PPC, SOLUTIONS 8

Google Ads for eCommerce: The Ultimate Guide

Posted by Patience Hurlburt-Lawton

eCommerce businesses everywhere rely on Google Ads to bring in virtual foot traffic. 

And while Google Ads is an incredibly effective method of digital marketing, it’s not exactly intuitive.

This guide will walk you through the essentials of Google Ads for eCommerce, from making sure your business is Google Ads-ready to setting up your campaigns.

 

PART ONE: Learning

PART TWO: Prerequisites (Before Building a Campaign)

PART THREE: Setting Up The Foundation

PART FOUR: Technical and Legal Requirements

PART FIVE: Connecting Your Tech Stack

PART SIX: Shopping Campaigns

PART SEVEN: Search Campaigns

PART EIGHT: Expansion Campaigns

PART NINE: Optimization

 

Useful resources for this guide:

PART ONE

Learning: Google Ads for eCommerce

  1. Why PPC for eCommerce?

  2. Why Google Ads for eCommerce?

  3. What Is Google Ads?

  4. Is Google Ads Right for Your Business?

  5. How Google Ads Works: The Google Network

  6. Different Types of Campaigns

  7. Standard Shopping vs. Smart Shopping

  8. Why Google Smart Shopping Is The Most Powerful eCommerce Advertising Tool on the Planet

  9. Dynamic Prospecting vs Remarketing

When it comes to digital marketing for eCommerce businesses, there are a whole lot of channels to choose from:

Social media can boost brand awareness and make connections. 

Email marketing can keep your community active. 

…And PPC (specifically Google Ads) can enable steady growth and sales.

Digital Marketing for eCommerce

Why PPC for eCommerce?

PPC (pay per click) advertising is a favorite among eCommerce marketers—and for good reason. 

Reminder: 
PPC Advertising = Ads that appear on search engine result pages, videos, apps, websites, and social media.

These ads appear everywhere, so they get a whole lot of views (like a billboard on the side of the highway). But the business owner doesn’t pay for views, they only pay when a user clicks.

The best part? PPC advertising is about finding customers who are ready to buy through search history, audience type, and a whole lot of data.

Google Ads eCommerce Store Features

Why Google Ads for eCommerce?

Google Ads for ecommerce is the most effective form of PPC (pay per click) advertising on the planet.

Think about it: 

The term Google” has become so synonymous with “answer.

We’re been trained to turn to Google with every question we have. And Google is so much more than a search engine, it is also YouTube, email, apps (like Google Calendar), Google Maps, and Android.

…And, Google collects information about us all, and can therefore predict intent—which means Google can put somebody who’s willing to buy your product in front of your ad (sometimes before the user even knows they want to buy)

Need a Refresher on the Basics of Google Ads? 

Download Our Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Here.

Google Ads for ecommerce dashboard

In fact, 67% of all high commercial intent keyphrases go to a paid ad.

We’ll reiterate: 

When someone wants to buy, two out of three(!) of those Google searches result in clicking on an ad.

That tells us that when people are in the learning phase of the buying process, they go for organic search results. 

But when they are ready to buy—customers click the ads.

What Is Google Ads?

Want to know a bit more about Google Ads and how it works before committing to building your own campaign?

For all those foundational questions (like how a Google Ad appears or how the Google Ads auction works) you can learn all the basics first here

Or:

Download Our Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Here.

Shopping cart Google Ads ecommerce

Is Google Ads Right for Your eCommerce Business?

One more thing before we go any further: 

It’s imperative to determine if Google Ads is right for your business.

For most businesses, the answer is yes. But there’s a catch. It takes time to build, launch, and optimize campaigns—and ultimately, see results. 

That means you need to have realistic expectations. Here are seven quick questions to consider first:

1. Are you ready to commit? It typically takes about 90 days to determine if there’s potential for a predictable, scalable growth schedule. 

2. Can you afford the cost to get the ball rolling? You’ll want to spend at least $1,000-$1,500 per month at the bare minimum; but we recommend starting at a $2000 minimum.

3. What are your business goals? Ask yourself:

  • Do I know my close rates?
  • Do I know how many leads I need to make a sale?
  • Do I know how many leads each month I need to make a profit?

By establishing your specific goals, you can determine if you can successfully run a Google Ads campaign in the long-term.

4. How is the quality and speed of your website? We recommend your website is:

  • Fast
  • Mobile responsive
  • Informative
  • Easy to use

5. Can you handle an influx of traffic? 

  • Are you going to answer your phone when customers call? 
  • Will people call you directly, or will you have a sales team that’s trained and ready to take calls?
  • Are you fully stocked and ready to ship? 
  • Can you accurately forecast how much product you need?

6. What is your audience size and location? If you’re local and rural—with only a handful of people nearby—your audience size might be too small. In this case, Google Ads probably doesn’t make sense for your business.

7. Are you ready to be competitive? “Make sure your ad spend [is] competitive enough to make sure you get enough clicks,” explains John. Otherwise, Google Ads won’t work in your favor.

 

There’s no way to guarantee Google Ads will work. 

But, you can use our Estimates and Projections Calculator to predict the success of your business’s campaign. 

How Google Ads Works: The Google Network

We tend to think of Google as the search engine, right?

Google Search Home Page

But the Google ecosystem is massive and includes: 

  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Apps (think Google Calendar)
  • Google Maps
  • Android
  • The Google Display Network

And for every piece of “real estate” owned by Google (email, search engines, YouTube, apps) there is a way to advertise (i.e. a campaign type).

Different Types of Campaigns

Let’s briefly cover the different types of Google Ads campaigns:

Google Search Campaigns

Google Ads Search Campaign

This is the campaign we generally refer to when we talk about Google Ads. 

Again, you’ll recognize these ads as the first results that pop up on the top of a Google search results page:

Google Shopping Campaigns

Google Ads Shopping Campaign

This campaign type exists inside Google’s shopping ecosystem but can also be expanded to Smart Shopping and other types of responsive display ads.

Google Display Campaigns

Google Ads Display Campaign

Websites that allow advertisements to take up space on their pages. The ads are usually an image (see: “display”).

Video Campaigns

Google Ads YouTube Campaign

Video ads that pop up before, after, or in the middle of a YouTube video.

These video ads can also appear at the top of a YouTube search:

Google Ads YouTube Campaign Mobile

But! Video campaigns are not just for YouTube. These types of ads can appear through Google display network (see above) and other areas of Google’s ecosystem.

App Campaigns

Promote your app across Google’s networks, including Google Search, Display, YouTube, and Google Play (the app, game, ebook, and general entertainment store for Android devices).

Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

Google Ads for ecommerce – Smart Shopping Campaign

Algorithmically controlled automated ads on Google and across the web.

Google Discovery Campaigns

Google Ads for ecommerce – Discovery Campaign

These ads are pushed across the entire Google ecosystem.

Believe it or not, there’s more.

But for the sake of this guide, our sanity, and your business, we’re going to put most of our focus on Google Smart Shopping in this guide.

Standard Shopping vs. Smart Shopping: What’s the Difference?

You might be wondering what the difference is between Standard Shopping campaigns and Smart Shopping campaigns inside Google Ads.

Google Smart Shopping vs. Standard Shopping

Here’s a quick overview of how Standard Shopping campaigns work:

  1. You (the business owner) send your product feed (the listing of all the products on your website) to Google using a Merchant Center account.
  2. You set your budget.
  3. Google uses your feed to create “placement shopping ads” that appear on relevant search results pages.

These ads include a photo of the product and its correlating information—a step above standard text ads.

Google Merchant Center Product Feed

These ads ensure the user sees all the important “must-know” details about your product before clicking—therefore, each click is (in theory) made by a more qualified lead.

However, Smart Shopping campaigns take standard Shopping campaigns a giant step further.

With Smart Shopping, you still: 

  1. Send your product feed to Google via a Merchant Center Account.
  2. Create a campaign and set your budget.
  3.  …And Google still pulls your product information to create placement ads that appear when a shopper searches for a relevant product.

But, that’s just where it begins.

Why Google Smart Shopping Is The Most Powerful eCommerce Advertising Tool on the Planet

Unlike Standard Shopping, Smart Shopping uses algorithmic targeting to show ads to very specific users. 

