When it comes to Google ads, you can’t just throw spaghetti at the wall hoping something sticks.
The entire Google ads platform has evolved into this gigantic beast that has a mind of its own. As an eCommerce store owner or marketing manager, it’s essential that you crack open this mind and feed it the right data.
Because have the wrong strategies and you risk:
- Having extremely high cpc’s and other valuable metrics (AKA paying more than needed for ads)
- Portraying your brand’s identity the wrong way (AKA affecting your branding and its lifetime value)
- Failing to scale your eCommerce brand properly (AKA not growing the profits to your desired levels)
In this article, we’re going to be diving deep into the trenches to understand 13 insane Google Ads strategies that we’ve been using to scale eCommerce brands past 6 – 7 figures per month.
Taken straight out of our current running campaigns.
By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to:
- Use Google Merchant Center programs to increase CTRs and scale
- Utilize powerful retargeting custom audiences to make cold campaigns smarter
- Fuse search and shopping campaigns together
- Expand onto other advertising platforms to increase Google ads sales
- Customize search campaigns with dynamic search
- Take every single product through an unique phase
- Turn the wheel with standard & performance max campaigns
- Reach different countries
- Use your backend to scale
- Understand what scales a losing product
- Ease up restrictions on the campaigns and let loose
- Introduce a whole new set of product styles
Before we go any further, let’s understand Google ads strategies and how the platform works in general on a fundamental level.
You might currently have some Google ads campaigns churning traffic and revenue or you might have hit a plateau with growth overall.
Many of such situations occur due to the lack of effective Google ads strategies.
It’s no secret that Google is a search based platform on a fundamental level.
What this means is that your customers come to you. Your audience has the desire for a certain product and THEN they begin trying to find solutions for it.
Not the opposite way around.
This is crucial to understand because most successful eCommerce brands today might have an omnichannel presence. And the reality is, omnichannel brands are the ones growing exponentially.
However, this introduces a lot of misinformation and overlap.
The strategies that work for platforms like Facebook ads or Tik Tok ads completely fail with Google Ads. The entire mindset leads Google ads campaigns nowhere.
Unlike with Google ads, you have to actively choose an interest and forcefully appear on your ideal customer’s newsfeed with these two.
That creates a huge difference in how we strategize, how we execute, and ultimately, how we scale.
Once you understand the core difference, it becomes that much easier to begin implementation of these 13 strategies.
Signing up for Google Merchant Center Programs
What would happen if you asked a stranger you just met to marry you?
You might end up getting a weird look or have someone who even laughs at you for such a weird request.
So how do you expect a potential customer who JUST saw your Google shopping listing or search ad to directly purchase from you?
Just like with relationships, you need to take your customers down a funnel. And the main way to get that individual through the door is by portraying yourself in a high quality manner.
Perceived value is everything. That’s also why big brands can sell the most basic items for premium prices.
The best way to increase perceived value is by adding Merchant Center programs and offers.
Things like the Google Shopping review program or the trusted store badge addition or the special promotion code.
These are all things that help improve CTRs. Once Google recognizes that your CTR is improving account wide, it begins to push your ads a bit more.
In my opinion, implementing this strategy to scale your eCommerce brand further is a no brainer.
Most eCommerce store owners recognize that it’s extremely important to have the right kind of campaigns running.
Without proper strategies, there’s very little growth an eCom brand can achieve with Google ads.
However, they often end up focusing only on one piece of the puzzle: cold traffic.
As a result, they completely disregard one of the easiest ways to drive extra revenue AND make the algorithm smarter fast.
That’s through custom audiences.
One of the best strategies I’ve implemented over multiple eCommerce brands is the strategy of adding retargeting audiences on an “observation” basis to cold campaigns.
These include shopping campaigns, search campaigns, and any other type of campaign you have running.
In fact, there are no campaigns we have running that don’t have some form of retargeting audience within.
The beauty of having this done on an “observation” basis is that the campaign does not narrow down to only this audience. Instead, it observes those given audiences and retargets to them while feeding the campaign as a whole valuable data.
When you combine this cold + hot traffic approach, the results explode very quickly. Simply put, that campaign can now use the retargeting audiences to go out and find more similar ones.
And if you created the right kind of retargeting audiences, they should be extremely accurate to your ideal customer.
Shopping + Search Campaigns
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many eCommerce brands in various different niches.
For about 90% of these brands, however, there has been one common theme: the reliance on shopping campaigns.
Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping campaigns.
They are the bread and butter of my own eCommerce brands.
However, what I don’t like is the sole reliance of big eCom brands on just shopping campaigns. Because what happens if your Google Merchant Center account gets suspended unexpectedly and all you were running were shopping campaigns?
What if a new competitor comes in and undercuts all your products’ pricing, cutting your sales by 70%?
These situations may seem extreme, but I’ve seen these happen too many times to completely disregard them.
The first thing I do as soon as I see that a specific product is working with shopping campaigns is launch a search campaign for that specific product or that niche in general.
What most eCommerce store owners fail to realize is that Google distributes the data captured within each individual campaign on an account level. This means the data from the search campaign will now help fuel the shopping campaign and vice versa.
So not only does this introduce an additional revenue stream, but it also makes the algorithm faster much more quickly.
To keep things simple, launch search campaigns after you find some success with shopping; however, if you prefer to begin with search campaigns first, be prepared to test with a bigger budget.
Some common things you’ll need to test include the products and the targeted keywords.
Facebook + Google Ads
Adding search campaigns along with shopping is great, but it’s definitely not enough.
The reality is, eCommerce brands utilizing an omnichannel strategy are the ones growing and scaling the most.
While Facebook Ads is just one mere channel, it’s not the only one you can utilize for added revenue and profits.
One key strategy that helped me scale the most with Google ads was taking all of my major selling products and also running ads for them on Facebook.
If you’re suspended from Facebook, you can replace this with any other channel. Pinterest, Tik Tok, Twitter, Reddit, etc.
The major thing you should focus on doing is expanding the reach of these major products. After all, they’re already doing well with Google.
If you want to keep things simple, the least I recommend you do is retarget these visitors via other platforms. Again, this could be with Facebook ads or another platform in general.
I personally use as many platforms as I possibly can when it comes to retargeting. Retargeting is one of the most high-yield marketing activities you can do and the more times your potential customer sees your brand out there, the more credibility you’ll have in their eyes.
Dynamic Search Campaigns
Most eCommerce brands utilize search campaigns extremely well. They might be running them for the best selling product or for a niche in general.
Few stores run dynamic search campaigns for all of their products all at once, however.
The main strategy to scale further with Google ads is via a dynamic search campaign simply because Google’s algorithm uses all of the data captured within the account to run these. This means this type of campaign is already off to a great start.
When you utilize all of this data and just let the algorithm decide what product to show more, sales increase tremendously.
Keep in mind the algorithm is much smarter than us eCommerce store owners. It can detect a winning product or ad copy much better than we can simply because it has access to data we don’t.
The best strategy to use with dynamic search campaigns is to simply launch one for all of the major product categories or for products within a niche. This lets you become extremely granular and approach the campaign on a strategic level.
Once the campaign is launched, it’s a matter of testing different bidding strategies and more to see what your ad account responds to the best.
Over here at Yoru Marketing, we’ve tried out a variety of different retargeting styles. One retargeting style that has worked the best time and time again is dynamic retargeting.
And it makes sense.
Dynamic retargeting focuses on getting infront of your audience member that you target across a variety of different platforms. It could be when they’re reading a blog post or anywhere else where that specific website is one of Google’s partners.
The beauty about these campaign types is that you need to insert different types of assets when creating them.
Not only does this take the focus away from just products, but it also lets you focus a bit more on your brand and on getting those raving fans.
So how does a retargeting campaign work on a strategic level?
With the campaign, we’ve had the best success with retargeting campaigns that targeted just one country at a low budget. Anything around $20 per day in terms of the budget is ideal for dynamic remarketing.
The main goal here is to create that potential relationship with the customer that’ll make them want to take further actions on your store.
One of the most unique strategies we were able to come up with after working with tens of eCommerce brands is the product phase strategy.
If you’re looking to recreate the entire foundation of your eCommerce brand and establish powerful systems within it, this is the way.
On a broad, hawk-eye level, product phases can simply be defined as the segmentation done for products based on where they are in their journey. Because just like customers, products also go through their own journey.
Think of it like this. If you’re looking to eventually build a friendship with a person who’s a complete stranger, you won’t call them your best friend right after you meet them.
When you meet them, they’re essentially a stranger to you.
As you begin to become more accustomed to their habits and personality, they start to become your friend. After a longer period of time, they eventually become your best friend (if you two get along).
Similarly, a product you just began running on your Google ads account is not only new to you, but it’s also new to the algorithm as a whole.
