When it comes to eCommerce marketing, nothing can help you drive more sales than Google Ads - also used to be referred to as AdWords. After all, Google handles 5.6 billion user search queries every single day.
Not using Google shopping ads in your marketing strategy would be like sending away hundreds of thousands of customers who are standing in line to purchase your product.
That being said, Google Ads is a pretty complex platform to explore with tons of options. In the wild west of the paid eCommerce marketing world, not knowing what data to provide to Google to run successful ad campaigns can result in you wasting your marketing budget left and right.
Considering that the average cost-per-click (CPC) on Google Ads is around $1 to $2, you’d want the leads who click on your ad to convert. Otherwise, you’d be better off flushing your hard-earned money down the drain.
Don’t worry though, we have you covered.
To help you create well-optimized Google ads for eCommerce, we’ve compiled this in-depth Google Ads guide, perfect for beginners and experts alike.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:
- How do Google Ads work? - The basics!
- Before getting your hands dirty, here’s how to set up a Google Ads account
- How to use Google Ads for your eCommerce business? [8 clever steps]
- What are the best Google Ads types for eCommerce?
- Important Google Ads terms - what you should know
- 9 eCommerce Google Ads campaigns ideal for online stores
- 4 Reasons why your Google Ads aren’t performing
- What Google Ads optimization techniques do we use at Think Orion
How Do Google Ads Work? - The basics!
Google Ads are basically online ads managed by Google that help online shoppers looking for a particular product find your eCommerce business. In other words, Google Ads markets your products to exactly the right people.
To get your ad posted, you will need to bid on specific keywords or search terms that relate to the product you want to sell. For example, if you sell hair care products, you’d want to target keywords like:
- Professional hair care products
- Hair care products list
- hair care products online
After you bid on a keyword or search phrase, you can have your ads displayed:
- On the top of Google
- On the bottom of Google
- On the side of search pages
- Embedded into YouTube Videos
- Squeezed between content on webpages
Ad placement depends on the type of Google Ads campaign you have chosen.
Winning a bid on any particular keyword will depend on its relevance, your ad copy, its headline, and the destination product URL.
All of this might seem overwhelming right now, but we promise everything will start making sense as we discuss things in more detail.
Before getting your hands dirty, here’s how to set up a Google ads account
STEP 1: Sign In/Sign Up for Google Ads
Visit the Google Ads page and click on the blue "Start now" button. Provide an email register. If you have an existing Gmail account, you can use that and login. If you don’t have one, you can create a new one. If other people are going to be using your Google Ads account, you can invite them to join.
STEP 2: Tell Google The Website You Want to Advertise:
If you don’t have an existing Google account linked to your website domain, you’ll need to tell Google Ads the website for which you want to run ads for. You’ll also need to verify your account.
STEP 3: Create Your Google Ads Campaign:
Now you need to create your first ad campaign. You’ll need to tell Google Ads what results you'd like to see. Whether you want more signups, website visits, or more sales. We’ll discuss the best strategies for running Google Ads for eCommerce below to help you get started.
How To Use Google Ads For Your eCommerce Business? [8 Clever Steps]
Step #1: Choose a Campaign Goal for Google Ads
First things first, set the campaign goal for your ads.
What are campaign goals?
Well, advertising goals are basically what any business hopes to achieve after running an advertising campaign.
Campaign goals are important for:
- Driving more sales
- Acquiring leads
- Increasing web traffic
- Improving product and brand consideration
- Improving brand awareness and reach
- App promotion
When creating ad campaigns, you will not have to do any guesswork. Google is smart enough to help you create a laser focus ad campaign.
Google offers a custom campaign creation tool to help you set custom goals for your campaign. Speaking of campaign goals, here are some of the most relevant Google Ads campaign goals for eCommerce businesses:
Helps you drive sales in-app, in-store, or by phone. Includes Display, Search, Video, and Shopping campaign types.
This campaign will help you get leads and other conversions. The Leads goal includes campaign types such as Display, Search, Shopping, and Video.
