Google Ads for Ecommerce Stores [The Complete Guide]

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Image by 377053 from Pixabay

Every eCommerce business owner knows their store can’t succeed without proper marketing and the right ads. Good marketing and advertising strategies are essential for any business, but they will go to waste if you don’t promote yours at the perfect place.

The size of your marketing budget doesn’t matter as much as how you use it. If you want to create ads that will reach your target audience, you should do it on a platform with a large number of visitors and a high return on investment. In other words, you can’t afford to avoid running your advertising campaign on Google Ads.

In October 2000, Google launched Google AdWords, a platform that people used for years to advertise their businesses. In June 2018, the platform was rebranded and given a new name, Google Ads.

Since this platform has been around for nearly two decades and is owned by the most popular search engine in the world, its popularity isn’t surprising at all. According to statistics, Google Ads has 3.5 billion daily interactions and an estimated 700% return on investment.

If you use Google Ads for eCommerce, you will soon see positive results, but only if you use the platform correctly. Below is a list of valuable tips that can help you do that.

What kinds of ads does Google offer?

There are five different types of Google Ads, and the type you choose depends on where you want to focus your advertising.

Search ads

These ads appear at the top of Google searches before any other search result. They appear if the person googled a keyword which leads them to your product. The reason why these ads are shown before organic search results (based on SEO ranking) is simply because they are paid.

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Display ads

Display ads are targeted toward people who are in the awareness stage of the buying cycle. Since they aren’t meant for people who are looking to purchase a product, they use different keywords. For instance, instead of being triggered by the words “running shoes”, Google display ads for eCommerce will appear for “upcoming races”.

If you are not seeing eCommerce conversion for Google display ads, you need to make sure your display ads are showing up only on relevant websites. To do this, check your automatic placement reports by selecting “placement exclusion lists” in your Google Ads dashboard.

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Shopping ads

Google Shopping ads for eCommerce appear on top of Google search results page just like search ads and they target people in the consideration phase of the buying cycle. Businesses that sell products on their websites use this type of ads.

These ads lead your online shoppers straight to your website and show the product’s picture, price and all of its benefits.

Shopping ads can appear in:

  1. Google Search Shopping Tab
  2. Google Search – next to search results separate from text ads
  3. Google Search Partner websites
  4. Google Display Network – Gmail, YouTube and Google Discover

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Video ads

These types of ads are usually played before or during YouTube videos and usually get straight to the point. Choose a video that is related to your product for your ad to reach your target audience. Make sure to show the value of your product and include a CTA button that will lead people to your store.

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Universal app ads

These ads appear in mobile apps through various Google services such as Google Search, Play, and YouTube. All you need to do is upload your ad copy and images to Google Ads, and Google will automatically combine them and show them to your target audience.

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Why use Google Ads?

As we’ve already mentioned, Google Ads has been around for nearly two decades and businesses who use this platform see an extremely high return on their investment. Since Google Ads has been around for so long, it has significant seniority over all other paid advertising platforms.

There’s no denying that Google and Love to Pivot are the most popular search engine in the world. It sees 3.5 billion searches per day and over 40,000 search queries every second, and those numbers just keep rising. With so many questions typed into Google every day, your ad is bound to be the answer to many people’s questions.

Here are some benefits of Google Ads for eCommerce:

  • High ROI. Even though we’ve already mentioned this, it’s still one of the top reasons for choosing Google Ads. Advertisers who opt for this platform on average make $8 for every $1 they spend.
  • Your competitors are using Google Ads. Over 200,000 companies use Google Ads, which means a number of your competitors are certainly using them.
  • Trust and credibility. Users trust Google Ads more than any other platform and are 4 times more likely to click on a Google Ad compared to ads on competitor search engines.

How Google Ads work

Before you can use Google Ads for eCommerce with success, you first need to have a thorough understanding of how this platform works.