How specific? We’re talking about users who have shown high intent and interest in a product based on their past search activity.

Smart Shopping uses all five channels to advertise: Search, display, youtube, gsp, and shopping. 

And with such powerful algorithm targeting, that means you no longer have to do the heavy lifting of pushing prospects strategically from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

Instead, Smart Shopping goes through their massive user database and matches your ad with the best user who’s ready to buy from you right now.

How? Dynamic Prospecting.

Dynamic Prospecting Vs Remarketing

Dynamic Prospecting uses information about your current users and your products to find new prospective customers.

On the other hand, Dynamic Remarketing shows ads to those who previously visited your website or engaged in your ads. 

Dynamic remarketing, while a bit controversial, does have its place in Google Ads campaigns for eCommerce businesses. However, it needs to be set up appropriately—which is something we’ll go over in Part Six.

Are we moving too fast already?

Take it back to basics with our Ultimate Guide to Google Ads!

Part Two

Before Building a Campaign: Prerequisites

But hold on! Before we can get started, we need to make sure your eCommerce business is set up and ready to scale.

eCommerce Business Planning: 

Must-Haves Before Building a Google Ads Campaign

You are hereby (lovingly) forbidden from building a Google Ads campaign until you have the following six items:

  1. Reasonable monthly spend
  2. 90 days to prove concept
  3. An eCommerce enabled website with a product feed
  4. Enough margins to support a traffic campaign
  5. Unique selling proposition
  6. No one-off products

Let’s explain:

1. Reasonable monthly spend

Think of your monthly budget early on as an investment.

You are buying data you need to understand what works in your campaign, what doesn’t, and where to make changes—in a reasonable amount of time.

With that investment, Google will start to build an audience specifically for you that you will capitalize on later. And it will be worth it! You *must* have enough monthly ad spend to accumulate enough accurate data for testing and optimizing down the road.

For context, here at Solutions 8, won’t take a client whose budget is under $2000/month.

Budget under $2000 per month? Maybe you want to hold off until it’s more feasible.

Google is a learning algorithm. The first three months are going to be the most “painful” part of your campaigns. Which brings us to our next requirement:

2. 90 days to prove concept

It bears repeating that Google is a learning machine. And learning takes time.

In fact, we’re asking Google to do some pretty spectacular behavioral analysis.

After you set up your Smart Shopping campaign, Google learns:

  • When customers interact with your ads
  • How many times users click on your ads
  • What channel those ads are clicked
  • How long it takes for the prospect to come back
  • What channels they come back to
  • Which other products they view

Once Google has all that data, it determines how many other customers follow through the same pattern or similar cycle.

So, for a 15-day sales cycle (meaning it took 15 days from when a customer first clicked your ad to when they made a purchase), you might have to wait a full month for sales to start coming in. Meaning it will take a full month for Google to begin to gather data for testing and optimizing.

Again, those early days are tough. But by day 90, you should have enough data to tell whether or not the campaign will work long term. 

3. An eCommerce enabled website with a product feed

This one may sound obvious, but here goes:

Your ads will send prospective customers to your site. Therefore, you need an appealing, easy-to-navigate eCommerce website complete with a product feed tool. 

Remember, your “product feed” is much more than a CSV file of product titles, descriptions, GTIN codes, and prices.

For eCommerce businesses, the product feed will make or break your campaign (we’ll talk more about this later).

Oh, when it comes to eCommerce platforms, particularly ones that integrate beautifully with Google Ads, Shopify is our fave and will be the platform we use in this guide.

4. Enough margins to support a traffic campaign

Running ads takes money. Can your profit margins support these campaigns?

See, you can have a 100% profit margin—but if you’re selling $2 items, your campaigns still might not be profitable.

Unless you have a higher cart value than the original price.

In other words, your products need to be priced highly enough (with the profit margin to support it); otherwise, you’ll rely on customers adding more to their cart than the single advertised product alone (i.e. more bang for your advertising buck).

Quick Tip!

Do you have slim margins but think customers will buy more than one product to make up for it? 

There is a way to keep track of your average cart value once you set up your Google Ads campaign. Here’s how: 

  1. Sign into your Google Ads account >
  2. Campaigns >
  3. Inside columns >
  4. Modify columns >
  5. Custom columns >
  6. Click on the ‘+’ symbol >
  7. Name: (you can call it “Avg. Cart Value”) >

Formula: Conv. Value (by conv. time) / Conversions (by conv. time)
*If you don’t use the “by time,” the last possible 30 days may not be all there 

5. Unique selling proposition

What’s your unique selling proposition? What makes your company/product different from everyone else?

The more heavily saturated your market, the harder it’s going to be to turn a profit from Google Ads. So, what makes you different? 

And *ahem* being the cheapest option isn’t the answer.

Think about your favorite products: what makes them your favorite? Is it the company’s dependable return policy? The quality of the product? The materials used?

Your unique selling proposition is key for the success of your campaigns—specifically longevity and return traffic. After all, it’s six times less expensive to sell to an existing customer than a new one.

6. No one-off products

If you have customizable products (think products that are personalized with engravings, birthstone colors, or photos), this isn’t directed at you.

But when it comes to one-offs, Google Ads will not work.

To reiterate, one-offs are products that you can only sell once (like a unique, one-of-a-kind painting).

And therein lies the problem:

When you make a sale through Google Ads, it is Google’s job to try to recreate that cycle. It’s a learning machine!

But because single products can only sell once, Google has no way to recreate that process.

So, Google uses GTINs to identify and categorize products. But when you sell a one-off product (a single GTIN), that code disappears forever (bye, bye, valuable data).

Do you produce handmade products?

Consider creating multiples of the same product-type (ceramic bowls, for example) and simply acknowledge that they might vary slightly in design due to the nature of handmade products.

Your first sale is always your most expensive in Google Ads. You don’t want every sale to be your first.

eCommerce Business Planning: Nice-to-Haves

Now, assuming you have all six must-haves in order, here are five important—but not imperative—items to consider:

  1. Multiple SKUs
  2.  Product financing
  3. Strong lifetime value
  4. Lifestyle Imagery
  5. Existing purchase traffic

Let’s explain:

1. Multiple SKUs

Multiple SKUs for “like” products are ideal.

Here’s what we mean:

If a customer says, I need Product A.

And you not only have Product A—but you have 10,000 versions of it (different colors or designs), your customer is much more likely to purchase more than one; thus your average cart value will increase. 

 

 2. Product financing

New product financing payment options, like Affirm and QuadPay, have made it so customers can make smaller payments over several weeks as opposed to one large payment up front.

These options have led to a big jump in purchases and cart value, particularly among higher-priced product sellers. The best part? You get paid the full amount upfront!

Add product financing options to your site if you can.

 

3. Strong lifetime value

Knowing what your real-time value is per customer and how many purchases they make within a year on average allows you to set lower targets for your ROAS goal and higher targets for your CPAs. This means you can scale quickly and grow your business faster.

For example, if you have an average cart value of $100 but customers generally purchase three times over 12 months, your average cart value becomes $300.

 

4. Lifestyle Imagery

We’ll touch on this more soon, but lifestyle imagery (i.e. images of your product “in action” and being used by real-life people) allows your customers to really visualize themselves using your product.

 

5. Existing purchase traffic

If you have existing traffic (from social media or email lists, for example), Google uses this information to identify what those people look like and find matches in their own ecosystem/user base.

In other words, instead of starting from scratch, existing traffic gives Google some notes to get going.

eCommerce Business Planning: Offer Design

Who’s your customer? Can you describe your product to a stranger?

…Did I lose you for a minute there?

Look, this is the part where we make you backtrack a little bit (in order to launch full speed ahead).

And it’s easy for most businesses to skip this “offer design” section because they assume this box has been done and dusted for a long time.

But before spending precious dollars on advertising online, let’s make sure you can define:

  1. Your target audience
  2. How your product makes customers feel
  3. And what makes your unique brand stand out amongst the competition

Here’s how:

✔️ Define Your Customer Avatar 

Use this worksheet to identify your customer avatar (and who is NOT your customer avatar). The questions in the worksheet help you get in the mind of the customer.

