I’ve been running Google ads for my own eCommerce brands for the past (ahem) 4 years alone.
But the crazy part is, I never went to school to learn about eCom or Google ads nor did I take any kinds of courses.
All of the strategies I used to implement within my ad accounts all came from personal experience.
From losing my own money and from fighting my own battles. This has really allowed me to have a magnifying glass look into my own strategies to see what Google actually responds to.
And most eCommerce store owners are often baffled when they figure it out.
In reality, the Google ads algorithm is on our side. Many marketers claim that Google ads was designed to favor the shopper more and to align with their needs. While this may be true to an extent, it’s only half the truth.
There are many additions Google ads has come out with in the recent time period to help us eCommerce store owners get more sales. To scale. To actually grow, day in and day out.
And at the end of the day, according to my experience, it comes down to the overall strategy and small things you do within to grow the brand to the next level. Realistically speaking, launching Google ads campaigns for the sake of launching isn’t a strategy.
Adding products every single day to fuel the campaigns is also not a strategy. A well rounded and effective PPC strategy revolves around multiple different parts. Parts that work together to keep the engine going.
Keeping this in mind, I’ve compiled together a list of 7 strategic ways to kick those Google Ads right in the a#$ to get that traffic flowing and customers converting.
And trust me, there’s hundreds of other strategic ways you can continue to grow and scale your eCommerce brand with Google ads. The list is pretty much never ending.
However, these 7 ways are enough to not only get your brand churning bigger sales numbers, but also have them coming in consistently every single day. And at the end of the day, the eCom brand that’s consistent in terms of sales is the one that wins.
Strategy #1: SEO
I know, I know…
You were probably expecting some insane formula to boost start this super epic strategy that would turn your Google ads campaigns into million dollar generators overnight.
Unfortunately, such kind of quick success is often not achievable with Google ads.
I like to think of Google ads as a train; the initial launch speed is slow and steady but as it begins to move, it moves faster and faster. And it gets to a point where the momentum is so massive that stopping becomes a hurdle.
While there are many tactics that range around taking direct action within the Google ads campaign manager, most start in the backend.
SEO is the main thing you should focus on to get those rising costs back to ground level. But what exactly does a good SEO strategy revolve around?
Especially when it comes to Google ads?
Now, SEO is more geared for organic traffic but the sole purpose of us focusing on it here is to help the Google ads algorithm and lower our cost per link clicks and cost per purchases. Due to this, the organic traffic aspect is a mere byproduct of SEO.
Any good SEO strategy that’s aligned with Google ads starts with keyword research.
Proper, strategic keyword research that not only gives you hope that there’s an audience for your products, but also gives you directed keywords to implement within landing pages.
The main strategy I use for my own eCommerce brands as well as client brands starts with having a product or niche in mind. Some key questions to ask yourself:
- What are the main two to four MAX words I can use to describe what I’m trying to sell?
- What kind of margins am I hoping to achieve?
- Is there enough demand on Google for this?
While the first two questions can be answered prior to keyword research, the third question is the first one we answer after keyword research begins. But the reason you started with a product or niche in mind is because now, you can use the keyword planner tool to search that up and make a list of keywords you want to go after.
Some of the main criteria I keep in mind when doing keyword research:
- More than 3 – 5 keywords pop up
- More than 30,000 average monthly searches in total
- Avg selling prices of competitors
- # of competitors
Ensuring these things is essential to getting those key keywords which can help take your eCommerce brand to the next level. I normally use these four key questions as the base to gather up 10 – 15 different keywords to move onto the next step of SEO.
And this step involves listing these keywords naturally within the titles and descriptions. This step may seem simple however, it’s important you take a strategic approach to this.
So in practice, you list these keywords throughout your title and description as needed.
For the eCommerce brands I work with, I tend to list those keywords most searched and most relevant more towards the front compared to the others. This makes Google’s life easier when the algorithm is crawling through.
