Google Ads for eCommerce: 9 Steps to Start Increasing Online Sales

Posted on 2023-11-16



Google Ads for eCommerce is so powerful because you can use math, statistics and AI to guide decisions. No expertise in these areas? This guide simplifies it for you so you make right data-driven decisions.

This guide will teach you the main principles of using Google Ads for eCommerce to help you get a higher return on investment (ROI).

Once you understand these principles, you'll know what PPC marketing really means, and how to leverage Google Ads to your advantage.

Want to learn more about statistics? There are many great books, like "Naked Statistics" by Charles Wheelan, that can help.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is Google's online advertising platform.

  1. It allows businesses to display ads to web users. These ads can appear in Google Search results, Google Shopping, and on other websites across the Display network including YouTube.
  2. The platform operates on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model. You pay only when someone clicks on your ad.
  3. You can target specific audiences. This means showing your ads to people most likely to be interested in your products.
  4. There are different ad formats. While Google Search ads mostly rely on texts, the Display network offers a wide range of other formats such as videos, banners, etc. Google Shopping Ads sell your products right on the search results page.
  5. Every action is tracked. You can see how many people viewed, clicked, or interacted with your ads.
  6. You control your budget. Set limits, adjust bids, and stop Google Ads campaigns as needed.
  7. Results can be seen quickly. Unlike other methods, Google Ads for eCommerce can drive traffic to your site almost immediately.

Google Ads is a tool. When used right, it's a way to reach potential customers and boost sales. When used incorrectly, it will blow a hole in your budget that will make Moon craters look mild.

This brings us to our next question.

Should your eCommerce business use Google Ads?

The decision to use Google Ads for your eCommerce business isn't one-size-fits-all. It hinges on several factors:

  1. Business Goals: If rapid visibility and immediate traffic are what you're after, Google Ads is a prime choice. It's especially useful for new businesses looking to make a mark quickly.
  2. Budget: While Google Ads can be cost-effective, it requires a budget. If you're operating on a shoestring, you might want to weigh its benefits against other organic growth strategies.
  3. Competition: In highly competitive niches, the cost per click can be steep. Research your industry's average CPC to determine if it's feasible.
  4. In-house Expertise: Do you have someone familiar with PPC? If not, there's a learning curve. While it's possible to manage on your own, expertise can make a difference in campaign effectiveness.
  5. Product Type: Some products fare better on Google Ads than others. High-margin, unique, or niche products often see a better ROI.
  6. Time: Google Ads campaigns require monitoring and optimization. If you can't dedicate time or resources, it might not be the best fit.
  7. Long-Term Strategy: While Google Ads can offer quick wins, it's essential to view it as part of a broader marketing strategy. Relying solely on it can be risky.

Google Ads offers a potent avenue for eCommerce growth. But its effectiveness hinges on your business's unique circumstances and goals. It's not just about diving in; it's about diving in with a clear plan and purpose.

Why use Google Ads for eCommerce?

Google Ads for eCommerce is a cornerstone for many successful online businesses. Here's why:

  1. Direct Customer Engagement: With Google Ads, you're directly engaging potential customers. They search, and they find you.
  2. Cost-Effective: You pay only when someone clicks. It's a budget-friendly approach, targeting those genuinely interested.
  3. Keyword Precision: Strategically bid on specific keywords. This ensures your Google Ads campaigns align with the intended audience.
  4. Prime Search Real Estate: Winning bids place you at the top. It's about being seen first and making that impression count.

Though it sounds simple, it isn't easy, or there wouldn't be so many marketing companies specializing in increasing online sales through Google Ads campaigns.

Sometimes, you can reach your monthly goal by spending just 15 minutes a week on the most impactful actions in your Google Ads campaign.

This efficiency is one of the reasons why PPC is such a popular choice for businesses looking to grow.

Let's walk you through the basic steps you'll need to take to start marketing your eCommerce business through Google Ads.

1. Set up your Google Ads Account the right way.


When setting up a Google Ads account, start with a clear goal. Sales? Traffic? Brand awareness? Your goal guides your campaign.

Different campaigns serve different purposes. Google Search Ads capture active searchers. Display campaigns boost brand visibility, great for retargeting. Shopping campaigns put products front and center.

Budgeting can be tricky. Set a daily budget in line with your marketing spend. If your budget runs out too quickly, check your campaign settings. If you're underspending, consider expanding your targeting.

The exact budget you need depends on many things, including the location you are targeting, your product, and your goals.

But generally, 1000$ per month is a good place to start. It will allow you to test multiple strategies fast before fully committing to the one that works best

Structure matters. Organize campaigns by product categories or services. Segment further with ad groups based on specific themes. It's about targeted bidding and easy navigation.