If you’ve never tested this product before, you don’t know if it works. Google’s algorithm doesn’t know if it works.
This is essentially why you need to have a separate campaign for a product like this compared to a product that’s been running within your ad account for months.
On a strategic level, there are three different phases I normally take all products through:
- Testing phase
- Profitability phase
- Scaling phase
Testing your products can be as simple as you’d like or as complicated as you like. The main thing you must always keep in mind is that any product that has less than 4 to 5 consecutive sales still needs to be tested further.
You just don’t have enough data to classify it as a winning product.
Only once the product has crossed 4 to 5 consistent sales should it be moved onto the profitability phase.
As the name suggests, this phase is all about profits. Testing the product might not have led to crazy high profits however, you need to put all time and energy into profits during this phase.
This means testing around with different TROAS numbers or bids to ensure it’s spending the full budget while maintaining as high of a ROAS as possible.
Only after the product has shown that it can get a ROAS well above your break even point for at least 2 weeks should you transition it to the scaling phase. And this is when things get a bit spicy.
The scaling phase is designed to extract as much revenue as possible from the product while maintaining profitable returns. Don’t make one of the biggest mistakes most eCommerce brands make; focusing only on revenue numbers.
In terms of strategy, you need to find a balance between the amount of revenue the product is generating and the profits you’re getting. This can be done by playing around with the bids and budgets on a basic level but your actions should go deeper than that
Here at Yoru Marketing, any eCom brand that has products within the scaling phase get A/B tested once every 14 days. These tests can include different product titles, product images, and even descriptions.
If this might be a bit of a stretch for your systems, don’t fret. Doing simple optimizations via the backend and ensuring the Google Merchant Center isn’t running with errors can be more than enough to scale the product fast.
The important thing is that you do these things consistently as results can always be improved.
Standard + Performance Max
With the creation of Performance Max campaigns, eCommerce store owners have been going crazy launching them.
It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten other campaign types even exist.
I’ll be honest, I was part of this crowd myself for the longest time. I mean, running a shopping + search campaign on full automation?
It sounded like a dream to me.
Unfortunately, this dream was not long lived because of the downfalls Pmax campaigns brought with them.
Not only did they take a lot of our control from us as eCommerce store owners, but they also failed to impress on many levels.
Too many fluctuations. Too little info. Too many uncertainties.
After spending thousands of dollars testing different strategies on a multitude of eCommerce brands, we finally began to understand a few things about them.
One of the main things we figured out was that they are NOT good standalone campaigns.
Without another campaign feeding them data, they are bound to fail. Now, this does have certain exceptions.
If your eCommerce brand has over $10,000 worth of data on the account level, they can run just fine on their own however, we still recommend running another campaign with them for best results.
From our experience, what worked the best was running a standard shopping campaign with a Performance Max campaign. While doing this, it’s important to ensure you aren’t running the same products in both.
Once you have these two campaigns running, they’ll begin to get a ton of valuable data on the campaign level but also store a lot of this data on the account level.
From that point onwards, it’s as simple as letting the Performance Max campaign tap into this data to become smarter at a faster rate.
Scaling via countries
Getting your strategy right with campaigns is a no brainer but unfortunately, way too many eCommerce store owners stop their efforts at that.
On a broad level, all the campaigns you run are directed within a specific country if you set things up properly. This also means that while your campaigns might be providing you great results, you’re limiting your brand’s growth by keeping it in a bubble.
In this case, the bubble is the country you’re targeting.
Now I get it, not every brand can expand to a different country. There are a lot of things that come into play when you decide to go international.
For the brands that can expand from within the borders, however, scale becomes much easier.
And it makes sense when you think about it. On a fundamental level, we know that the growth of any product or niche with Google ads is limited by the keyword search volume.
I mean, if only 2,327,120 people are searching for baby diapers, there’s no way you can show your product listings to 2,500,000 people within that given month. It just doesn’t work that way.
When you expand past the borders, however, you start to reach a whole new set of audience members.
For instance, if the USA had a maximum monthly search volume of 30,000 for diapers, you’d be capped at that. However, if you decided to add another first world country to the mix, you suddenly increase that 2.3M value up to 3.2M.
And as you continue adding countries, the value just increases.
A scaling strategy like this one should only be implemented if you can cater properly to that country, as I mentioned earlier. I’ve seen way too many eCommerce brands scale via countries and end up in a total loss at the end because they didn’t account for shipping properly.