This goal can help you drive relevant traffic to your online store.
Product and Brand Consideration
The goal is perfect for making your ad viewers explore your products. This goal includes campaign types such as Shopping, Search, Display, and Video.
Brand Awareness and Reach
This campaign goal can help you increase your brand awareness to reach more people. This goal includes campaign types such as Display and Video.
Once you’ve chosen your goal or objective, you will then choose the type of Google Ads campaign. You will need to name your ad campaign and also adjust some general settings like the start and end dates of your campaign or decide whether to use the Dynamic Search ads options.
Step #2: Choose The Right Google Campaign Audiences
The next step to running a successful Google Ads campaign is to choose your target audience. Creating ad campaigns targeting exactly the right audiences by their location and preferences can help you run ads custom-tailored for your products and potential customers.
When using Google Ads targeting options, you will first need to set the geographic location and the language of your target audiences. You can use the ‘Location options’ to explore all of the Target and Exclude options that you can use.
Using the locations option will allow Google to target the people based on their interests and demographics.
Location options let you include or exclude people based on:
- Where they're likely to be located or regularly located.
- The places they’ve shown interest in.
Step #3: Adjust Your Google Ads Budget
Now it’s time to set your Google Ads budget. How much do you want to spend on advertising basically?
You’ll need to provide the maximum dollar amount that you want to spend on your campaign in a month. You will also need to decide whether you want to go with Standard delivery or Accelerated delivery.
By default, your ad campaigns will use Standard delivery which will evenly distribute your ads budget throughout the day. Accelerated delivery on the other hand will spend your budget more aggressively - usually when the day starts.
If you’re new to Google Ads and have a small budget to spend, you’ll want to experiment with the standard campaign first. This will ensure that you don’t quickly spend all of your ad budgets.
But how do you figure out how much to spend on ads?
Well, this comes under EPC, which is basically Customer Value X Conversion Rate. To get an EPC value, you can multiply your conversion rate by your customer value.
For example, if an average customer spends $100 on your product and your conversion rate is 1%, then your EPC is $1.
What this means is that you can advertise profitably on those keywords that have a CPC value under $1.
Increasing your EPC to $2.00 will allow you to increase your bids and gain more market share without losing profits. Increasing your bids will typically help you gain more traffic.
Maximizing your EPC will help you crush your competitors in Google Ads.
Still confused about how much to spend on ads?
Let us build up a hypothetical scenario for you…
Let’s say you have an online glasses store. An average pair of glasses on your site costs $50 and you make a $25 profit off of it. Let’s assume your conversion rate is 1%.
So, for every 100 people that visit your eCommerce store, 1 person will buy a pair of sunglasses from you.
One thing to note here is that we haven’t yet added the cost of running ads here.
Let’s do that now, shall we…
Earlier, we made up an example in which you were making a $25 profit. When deciding to run ads, you will need to ask yourself if you’re comfortable making fewer profits. For example, will you be okay making $15 in profits instead of $25?
If you pay $100 for 10 new customers, you’d be paying $0.10 CPC cost per click for every 1000 clicks. Summing things up, you will need to spend $0.35/day or $25/week as your ads budget.
Step #4: Add a Google Ads Extensions
Next up, you’re going to want to choose and create Google Ads extensions for your ads.
What is a Google Ads extension?
Well, extensions allow you to expand your ads and fill them in with additional information. This gives people more reasons to consider your business. Using extensions may significantly increase an ad's CTR. Extensions can include location information, call buttons, additional text, and links to specific sections of your website.
You can add extensions as you like and click ‘Save and continue,’ to proceed further.
Step #5: Setting Up Ad Groups
Now we get to the good part. It’s now time to set up your campaign ad groups. But before that, decide whether you want to use standard or dynamic groups and assign keywords to them.
If you decide to go with the ‘standard’ group, you’ll need to write your own ad copies. If you choose ‘dynamic,’ Google will automatically generate text based on what your customer searched for - hence the name Dynamic Search Ads.