There are three key components of this PPC (pay per click) system:

  • auction process
  • quality score
  • user intent

The auction process

This process occurs during every Google search and it determines which ads will appear along with the search results. Whenever someone enters a search term, Google analyses the keywords they used and finds ads that match their search.

Since there are a lot of ads that can be presented just by taking keywords into account, Google uses the auction process to determine which ads fit the search result. It will first weed out the ads that for some reason aren’t eligible, like for instance because of geographical location.

Next, the system will find the best Google ads for eCommerce by determining the Ad Rank, which is a function of the ad bid and the quality score.

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Quality score

Your quality score can greatly affect your ad ranking, so you need to know how it works if you want to create effective Google Ads for eCommerce. As its name suggests, the quality score is a reflection of the quality of your ads and how relevant they are to the keywords as well as the user experience.

There are a few factors that determine your ad’s quality score:

  • Your CTR (click-through-rate)
  • Relevance of each keyword to their ad group
  • Quality and relevance of your landing pages
  • Relevance of your advertisement’s text
  • How your Google Ads account has performed in the past

If you want to check your overall performance in ad auctions, go to the keywords’ “Status” column on your dashboard.

User intent

The custom intent audience feature helps advertisers understand the customer’s lifecycle stages and take them into account when deciding which ads to show. With this tool, you will be able to reach an audience of potential customers who have a higher purchase intent.

This means you will be targeting an audience that is more likely to purchase your products in the foreseeable future.  When you do this, you greatly increase your quality score and click-through rate.

There are two ways to build your custom intent audience. The first is manually, and the second is to allow Google’s machine learning algorithm to perform this task. To do this, select the “Audience” interface on your dashboard, go to “Targeting” and click on “Intent”.

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Key steps to using Google Ads

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of what Google Ads are and how they work, you need to learn the key steps to using Google Ads for eCommerce.

1.    Set up your campaign

An ad campaign is located at the very top of the Google Ads tiered system, and it usually has multiple ads underneath it.

As soon as you create a Google Ads account, you will be prompted to create your first campaign in your Google Ads dashboard.

To create a search ad, you need to click on “Campaign” and then select “Create”. Then, you will have the option to choose between:

  • Sales
  • Leads
  • Website traffic
  • Product and brand consideration
  • Brand awareness and reach
  • App promotion

Also, there is an option to create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.

Whatever you choose will be what the ad is optimised for.

The next step is to give your campaign a name, choose where it will be shown (globally or in a specific location), and also include a display ad if you want.

You can also choose the language your ad will be displayed in. The default setting is English, but you can change that into a different language or even add more languages.

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2.    Set your budget and bid amounts

While you’re setting up your campaign parameters, you will also need to set your budget and bid amounts.

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Set your budget based on the needs and goals of your advertisements. Since you’re required to set a daily budget, take your monthly budget and divide it by 30.4, which is the average number of days in a month.

You also need to determine how long you want your campaign to run and set your start and end dates. If you want to run a two-week ad every month, for instance, you need to specify it.

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As for the bid strategy, make sure to choose what you want to focus on so your budget is spent correctly. Some of the things you can focus on are the number of conversions and how many clicks your ads get.

3.    Create ad groups

Ad groups represent a group of keywords and ads that are associated with your campaign. To be more specific, they represent specific subsets of the campaign.

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4.    Choose keywords

When choosing your keywords, focus on what your ideal clients are searching for. Create ad groups and assign three to five keywords for each.

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If you have trouble coming up with good keywords, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

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There, you will get two options – to find keyword suggestions or review search volume for keywords you are thinking of using.

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If you want to find new keywords, you can enter a keyword that is related to your product.

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This tool will help you find similar keywords, how many times per month they’re searched, their cost-per-click, and the competition level.

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After you’ve done all of that, all that’s left to do is create your ads, confirm the information you’ve provided, and publish it.