One of the main brands we worked with in 2022, Hexocare, practiced this quite well. We began working with this brand during a time period when results had pretty much died down from Facebook ads.
And in the search of a new and more stable advertising platform, the CEO of Hexocare landed upon one of my Youtube videos and began his journey down a spiral.
Long story short, we began work together and one of the first things we did on this eCommerce brand was fix up the backend funnel. This included a pretty significant fix of the main winning products in terms of SEO techniques.
There was little to no SEO in place for this brand; we had to begin with keyword research. Over time, that in depth keyword research based on winners led to changes within the titles from the merchant center side of things and developments within the descriptions.
The overall strategy was extremely simple; important keywords towards the front and the rest in the back. With winning products, our strategy was to begin keyword implementation with the descriptions and slowly work our way towards titles as needed.
For other products, it was solely about improving both the titles and descriptions with proper keyword implementation. And the effort eventually paid off.
This eCommerce brand went from doing a 1x – 2x ROAS on a daily basis to well about the 3x range more often than not. And 95% of this change was directly due to SEO because the only things we were changing on the website’s side were the titles and descriptions.
Proper SEO is the foundation of a successful Google ads strategy in 2022 but it’s not the only thing.
Strategy #2: Campaign Structure
A lot of your backend is already set and ready to take off because of the first strategy which you followed (hopefully). And if you haven’t, I seriously recommend that you do before spending a considerable amount of ad budget elsewhere.
But what’s next?
By this point, most eCommerce store owners already have their campaigns running and optimizing. Whether or not these campaigns are actually generating sales and profits is a different question on its own but things are cranking.
In my experience of spending over 6 figures just on testing strategies, I’ve come to realize one thing; structure is essential for a good Google ads strategy. Without structuring your campaigns properly, your campaigns won’t be able to run at the level they’re designed for.
Structuring on its own simply refers to the kinds of products you decide to group together. And there are multiple ways to do this correctly. The mains one I’ve found massive success with are:
- Grouping based on profit margins
- Grouping based on niche / collection
- Grouping based on selling price
- Grouping based on winners vs losers
Having a campaign strategy that revolves around certain similarities, in my opinion, is what Google ads wants. There’s no real human sitting behind a computer screen feeding audience members to your website; it’s all done via a machine.
The more you make the machine’s life easier, the better.
One of the first ever brands our eCommerce Google ads agency worked with, Full Send Diesel, was a great example of this. Before we began work, this brand had been running basic testing campaigns with minimal results.
There was no sort of structure within the campaigns, the conversion tracking was a mess, and the CEO was considering leaving Google ads completely to focus on Facebook. Fortunately, we were able to turn this brand around fairly quickly.
And the key to this massive growth at such a quick rate was proper segmentation.
We knew that this Google ads account had only spent about $100 so far – there was no kind of additional data we could pull to help the campaigns. However, we also knew that this brand had already done well over $1,000,000 with Facebook ads alone.
Using that knowledge, we downloaded the customer list and fed the Google ads algorithm some of this data via smart audiences. This allowed us to create and run a smart shopping campaign targeting all products for testing purposes.
After running this testing campaign for a month or so and generating nearly a flat 1x ROAS at an unprofitable rate, we knew it was time for change. Since we had been running Google ads campaigns for a while, it made more sense to begin the segmentation process.
This is exactly when we created a winning products campaign and also split half of the untested products into another campaign. More segmentation, less interference.
And the rest is history.
As of July of 2022, this brand has done well over half a million dollars at a 10x ROAS. All thanks to segmentation.
And if you want to introduce segmentation as a strategy within your Google ads account, you need to first choose how you want to segment it and then ensure your ad account has the data to support the results.
Strategy #3: The Key to Success is Search
Most eCommerce store owners pay a lot of attention to market trends. They’ll often scour through the latest news and attend fancy product shows and marketing events in the hopes of finding the next big winner.
However, very few take the time to use the Google Keyword planner tool to conduct some research into what people want. And as a result, they end up completely blind to what consumers are actually searching for.
