Essential Guide to Google Adwords for Ecommerce

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When it comes to ecommerce Adwords, it’s all about three things – keywords, ad copy, and the landing page. However, without the right foundation, your ad may fail to live up to its potential in bringing your business success.

AdWords is Google’s advertising system where marketers bid on keywords so their clickable ads will appear on Google search results. With 60% of shoppers researching first about a product they want to buy on search engines and the fact that Google is by far the most popular search engine in the world with a 68.27% total market share, it is amazing how Google can positively impact any business.

So, how do you start with Google AdWords to promote your online store and your products?

Let this article be your complete guide on Google AdWords for ecommerce – what it is, how it works, how to set it up, the challenges, and the different benefits for your business that await.

Overview of Google AdWords

Today, more than 1.2 million businesses are advertising on the Google Search Network. A typical ad receives an average click-through-rate of 3.16%, but an ad with a first search position receives 7%.

Customers will most likely click on a Google ad. In fact, 64% of searchers click on a Google ad if they are ready to make a purchase.

Although your plan is to build your site traffic organically through great content, combining your efforts with paid ads might give you better results. And with more than one million sites that are part of the Google Display Network, you can have competitive Google ads working for your business’ visibility on search.

The assurance of your ad working will largely depend on the competitiveness of the keywords you are bidding on and how relevant it is to your conversions. Also, making sure that you have a strong ad copy and a relevant landing page will help keep your ad’s click-through rates high.

Once you have made a bid on your keyword and you are done setting up your ad, it can appear in different places on the web. It can appear on top or at the bottom of a Google search results page next to an “Ads” label in yellow. It can also appear on sites that are part of the Google Display Network that your target customers visit, including Google websites, such as YouTube, Gmail, and Blogger.

How AdWords auction works

Advertising on search engines is different from traditional advertising because you are not paying for placement. Search ads are populated by auctions that take place every time a user makes a search.

After placing a bid on a specific keyword and a user makes a search, Google will then process this request and run an auction. This auction will determine what your ad’s position will be on the search results page and how much it will cost you. You are eligible to an auction whenever you are bidding on a keyword relevant to the query made by a user. Three things will determine if your ad qualifies for display on the search results page – your maximum bid, quality score and relevance.

Once you have identified the keywords you want to bid on, Google will enter the keywords from your account that it sees relevant into the auction. This is joined by the maximum bid you have specified in your account plus the associated ad copy and landing page that you have created.

In the auction, Google will generate your ad rank, which will identify what your ad’s actual position on search results will be. The ad rank is determined by the maximum bid you have specified and your quality score, which is a metric used to gauge the relevance and usefulness of your ad to the user who made the search query.

The advertiser with the highest ad rank will ultimately get the first search position. The cost of your ad or your cost per click (CPC) will be determined by the ad rank of the ad below you divided by your quality score. Unless you are the only advertiser bidding on that keyword or you have the lowest bid in the auction, your CPC will be the maximum bid amount that you entered.

In a Google auction, it is important that you have a good ad rank and a high quality score. Ad rank specifies how high or how low your ad will be on the search results page. Quality score, on the other hand, is the usefulness and relevance of your ad to a user. It is composed of the CTR, relevance and the landing page. Although it is only a part of the overall positioning process, always aim for high quality scores so you can get higher ad ranks and lower CPCs.

This auction that runs billions of times every month is Google’s way of giving users ads that are truly relevant to what they are searching for. Through this auction, advertisers are also able to connect to potential customers that are likely to purchase from them at the lowest possible prices.

How to set up your ad

The steps when creating AdWords for ecommerce is fairly easy to complete. Log in to your AdWords account, but if you do not have an account yet, create one over at their site.

Look for the “Get started now” button, and then sign up for an account. Next, click on the “Create your first campaign” button.

How to set up your adwords ad

The first step when creating your campaign is to select its type. By default, Google AdWords sets it at “Search Network with Display Select”, but you can change this to the different types available namely Search Network only, Display Network only, Shopping, Video, and Universal app campaign. Do not forget to add your campaign name.

setting up Google Adwords

Google also checks the “Include search partners” option by default, but you can change this later.

creating google adwords ads

Next, choose the geographic location where you want your ads to appear. You can have your ad appear in a large area like in all countries and territories or you can keep it small by targeting only a particular country. You can also customize your location by selecting the “Let me choose…” option or the “Advanced Search” option.

Google AdWords targetting

AdWords will also suggest to you the interface languages you need to select based on the geographic location you created. Make sure to choose the right language you want your ads to be in since AdWords will not translate your ads or keywords.

Google AdWords geographic location and language

Next, choose your bid strategy and put in your daily budget. You can choose between automated bid strategies and manual bidding, but if you are starting out with AdWords, set your bid strategy to manual as this will give you more control with your spending. You can choose any of the automated bid options later on.

Google AdWords bid strategy

Enter your budget and set your maximum CPC bid limit. If you are starting out with a low budget and low CPC, it is a good idea to bid first on low-cost keywords so you can maximize your ad’s visibility to as many people as possible. Competitive keywords will definitely be more expensive, exhausting your budget quickly.

Skip the Ad Extensions portion in the meantime and add these later.

