Whether you have just started your eCommerce business or have been running your own online store for some time now, it’s not uncommon to make mistakes when it comes to your advertisements. Whether it’s your written copy or your design, even the smallest details can turn consumers away from your ads.

This isn’t that big of a deal when you’re a big eCommerce enterprise, but what if you happen to be working with a limited budget? Getting the biggest return-on-investment that you can is vital for smaller eCommerce retailers. With so much at stake, it’s important for smaller online stores to avoid making critical mistakes that can significantly hurt their bottom line.

If you aren’t seeing any positive results from your digital advertisements, check to make sure that you aren’t making the following mistakes that are accidentally sabotaging your ROI:

You’re Targeting Too Broadly (Or Too Narrow) on Facebook

Social media has exploded in the past few years and has become a hotspot for many advertisers looking to boost traffic to their online stores. The problem is that it can also suck your marketing budget dry if you do it incorrectly.

One of the biggest mistakes that digital marketers make with Facebook advertising is getting their audience targeting strategy wrong. Target too broad of an audience, and your cost-per-click campaigns won’t convert into sales and your cost-per-impressions will simply be expensive and drive low-quality traffic that isn’t interested in what you sell.

Social Media

On the other hand, targeting too narrow of an audience on Facebook won’t drive efficient click-through-rates and conversions. In order to triumph, find the sweet spot between both that will maximize your ROI.

Your Ads Don’t Appear Trustworthy

Consumers value trust in a business—whether it’s an online business or a brick-and-mortar store. Winning your customer’s trust is critical if you want to convince them to make a sale, which is why everything from your website to your advertisements needs to ooze trustworthiness.

According to a survey by Nielsen, consumer trust in advertisements is growing. Unsurprisingly, this same survey found that consumers trust recommendations from their friends and family the most, followed by branded websites and consumer opinions posted online.

The takeaway here is that eCommerce store owners need to ensure that their ads appear authentic and don’t try to oversell to the consumer. As the survey shows, consumers highly value the opinions of others, so it would be a good idea to use an advanced review extension for your eCommerce store that encourages customers to contribute reviews for your products.

You’re Using Interstitial Ads on Your Mobile Site

The upside of interstitial ads is that they cover the entire site page and visitors are forced to view them in order to click out. The downside is that this is incredibly annoying—particularly for mobile users. If you are still using interstitial ads on your mobile site, you need to give them the boot or face being penalized by Google.

In August of 2016, Google announced in a blog post that “intrusive” full-page ads and pop-ups will be penalized in mobile search rankings, effective January 2017. This is part of Google’s mission to improve the mobile experience for users as much as possible. Simply put, online advertisers need to fix their websites as soon as possible or watch their rankings tank.

Misleading or No Call to Action

Misleading customers in your call to action (CTA) not only causes your customer to mistrust you, but it can even get you into legal trouble if it goes too far. If you proclaim that your product or service can offer things far beyond what its capable of, don’t be surprised when you find yourself losing credibility and customers in the process.

Having no call to action at all is also another big mistake for digital marketers. Even if the customer is ready to buy, they often need to be prompted to take action. Ending your ad with things like “start your free trial today” or “contact us for a free consultation” can make the difference between a vaguely interested customer and an actual sale.

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Choosing the Wrong Keywords

Many online merchants know that Google AdWords can be an excellent tool for driving traffic to their site and generating more sales. However, it can also be extremely costly for those who set up their campaigns wrong. Perhaps one of the more common mistakes has to do with choosing the right keyword matches.

Your keyword research is the foundation for your AdWords campaign and therefor, you need to plan on spending a lot of time on it. Failing to do the research and choosing the wrong keywords will only result in an expensive AdWords campaign that does nothing for your eCommerce store.

So do yourself a favor and use tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to get your keyword research started! If you’re new to AdWords, Kissmetrics has a helpful AdWords guide that can get you started on the right path to successful pay-per-click campaign.


Digital advertising can be a challenge for many eCommerce store owners today. Not only do marketers have to make their advertisements stand out in a competitive market, but they also have to make sure that their ads bring them a significant ROI.

The truth is that there are many missteps that online merchants can make when it comes to their advertisements. Some of these missteps can be avoided with some careful planning, while others are ones that you will simply have to learn from. To figure out whether your ads are helping or hurting your ROI, it’s important that you have some way to measure the performance of your ads.