In 2022 and onwards, if one of the strategic ways on your list isn’t to grow via keyword research, you’re doing something wrong. But this research isn’t done for the sake of SEO; it’s done to simply research more products to add to your catalog.
Normally, when my own eCommerce brands or client brands are looking to add more products, one of the first things I have team members do is research potential niches. And this can be done by simply typing in the main niche keyword onto the keyword planner tool to see just how many people search for things around it.
It’s normally a great sign if there are decent number of searches done per month with consistency and there are a handful of keywords popping up. This just means if we ware to source a given product from this niche, there would at least be some demand around it on Google.
And that’s exactly what Google revolves around; consistent searches done by new members of the audience, day in and day out. This is what gives fuel to the Google ads campaigns to let it continue running and optimizing for sales.
Without products that act as fuel, the scaling process with shopping or search campaigns basically becomes nonexistent.
There’s no better example of this than my own eCommerce brand.
A brand I had been trying to grow since the end of 2019. One thing I was always stumped about is the “right niche” or the “right product”.
All this ever did was stop my own growth and scale because I could never decide on that perfect thing. To battle this, I decided to start an eCommerce brand that would be aimed at selling products in various different collections.
So I got to work; adding products from collections ranging from home decor to sports and fitness to baby essentials. A total mess – or so I thought.
To my surprise, when I actually began running shopping campaigns for these products, some of them just took off. I wasn’t profitable from the beginning, but I was getting results.
Six months later, this brand had crossed half a million dollars in sales at a 6x ROAS. A total dream come true.
But I soon began to realize one thing as time went on – there were some products which just never got any impressions or clicks. No matter what strategy I tried. Upon a closer look, it started to become very clear why.
There was little to no demand for these products within Google’s networks; it had very few average monthly searches. And because I didn’t know much about the power of keywords initially, I had added them thinking they were cool and viral material.
Eek – big mistake.
To strategically align with my main goal for this eCommerce brand – which was to blow up revenue and profits with Google ads – I ended up removing those products completely. Just having them sit in my testing campaigns and get 0 clicks was dragging down my CTR and quality score.
But in order to even get to the level I did here, I had to start off on the right path.
Strategy #4: Manual Campaigns
I’ll admit, a lot of the content I’ve been posting in the recent years has begun to revolve more around smart bidding options.
I mean, standard shopping campaigns are basically a thing of the past with all the cool smart shopping and performance max campaign upgrades Google keeps throwing out. But this is where most eCommerce store owners go wrong.
It’s definitely exciting to get to the point where 99% of your campaigns are smart bidding based – target ROAS, target CPA, etc. – but you need to work your way up towards them. In the previous example, I mentioned I crossed $500k in less than 6 months.
Majority of these sales and profits did come from smart shopping campaigns at that time however, the time period before that wasn’t so exciting. During this early time period, all of the testing campaigns and more were standard shopping campaigns.
Running at basic bids with constant weekly optimizations.
And this is where the real strategy shines.
When you’re just switching over from other ad platforms onto Google ads or you’re not getting much success from smart based campaigns, you need to take one step back. I like to think of this as “taking one step back to move up two steps.”
Start basic standard shopping campaigns following a structure mentioned above and just let it run for a month or two. Follow all basic optimizations and work towards profitability but ensure you’re using this time period to gather data.
The main goal here with this strategic approach is to get just enough data (50 – 100+ conversions) on the account level to then begin using those smart bidding options. While standard shopping campaigns that force you to choose a bid might not be the best approach, they definitely help pave the path towards smart.
During the early portion of July in 2021, I began working with an eCommerce brand that had come to me after devouring basically every single video on Google. The CEO wanted some basic help getting going with Google ads as they had found some success with Facebook ads.
This specific brand was nothing special; just an eCom business with multiple different collections and categories. Even the landing pages weren’t optimized for conversions.
A total setup for failure if you ask me.
However, my main goal was to assist with getting the right kind of campaign strategies up and running and that’s exactly what I did.