Track your conversions. Know which parts of your campaign work. Set up conversion actions that matter to your business, like sales or sign-ups.

The digital ad world changes fast. Regular reviews and tweaks keep your campaigns fresh and effective.

A well-set Google Ads account sets the stage. Do it right, and your eCommerce business stands to benefit immensely.

2. Understanding Google Ads Networks.

Google Ads isn't just one platform. It's a collection of networks. Each has its purpose.

Google Search Network:

Users type a query, your ad appears. It's all about capturing active searchers.

Ad Types:

Standard Text Ads: Basic text format.

  • Dynamic Search Ads: Automatically generated headlines based on search query and content of your website.
  • Responsive Search Ads: Multiple headlines and descriptions that Google's AI tests and optimizes.
  • Call-only Ads: Designed to encourage calls to your business.

Trigger: Triggered by keywords.

Best For: Direct response, immediate sales, and lead generation.

Google Display Network:

Over two million websites. Reach? 90% of internet users.

Ad Types:

  • Responsive Display Ads: Automatically adjust in size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces.
  • Uploaded Image Ads: Custom images you create and upload.
  • Engagement Ads: Rich media ads that users can interact with.
  • Gmail Ads: Interactive ads at the top of users' Gmail inboxes.

Placement: Across various websites, news pages, blogs, and Google-owned sites.

Best For: Brand awareness, retargeting, and introducing new products.

Shopping Network:

Made for eCommerce. Products are at the front and center in search results.

Ad Types:

  • Product Shopping Ads: Display a single product.
  • Showcase Shopping Ads: Group related products together.
  • Local Catalog Ads: Display in-store product availability.

Placement: Google search results and the Google Shopping tab.

Best For: Direct sales for retailers, showcasing product range.

Video Network:

Think YouTube.

Ad Types:

  • Skippable In-stream Ads: Viewers can skip after 5 seconds.
  • Non-skippable In-stream Ads: 15-20 seconds long and viewers can't skip.
  • Video Discovery Ads: Appear alongside related YouTube videos.
  • Bumper Ads: 6-second ads that viewers can't skip.
  • Outstream Ads: Mobile-only, play with sound off.

Placement: Before, during, or after videos on YouTube and Google Display Network.

Best For: Brand stories, product launches, and audience engagement.

App Network:

Got an app? This is how you promote it.

Ad Types:

  • App Install Ads: Encourage app downloads.
  • App Engagement Ads: Engage existing users.
  • App Pre-registration Ads: For upcoming app launches.

Placement: Google Search, Play Store, YouTube, and Google Display Network.

Best For: Driving app downloads, re-engaging inactive users, and promoting in-app purchases.

Choosing the right network is about understanding your audience's behavior. It's essential to align your choice with your campaign objectives, ensuring you're reaching out effectively.

3. Choose the right campaign type.

When diving into Google Ads for eCommerce, the campaign type you select can make or break your strategy. Each type is tailored for specific objectives and platforms.

Performance Max Campaigns:

  • What it is: A goal-based campaign type that taps into all Google Ads inventory from a single campaign.
  • Why use it: It's optimized by Google's AI to drive optimal performance. It's designed for simplicity, but with AI optimization, it delivers results. It's especially effective for objectives like "Sales", "Leads", or "Local store visits and promotions".

Search Campaigns:

  • What it is: Search ads, including Dynamic Search ads and Responsive Search ads, that appear on Google search results.
  • Why use it: Directly target users actively searching for your products or services. It's straightforward: write text ads, pick keywords, and target those actively searching.

Display Campaigns:

  • What it is: Visually engaging ads displayed across millions of websites, apps, and Google-owned properties.
  • Why use it: Broaden your reach beyond Google Search. Great for brand awareness and retargeting past visitors.

Video Campaigns:

  • What it is: Ads that are displayed on YouTube and other video platforms.
  • Why use it: Engage users with dynamic content. Some campaigns boost brand awareness, while others drive conversions.

App Campaigns:

  • What it is: Promotions for your mobile app across various channels.
  • Why use it: Drive installs and engagements across platforms like Search, Display, Play, and YouTube.

Local Campaigns:

Note: As of August 2022, Local campaigns began upgrading to Performance Max.

  • What it is: Ads designed to drive visitors to physical stores and venues.
  • Why use it: Promote in-store events, offers, and provide detailed location info. Ads are optimized to appear across Search, Display, Google Maps, and YouTube.

Smart Campaigns:

  • What it is: The simplest way to get your ads up and running.
  • Why use it: Ideal for those looking for a hands-off approach. Provide basic business info, create a few ads, and let Google's AI handle the rest.