✔️  DigitalMarketer’s “Before and After Grid”
Once you’ve defined your customer avatar(s), it’s time to consider the transformation they make when purchasing your product. After all, customers don’t buy products—they buy feelings, results, and solutions.

DigitalMarketer has a phenomenal “before and after” worksheet that you can download here.

Make a copy and fill it out with your customers in mind, including:

  • What your customer has (or doesn’t have) before buying your product—and what they gain once they do.
  • How they feel before your product—and how they feel after
  • What an average day looks like before your product—and an average day after
Digital Marketer Before and After Grid

Next, consider your Customer Value Journey

✔️ Brand Development

How does your organization/company make people feel? 

Rate it 1-10 (1=lowest, 10=highest). If it’s not yet a 10, what can you do to make it a 10?

If marketing is what makes people buy, brand is what makes people stay–even if there are other products available.

And if you do all the things above, you’ll have the perfect foundation for a strong brand.

Next, Optimize Your Existing Products

Let’s make sure your products and offers are as value-driven as possible. There are three ways to achieve this:

 

1. Increase actual value

We’re not talking about raising the price of your products here.

Instead, we’re talking about how you can get customers to buy more from you. There are several ways to achieve this:

Bundles! If you have two products that usually go together, offer a bundle for a discounted price. You increase the value the customer receives but you also increase your profitability.

Sure, the price is “discounted,” but you’re saving money on shipping and fulfillment while increasing your cart value. 

Tip: You can use the Shopify app Frequently bought together.

Subscriptions! For consumable products (or any other products that can be purchased consistently) consider offering a subscription-based model, which ensures recurring purchases. 

We have seen first-hand that some subscription models have the same cost-per-acquisition as a one-off purchase.

One-click upsell!

When a customer is checking out, offer products that can be easily added to their cart with one click.

 

2. Increase perceived value

Don’t underestimate the power of descriptions and images. 

Here’s the thing: online shoppers are at a disadvantage because they can’t tangibly see and feel products like they would in a physical store. However, this can be a big opportunity for you to stand out.

Give your viewer a full virtual experience of your product: describe the benefits of your products, not just the features. Show your product in action with lifestyle imagery, so users can visualize themselves using it. Explanation of the product in a clear, easy to understand way.

Perceived value is more valuable than the actual value. 

The perceived value is the reason they buy.

 

3. Fringe benefits

Similarly, consider any additional creative ways you can add value (and perceived value) to your products. This can be in the form of additional content (think product demos, how-to videos, and tutorials), building a community around your product via social media and forum, or early access.

Ascension Models and Value Optimization

Once you start pulling in more customers and sales, here are a few ways to optimize your growth:

✔️ Never stop selling
It has been proven (with science!) that humans are in a different state of mind when they make a purchase than when they evaluate whether they want to purchase.

Customers are likely to buy another product immediately after purchasing something else because they are in a “buying” state. 

Take advantage of that buying window!

Give customers multiple opportunities to ascend and add products based off of their initial purchase.

✔️ Order bumps

This is along the same vein, but it bears repeating:

Order bumps are options to add additional products to your cart and they work.

A great way to do this is through the Frequently Bought Together app on Shopify

✔️ Build your email list/email marketing
When it comes to eCommerce, email has the potential to bring in more money than any other marketing channel. 

Truthfully, you don’t want to spend a lot on paid traffic forever (a la Google Ads)! And email marketing is one of the most affordable marketing channels available.

Need to pull in more email addresses from your audience?

Capture contact details using value-driven content that is applicable to your offer (e.g. how-tos, guides, checklists).

Check out Digital Marketer’s Guide to Email Marketing (for eCommerce)

✔️  Repeat and/or recurring customers
It is more expensive to acquire new customers than to sell to current customers. Capitalize on this.

✔️ Build social proof
Customers buy from brands they trust. Social proof has the power to bring in new customers—so be sure to continue building social proof and showcase it on your site.
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for testimonials and reviews.

Finally: Choosing a Product / Niche

As a precursor, we want to make this clear: be true to your brand. Protect your brand. Don’t change lanes simply because of a flimsy trend. 

That said, you can make some pretty savvy and informed decisions by doing some research on the recent market trends—and when possible, use this information to optimize the products you offer to meet these trending needs.  

Here’s how:

✔️ Rising Retail Categories
Think with Google’s Rising Retail Categories is one of the industry’s best kept secrets. You can use this interactive tool to “understand fast-rising retail categories in Google Search, the locations where they’re growing, and the queries associated with them.”

Think with Google’s Rising Retail Categories

✔️  Google Trends
Make use of Google Trends; this is a great way to identify trends from a volume/search perspective.

(Watch our Tutorial on how to do E-Commerce Product Research here!).

PART THREE

Setting Up The Foundation

  1. Website CRO Best Practices

  2. Product Preparation

  3. Media (Images and Video)

  4. Lifestyle Images

  5. Robust Titles and Descriptions

  6. Live Chat

Whew!

We just did a lot of work on your brand identity. At this point, you not only know the intimate details of your brand, product, and audience—you know how to best communicate those details. 

We discussed absolute must-haves (and nice-to-haves) before launching a campaign; now, it’s time to tie it all together on your website.

First Up: Website CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) Best Practices

Building an eCommerce store isn’t that hard. 

Building an eCommerce store that converts? Now, that’s a different story. 

Here are some CRO best practices to ensure your site is ready to make sales:

The Big Three:

✔️  1. Website Issues and Errors
You can’t drive traffic to a broken website. So, it’s crucial to ensure you catch any website issues or errors.  

  • Frequently (at least once a month) check your site and make sure everything is working properly and there are no high-risk issues and errors.
  • Schedule a website audit at least once a month.

✔️  2. Website Speed
Website speed has a massive impact on your quality score; in fact, it is considered slightly more important than content(!) according to Google. A few things to consider:

  • Mobile users are going to be less tolerant of slower websites due to the smaller size of the device and often slower connection.
  • The biggest contributing factor for slow sites are large image sizes. 

✔️  3. Mobile Engagement

  • 60-65% of website visits are done on mobile devices. So ensure your site is mobile-friendly!
  • Look at your conversion path: although many purchases happen on desktop computers, research is often done on mobile devices. In other words, consider each step of your buyer’s journey so you can make it as effortless as possible.

 

Conversion Rate Optimization Checklist

☐ Everything works properly

☐ Website is fast (under 2-3 seconds load time)

☐ Your email/phone number is in the header or footer

  • Customers need to know they can trust you (i.e. get in touch with you)
  •  

☐ Website design is appealing to your audience

  • Make sure the design is centered around your product and isn’t a distraction

☐ High-quality images

☐ Products are described clearly with all features displayed

☐ CTAs are in a contrast color (bold!) and easy to find

☐ There are reviews on product pages

☐ Verification badges (secure payment, BBB, SSL, guarantees, free returns, etc.)

  • This helps improve the trustworthiness of your site and brand
  • Turn anything you offer to a badge (free shipping? Make it a badge! Free returns? Badge! Much more exciting than text)

Website Speed Optimization Checklist

☐ Choose a “light” theme

  • A good developer can improve your site speed a lot—but make sure you don’t rely too heavily on customization

☐ Scale your images properly

☐ Decrease the weight of your images without losing quality

☐ Limit the amount of plugins/apps

☐ Limit the amount of displayed products on category pages

☐ Check in on your page speed

Quality Assurance (QA) Checklist:

Include quality assurance checkups in your monthly standard operating procedures to make sure your site is in tip-top shape. You can do this through internal QA and external QA

Internal QA: Pretend to be your own customer

☐ Try to break the site 

Navigate through your site the way a customer would

Gauge how easy it is for a distracted customer to use your site. 

Ask yourself, “If I weren’t paying full attention, could I still do this?”

Make an actual purchase

 

*You can hire someone to go through your site on fiverr

External QA: Have someone else pretend to be a customer

☐ Just tell them where you want them to go—but not how to get there 

Analyze Top Competitors:

☐ What is different between their website and yours? 

Pro-Tip! Diagnosing Issues: Screen Recording Software
You can install screen recording software on your site that tracks users’ navigation via heat mapping (note: it will likely slow the speed of your site). This works on desktop and mobile—so for eCommerce sites that aren’t converting, you can use this software to figure out what’s going wrong along the way.