While I did mention certain changes which this brand needed to accomplish on the product page level, I created an overall launch strategy that would be ideal. But there were a few issues;
- Conversion tracking was all messed up
- There was no prior Google ads data to refer to
- Products didn’t have any kind of research strategy to back them up
All these things simply meant we would need to take an extremely basic approach towards the data gathering process. And that’s exactly what we did.
During that time, the main launch strategy I was recommending was the 2:1 standard campaign launch. This consisted of two standard shopping campaigns with all products but just with different bids.
One campaign would contain a higher bid of around $0.40 to $0.50 while the other was on the lower end of $0.10.
The main strategy was to run this just for a month or so, basically until we had about 50 conversions in total. Once that happened, the structure would be shifted over to smart shopping campaigns.
To our surprise, however, the standard shopping campaigns performed better than expected. Due to this, we ended up running them for about two months before making the switch.
But overall, the transition into smart was much smoother because we warmed up the Google ads account and the algorithm. This is something most eCommerce store owners fail to do.
In the hope of quick profits and overnight success, they end up taking the wrong decisions and go down a spiraling rabbit hole. Regardless of what campaign type they decide to use.
Strategy #5: Mix & Match
It feels like we’ve covered a lot but in reality, most of these strategic approaches have been more geared towards Google shopping campaigns. What about the rest?
The reality is, most eCommerce store owners completely disregard everything else. They get this disease called “oneitis” which gives them tunnel vision; they can’t take their eyes off one thing.
And while it is recommended that you focus on one thing only to give it your 100% attention and to have it grow, doing this with Google ads won’t always work.
Google ads is a tricky animal. It essentially has eyes on all parts of its body and these eyes monitor everything. They take in data and feed it to the master brain, the algorithm, to help make it smarter.
When you only focus on shopping ads, you keep the other eyes on this beast closed. And that means you’re missing out on valuable data and information that could make the algorithm associated with your ad account smarter.
All these data streams help each other become smarter as well. This means if you were to launch other campaign types such as search, display, discovery, etc and those got sales, the shopping campaigns would become smarter as a result.
This strategy should be combined with all others as it helps provide a strong foundation for the ad account to consistently get sales. Even on days the shopping campaigns makes you want to hibernate to the top of the Himalayas.
Back in January of 2022, we partnered up with a big furniture brand that was doing $1M per year in revenue with Google ads. Their ultimate issue? Lack of profitability.
Since majority of the products this brand was selling were high ticket, it was surprising to see that they were dealing with profit related issues. But a quick look into their ad account revealed why they were dealing with this.
Majority of their campaigns were shopping related and the products were interfering with each other due to the general structure of the account. In fact, many of the campaigns had the same product, a phenomenon that leads to a bidding war with yourself.
Our main task with this brand wasn’t to get it profitable through effective campaign strategies, it was to change the entire account structure.
We began this journey by completely eliminating the old campaign types and launching several new smart shopping campaigns. This strategy was exactly our own 2:1 launch strategy.
However, we took it a step forward and also launched search campaigns and retargeting campaigns. Before we could take things a bit further and test more, we had to get the account to profitability.
But just launching those additional campaign types made a big impact on overall revenue and was one of the driving forces towards these results.
Most eCommerce store owners stop at this point and fully just focus on the campaign side of things but we decided to go deep into the backend and apply our next strategy.
Strategy #6: Merchant Center Promos
Your Google Merchant Center contains a lot of hidden gems that you might not be aware of.
At least I wasn’t aware of them when I began until I really went into my account and checked every single tab. And that’s how I found out the benefits GMC offers eCommerce store owners.
There are many different opportunities available within the merchant center but the main ones you MUST know about (and use) are:
- Shopping experience program
- Google shopping reviews
- Free listings
Each of these programs within the Google Merchant Center offers an additional level of scale to your eCommerce brand in its own ways. Some increase your trust in potential customer’s eyes while others actually boost your ranking with shopping for free.