Once you’ve decided which ad group you want to go with, you’ll need to decide which keywords you should target.
Now let’s talk a bit about:
- Keywords research
- Choosing keyword match type
Here’s how you can research and add keywords for your ad campaigns:
For every campaign you wish to run, you’ll need to choose up to 20 long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords. You’ll want to target those keywords specifically that are relevant to your product and have the most potential to be used by your customer when searching for products that you sell.
Google’s Keyword Planner can help you figure out which keywords you should target in your ad campaign. Look for keywords that have good search volume but medium competition.
Now let’s talk about choosing a Keyword Match Type for your ad campaign:
Keyword match types basically govern how closely a keyword needs to match with the user's search query. For example, not everyone would type something like “where can I buy cooking pots for pasta”. Most people would just type “best cooking pot pasta”. Although the latter search term seems irrelevant, Google can make sense of it.
Google offers four keyword match type options that you can use:
- Broad modifier
- Exact match
plastic surgeon plastic surgeons
plastic surgeon in San Diego local plastic surgeon
cosmetic surgeon rhinoplasty
Broad Match Modifier
plastic and reconstructive surgeon top surgeons in plastic surgery
By default, Google Ads uses Broad match settings. When using broad match, Google will take into consideration spelling mistakes, related searches, synonyms, and relevant keyword variations of your primary keyword.
If you want more control than broad match, you can explore broad match modifiers with more advanced options. When using a broad match modifier, Google will only take into consideration close variations of your primary keyword.
Next, we have a phrase match. This modifier will take into consideration only those search terms having your exact keywords. As long as your extract keyword is present, text before and after your exact keyword wouldn’t alter the results. Phrase match type brings more targeted results when compared to broad match.
Lastly, we have the exact match. This type is the most rigid out of all 4 types. When using the exact match type, Google will only show your ads when the exact keywords are being used. Misspelled keywords will not show your ads.
Step #6: Choose Negative Keywords
While keywords and match types are important. It is also important to exclude irrelevant keywords. This is where we talk about negative keywords.
Negative keywords are those search terms for which you don’t want your ad to show up. For example, if you sell shoes, you don’t want your ads to display when people search for “wine glasses”.
One thing to keep in mind is that the negative keywords option will only become available after you’re done creating your first campaign.
You can find how to create and apply negative keywords to your campaign from here.
Step #7: Write Converting Google Ads Copies
Now, you need to create your campaign ads. To create an ad for your campaign, you will need to provide the Google Ads manager with two ad descriptions, three headlines, the display URL, and the destination URL. Also, you must make sure to use your primary keyword or a variation of it in your headlines.
How should your headlines be:
- Try Vegan Milk and Save Dairy Cows
- Try Changing Your Night Routine and Get More Done
- Here’s What You Should Know About SEO That Can Harm Your Business
- How To Get Your Dream Job Without Sending 1,000 Emails
- The Super Easy Way To Convert 10 New Clients Today
Your headlines should speak about the problem your potential shopper is facing. Headlines should cover your product and how it can solve their problems. You should talk about your product features and include reviews and testimonials.
Step #8: Optimizing Your Google Campaigns
Optimizing your Google Ads campaigns can help you boost your sales without going over your ad-spend budget. This is something that a lot of paid marketers struggle with. Optimizing your ad campaigns require close monitoring.
Here are some top optimization tips that we personally at Think Orion follow:
Adjust your bid manually for more control over your ad-spend
With manual CPC bidding, you can adjust your maximum CPC bids as per your preference. If you find a keyword that can be profitable for your business, you can bid more on that keyword. You can use bid adjustments to increase or decrease your bids.
Choose keywords that can help you reach the right buyers
Analyzing the keywords you are targeting can help you reach the right buyers for your products, increase your return on investment and reduce your ad costs.