Here are a few notable options:

Keep in mind: You don’t need to use these apps forever. Diagnostic tools are a great way to assess the state of your website and determine any site optimizations or product additions.

We’ll walk you through the installation process later. 

Product Page Preparation

Your product pages are the most important pages on your website. In most cases, it’s the landing page for your traffic: your very first impression.

Many businesses put tons of energy into optimizing their homepage, yet neglect the product pages customers land on. What’s worse? Smart Shopping can only drive traffic to product pages. So let’s make sure your product pages are ready to shine:

Product Page Checklist

☐ Product title and subtitle

    • Make sure the product title is clear, descriptive, and honest enough for Google to identify the product and send relevant traffic your way (Look at Amazon for inspiration)
    • But avoid “keyword” stuffing! Honesty and simplicity are key

☐ Product description

Product descriptions are supplementary to your title

    • Use this opportunity to elaborate on the specifics of your product: any particular materials, special  features, ingredients that are worth highlighting but would be too long for your title

Product media (images and videos)

    • We purchase with our eyes first
    • Custom imagery is always going to be better than stock photos, particularly lifestyle images that help customers picture themselves using your product

☐ Nested navigation

    • Make sure navigation is clear, easy, and accessible—we don’t want people to get lost
    • Use breadcrumbs so users can always find their way back

☐ Social proof (i.e. reviews)

    • Customers buy from businesses they trust—Enter: reviews
    • Aggregating enough reviews takes time, so ask your customers for a review after 30 days of purchasing and give them an incentive or reward for completion
    • The 30-day rule gives you at least a few days/weeks to resolve any issues—and get a good review for it
    • Once you have enough five-star reviews, you can add them to your site.

☐ Clear call-to-action (CTA)

    • If you don’t tell people what you want them to do they won’t do it
    • A clear, bold CTA nudges your customer to the next step 
    • Isolate the action you want them to take: make the CTA a BIG button (not just a hyperlink)

☐ Clear customization options

    • If you offer customized products, make sure the options are clear and don’t overwhelm your customers to avoid cart abandonment

Product Media

When it comes to adding images on your website, here’s the thing:

You don’t need to be a professional photographer. In fact, all you need to create high quality images is:

✔️ A smartphone (new iPhones or Samsung do a really good job)

✔️ A plain white background

✔️ Natural lighting

Don’t zoom in. 

Don’t use flash. 

And edit your photos if you can (check Fiverr or pixc for outsourcing options). 

That’s all it takes! 

Remember,  your photos should give context and further showcase details of the product. If your product has a unique feature, it’s best to explain what that feature is in the descriptions and show it in your images.

Overwhelmed by how many products you need to capture? Start with your bestsellers. Make sure each of them has a decent product photo and (if possible) short video. 5-7 images per product should be enough.

We are visual creatures. High quality product media will close the sale. 

Product Media Part Two: Lifestyle Images

Speaking of product media, lifestyle images are critical for customers to visualize your product in action. 

*Remember: Lifestyle imagery is a photo or video of products being used* 

Here are some tips:

✔️ Give context

  • Hey, your product doesn’t have to be the “main subject” in the photo. In fact, it could be in the background—like this poor Nespresso machine, competing with George Clooney’s eternal handsomeness: 
Example of display banner for Google Ads ecommerce

We’d buy it.

✔️ You can use photos from your Instagram or Pinterest

  • Speaking of Instagram, you can send your product to influencers (for free) in exchange for promotional content on their page
  • Check out imagency.com to find influencers 

✔️ Shoot a YouTube overview of the product and paste it on your product page

Robust Titles and Descriptions

✔️ Use the product description to sell the transformation

  • The description sells the TRANSFORMATION, not the product
  • Use the language that your avatar uses but make sure you also include in the right keywords that Google understands

✔️ Include specifications 

  • Size, material, weight, features

✔️ Use the product titles and descriptions to communicate with Google 

  • Google relies on product titles and descriptions to identify products and send relevant traffic—so, make sure they are “machine friendly” (clear and easy to understand)

✔️ Good descriptions can be repurposed 

  • Save some time and energy! Quality descriptions can be loosely reused for other product pages as well as for ad copy

Live Chat

We strongly recommend live chat on your website. Here’s why:

✔️ Diagnose errors

  • Live chat allows you to compile visitor questions and create content that answers those questions for future customers
  • Add helpful information to your product pages and place them near the top of your page

*Try tawk.to
*Check out Shopify’s app integration here https://apps.shopify.com/tawk-to*

✔️ Identify objections

  • Live chat can give you insight into what holds customers back from making a purchase—what questions do they ask before abandoning their cart? What concerns do they bring up in the chat? 

✔️ Improve conversion rates

  • Sometimes, all it takes is a little supportive nudge for customers to make a purchase
  • By “being there” through their virtual journey, you have a higher likelihood of making a conversion

Case Studies

Let’s show some examples of sites that have their rock solid foundation in place:

Example #1: MVMT Watches 

A dropshipping brand now worth over $100M

eCommerce website header CRO
  • Easy navigation by   categories
  • Slider with values (free shipping, sales, contactless delivery, etc)
  • High quality images with displayed products
  • One highly visible CTA
  • Chat
eCommerce website footer CRO
  • Well structured “Customer  Service” links 
  • Values as badges (Free shipping, Free Returns, Warranty, Secure checkout)
  • Social media centric
  • Contact information
  • Policies/Terms
  • Reviews
  • Contrast color CTA
  • Upsell that gives VALUE
  • Description
eCommerce website product page CRO
eCommerce website product page CRO
  • Badges with values (again!)
  • Lifestyle images
  • Details
  • Product specifications

Example #2: Gymshark 

Fitness brand created by a teenager with a  $1.4B valuation in 9 years.

  • Easy navigation (Womens/Mens)
  • Slider with values (Free shipping, sales, contactless delivery etc)
  • High quality images with displayed productsOne, highly visible CTA
Gymshark website header CRO
Gymshark website footer CRO
  • Well structured “HELP” links
  • Payment options
  • Social media
  • Policies and terms
  • Contrast color CTA
  • Description
  • Delivery and returns information
  • Photos of real people
Gymshark website product page CRO
Gymshark website product page ATC CRO
  • Creative upsell
  • No redirection to cart

Part Four

Technical and Legal Requirements

Welcome to Part Four! By this point, we should know your brand, audience, and products on a deeper level. Your website’s aesthetics and navigation are on lock. 

Now, let’s get technical.

GTIN

Ahh, GTIN codes. 

GTIN Code for Google Ads eCommerce stores

Look familiar? 

GTINs are the 16-digit codes you see below product barcodes–and it stands for Global Trade Item Number. 

GTINs help Google classify and display your product across all of their e-commerce and marketing campaigns. 

Think of it as your product’s social security number. It identifies what your product is, but also stores information about your virtual audience, such as:

  • Websites they visit
  • Products they view
  • Content they consume
  • Keywords they use to search

By using a GTIN, you’re taking advantage of crowdsourced data for similar products that are already in the market. 

There are a lot of reasons why you should have a GTIN for every product in your eCommerce catalogue:

  • It allows you to leverage data from similar products in the market that will optimize your Google Smart Shopping performance at scale.
  • It allows you to optimize your product without losing data. 
  • It keeps your audience the same while you figure out the best converting titles and descriptions for your products.

Put simply, GTINs directly impact your Google Ads campaigns in many ways; which is why running into GTIN-related problems inside of Google Ads can be such a colossal headache.

Here are some common GTIN-related issues in Google Ads (and what to do about it):

1. Invalid Value [GTIN] 

If you’ve run Google Ads before, you might be familiar with the dreaded Google Merchant Center (GMC) suspension.

GTIN error

One of the main reasons why GMC disapproves products is because of an invalid GTIN

This error means you don’t have a globally valid UPC.

When this happens, chances are you got your GTIN from your manufacturer. If so, contact them to fix this issue.

2. Unsupported value (restricted) [gtin] (yellow warning sign)

Unlike invalid GTINs, products with an “unsupported value” error may still be able to run

Essentially, Google is letting you know that while this particular GTIN isn’t valid, you can still give it a shot. It’ll be up to Google’s discretion on whether to allow it to run or not.