Lets go over each one briefly.
The newest program Google has introduced and one of the most powerful ones.
Essentially, this program was designed to give you a sleek trust badge that directly gets showcased on your shopping listings and boost your ranking within shopping – all for free.
Literally, there’s nothing extra you need to do to have your ranking boosted with shopping ads. It’s as simple as uploading your return policy to your GMC and activating this program.
$0 adspend, infinite % ROAS.
This is that one program that has been part of Google ads from the beginning yet 90% of eCommerce store owners fail to use it properly.
There has not been a better way to have your shopping listings gain more eyeballs and actually have them trust you. In fact, a customer is 29% more likely to purchase from you if they see these reviews.
However, I personally believe the biggest reason why these are a must is because Google Shopping reviews help increase CTRs. When your product is the only one amongst 50 others that has reviews, consumers will naturally see your ad popping out.
Regardless of whether you sell an amazing product or not. And in most cases, regardless of price.
When your CTR goes up, Google ads begins to believe that more people want your ads and as a result, it bumps your ranking up without charging you extra.
In a lot of cases, your CPCs actually start to go down due to a boost in quality score. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand how crucial this is to long term growth.
While having more people come onto your website for lower CPCs is gaming changing, there is nothing better than having consumers come onto your website for FREE!
And that’s exactly what Google’s free listings program does.
All you really need to do to ensure you qualify for this program is to ensure all your products abide by Google’s policies. After that, it’s as simple as going through the “Free listings setup” from the settings section of GMC.
Often times, eCommerce store owners host special promotions within their website and offer all these fancy coupons and discounts but they fail to do it on Google’s end. This limits the growth of your eCom brand severely because it doesn’t provide more incentives to your customers to buy.
The promotions section within the Google Merchant Center account is where a lot of these extra incentives can be offered.
Incentives which, if combined with the other ones, can explode your sales and scale the brand to the next level.
And using this section can be as simple as creating a coupon code or promo for the same promotion that you’re running on your brand.
For my own brands, I’ve noticed exponential growth once I began using all four of these programs.
As mentioned earlier, I tested out all the programs available within the Google Merchant Center on my own brand.
While I didn’t think utilizing any of these would be an effective strategic approach towards improving sales with Google ads, the results said something else.
The very first program I began using on my brand back when I started in late 2019 was the promotions program.
I would often create 5% or 7% off coupon codes and have them revolve around a certain event or occasion. For instance, common titles for them would be “Summer flash sale” or “Winter flash sale”.
During these time periods, sales and conversion rates would be extremely consistent and steady compared to periods before these sales. This led me to use the next program Google offered: free listings.
Free listings officially were released in April of 2020 but since that time period, my brand has received over 14,000 visitors from them.
During that time, I was also successfully able to use Loox to submit all my product reviews to Google ads. These reviews began to appear directly within the shopping listings and further helped increase sales.
The final straw came when my brand became eligible for the shopping experience program. With that sleek trust badge and a free boost in shopping listings, it’s no surprise I was able to scale this eCommerce brand to over $2.4M within the past 2.5 years alone.
As long as you ensure your eCommerce business utilizes these backend programs fully, your revenue and profits will naturally increase over time.
Strategy #7: Limiting Your Campaigns
While the ultimate goal of any Google ads strategy is to increase the revenue the campaigns drive and scale the brand, it’s sometimes just as important to take a step back.
It’s like I always say, “Take one step back to go forward two steps.”
Setting certain limits on campaigns is something many eCommerce store owners don’t want to do as that slows down growth. In my experience, this only really happens if you do it incorrectly.
There are various different ways to set limits on your current running campaigns and get them fully optimized.
You could possibly set a budget limit and either keep it the same or lower it based on your own needs. Another great way to set limits is by setting a target ROAS (TROAS) on those smart or performance max campaigns.
When it comes to standard shopping campaigns, you could have a limit added to the campaigns by setting a bid or lowering your current one.
