Google Ads for online stores: the most effective types of ads

Why do online stores need to promote in Google Adwords?

SEO promotion is a great way to drive traffic and increase website traffic. However, 46% of all clicks on Google go to the three paid ads: paid search ads intercept almost half of the clicks from organic search results.




Brands that incorporate a mix of paid tools and search engine optimization into their promotion strategy have a better chance of increasing market share and increasing their brand awareness in a shorter period of time. However, paid traffic tools are more attractive because they have great potential in speed and efficiency: they can be a very profitable channel that can be scaled quickly and enter even the most overheated market.

With Google ads even a small business will feel the freedom to choose advertising formats and will be able to use any budget to achieve conversions and purchases. Proper cabinet setup, hypothesis testing, forecasting and adjustment of rates, campaign analytics – all this will surely lead to the success of your online marketing and allow you to comprehend the main promotion insights.

What is the secret to successful Google Ads campaigns?

  • Companies who promote on Google regularly have much more room to maneuver: the history of their campaigns allows them to hypothesize and test new offers for clients
  • With creativity and technology, Google Ads can keep pace with business needs and leverage digital tools to scale demand. Companies can expect to receive fresh and up-to-date data on advertising activities, interactive analytics with targeted metrics calculation, to understand the logic of extracting profit from each online action.
  • A successful strategy for promotion in Google Ads involves solving three tasks: attracting targeted traffic, budget control and return on investment. You can accomplish these three tasks if you choose the right type of ads, set up your account correctly and optimize your ads.
  • The success of advertising in Google also depends on proper planning and control of iterations. At the start of your advertising campaign, you won’t have all the information you need. But after a while, it’s important to draw conclusions about which keywords drive quality clicks, which ads are most effective, what geography is converting, in general – gather all the additional information that will ultimately help you make informed decisions.
  • Throughout the campaign, your analytics data will reveal a wealth of new information that you need to use to optimize. Simply repeating a campaign, expecting it to perform better, is naive. Look at the accumulated data to understand who is searching for your products, how it’s happening, what ads your audience is responding to and what they are doing when they come to the site. Capture the data daily or weekly – and create more effective campaigns based on real-world experience.


1. Google Shopping Ads (Shopping Campaigns)


Google Shopping Ads (or Shopping Ads) are a type of advertising that doesn’t just work by targeting keywords. Shopping Ads work based on a product feed located in the Google Merchant Center.

The connection between Google Merchant and Google Ads allows you to take full advantage of promotional opportunities in search results. This type of ads has proven to be more effective than plain text ads because they hit a hot audience first and foremost, by instantly showing them visual information about a product.

More and more retailers are reallocating ad budgets from “search ads” to “shopping campaigns.” Google Shopping Ads ad spending is up 38% in 2019 compared to 2018, while search ads are down 12% (according to a study by performance-marketing agency Merkle Inc.).

Google shopping campaigns now account for 65% of all Google ad clicks and 89% of non-branded ad clicks on Google search. For e-commerce, Google’s shopping campaigns are attractive because of the cheap price per click, especially since the cost per targeted action (CPA) can be significantly reduced.

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What is important for online retailers to consider in Google’s shopping campaigns?

We advise creating shopping campaigns according to the structure/menu of your website and/or product. In Google Shopping Ads, you can create a tier system that allows you to separate general, branded and specific queries from each other. This will allow for more effective offer generation and more accurate budget allocation.

Segmentation of advertising campaigns is quite an important analytical process. Here it is necessary to study in detail the price categories of products, define marginal products/brand groups and build advertising campaigns based on profitability calculations.

Foreign expert Byron Trzeciak (Byron Trzeciak, advises to start advertising in Google with a standard campaign in Google Shoping Ads and control the rates manually. It is advisable to spend more time optimizing and setting up campaigns to increase sales within a 30-day period. This way, you can help Google find the most appropriate buyer for your product, which in turn will help the advertising platform learn faster and find a better, faster audience for your site/product in the future.

  • You can then move the campaign to Smart Shopping Ads to automate it and use Google’s algorithms for learning. With standard shopping campaigns, you reach at least 30 purchases in 30 days, and at best, up to 100 purchases. But if you collect even more data, Google’s algorithms will learn even faster and achieve higher results in a less labor-intensive way.
  • Adjust rates by increasing or decreasing CPCs based on collected statistics about customers and purchase factors. This will help you manage your budget more effectively in the future.
  • Remarketing for search ads will help users see your site again, and you can adjust bids for different categories of customers based on their value. For regular website customers, you can increase the rate because there is a high probability of them converting to a new purchase.


2. Google Search Ads.

The audience’s generated demand for the product can be met with a relevant offer with a search ad or Google affiliate sites. The latter type of advertising should be approached cautiously and carefully filter third-party site traffic. In some cases, it makes sense to run a campaign only on search.

Here are four basic search advertising campaign strategies that can be recommended for testing in e-commerce:

Branded search campaigns. These are campaigns in which you bid on queries for your own branded keywords, targeting people who are actively searching for you in search. They cost less because they have less competition. This way, you can create a competitive advantage in search to improve ad visibility and get feedback.

Competitors’ search campaigns. Bidding on the branded queries of your closest competitors can be beneficial to attract potential audiences who have no idea about your product. However, such a strategy is quite risky, as it is officially forbidden to use keywords for advertising that coincide with the name of a competitor or are very similar to it. In any case, we advise you to always be aware of your competitors’ ads: keep track of their SOPs, promotions, and the queries by which they are advertised.

3. Google DSAs, Dynamic Search Ads (dynamic search campaign)

A dynamic campaign is convenient because it relieves you of all the responsibility of finding the right keywords for your ad campaign. It sets up your ads automatically, matching them to every Google search query.