Compliance Issues

✔️ Google Merchant Center: Business Information

Let’s talk about the biggest reason for non-compliance issues.

  • You must have at least two of the three pieces of information available:
    1. Physical business address
    2. Phone number
    3. Email address

Here’s the thing: Google is a bot. It scans sites as efficiently as possible to ensure compliance. If your business’s contact information is included inside, say, your privacy policy—Google may miss it. So make sure to include this information on a dedicated contact page. Otherwise, Google could flag your site as non-compliant—even if your business information is available elsewhere.  

  • Similarly, phone numbers must be highlightable—not stuck in an image.
  • If you are uncomfortable sharing contact information, temporarily place them on your contact us page until you are verified by Google. You can remove them later once you’re up and running.

*For brick and mortar businesses* 

You can link your Google My Business to Google Ads!

Website Settings (Part One)

✔️ Tracking phone calls

How does Google know when paid traffic calls you after seeing an ad? 

What if they make a purchase over the phone? 

How do these conversions get tracked? 

Ahh, this is where a call tracking platform like CallTrackingMetrics comes in. 

This service, which you can sync with Google Ads, gives you a unique tracking phone number (that appears on your website in place of your current phone number) that dynamically changes, depending on the campaign or channel your customer visited, so you always know the exact source of the call. But it can only do this if your phone number is highlightable (i.e. not embedded in an image).

After your lead sees your ad and makes a call, that recording is pulled into an activity log, where you can manually score the quality of that call. 

And here’s why this is so important:

Simply counting each phone call to your unique tracking number as a conversion can be wildly inaccurate. It’s important to rank the quality of the call so Google knows whether or not the ad (which led to a phone call) can be attributed to a sale, an inquiry, a concern or complaint—or perhaps a completely irrelevant call altogether.  

Suspension Risks

To avoid suspension risks, here are some must-haves:

✔️ Include the four legal policies in your sitemap

Google Ads eCommerce store footer risks
  • You should have clickable and working links to your Refund Policy, Privacy Policy, Shipping Policy, Terms and Conditions (or Terms of Services). Make sure they are visible in your sitemap (in your footer).
  • To make sure your legal policies will be picked up by Google’s site scan, go to: (yourdomain).com/sitemap.xml to ensure those pages appear. 

✔️ Payment options

  • Your available payment options must be visible on your checkout pages—do not include any payment options you don’t accept! To be safe, also put them in the footer.
Google Ads eCommerce store footer risks

✔️ Beware of restricted keywords in titles, descriptions, reviews, or anywhere in your website

  • Avoid using your words/keywords that are restricted by Google. You can find restricted content and features here
  • Understand that Google is a machine and can take any word out of context. If you think it might be a dangerous word-choice—it probably is! 

✔️ Multiple disapprovals

  • Be careful how many times you test Google. Multiple disapprovals lead to suspension

✔️ Shipping issues

  • If the shipping fee on your feed is $0.01 lower than the website, you’ll get disapproved

✔️ Starting off with massive sales on all products (misrepresentation)

  • If you have a product with a GTIN and you mark the price up higher than the usual MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) then discount it back down to MSRP, that will be considered misrepresentation. 

✔️ Taxes

  • If your website and your feed have different tax rates, you’ll get disapproved. You can have a higher tax (and shipping) on your feed than on your website but not the other way around.

Helpful resources:

Google Ads Policies 

  • Google Ads show you what was clicked. Analytics shows you what was sold.
  • Google attributes the sale of anything on your website back to the original ad (not product) that brought the user to the site. 

Part Five

Connecting Your Tech Stack

  1. Website Settings (Continued)

  2. Google Suite (Ads, Analytics, GTM, Merchant Center)

  3. Google Ads App (for Shopify)

  4. Screen Recording

  5. Data Feed Watch

We’re about to get into the nitty gritty. 

As we go through the steps to set up your Google Ads account, please keep in mind that we will be using Shopify as our eCommerce platform.

Let’s go!

Website Settings (Continued)

✔️Make sure all products have UPC codes

  • Google uses UPC codes to optimize products and catalog performance. These codes help ensure that if you run out of a product, which gets restocked a month later, Google’s algorithm will pick up where it left off—instead of relearning the performance and optimizations of that product.
  • We recommended Instant UPC Codes if you manufacture your own products or don’t have UPC codes.

✔️Set up your legal pages in Shopify 

  1. Refund Policy
  2. Privacy Policy
  3. Terms of Service 
  4. Shipping Policy
  • Your Refund Policy, Privacy Policy, Terms of Service can all use a generic template
  • Your Shipping Policy needs to be customized after you download a template from Google (how to return, return exceptions and restocking fee and exchanges)
  • These legal pages must be set up before you link your Shopify store to Google Ads and Google Merchant Center

Here’s how to ensure your legal pages appear in your sitemap:

  1. Go to your Shopify Dashboard
  2. Settings
  3. Legal
  4. Go over your policies and make sure you have Refund, Privacy, Terms of Service, Shipping
  5. Add them to your pages or footer

Google Suite

✔️Creating your Google Ads Account

Your Google Ads account will be “homebase” for your business’s online ads, settings, and personal information. 

  1. Go to ads.google.com/home 
  2. Sign in using your Gmail Account
Google Ads Account creation

…or create a New Google Ads Account 

3. Choose Switch to Expert Mode

Google Ads Account creation - expert mode

4. New Campaign page > Choose Create an account without a campaign

Google Ads Account creation - account without a campaign

5. Confirm your business information

Google Ads Account creation - business creation

6. Explore your account

Your Google Ads Account is all set up!

✔️Creating Your Google Tag Manager Account

Google tag manager allows you to install tracking on your website to evaluate the success of your campaigns. 

  1. Go to marketingplatform.google.com/about/tag-manage 
  2. Start For Free 
  3. Create Account
Google Tag Manager account creation

4. Complete your account details 

Google Tag Manager account creation - detail

5. Click Create

Google Tag Manager account creation - code installation

6. Leave this tab open and open a new tab to create your Google Analytics account.

✔️ Creating Your Google Analytics Account

Google Analytics allows you to track, report, and analyze your website traffic. 

  1. Go to analytics.google.com 
  2. Sign in using your Gmail Account 
  3. Start measuring

4. Complete your account details

Shopify doesn’t integrate directly with GA4 yet. 

Account Setup: 

Account name: https://yourdomain.com

Google Analytics account creation

Tick all the boxes

Google Analytics account creation - checkboxes

Property Setup: 

Property Name: yourdomain.com

Google Analytics account creation - property setup

Show advanced options > Turn on “Create a Universal Analytics property”

Website URL: https:// > yourdomain.com 

Choose Create a Universal Analytics property only > Next

  • About your business
  • Choose an industry category
  • Choose your business size
  • Tick “Other” > Create
Read and Agree to GA Terms of Service Agreement

Read and Agree to GA Terms of Service Agreement 

My email communications > uncheck all boxes > save

Copy your Global Site Tag.

Global Site Tag

If you aren’t in the website tracking page yet:

Go to Admin > Account > Property > Click <> Tracking Info > Tracking Code > Copy the Global Site Tag Code

Paste your Global Site Tag in Shopify

Go to your Shopify Dashboard:

  1. Shopify 
  2. Preferences 
  3. Google Analytics 
  4. Paste your Global Site Tag Code here:
Global Site Tag in Shopify

✔️Google Analytics eCommerce Setup

Go to your Google Analytics Dashboard:

  1. Admin 
  2. Property Settings 
  3. Ecommerce Settings
Ecommerce settings

4. Turn on Enable Ecommerce 
5. Turn on Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting 
6. Save

Ecommerce Set-up in Analytics

✔️ Connecting Your Google Tag Manager to Shopify
Go to your Google Tag Manager account and open a container: 
In the top right corner, you’ll see a text that starts with GTM- and then contains some letters/numbers. That’s your Google Tag Manager ID.

Click your GTM ID > Copy the Google Tag Manager Code 

➔Go to your Shopify Dashboard > Themes > Actions > Edit Code > look for “<head>”, paste it under. 