Shopping Campaigns:

  • What it is: Google Shopping ads listings ideal for retailers. Ads appear on search results and the Google Shopping tab.
  • Why use it: Directly promote product inventory. Drive online sales or promote in-store inventory.

Each campaign type offers unique advantages. Your choice should align with your business goals, target audience, and the platforms they frequent. Making an informed decision here sets the stage for the success of your advertising efforts.

4. Choose the right campaign goal.

In Google Ads, your goal isn't just a setting. It's your direction. Some goals are great for eCommerce, some shouldn't be touched unless you really know what you are doing. To make our list concise, we will only describe those that we have found effective.

Sales: Want more online or in-store sales? This is for you. Tailored for conversions, whether it's products or in-store visits.

Leads: Niche product with a long sales funnel? If inquiries drive your business, focus here. Think form submissions, sign-ups, or calls. Dynamic Search Ads can be particularly effective here, adapting to what potential leads are searching for.

App Promotion: Got an app? Although most eCommerce businesses don't have and don't need one, this goal can be useful for you. Drive installs and user engagement. Showcase what your app brings to the table.

Your goal sets the tone. It shapes your strategy, ad creatives, and measures of success. Define it clearly, and let it guide your Google Ads journey.

5. Target the right keywords.


Keywords are your Google Ads compass. They are the most effective way to target your ads. Audience targeting is not as important for an eCommerce business.

But it's more than just picking words; it's about tapping into what your audience is thinking.

Match Types:

  • Broad Match: Wide net. Catches misspellings, synonyms, related searches.
  • Phrase Match: Shows for searches with your phrase, possibly with extra words.
  • Exact Match: Tight focus. Only for exact matches or very close variations.

Finding keywords

Tools: Google's Keyword Planner isn't just a tool; it's a treasure trove. See search volumes, competition, get new ideas.

Think Customer: What would they type? What are they looking for? Get in their head.

Refine: Start with a list. Review. Drop what's not working. Add what's missing based on real search data.

Long-Tail Keywords: Longer, specific phrases. Might have fewer searches but can mean a ready-to-buy user.

Stay Fresh: Searches evolve. New trends, products, events. Update your list to stay in the game.

In Google Ads, keywords are your beacon. They pull in the right crowd. Nail your keyword strategy, and you're not just getting clicks; you're getting the right clicks.

Negative Keywords

While most of the attention goes to the keywords you want to target, negative keywords play a crucial, behind-the-scenes role in Google Ads. They're the gatekeepers, ensuring you don't waste money on irrelevant clicks.

What Are They?: Negative keywords are terms you add to your campaign to exclude your Google ads from showing up for certain searches. Think of them as the "not this" filter.

Why Use Them?:

  • Save Money: By blocking irrelevant searches, you ensure you're not paying for clicks that won't convert.
  • Increase Relevance: Your Google ads will appear more often for searches that truly matter to your business.
  • Boost ROI: With more relevant clicks, you're likely to see a better return on your ad spend.

How to Find Them:

  • Search Terms Report: Dive into the actual queries people used to find your search ads. Spot and exclude irrelevant terms.
  • Think Broadly: Consider terms that might be related to your industry but not your specific offering.
  • Regular Reviews: As your campaign runs, new irrelevant terms might pop up. Regularly review and update your negative keyword list.

6. Provide a more relevant website user experience.

Did you know 15-25% of search queries are brand new? This means you can't possibly capture every keyword. Sometimes, you'll rely on broad match keywords, and crafting content for each can be daunting.

But here's a relief: you don't need a unique landing page for every search term. Instead, dynamically adjust your site's content for each visitor. I'll delve deeper into this in another piece.

Also, think about price segmentation.

For instance, users searching with terms like 'cheap' are likely hunting for bargains. Airlines use this strategy, and it's just as effective for eCommerce via Google Ads.

Take the most from each click.

7. Keep track of your experiments.

With countless PPC strategies out there, it's easy to lose track of the tweaks you've made, especially when managing campaigns like Google Shopping.

One way to boost sales is by honing your targeting. This might mean adding negative keywords or specifying prices in ads.

While it might not skyrocket sales, it can cut down costs by avoiding non-converting clicks.

Surprisingly, keywords deemed "bad", like "free", can sometimes have stellar conversion rates. But haphazardly adding negatives can backfire, potentially denting profits.

My approach?

Only add negatives that are entirely off-mark or have data backing their exclusion. Alternatively, enhance your site's content. More conversions from the same click volume means more sales without inflating your Google Ads spend.

Always measure your actions! By understanding the nuances of Google retargeting ads, ad groups, Google ads extensions, and other tools, you can create a robust and effective advertising strategy for your eCommerce businesses.