Here are some tips that can help target the right keywords to drive more sales:
- Use keywords that relate to your products
- Understand your prospects’ research and buying process
- Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms
- Use the right keyword match types (we covered this earlier)
Customize your ads that appeal to potential buyers
A converting ad is one that is relevant and impactful for your buyers. It must deliver the right message and motivate your customer to purchase with a powerful call to action.
Here is what an impactful ad should have:
- Make your ads stand apart from the competition
- Highlight how your product can benefit your customers
- Keep your ads specific and simple to grasp
- Use a landing page that can help you drive sales
- Run seasonal promotion ads
- Use Google ad extensions to add more detail to your ads
What Are The Best Google Ads Types For eCommerce?
The Google Search Network supports a variety of Google Ads types. That being said, not all of them are relevant for eCommerce businesses.
Here are 8 Google Ads types optimized for eCommerce businesses:
- Google Search Ads
- Google Remarketing Ads
- Google Shopping Ads
- Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)
- YouTube Ads
- TrueView Ads
- Bumper Ads
- Non-Skippable YouTube Ads
- Outstream Ads
- Discovery TrueView Ads
- Smart Google Shopping Campaigns
- Google Display Network
- Google Gallery Ads
Important Google Ads terms - What You Should Know
1. Campaign - A campaign contains one concrete advertising objective. For example, you may want more traffic, conversions, or leads. Different campaign types are appropriate for different campaign goals. Campaigns basically help you organize your paid advertising efforts.
2. Ad groups - An ad group is basically a collection of ads with a particular objective. You can have multiple ads in a single ad group. Each ad group will have its own keywords, budgets, and targeting strategy.
3. Campaign Type - Here are all the Ad campaigns in Google Ads:
- Search (Textual ads displayed on Google search results)
- Video (Video ads displayed on YouTube)
- Display (Image ads displayed on websites)
- Shopping (Product listings displayed on Google)
- App (App promotions on all possible advertising channels)
4. Keywords - Keywords are important words or phrases that you use in your ads that will help potential customers search for products that you sell, find your ads. You should add search terms that potential prospects use when searching for products. You can use Google Keyword Planner to find the right keywords.
5. Quality Score - A quality score is basically a measurement of a few quality metrics. It is based on the relevancy of your ad headline, keywords, description, and destination URLs. An Ad with a high-Quality Score can get a better ad placement and cost less.
6. Impressions - An impression is basically the number of views your ad has received. How many times your ad has been viewed by visitors.
7. Ad Rank - Ad Rank determines where your ad will show up on a page. It’s based on your bid amount and Ad Quality Score.
8. Mobile ad - Mobile ads are basically ads that appear on mobile devices. Google Ads supports something called “WAP” which is essentially ads for high-end mobile devices.
9. Ad extensions - Ad extensions add extra information about your product or business to your ad. It can contain information such as location, phone number, etc.
10. Call to Action (CTA) - A CTA is any action that your visitor takes. CTAs have to be short, such as “Buy” or “Get” etc.
11. Click Through Rate (CTR) - CTR or click-through rate is a metric that determines how many visitors clicked on your ad.
12. Landing Page - A landing page is a page on your website to which you want to drive traffic through your ads.
13. Optimization - Optimization in Google Ads basically means making changes to your ads to drive targeted results. Optimization involves adjusting your bid manually, choosing keywords that can help you reach the right buyers, and customizing your ads that appeal to potential buyers.
14. Bid Strategy - Your bid strategy is basically how you set your bid type to pay for viewer interaction with your ads.
15. Split Testing - Split testing is basically where you experiment with different marketing strategies. Split testing is where you run two different ads with variations to see which performs better in terms of CTR, conversion rate, and ad ranking.
16. Daily budget - Daily budget is the dollar amount that you’ll spend on ads per ad.
17. CPC - CPC or Cost-Per-Click is what you pay to Google every time a person clicks on your ad. You can adjust your maximum CPC when bidding on a particular keyword.
18. PPC - PPC or Pay-Per-Click is the same as CPC where advertisers pay a fee to Google each time one of their ads is clicked.