In terms of campaign strategy, it’s as simple as using the same general setup you currently have that’s working for the main country with slight modifications. A bit of testing might be needed to find the most accurate settings for that country but the strategy should be the same.
One major strategy that goes beyond the Google ads dashboard is the feed optimization strategy.
Time and time again, we’ve scaled multiple eCommerce brands past 6 figures per month in revenue by perfecting the feed. Now, realistically speaking, the feed itself can never be perfected.
There are always more changes you can implement on the backend that can improve results. But this is also where scale comes into play.
The main goal should be to initially improve the feed to the point where revenue is consistently flowing through. Once revenue stabilizes, no further optimizations are needed until the sales begin to decrease again.
And when it comes to the feed optimization, on a strategic level, your main goal should be relevancy and scale.
Relevancy can be achieved by ensuring all of the things you change, such as the Google product category or the custom attributes, closely resemble the product as much as possible.
In terms of scale, this can be achieved by ensuring the keywords used have a high enough search demand per month. Our eCommerce brands have found best results with keywords above 30,000 per month search volume.
Keep things simple and optimize every 21 days or so.
Earlier with this article, I mentioned just how important it is to have different product phases for your Google ads account.
However, the product phases mentioned above only cater to the good products. How about the ones not doing so well?
This is where the graveyard campaign comes into play.
On a strategic level, what we’re doing here is essentially creating a campaign to retest all of the original products that failed to show any results. They might have been unprofitable or there might not have been any at all.
Most eCommerce store owners end up completely excluding them from all of the campaigns without even diagnosing exactly why they didn’t work.
The reality is, most products won’t always do well in the first run.
This could be because the bid wasn’t ideal or because other products were interfering with this one. Regardless of the issue, it’s crucial to give that product another try before completely eliminating it.
An ideal graveyard campaign should be a standard shopping campaign run at a lower than usual bid. This is done because on a strategic level, we have more control over the bids and keywords in this situation.
And if the product had not performed well in another smart bidding campaign, there’s no point running it in one again.
The overall strategy stays the same; run the product within this campaign until it reaches its profit margins. At this point, it should start getting sales or it should provide the same kind of results it generated earlier.
This is when you can fully exclude the product from the campaigns.
By this point, you should already have a handful of campaigns running if you followed everything above properly. If they’re generating the results you were hoping for, there’s nothing else left to do but continuously optimize as needed.
But what do you do if your campaigns aren’t technically generating results?
In most cases, I’ve seen campaigns without a TROAS set achieve a greater level of consistency and profitability much quicker than those with one.
There could be various reasons as to why this happens but in general, not having a TROAS set gives the campaign the freedom it needs to test different things out. Through this testing, new audiences are found.
On the contrary, if you have a campaign running with no TROAS set but it’s failing to get consistent results, it might be time to add a TROAS.
This rule isn’t fully black and white, meaning it can be altered based on the current situation of the eCommerce brand.
Source higher ticket products
So far, we’ve covered many strategies and tactics that directly play off of the Google ads campaigns or the backend. But on an external level, there are certain things you can do to scale with Google ads faster.
One of these is to source higher ticket products.
This tactic mostly applies to eCommerce brands that actually have the capacity to source more products without sacrificing service.
And those that end up increasing their selling price points directly increase their AOV, causing a greater surge in revenue and sales. In most cases, a higher AOV will lead to greater profit margins and a greater ability to spend on ads.
So with this tactic, you’re able to increase the total value per order you end up getting and scale your eCom brand without necessarily doing anything extra in terms of advertising.
With personal eCommerce brands, I prefer to have a steady mix of high ticket products coming in because in reality, it takes the same amount of effort to sell a $30 product as it does a $300 product.
Be smart and scale using unique approaches.
Scaling with a team
We’ve covered multiple different points in this article ranging from backend Google Merchant Center programs to feed optimizations to product changes. These tactics on their own are enough to scale any type of eCommerce brand to the next level however, it’s not so easy.
Since there are so many things you can do, it’s common to end up getting hung up on where to start and, as a result, not take a strategic approach towards scaling.
If the current strategy you have running isn’t providing the best results, there’s no point in doing small tweaks hoping something begins to work again. A deeper analysis and strategy implementation is needed to really take the brand to the next level.
So if you’re doing $40,000 per month or more with your eCommerce brand and want to scale further with Google ads, let’s work together. Schedule a free call with me here and get a free strategy report I create after fully analyzing your brand.