The main fundamental reason why it’s important to set limits on your campaigns is to prevent Google’s algorithm from over firing.
At the end of the day, Google ads is a business on its own. It wants to extract as much spend as possible from its advertisers.
When you don’t set a bid limit on campaigns, specifically those not hitting targets, you do your own eCommerce store a great disservice. And not making any direct changes in this manner with your campaigns is like telling Google ads to continue with this mediocre performance.
The strategic way to approach such a scenario would be to set a TROAS or bid at which the campaign has been performing at within the past few weeks to past few months on average.
Just doing this step alone without any other optimization techniques helps put a bottom barrier on the campaign. And while it won’t always perform at a level above that, it now has a target to aim towards.
Ever since the economic unrest started in the United States in early June of 2022, sales began to drop severely for one of the fashion brands we were working with.
And obviously, going from roughly $30,000 to $50,000 per month in revenue at a profitable rate to barely $21,000 at a break even is no joke. It takes a financial and mental toll on the team.
One thing I was aware of during the time results started to naturally drop was that Google is an algorithm based machine. It only detects external stimuli, such as the drop that follows economic unrest, AFTER it has started.
That was the unfortunate situation for this eCommerce brand as well.
Our main goal during that time period was to find a way to stop this drop and have a barrier set in place which the campaigns would not cross. And for the campaigns within this ad account, there was no better way than by adding a TROAS.
See How My Agency Can 10x Your Brand's Sales With Google Ads
Google Ads – effective targeting and scaling methods for ROI.
Bing Ads – dominating the market of a fairly untouched platform.
Facebook Ads (Retargeting) – helping stop the leaks from all sides of the bucket, especially with retargeting.
Pretty much all of the campaigns running during this time period had no set limits as we were letting Google take the lead. As that was no longer an ideal situation for the brand, we began setting limits by looking at the past 6 weeks worth of data.
What we found was that on average, the ROAS for one of the major campaigns fluctuated between 150% and 356%. Keeping this in mind, we decided to set a ROAS that would be somewhere in the middle – at 300%.
To our surprise, the campaign costs dropped by around 30% and the ROAS jumped up to a range of 230% to 450%. That was a whopping 1.5x to 3x increase in the overall profitability.
While this isn’t the ultimate strategic approach towards increasing sales, it does help set that barrier for the campaign and forces it to reach levels above that.
Once those levels are met, however, it’s on you to either lower the TROAS to improve scale or get rid of it completely.
And with this brand, that’s exactly what we did once results stabilized.
Using These Strategies
Taking strategic approaches towards the art of running Google ads campaigns help keep things in check.
They help ensure your numbers are getting met and most important of all, help you stay afloat by driving in profits.
In the world of big revenue screenshots, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and believe scaling via revenue is the only way out. But that could not be further from the truth.
As demonstrated with these 7 different strategies, scale can come from any side and angle you wouldn’t have even thought of.
While there are many out there that talk about “the perfect strategy” or “a few perfect tweaks”, the reality is, there is no one size fits all approach to Google ads. Every account performs and reacts differently under similar circumstances.
But what remains the same is the key principles and strategies that make this success possible.
And that’s exactly what these strategies were about.
Use these as a way for you to guide your revenue and profitability numbers towards the targets and build a strong foundation off of them.
On the other hand, you can also save a lot of time, money, and energy by outsourcing these tasks.
Work With Us
As an eCommerce store owner, there’s a lot of things you need to worry about. Things like dealing with angry Karens or negotiating prices with suppliers or working on customer service.
Running Google ads shouldn’t be one of them.
The main reason why is there are people out there who live and breathe Google ads. Colorful charts and unique strategies excite them.
And in all reality, someone who focuses solely on Google ads might do better than someone who has 10 different hats to wear at the same time alongside running ads.
So if you’re doing $30,000 or so per month and want to take your eCommerce brand to the next level with Google ads, schedule a FREE strategy call with me. You get a strategy report you can keep regardless of whether we work together or not.