19. CPM - CPM stands for Cost-Per-thousand impressions. It is a bidding metric that determines the cost of your ads based on how many times your ads are viewed.
20. vCPM Bidding Strategy - This is a bidding strategy where you can bid and pay for every 1000 impressions (number of times your ads are viewed). It is ideal for branding campaigns.
21. CPV - Cost Per View is similar to CPM where you’d bid and pay for the views or impressions on your video ads.
22. CVR (Conversion Rate) - Conversion rate is the percentage of people who clicked on your ads and ended up becoming paying customers.
9 eCommerce Google Ads Campaigns Ideal For Online Stores
There are multiple Ad campaigns ideal for different marketing purposes. But choosing the right one for your eCommerce business can be confusing. To make things easier for you, we went ahead and listed 12 eCommerce Google Ads campaigns that you should consider for driving the most sales.
1. Smart Shopping Campaigns
Google Smart Shopping campaigns use your product data and populate ads with relevant products on various networks. Target networks include Google Search, Display, YouTube, and Gmail. Smart shopping campaigns are ideal for marketers who don’t want to deal with a lot of campaign management.
2. Branded Shopping Campaigns
With this campaign type, you can target people who are searching for your specific brand. Such searchers are highly relevant to you. This campaign is ideal for already established online stores that have invested in brand awareness.
3. Non-Branded Shopping Campaigns
Unlike branded shopping campaigns, non-branded shopping campaigns are ideal for targeting potential shoppers who are searching for specific products, but not a specific brand. This campaign type works best for new customer acquisition and remarketing purposes.
4. Dynamic Search Ads for eCommerce
DSAs or Dynamic Search Ads automatically generate headlines that are relevant to your target audience’s searches. DSAs can help you save campaign management time and help you run targeted ads with wider keyword coverage. One thing to keep in mind is that DSAs are only ideal for online stores that have a lot of products in their inventory.
5. Competitor Search
If you don’t have a strategy of your own, why not copy what other successful businesses are doing in your niche. It is bound to get the ball rolling. You can run Search campaigns that target your competitors.
This campaign type can help you acquire new customers who may not be familiar with your brand. The only drawback of this campaign is that your CPCs will be high since your competitor will already be bidding on their own brand name.
6. Similar Audience Campaigns
Similar Audiences campaigns allow you to target potential buyers based on the data Google has about them. Similar Audiences can help improve conversion rates, get more reach, and are also easy to manage. With this campaign, you can target audiences on Display Network, YouTube, Gmail, Search Network, apps, and Customer Match.
7. Contextual Display Ads
Contextual Display Ads are perfect for increasing brand or product awareness. This type of ad campaign displays ads based on specific keywords. The good thing about this campaign type is that it can be beneficial for both established and new brands.
8. Managed Placement Display Ads
Lastly, but not least, we have Google retargeting ads. This campaign allows your Google Ads to follow your potential customers wherever they go across the web. When a user visits your website, a tracking code adds them to your remarketing list. After that, no matter what website your potential customer visits that use the Google Ad network, they will see your ads. Google lets you prioritize if you want new customers or returning customers to see your ads.
4 Reasons Why Your Google Ads Aren’t Performing [Easy Fixes]
If you’ve created the perfect ad campaign and even optimized it but still not getting your desired results, then there must be something that you’re doing wrong.
Here are 4 problems you need to address in Google Ads and their easy solutions:
1. Your CTR is Good But Your Conversion Rate is Bad
If people are clicking on your ads but leaving your landing page without shopping, then you must carefully analyze your landing pages.
You must make sure that the information in your ad and on your landing pages matches. Also, make sure that your site is loading properly and is taking ages to display products. There are also countless other reasons that can create a bad user experience for your visitors.
Here are three things you can do to fix this issue:
- The first thing you must make sure of is that your site offers a good user experience. In other words, your site's technical performance shouldn’t suck. If you have Google Search Console set up for your website, then you can use Google’s Open Page Experience Report to measure the performance of your website. Run a proper test of your entire website - product pages especially.