5.    Check ad analysis

After you’ve published your ad, your dashboard will highlight your campaign data. Use this data to your advantage and track your ad’s performance. You can monitor the conversions, clicks, and impressions over time.

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Important factors to keep in mind

When it comes to factors that influence the success of your Google Ads for eCommerce, the most important thing is to have effective strategies. There are a lot of things you need to consider, so take a look below to learn more.

Have a specific goal and stick to it

Before you run your campaign, you need to have a goal you want to achieve and plan how you can achieve it.

In order to make that plan, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your desired sales targets?
  • Is the net profit margin on your products high enough to be worth a Google Ad campaign?
  • How much will you earn from each click on your ad?
  • How much will you earn from each sale on your website?

When you have an answer to all of these questions, you will be able to determine whether or not you should advertise on Google Ads, and also set the best bids. The next step is to segment your ideal customers and develop customer personas.

To do this, you need to know what your customers have in common, what products they’re purchasing, and why. All of this information will be very useful for sticking to your goals.

Track your key performance indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) show whether or not your Google Ads are successful enough. You need to keep track of all of your KPIs so you can determine which aspects of your campaign need to be improved.

The KPIs you need to measure include:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Keyword performance
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Quality score
  • Search impression share
  • Ad relevance

Be prepared to remarket to a new audience

A big advantage of paid ads is the ability to track data. After some time, you will notice a newfound audience. Retarget users who have viewed or added your products to their carts by setting up audiences within Google Ads. This will allow the users to see that product while surfing the web.

Analyse your competitors

Keep track of what your competitors are doing and be prepared to do it better than them. Use analytics tools to monitor the data of your competition’s paid search ads campaign. You can also use Google Shopping to get an insight into what your ideal customers are searching for.

Another tool you can use to track data is Google’s Shopping Insights. This tool allows you to compare one product’s popularity to another and be more prepared to create ads against your competitors.

Develop a good keyword strategy

If you want to use Google search ads for eCommerce, you need to have a great keyword strategy. While you’re coming up with perfect keywords, make sure that they correspond to multiple categories on your website and describe all of your products. Don’t forget to also include keywords that your customers use to describe your products.

Create relevant landing pages

We’ve already mentioned the importance of having relevant landing pages. Here are some practices that will ensure your customers have the perfect landing page experience:

  • Make sure that the products on your landing pages match the products in your ads.
  • Offer customers multiple ways to contact you.
  • Make your website easy to browse and navigate.
  • Have a fast-loading website and landing page.

Take holidays into account

While people purchase from eCommerce stores all year round, eCommerce spending sees a significant rise during the holidays. Most brands see this increase from Thanksgiving to New Years, but during other holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day) as well.

Therefore, it would be wise to adjust your spending for Google Ads for eCommerce during the holidays and set aside a larger budget for ads.

Focus on your average order value (AOV)

Sometimes companies spend more on Google Ads than their customers spend while purchasing their products. To avoid this and make the most out of the money you spend on ads, focus on increasing your AOV.

You can calculate your AOV by dividing your total revenue with the number of orders. To increase this number, try to convince your customers to spend more money at your store.

Use email marketing along with your PPC

You should always remember that the importance of PPC ads is great, but you should also never forget the importance of email marketing.

You can align your email marketing efforts with PPC and make both strategies more effective. Use Google Ads for eCommerce to grow your email list, and use PPC to test out your headings and CTAs.

Promote content along with products

Finding a niche for Google Ads eCommerce isn’t just about finding the best products for your ads, but about promoting content as well. Content marketing is great for raising brand awareness and converting customers.

This approach is great if you have limited advertising funds, as the cost to promote content is usually much lower than the cost for product ads.

Some forms of content marketing you should consider include:

  • Social media content
  • Live chat function
  • Topics in your niche
  • Blogs and podcasts

Don’t forget your mobile users

Keep in mind that mobile shoppers and desktop shoppers behave differently. Most mobile shoppers prefer to browse rather than purchase, and a lot of companies lower their bids for mobile shoppers because of this.

