Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an effective, budget-friendly online marketing tool that can drive more traffic to your site and result in increased conversions and revenue. But peppering the web with randomly run ad campaigns will only waste money and earn nothing but frustration in your smoke and vape shop marketing endeavors.

Global data generation volumes are up to 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. (That’s a 25 with 30 zeros, if you’re not sure of the scale.) Consumers simply can’t digest all the information available to them, even on a specific topic.

It’s up to business to leverage smart ad targeting to cut through the noise and present potential solutions to consumers wherever they happen to be on the web.

Following, you’ll find six targeting tactics that help put your PPC ads in front of the right audiences. These targeting options are available in Google’s PPC ad manager, and many are also available in third-party ad managers or ad platforms for other search engines:

1. Targeting Search or Keywords
Targeting ads by search or keywords is popular, especially when you want advertisements to appear directly on the search engine results pages.
Target PPC ads according to search by bidding on keywords for your ads. When you win the ad placement, Google (or another search engine) will display your links and ad copy along with organic search results.

Search targeting is beneficial because your ads show up to people who are actively looking for smoke or vape shop products, increasing the odds that they’ll click on your link and convert to clientele (or at least sign up for more information) once they get to your site.

2. Targeting Your Own Content
The research and analysis that goes into strong search targeting might be something you don’t have the time or expertise to execute. While search targeting is highly effective, and it pays to learn these things or hire an expert to handle them, you also could invest in Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs). Doing so allows the ad network to analyze your on-site content, determine which keywords might be relevant, and launch appropriate PPC ads.

Other than convenience, the benefits of DSA include:

• The ability to specify pages on your site to be considered in the ad analytics, so you can quickly build targeted DSA campaigns around certain landing pages or catalog listings

• An increased likelihood of discovering new ad bidding opportunities that you may not be leveraging based on your own keyword research

3. Targeting Your Intended Audience via Context
Contextual targeting lets you target intended subsections of your audience if you understand their demographics, interests, or where they hang out online. Keyword targeting is one form of contextual targeting. Here are two methods to consider for your smoke or vape shop PPC ad campaigns.

• Target topics. Google lets you choose from a variety of topics and have your ads appear on sites in the Google Display Network that provide content about those categories. For example, you might target eliquid juice ads to topics such as “Smoking>Quitting” or “Addiction>Quit Smoking.” These are actual Google Ad target topics, and individuals interested in this information may also be interested in eliquid products.

• Target online locations. When advertising via the Google Display Network, you can provide a list of sites where you want your ads to appear. The sites must be part of Google’s ad network, but this option lets you increase the number of ads that appear on highly relevant sites or places where you’ve had high click-through or conversion rates before. You might consider targeting local news and culture sites or industry-specific sites.

4. Targeting the Intent of Consumers
Google, Bing, and other ad networks collect data about how individuals behave online that let them make data-backed assumptions about the intent of consumers. The ad networks use these assumptions to sift individuals into in-market audiences, which are considered to be actively searching for goods or services relevant to a specific market. You can choose to target these audiences with your PPC ads.

For example, Google provides over a dozen in-market audiences. While vape juice is not one of them, vape and smoke shops might be able to leverage tangential audiences, such as smoking alternatives or quit smoking, to widen their ad reach.

5. Targeting Audiences that Mimic Yours
Behavioral data also lets ad networks draw comparisons between how your existing audience interacts online and the way others behave online. Those comparisons identify people that are doing the same things as your audience, which is an indicator that they might be interested in the same goods and services. Targeting similar audiences with your smoke and vape shop PPC ads is a great way to leverage what you know to bring in new clientele.

6. Retargeting Your Existing Audience
Finally, remember that PPC advertising isn’t all about seeking out new consumers. You likely already have a long list of people who have seen your links and ads and clicked on them previously. They might have signed up for a newsletter, called for a quote, or even purchased products or servies at some point in the past with your smoke or vape shop. Retargeting continues to put your PPC advertisements in front of these consumers, so they remember your company when a new need for services arises.

If this all sounds complicated and time-consuming, there is some good news:

While strong ad targeting depends on your ability to understand your audience, conduct keyword research, and analyze ad performance to make constant improvements, the ad networks provide easy-to-use tools to make some of this happen. Google’s suite of tools is especially robust and does much of the math and analysis for you (if you know how to interpret the various graphs and charts).

On the other hand, you can always hire a professional marketing company to worry about the ad details while you work to provide excellent customer service. SVBS

Welton Hong is the founder and marketing director of Ring Ring Marketing (, which specializes in helping retail businesses convert leads from online directly to the phone line. Welton also is a speaker at many business conferences and the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing. Reach him by email at [email protected] or call toll-free at 888.383-2848.