google to get an idea of the market, maybe read some reviews if they are looking to splurge. How on earth would you use targeted advertising to sell a toothbrush? Is there a demographic or interest for oral hygiene? Not yet, but if Zuckerberg is reading this, maybe soon. Social media utilises people’s beliefs and emotions so you can use this when you want to launch an advertising campaign. If you head over to Google Trends you can see interest for Bamboo toothbrushes have consistently been increasing, worldwide, in the US and the UK. The demographic you want to target here is people who follow environmental causes and charities, people who show an aversion to single use plastic, you can also guarantee people with a salary of less than £25k are far less likely to be spending their hard earned money on products like this.

If your product solves a need that everybody has at some point or another and they will actively seek a solution then you need to invest in a PPC campaign but if you have a specific product then you need to be selective about your audience. There is no point in growing your advertising audience if they have not shown an interest in your product or anything similar.

In no way do I want to over simplify targeted marketing, these campaigns require a lot of testing to whittle down your desired audience size and maximise your ROI. You want to start out with something broad that some people like, take the people that engaged to the next step closure to your niche product, those that respond well to that will be the audience you wish to target with your product.

An example can be played out when one of the “popular kids in high school”, Facebook, throws a house party. You're shy and have poor social confidence but want to make a good impression with your coin magic tricks. If you go round to people trying to show off your coin magic its unlikely to be received well. So maybe you sit down at a table with 3 cups and a ball, generate a little interest from people by asking them to find the ball. After a couple of rounds you have built up a crowd of about 10 people. Now time to show off some more magic skills and you pull out a deck of cards. Your card tricks bore 2 of the viewers who weren’t really interested anyway they stopped to look because they were curious. The rest of the crowd is really loving your showman ship so now you move on to coin magic. Even though you’re really in your element and getting some people super engaged another 2 from the crowd move on.

This took you a lot of time but now you have 6 people are very clearly interested in magic tricks, one of which is a girl who gave you their number and you have the confidence to go back home to your Dad and tell him you don’t need to join the football team to have friends and now you vaguely understand targeted advertising on social media platforms.
Now you’re thinking that’s magic tricks, you said I could make friends and invite them to the kick ass party at my shopify store.

Well, yes you can its easy. Start by looking for anyone wearing clothes or accessories referencing fictional pop culture characters, dig a little deeper to see if they are interested in, gaming, cartoons, collectables and anime. If they indicate any sort of green light, mention Pokemon Go, if they engage bust out the Pokemon socks. You don’t need to try to generalise your niche to advertise to everyone, you should be proud of how exclusively your product is demanded. Now I bet you never thought you would be reading a blog about ecommerce and the 90’s teen movie message of be yourself would hit home so much.

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