✔️Google Merchant Center Setup
Go to google.com/retail/solutions/merchant-center/ 

  1. Sign In 
Sign in with Google

2. Enter your business information

Google Merchant Center Business Information

3. “Where do you want your customers to check out?” > Choose which answer applies to you

Google Merchant Center Setup

4. “What other tools do you use?” > For this guide, we’ll choose Shopify
5. “Would you like to sign up for emails about Google Merchant Center?” > Select which answer applies 
6.
Agree to Google Merchant Center Terms of Service

Google Merchant Center Final Setup

7. Create account

Google Merchant Center Setup Complete

✔️Setup Google Ads Tag
From your Google Ads Dashboard:

  1. Tools

2. Audience Manager 

Audience Manager

3. Audience Sources 
4. Google Ads tag

Google Ads audience manager

5. Set Up Tag
Create the Google Ads Tag Data Source

Create the Google Ads Tag Data Source

1. Remarketing: Choose “Collect data on specific actions people performed on your website to show personalized ads.”

Business type: Retail

2. Business type: Retail 
3. Restricted data processing: Exclude California users from remarketing lists

Restricted data processing: Exclude California users from remarketing lists

4. Save and continue

Install the Tag on Your Website

  1. Tag Setup > Use Google Tag Manager 
  2. Install the tag using Google Tag Manager 
  3. Copy Conversion ID

Go back to Google Tag Manager Dashboard  

  1. Tags
Google Tag Manager Dashboard

2. New

Google Tag Manager - tag creation

3. Name Tag “Remarketing Tag”

Remarketing tag

4. Tag Configuration 
5. Google Ads Remarketing
6.
Paste your Conversion ID

Google Tag Manager - tag setup

7. Name Tag “Conversion Linker”
8. Tag Configuration > Tag Type 
9.
“Conversion Linker” Linker Options 
10.
Tick Enable linking on all page URLS

11. Add Trigger  
12. Publish

Check if your tags are firing properly

Download Google Tag Assistant plugin and install it. 

1. Go to your website 
2. Click the Google Tag Assistant (you may have to reload your website after clicking it)
3.
Make sure you see all tags (Global site, Google Ads Conversion, etc.) and no errors

Installing Google Ads App for Shopify 

✔️Setting Up Conversion Tracking (Shopify)

Go to your Google Ads Dashboard > Tools > Conversions >  New (+) Conversions > Website

Google Ads for eCommerce - Pillar Article(1)

Create a conversion action for your website

1. Category: Purchase
2. Conversion name: Purchase

Google Ads Conversion action setup

3. Value: 

  • Use the same value for each conversion—this would only be applicable if you have one single product on your site
  • Use different values for each conversion (we’ll use this one) > Enter a default value “1” (we’ll add dynamic values to your tracking code later)

4. Count: Every
5. Click-through Conversion Window: 90 Days
6.
View-through Conversion Window: 30 Days
7.
Include in “Conversions”: Yes
8.
Attribution Model: Default is last click but we now use “First Click” > Create and continue

Set up the tag

1. Choose “Install the tag yourself”
2. See code for: HTML (if using standard implementation—if using AMP, select AMP) 
3.
Global site tag: The global site tag isn’t installed on all your HTML pages (use this if you haven’t installed your global site tag yet)

Copy global site tag

4. Copy Global Site Tag code (this is going to go in your header—no matter which type of website platform you use)

For Shopify users: 

Go back to your Shopify account and go to themes:

“theme.liquid” > paste the code under <head>

Now, head back to Google Ads

1. Event snippet
2. Select Page Load > copy the snippet

Event Snippet

3. Go to back to the Shopify Dashboard 
4. Settings 
5. Checkout 
6.
Order Processing 
7.
Additional Scripts 
8.
Paste the snippet here

Additional Scripts

However, now we need to customize the code a bit. At this point, all values are currently marked as “1.0,” i.e. $1. 

This is what it looks like before you replace the values:

Generic value code

So, we need to customize this code to ensure the appropriate value is given to each purchase. Here’s how:

  1. ‘Value’: {{ checkout.total_price | money_without_currency }},
  2. ‘Currency’: ‘{{ shop.currency }}’, 
  3. ‘Transaction id’: {{ order_number }}” 

This is what it should look like after changing the values:

Generic value code

Shopify custom codes: 

{{ checkout.total_price | money_without_currency }}
{{ shop.currency }}
{{ order_number }}

Tip: 
Reach out to Google Tag Implementation Team if you need support.

✔️ How to import data (Goals and events) from GA Analytics

Head to your Google Ads Dashboard:

1. Conversions 
2. Conversion Actions 
3.
Click the (+) plus symbol

4. Choose “Import” 
5. Choose Google Analytics (UA) 
6.
Continue 
7.
Make sure your account is linked

Installing Screen Recording Software (Lucky Orange)

Okay, next up let’s install a screen recording software. For the sake of this guide, we’ll use Lucky Orange, but there are several other platforms to choose from.

Let’s go!

✔️  Signing Up

Go to luckyorange.com/ 

1. Start My Free Trial 
2. Sign Up
3.
Add a new site 
4.
Enter your site’s name

Lucky Orange

5. Add Site 

6. The tracking code will pop-up, copy it

Lucky Orange tracking code

Next, go back to your Shopify Dashboard:

1. Themes 
2. Actions 
3.
Edit Code

Add Lucky Orange code to Shopify

4. theme.liquid 
5. Paste the code under the “<head>”

6. Save

✔️  Dashboard Menus

Now what? Here’s what you can do once Lucky Orange (or your screen recording software of choice) is installed:

Live Visitors – click to see who’s visiting your site right now click “LIVE view”

Ask to Chat – click to initiate a chat with your visitor

Recordings – click to view all the recordings on mobile and desktop

✔️  Setting up realtime alerts

If you want to know when a user is, say, on your checkout page (or any other URL of your site)—you can set up triggers to notify you in real time. Here’s how.

Go to Lucky Orange Dashboard:

1. Settings 
2. Behavior Tagging 

Behavior tagging

3. Add New Rule 
4. Choose “Match URL that contain this text” (URLs for checkout pages typically vary from user to user, that’s why we’re using this option)
5.
Select the piece of the URL that remains the same (for example, an alert when someone is on the checkout page might be: “/checkouts/” or “/cart/” — whatever “chunk” appears in your URL)
6.
Tag recording with: add a name (e.g. “People on the checkout page”) 
7.
Add Rule

Finally, go to Realtime Alerts: 

  1. If the visitor is tagged with “(your tag here)” 
  2. Select notification type (sounds and alert box you’d like) 
Realtime alerts

3. Click Add Rule

How to Install DataFeedWatch in Shopify

Now, as an eCommerce business, you use a platform (like Shopify) to distribute your products online. And while these platforms include a basic data feed solution, you simply cannot rely on these onboard feed solutions to optimize your feed.

Why choose DataFeedWatch?

Data feed optimization is their thing—and it shows:  

  1. Clear instructions for every CMS.
  2. Allows you to make very specific updates in your feed at scale.
  3. Allows you to make changes without doing anything on your website.
  4. You can do A/B tests.

✔️ Adding your Shop to DFW

Go to your Data Feed Watch Dashboard > add shop:

  1. Input feed: Enter Your shop’s name
  2. Choose your main input feed: Click any that apply (e.g. Shopify)
DataFeedWatch Setup

3. Source location: https://yourshopifydomain.com

✔️ Installation

Choose “I am the Shop Owner” > Click Next Tab

DataFeedWatch Installation

✔️ Updates Schedule

Choose update timezone: choose your timezone

DataFeedWacth Updates Schedule

Select update times: choose the time when you want to trigger updates > Click Next Tab

✔️ Download DataFeedWatch’s app inside Shopify

Go to your Shopify Dashboard:

  1. Apps >
  2. Search for DataFeedWatch app and connect
DataFeedWatch App inside Shopify

✔️  DataFeedWatch Caveats:

  • Don’t remove anything–changing titles from Title A to Title B is a landing page discrepancy. Google Merchant will disapprove or suspend you.
  • Don’t change the price–the price (i.e. price on the website is higher than the feed). It’s a landing page discrepancy.
  • Don’t remove descriptions. You can add but not “remove” because Google will say that what’s on your feed is not your product. This could lead to a misrepresentation.