Google AdWords ad extensions

These ad extensions are basically optional features that you can use to include your other relevant business details.

At this point, you are now ready to create your first ad group and write your first ad. An ad group is a series of one or more ads using a set of related keywords. It is advised to create ads that focus on one product.

Enter your landing page, the name of your ad group, and your keywords, and then click on ‘Continue to ads’.

Google AdWords ad group

Next step is to create your ad. Since people click on ads that contain the keyword they are interested in, make sure to include it in the headline. Write your ad copy in the next two lines below the headline and your landing page next. Keep in mind the following character limits:

Headline: 25 characters
2nd line for ad copy: 35 characters
3rd line for ad copy: 35 characters

create your google adwords ad

The Final URL is the actual landing page of your ad and should be the same with the Display URL.

Review your campaign – double check your keywords, headline, and ad copy. Check again your budget and CPC so you can get the positions on the page you want.

After entering and confirming your billing information, you ads will start to show.

Benefits of Ecommerce AdWords

With ecommerce AdWords, you can reach potential customers the moment they are interested to see products you happen to offer. It combines the power of search advertising and intent marketing, which is profitable for any business owner.

Another benefit of using AdWords for ecommerce is it is cost-effective; you only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad, helping you spend your advertising budget wisely and towards other platforms and other paid efforts.

You may feel small trying to get on top of search results organically through great content, but with Google AdWords, you can compete with bigger companies because Google levels the playing field by following strict and competitive auctions. There is no way for bad advertisers to get ahead and leverage on the efforts of people with good intentions for their paid ads.

With Adwords for ecommerce, you can work on your ad’s relevance by using its sophisticated targeting tools. You can control your ad’s exposure locally or to the whole world, which is helpful if you do not have any country shipping restrictions. You can also exclude certain locations when you set up your ad, allowing you to lower your ad spend and be more precise with your targeting efforts.

You can also target your campaigns according to mobile device users and languages, allowing you to engage better with your potential customers.

Keywords is what Google AdWords is known for, and if you research well and bid on very targeted ones, your ad can rank well during auctions. You can supplement your research too by taking advantage of the keywords Google will suggest for you. When creating your ad group, it does a quick scan of your website and give you suggested keywords once you provide your landing page.

With AdWords ecommerce tracking, you can measure your campaigns. How many people noticed your ad? Is it generating leads? Is it translating into conversions? The recorded data will tell you if your campaign is working or not and which areas you can improve on. Eventually, you have to optimize your bids, your headline, your ad copy, your keywords, and even the time your ad will show up for better results, and AdWords ecommerce tracking can help you in that area.

To get your AdWords ecommerce tracking code, simply log in to your AdWords account and go to Tools, Conversions, and then click on “+ Conversion”. Provide a conversion name in the name field, then click “Save and Continue”. Copy your tracking code and then add it to your ecommerce store’s source code.

Your AdWords’ insights are accessible around the clock. Summaries are also sent monthly for convenience.

And lastly, another benefit of Google AdWords is you can stop, restart, and test your ads whenever you feel like it. You can improve your ads, try out new keywords, and pause it until such time for free.

Challenges of Ecommerce AdWords

While it is cost-effective to pay only for the clicks your ad receives, it does not necessarily mean that these clicks translate into sales. People who are clicking on your ads are not necessarily people with intent to purchase. Your ad receives a lot of clicks, but your profits are not increasing. If this trend persists, the cost of acquiring new customers becomes more expensive on your end.

Another challenge is the rising cost of clicks. Large corporations with steady cash flows may spend erroneously on their campaigns, which pushes small businesses and new players to the edge. Once they launch their first campaign, all of the relevant keywords have been taken up and the prices are thrice as expensive already. It becomes a matter of keeping up, researching other relevant keywords or simply trying out other paid advertising efforts.

AdWords may also pose a huge learning curve for some business owners. Unless you have a dedicated person monitoring the performance of your ads, succeeding with AdWords on your own may take some time. Not to mention the frequent Google updates, you definitely have to dedicate time studying what this paid advertising can offer you and how you can keep up with the pace.


Make sure that AdWords effectively promote your business and your products by:

  1. serving well-created ads (headline, ad copy, and landing page-wise),
  2. making it seen by the right set of people
  3. at the right place and time
  4. and at the right price.

Focus on the right keywords and remember that keywords with high search volumes are not necessarily the best ones. Research on a very few targeted keywords and start from there. Especially if you are starting with a small budget, broad terms can easily eat up your money providing little to zero conversions.

Invest on relevance. Stick to your goals and create ads where the headline, ad copy, and landing page will capture potential leads into clicking them and eventually, motivated to buy your product.

Monitor and measure the performance of your campaigns using AdWords ecommerce tracking tools. Although data about your ads is easily accessible, make time to study it and figure out if there is anything that you need to change. Aside from the constant updates to the platform, running ads is a game of constant optimization. Otherwise, you will be missing out on opportunities that could grow your ecommerce business further.

About the Author

John Komarek is the founder of Pixelter. He helped over 63 e-commerce businesses boost their mobile sales by up to 183.5%. He uses advanced UX research, A/B testing, and AI-driven personalization to deliver the results. Learn more about how he can help you grow your sales.

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