8. Optimize your landing pages

Landing pages are often the unsung heroes of PPC campaigns. They're what ultimately closes the sale and drives more sales, and yet they are often overlooked. Let's fix that.

  • First Impressions Matter: Your landing page must resonate with the ad that led the visitor there. A mismatch can lead to confusion, poor customer experience, and a lost opportunity to increase online sales.
  • Speed is Key: If your page takes forever to load, you've probably lost the customer. Make sure your pages are lightning-fast.
  • Clear Calls to Action (CTAs): What do you want visitors to do? Make it clear and obvious. If you want to increase online sales, don't bury your CTAs under loads of text.
  • Test and Learn: What works for one visitor might not work for another. A/B testing, along with Google Analytics, can help you figure out what resonates best with your Google campaign audiences.
  • Track Conversions: If you're not measuring, you're not managing. Make sure to set up conversion tracking so you know what's working and what's not.
  • Mobile-Friendly Design: More and more users are browsing on mobile. If your landing page isn't mobile-friendly, you're turning away a huge portion of your potential online sales.
  • Use Visuals Wisely: A picture is worth a thousand words, but it can also slow down your website. Use visuals that enhance, not hinder, the user's experience.

Don't just throw together a landing page and hope for the best. Optimize it like you would any other part of your campaign, including Google ad extensions and negative keywords. Your conversions (and your bottom line) will thank you.

9. Craft exceptional ad copy

Ad copy is a crucial component of PPC advertising, including search ads, bumper ads, and dynamic remarketing ads.

If you're looking for ways to increase online sales for your online store, it's time to pay serious attention to this element.

  • Understand Your Offer: Know the core features and benefits of your product or service. Speak about them in terms that resonate with your target customers on the search network.
  • Speak Directly to Customers: Personalize your ad copy. Engage with the reader and make it about them. It's more effective than speaking generically about what you're selling.
  • Highlight Special Offers: If you have a sale, make sure it's front and center. Promotions can be a strong incentive to click, especially in Google Smart Shopping campaigns and branded Google Shopping campaigns.
  • Use Clear CTAs: Call to Action is where you guide the reader to the next step. Make it clear and compelling.
  • Test Different Variations: A/B testing allows you to find what works best with your audience. Experiment with different messages and styles.
  • Keep It Concise: You have limited space. Make every word count.
  • Ensure Consistency with Landing Pages: The message in your ad copy must be consistent with your landing page. Any disconnect can lead to confusion and a lost sale.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Many users browse on mobile devices. Your ad copy must look good on all screens.
  • Use Relevant Keywords: Including strategic keywords can increase online sales by enhancing relevance and attracting the right audience.
  • Add Social Proof if Relevant: Testimonials or ratings can build trust.

The goal is to write ad copy that speaks to your audience and motivates them to take action.

It's not about empty hype or over-promising.

It's about presenting your offer in a way that resonates with those you want to reach, guiding them to explore further, and ultimately increasing online sales. Each word and phrase in your ad copy has a role to play, so choose them wisely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is PPC (Pay-Per-Click) in digital marketing?

PPC is an advertising model where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It's a popular method used to increase online sales, particularly in search engine, social media, and display advertising.

2. How can I optimize my PPC campaigns for better ROI?

To increase online sales, focus on the highest frequency actions, add negatives, segment by price, use dynamic website content, and maximize relevant traffic with multiple channels.

Testing various strategies to find what works best for your specific account can also be beneficial.

3. What are some common mistakes to avoid in PPC management?

Avoid making quick decisions based on short-term data, blindly adding negatives, or failing to understand your specific KPIs. Always take a comprehensive approach.

4. Can I manage my PPC campaigns myself, or do I need a professional?

While you can manage PPC campaigns yourself, it requires a strong understanding of the platform and ongoing optimization. Many businesses prefer to hire a PPC marketing company to handle the complexities.

5. What are negatives in PPC, and why are they important?

Negatives are keywords or phrases that prevent your ad from being triggered by specific search terms. They help in reducing irrelevant clicks and can improve your campaign's efficiency.

6. How do I know if my PPC campaign is successful?

Success in PPC is often measured by KPIs like ROI, CPA, and conversion rate. But remember, these numbers must be interpreted correctly, understanding what they mean for your business and profits.

7. Why is dynamic website content essential in PPC campaigns?

Dynamic website content allows you to change the content for each visitor based on their search terms. This strategy is particularly useful for those looking to understand how to increase online sales. It can enhance relevance without needing to create hundreds of landing pages, thereby improving conversion rates and ultimately leading to more sales.

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Article by Thomas
Wonderful creature

Number 1 Facebook Ads influencer in Nordics.

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