Part Six

Shopping Campaigns

  1. Standard Shopping

  2. Dynamic Remarketing

  3. Smart Shopping

After all that prerequisite work, it’s finally time to hop into Google Ads!

Because this is an Ultimate Guide to Google Ads for eCommerce, we of course need to begin with shopping campaigns. 

Standard Shopping

The most important thing to know inside of Google Ads is what buttons NOT to press. Google will always lead you toward “recommended settings” to get clicks. 

Remember, Google gets paid per click. Agencies should give you the most amount of conversion with the least amount of clicks.

Now at Solutions 8, we are big fans of Smart Shopping campaigns. They generally perform leaps and bounds better than Standard Shopping campaigns.

But, we still run Standard Shopping campaigns. Here’s why:

  • Standard Shopping gives us search terms (Smart Shopping campaigns do not)—this is valuable data that tells us what people are searching when they see your shopping ad. The search terms tell you what Google is matching your products with.

Here’s where things get interesting.

If you just run a Smart Shopping campaign, Google creates ads for your products that live in all five Google Ads “locations:” 

  1. Google Shopping
  2. Google Search
  3. Google Display
  4. YouTube 
  5. GSP

Google is a learning machine and will begin to learn from your Smart Shopping campaign over time. However, Standard Shopping campaigns gather more data faster. And while the success of these campaigns are generally lower—the data is valuable for Google to apply to your Smart Shopping campaigns (i.e. no starting from scratch!).

Let’s Build a Campaign! 

Standard Shopping Setup

Go to your Google Ads Campaigns section:

  1. Campaigns  
  2. Click “+” Symbol 
  3. New Campaign
Google Ads create new campaign

4. Choose Sales 
5. Shopping 
5.
Select a Merchant Center (you should only have one) 
6.
Select the country where your feed is opted in for 
7.
Select Standard Shopping campaign 
8.
Click continue

✔️ General Settings

General Settings inside Google Ads
  1. Campaign name: Standard Shopping
  2. Inventory filter: You can choose to filter products but we will run all products first. So, leave it to “Filter: Advertise only products that match all of your requirements”
  3. Local products: Disabled
  4. Campaign URL options: No options set (This is a good way to track whether Standard or Smart Shopping is bringing in new conversions. You can set it up at the account level or campaign level.) 
  5. Link to campaign URL Builder
Campaign URL builder

✔️ Bidding and Budget

1. Bidding: Manual CPC

*Here’s why: We like to set our starting point knowing that Smart Shopping will perform better

2. Uncheck “Help increase-conversions with Enhanced CPC”

*Here’s why: We like to start our bid low in Standard Shopping, determine which products are most successful, and begin to increase our budget where there will be the most impact

3. Budget: Choose a budget that’s appropriate for you

*If you’re just starting out and your budget is around $100 per day, your Smart Shopping should be at least $50, Search Campaign should be at least $20, then Standard Shopping should be at least $10*

4. Limit the amount of spend that your Standard Shopping campaign can run

5. Campaign priority: Low (default)

6. You can set it to “high” if you’re running Standard Shopping and a Smart Shopping, the Smart Shopping campaign will eventually take over on its own

✔️ Targeting

Google Ads Standard Shopping Targeting Settings
  1. Network: Check both “Search Network” and “Youtube, Gmail and Discover”
  2. Location: United States
  3. Target: Only use “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations”
  4. Start and end date: Not set

✔️ Create your ad group

Create Your Ad Group - Standard Shopping
  1. Ad group name: Standard Shopping Ad Group
  2. Bid: $1

Go to Standard Shopping Category/Campaign:

  1. Product Groups 
  2. Hover over the “+” symbol to Add Subdivision
Standard Shopping Category

3. Click “All Products” drop down 
4. Choose “Item ID” 
5.
Select everything 
6.
Continue to edit bids

This is where you can change your bids. 

You can also set your CPCs by the specific product here.

To exclude a product, go to your product group > choose a product > exclude.

How to exclude a product in Standard Shopping

To increase CPC, in Max CPC Column > choose the column of the product you want to adjust:

How to adjust or exclude items
  • For each individual product group, you can set individual bids
  • You can’t use negative keywords in a Smart Shopping campaign

Dynamic Remarketing Setup

Most people run Smart Shopping without knowing it’s possible to get even more conversions by running a Dynamic Remarketing campaign alongside it.

But here’s the thing: 

Smart Shopping is selective about who sees remarketing ads. And if your target audience isn’t going to convert, Smart Shopping will exclude them. 

So if you don’t want to miss out on a lot of potential conversions, you have to know how to run both campaigns side-by-side.

So, now we need to go through how to set up your Smart Shopping with Dynamic Remarketing, the perfect way. 

Here’s how:

✔️ Start a new campaign

Go to Campaigns: 

  1. Click the “+” symbol
  2. New campaign 
  3. Sales 
  4. Display 
  5. Standard display campaign
Standard Display Campaign

✔️ Create your campaign

Campaign name: Dynamic Remarketing
Locations: United States
Target: “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations”
Exclude: “Presence: People in your excluded locations (recommended)”
Languages: Make sure you choose English (or the native language). 

Best practice is to run one campaign with one native language setting

✔️ Bidding

  1. What do you want to focus on? Conversions
  2. How do you want to get conversions? Automatically maximize conversions 
  3. Uncheck “Set a  target cost per action”

✔️ Budget

  1. Enter the average you want to spend each day > $10
  2. Ad rotation: Leave the default
  3. Ad schedule: All day
  4. Start and end date: not set
  5. Devices: Show on all devices
  6. Dynamic Ads: Click “Use dynamic ads feed for personalized ads”
  7. (This turns your standard display ad into a dynamic ad.)
  8. Data Feed: add your feed
  9. Product filter: Choose “No filter: Advertise all products in the country of sale”
  10. Conversions: Use the account-level “include in Conversions” settings
  11. Content Exclusions: Optional, we normally leave this in its default settings

✔️ Create your ad group

  1. Ad group name: Dynamic Remarketing Ad Group
  2. Audiences: Click Browse 
  3. “How they have interacted with your business 
  4. Website visitors 
  5. Select All visitors (Google Ads) 
  6. Click Done
  7. Demographics: Include everyone (check all boxes)

✔️ Content

Target Expansion > Turn Off 

✔️ Dynamic ads with data feed

  1. Final URL: https://yourdomain.com
  2. Image and logos: Put your lifestyle images here
  3. If you have only 1 product, just use a standard remarketing (instead of dynamic)
  4. Videos: Put your videos here 
  5. They’re always played on mute and on repeat

✔️ Headlines

  1. Make sure your headlines are relevant
  2. Use your brand name since not all headlines are shown
  3. Long headline: You can get more descriptive here

✔️ Descriptions

  1. Make sure each description can stand alone 
  2. Find different ways to say the same thing in each description, if possible

Business name: Add your business name here

Additional formatting options:

  • Check “Use asset enhancements” and “Use auto-generated video” (this allows Google to turn the ad to videos)
  • Check “Use native formats”
  • If you want to have more customizations, “add more options”
  • Once finished, click “Add to ad group” > Create Campaign > Continue to campaign

✔️ How to stop showing ads to everyone and bots

 Inside your dynamic marketing campaign:

  1. Go to Audiences 
  2. Exclusion 
  3. Add an exclusion by clicking the “+” symbol 
  4. Exclude audiences 
  5. Browse 
  6. Click “How they have interacted with your business” 
Google Ads Setup Exclusions

7. Under Website Visitors > Check “All converters” 
8. Save

Excluding all converters means we’re not dynamically remarketing to people who:

  • Went to your website
  • Bought something

(Don’t worry, Smart shopping will still reach this audience).

Smart Shopping

The build out here is the same as Standard Shopping; just make sure to select “Smart Shopping”: 

Google Ads for eCommerce - Smart Shopping

The only difference is you can’t set your individual bids. Instead, you add all your product groups and all your products will be in one ad group.

Smart Shopping Ad

You don’t need an ad in smart shopping—unless Google says you need one. 