- Next, optimize your product pages from a sales perspective. There should be proper product descriptions and CTAs.
- Lastly, optimize each landing page individually for different campaigns.
2. Your CTR is Low And Your CPC is Too Expensive
Low CTRs and high CPCs are majorly caused by a poor Quality Score. Because of this, the placement and positioning of your ads will not be good. Your ads will not get enough impressions because of low visibility. Quality Score depends on keyword relevance, search ad copy, landing page, and a few other metrics.
Here’s how to fix your Quality Score:
When creating ads, avoid clickbait. It may help with your CTR but your conversion rate will suffer. Here is what you should do:
- Add relevant keywords only
- Use negative keywords
- Make sure that your ad copies are deceiving or unrelated to your landing page
- Optimize your landing pages so that your visitor can navigate easily
3. You’re Getting Too Many Irrelevant Clicks
Although a high CTR is good, however, if it's irrelevant, it's useless. To make sure that the people who click on your ads convert, make sure that you target keywords only. You don’t want to waste your marketing budget on people who have no intention to buy your product.
Here’s how to prevent irrelevant traffic from consuming your clicks:
Only keep keywords that are getting relevant clicks and change the match type for Broad to a more targeted one. Experient with Exact match or phrase match. Also, use negative keywords to get rid of irrelevant search terms.
4. Your Impressions Are Good But Clicks Are Few
If your ads are getting decent impressions, but your CTR is low, then there is either something wrong with your ad copy or you are targeting the wrong keyword.
Here’s how to fix bad CTRs for your ads:
Make sure you change your headlines and add proper product descriptions. Make sure that you’re highlighting your product's features and it can help fix your customers' problems. Also, use unique and compelling CTAs. See what your competitors are using to get inspiration.
What Pro-Level Google Ads Optimization Techniques Do We Use At Think Orion
At Think Orion, we offer a variety of paid search advertising services to help you drive more potential customers to your website, expand your customer base and turn your clicks into ROI.
Here are a few pro-level Google Ads optimization techniques that we personally use to help our clients:
1. Automate Budgeting and Bidding
Google Ads dashboard offers automated rules for groups and campaigns. From there, we set automation to pause or stop campaigns when they reach a certain threshold. This helps us tackle over and under-spend issues. Setting up a budget bid strategy helps us optimize our spending by automatically adjusting spend in the campaigns.
2. Run Split Testing
Unlike beginner marketers who just rely on A/B testing for ads optimization, we use Split testing. Split testing allows us to create two different campaigns and then test them against each other to see which one performs better. We then move on to A/B testing to create uber converting ad campaigns.
3. Use Facebook Ads To Push Google Ad Campaign Results
When marketing, we always follow the Omnichannel approach. We prefer cross-platform marketing campaigns to drive amazing results. To boost the Google Ads campaigns that we handle, we also like to use Facebook ads for that extra push when needed.
- Creating a Facebook Ad campaign that targets similar audiences to your Google search traffic.
- Use Facebook ad headlines from the highest performing campaigns in your Search ads.
- Boosting Google conversion rates with Facebook Interest targeting.
- Creating Facebook retargeting campaigns to re-target search ad clickers.
- Using Facebook Ads to attract new potential shoppers which you can convert with Google Shopping ad campaigns.
You can read about these expert strategies in our Google & Facebook Cross-Channel Strategy post.
Wrapping Things Up!
So that’s it. We believe we have covered everything you need to know about running Google ads for eCommerce.
We think you should now be able to run perfectly optimized PPC campaigns that’ll help your business grow.
Remember, for best results, keep on tweaking and testing new campaign strategies until you hit the sweet spot.
If you still have cold feet, let our eCommerce marketing experts take care of everything.
Don’t think Google Ads is for you and you’d rather stick with Facebook Ads, check out our Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads guide to decide which platform is right for you.