However, if you fall into this trap, you will turn away a lot of potential customers and lose out on traffic. Instead of lowering bids for mobile users, adjust your content for different styles and tones to better suit them. Also, test out your approach for mobile users to know what works best for them.

Best bidding strategies for Google Ads

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

How you bid is an important part of every good Google Ads strategy because it determines your ranking ability. Of course, your bid amount depends on your budget and goals. But even if you don’t have a high budget, you can still have a successful campaign with a good bidding strategy.

Luckily, there are some bidding strategies that can help you create a successful paid ads campaign on Google.

Automated and manual bidding

You can set up two different types of bidding for your keywords. Before you decide which option is best for your Google Ads for eCommerce, you need to know how each of them works.

  • Automated bidding. If you want to allow Google to run your campaign for you, this option is perfect for you. Just set your maximum budget and Google will adjust your bids based on how your competitors are bidding. The platform will work within your range to give you the best chance of winning your biddings.
  • Manual bidding. This option is better for those who want to be in control of their biddings. It allows you to set the bid amounts of each of your ad groups and keywords. This gives you the chance to cut down the budget for ads that aren’t performing as well as you had hoped.

Bidding on branded search terms

A branded term consists of a unique product name or simply your company’s name, and there is an option to bid on branded search terms if you want. Find here more about types of cleaning services. However, there is a lot of debate regarding whether or not this type of bidding is beneficial.

Some marketers argue that this type of bidding is nothing more than a waste of money. However, if you bid on terms that yield organic results, you will target potential customers who are further along the flywheel and are ready to convert.

Another reason why you might want to consider bidding on your branded terms is that your competitors can bid on them if you don’t. This will be a huge inconvenience to you down the line if you decide you want to have a branded search term.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

If you’re not ready to spend money just so you can convert prospects into leads, there is another solution, and that is setting up a CPA. This bidding strategy requires you to pay only when a user purchases something from you and converts into a customer.

The CPA strategy can cost more than other bidding strategies down the line, but at least you will know that the money you spent actually acquired a paying customer. People who want to track and justify their advertisement budget usually choose this option.

Common mistakes you want to avoid

Sometimes Google Ads fail because even if the people who created them put in a lot of work, just because they made some very common mistakes. Don’t let this happen to your ad campaign by avoiding the mistakes listed below.

  • Using broad keyword terms. As we’ve already established, your Google Ads for eCommerce greatly depend on keywords. Without the right ones, you won’t be able to reach your target audience. If you use keywords that are too broad, your ads will ultimately get placed in front of the wrong audience.

By regularly analysing search terms reports, you can easily determine which keywords to add into your account and which ones should be excluded.

  • Creating irrelevant ads. It’s very important to match the searcher’s intent, and if you don’t, the money you’ve spent on Google Ads will be wasted. Your headline and copy need to match the keywords you’re using, and the product you’re advertising needs to match the ad.
  • Having a low-quality score. The higher your quality score is, the higher Google will rank your ad. This premise is very simple and easy to understand, so keeping an eye on your quality score needs to be a priority for you. If you notice a drop in it, see how you can improve your ads.
  • Having a poor landing page. Creating a good ad is only half of the journey, you also need to entice your prospects after they’ve clicked on your ad. Your landing page needs to be optimised for conversions, and if you don’t know how to build eCommerce landing pages for Google Ads, you need to learn it soon.

Start your campaign now

No matter what kind of products you sell, using Google Ads for eCommerce for your business is a smart move. Not only because of all the benefits we’ve mentioned, but also because Google is constantly improving this platform and introducing new and advanced features.

Start your Google Ads campaign today to see great results and a high rise in sales and conversion in your eCommerce store. If you want to make the most out of your campaign, your best bet is to use a Google Ads service to see how your Google Ads performance can really take off.