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It matches your search terms with your landing page and updates your campaign 24/7. All you need to do is provide a URL and two sentences in your business description.

Improve the impact of this type of ad by selecting keywords that are already working well. Gradually remove them from your dynamic ads and move them to your static campaign. Google will then continue to search for the best matches, while you make better bids on the keywords you’ve just removed, improving your Quality Score. Another interesting fact about dynamic text ads is that they can bypass the character limit, making the ads longer than usual.


4. Google Display Ads (media advertising)

Media advertising is used to increase brand awareness with the audience or for remarketing, so it plays a huge role in marketing strategy. It tends to be better suited to online stores with visually appealing products. Here are the three main ad campaign strategies that online retailers are recommended to test:

→ Targeting with location management

Creating media ads with placement targeting allows you to choose the type of content in which your ads will appear on a third-party site. This way you can more closely control the relevance of your content to your brand, niche or products.

→ Contextual targeting campaign

Especially useful for increasing brand awareness in e-commerce. Creating campaigns using contextual targeting allows you to add keywords or content topics to display ads on websites and contextual media network (CMN) applications.

→ Dynamic remarketing

With dynamic remarketing in Google ads, you can create ads that are personalized for your browsers based on their previous interactions with your store.

Expert Opinion

Ekaterina Malinovskaya, lead manager of media advertising at Ashmanov & Partners:

The main trend in media advertising in 2020: personalization. Brands began to think about the fact that their business should be personalized, taking into account the characteristics of each user and based on that build a right approach to them. 90% of users find personalization more attractive than general advertising.


5. Video Ads

Today, video generates 1200% more engagement than text and images combined. YouTube ads are a powerful PPC platform that offers a wide variety of ad types depending on your budget and/or target audience. What’s more, YouTube provides detailed analytics to fully understand the effectiveness of your campaigns. It also includes Brand-Lift metrics, which show the direct impact of your ad campaigns on brand awareness.

The tricky thing about YouTube ads is that there are many different formats: In-Stream with (or without) a skip button, Video Discovery, Out-Stream, splash ads, and masthead ads. Therefore, it is highly recommended to conduct tests and analytics before investing a large amount of money in an advertising campaign.

For example, if you want to increase brand awareness with engaging video ads, it makes more sense to run In-Stream or Discovery ads. On the other hand, if you need to convert an engaged audience, it might make sense to use TrueView for Action.

We suggest experimenting with several ad formats and evaluating their effectiveness. Make sure you follow Google’s guidelines for ad size and quality. It may be worth investing in market research or audits to see which ad formats can help you reach your business goals. YouTube video ad formats are described in detail in thinkwithgoogle.

6. Remarketing

The success of your remarketing campaigns is very dependent on the remarketing lists you create. This includes RLSAs (remarketing lists for search ads), remarketing lists for trade campaigns, and remarketing lists for dynamic media ad retargeting.

Tips for running remarketing:

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→ Treat remarketing the same way you would treat other ads, but be mindful of the specifics of your audience. These users are already familiar with your brand, so you may have to work a little harder to get them back to your site. Experiment with different offers, calls to action, images, and anything else that might be of interest.

→ When you combine different categories of remarketing and similar audiences, you can get different results. Messages for users who visited the site 7 to 30 days ago may well not work for those who visited the resource 30-60 days ago.

→ The user you’re bringing back to the site already has some knowledge of the product. You should experiment with landing pages, perhaps choosing new landing pages. Check to see what type of content is most closely related and close to the newly arrived audience.

Opinion of the expert

Alexey Avdeev, Performance Group Head at Ashmanov and Partners:


In order to re-engage the user on the site and prove that the purchase should be made here, you need to look at several metrics: how long on average it takes a user from the first visit to the purchase within the purchase cycle; how many visits each visitor needs on average to reach a conversion; what time from the previous visit usually leads to a conversion. And based on this already make a strategy for targeting this audience.


Tips for optimizing Google ads for e-commerce

  • Google’s budget and rate automation allows you to automatically adjust rates or suspend campaigns when certain goals are met. This means you can make adjustments in real time and prevent over or under spending, for example.
  • The only way to ensure success is to check all settings and optimize your ads. Don’t limit your work to just CPC campaigns – use other effective tools and solutions.
  • Conduct a split test first, then an A/B test. Split testing allows you to test completely different ad hypotheses to find a winning combination. For example, you can do split testing of two campaigns using different URLs or headlines. On the other hand, A/B testing allows advertisers to test similar campaign variations, such as testing two different headlines for the same ad with the same video or destination URL. Ideally, run a split test first to find the ad content that shows the best gains. Then A/B test headlines and CTAs (Call to action), selecting the most effective campaign after the split test.
  • Test for similar audiences for similar campaigns. Similar audiences are designed to help you reach more potential buyers. Audiences can be tested with media impressions, search and YouTube ads, and Gmail ads. Test your ads in combination with interest-based targeting.
  • Synchronize Google Ads with Facebook campaigns. By integrating Google Ads into your overall CPC strategy and optimizing it in conjunction with other platforms, you have a better chance of success. One such example would be using headlines that have worked well for Facebook. Alternatively, use audience interest targeting on Facebook to reach a wider audience of new customers. Then you can remarket in a Google search using branded keywords.
  • Use the search query report to determine which words make sense to add as minus-words. Analyze queries that have been used by a large number of people and led to your ad showing. Identify words that are not directly related to your products or services, and use them when further adjusting your campaign. Using minus-words will help increase the relevance of your ads, increase your Quality Score and protect your ads from getting low-quality clicks with no sales.


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