When launching a smart shopping campaign, the longer you can go without enabling a ROAS goal, the better. This allows all your products to have a chance to sell.

Competitor Campaign

Let’s build a competitor campaign, next.

Inside Google Ads, go to Campaigns: 

  1. Click the “+” symbol 
  2. New Campaign 
  3. Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance
Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.

4. Select campaign type 
5. Search 
6.
Leave the “Select the results you want to get from this campaign” for now 
7.
Continue

✔️ General Settings

Campaign Name: Competitor Campaign
Network: Search Network 
Only choose “Search Network” and select “Include Google Search Partners”  

Start date: When you want it to start
End date: Not set

Campaign URL Options: No options set

Dynamic Search Ads Setting: Don’t enter a domain
Ad Schedule: All day

✔️ Locations

Location: United States

Target: “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations”
Exclude: “Presence: People in your excluded locations (recommended)”

✔️ Languages

Choose All languages
As long as your audience is searching in English, this is okay.

✔️ Audiences

Don’t touch it for now, we’ll do it later.

✔️ Budget and bidding

Budget: $10

This is one of your least amount of ad spends. Start low.

This will be your least amount of ad spend. 

Bidding

Select your bid strategy: 

  1. Choose “Select a bid strategy directly (not recommended)” 
  2. Manual CPC 
  3. Uncheck “Help increase conversions with Enhanced CPC

We use Manual CPC in the beginning because for this campaign:

  • You’ll have a bad quality score
  • Your landing page experience will be low 
  • You have to increase bids aggressively to steal traffic away from your competitor

Conversions: Account-level conversion setting
Ad rotation: Optimize: Prefer best performing ads

✔️ Ad extensions

  • Sitelink extensions: Choose the ones that are most appropriate for your business
  • Check out our Sitelink Extension Tutorial
  • Callout extensions: Not recommended

This is to avoid “wrong company” calls from customers who thought they dialed your competitor’s phone number. 

✔️ Set up ad groups

  1. Ad group name: Enter competitor’s name here
  2. Default bid: $3 (and check if your bid is too low)
  3. Keywords: 
    • [competitor name]
    • [competitor name + industry]
    • [competitor name + service]
    • [competitor name + specific product]
Keywords

A Word on Keywords

  • Don’t start broad
  • Use a lot of “exact match” 
  • Variations are good, but don’t overdo it
  1. Ad group name: Another competitor
  2. Default bid: $3
  3. Keywords: Enter your competitor’s site 
  4. Click Get Keywords
Competitor keywords
  • If the results are relevant keywords to you, use them. If not, use the same tactic in the first ad group build out. 
  • Look for intent-driven keywords
Look for intent-driven keywords

✔️ Responsive Search Ads

Final URL:

  • If you have a 1-to-1 competitor (e.g. you sell ten different products and your competitor sells one) send your visitor to the product page you and your competitor have in common. 
  • Otherwise, send them to the most relevant page for that they searched for. 

Display Path: Come up with a URL relevant to your offer. 

The display URL is only what your visitors see. It doesn’t affect the actual URL of your landing page. 

Example:

Headlines

  • Avoid putting your competitor’s name in your headline. Instead, use the “item/product” your users are searching for. 

Once finished, click Done > Save and Continue. 

If you see an error saying “ Your campaign isn’t ready yet. No traffic expected. Check your campaign targeting to fix this,” ignore it. 

Just click “Publish.”

✔️ Audience Setup

Next, go to your competitor campaign and click Audiences.

Audience Setup

Click “Type” > Remove it by clicking the “x” symbol until you have no filters displayed.

✔️ Remarketing List for Search Ads (RSLA)

This is when someone clicks on your ad, visits your website, doesn’t convert, leaves—and in the future searches again using the same search terms they used before. 

To start, click on the pencil icon to edit the audience:

  1. Select “observation (recommended)” 
  2. Add to campaign

✔️ Difference between Observation and Targeted:

Observation: They have to search the keywords and be repeat visitors to your website (but not yet on your list), and do what you want them to do.

Targeted: They are in the existing audience and searched the specific keywords.

Go to Browse:

  1. Choose “How they have interacted with your business” 
  2. Website visitors 
  3. Choose “All Visitors” (Google Ads) 
  4. Save

In the “All visitors” row, go to Bid Adj column and click the pencil icon to edit > Increase by 40%.

Go to Exclusions > Exclude all converters (this is optional–only for competitive campaigns).

*If you see an error that says “Not eligible, low search volume,” it means there’s not enough traffic searching for it to justify running Google Ads. 

You can either change the keyword to something else or remove it.*

Dynamic Search Ad (DSA) Campaign

Go to campaigns:

  1. Click the “+” symbol 
  1. New campaign 
  1. Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance 
  1. Search 
  1. Skip “Select the results you want to get from this campaign” 
  2. Continue

✔️ General Settings

Type: Search
Campaign Name:
Network: Search Network > Only choose “Search Network” and select “Include Google Search Partners” 

Skip start and end date
Skip Campaign URL Options
Click on “Dynamic Search Ads setting” > yourdomain.com

For newer websites, you’ll have to wait until Googlebots scan or “crawls” your site (usually around 1 month after your site is published

✔️ Language

Language: All languages
Select a target source > Use Google’s index of my website
Ad Schedule: All day

✔️ Budget and bidding

Budget: $30
Bidding: Conversions > Set a target cost per action

Conversion: Account-level conversion setting
Ad rotation: “Optimize: Prefer best performing ads”
Sitelink extensions: Choose the ones that are most appropriate for you.

Once finished, click Save and continue. 

✔️ Set up an ad group

It will automatically choose “Dynamic.”

Ad group name: All Webpages

✔️ Create a rule to target webpage

Select URL > contains > Enter the “root” domain where all your products are found (e.g. “underdoggames.com/collections/” or “underdoggames.com/products/”

This will let Google crawl your product pages.

However, if you want to use the exact URLs:

Select “Use exact URLs” > paste the exact URL of the product > Add

✔️ Create ads 

  • Final URL 
  • Headline – will be pulled right from your page title
  • Display URL
  • You can only add descriptions
  • Use the full length
  • Should be about your products
  • If you have a theme for your store, put it here.

Once finished, click Save and Continue. 

To check on what ad group goes to your pages

Go to Dynamic Search Ads > Dynamic Targets

Dynamic Targets

✔️ Negative dynamic ad target

Use this if you don’t want Google to crawl a specific page.

  1. Copy the URL of the page 
  2. Inside Dynamic Search Ad go to Negative dynamic ad target 
  3. Click Add to > Campaign 
  4. Use exact URLs 
  5. Paste the url here 
  6. Add

✔️ Adjusting your Target CPA

Inside Dynamic Search Ad: 

  1. Go to Ad groups 
  2. Select the Target CPA of the ad group 
  3. Click the pencil icon
Adjusting your Target CPA

✔️ How to find the pages that are getting traffic

Inside Dynamic Search Ad > Landing pages 

✔️ How to add a negative keyword of your brand in DSA campaign

  1. Inside Dynamic Search Ad > Negative Keywords
  2. Click the “+” symbol 
  3. Add negative keywords or create a list 
  4. Add your brand name 

Brand Campaign

Inside Google Ads:

  1. Campaigns 
  2. Click the “+” symbol 
  3. New campaign 
  4. Create a campaign without a goal’s audience 
  5. Search
  6. Skip “Select the results you want to get from this campaign” 
  7. Continue

✔️ General Settings

Campaign name: Brand Campaign

Network: Search Network > Only choose “Search Network” and select “Include Google Search Partners” 

  • Skip Start and end dates
  • Skip Campaign URL options
  • Dynamic Search Ad setting: leave it blank
  • Ad schedule: all day

✔️ Location: United States

Target: “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations”

Exclude: “Presence: People in your excluded locations (recommended)”

✔️ Languages

Choose All languages
Audiences: default/skip

✔️ Budget: $20

  • Should be on the lower end
  • It’s the easiest to convert
  • It’ll have the cheapest CPCs
  • It’s going to perform the best

✔️ Bidding

Select your bid strategy: Manual CPC > uncheck “Help increase conversions with enhanced CPC. 

Conversions: Account-level conversion setting
Ad rotation: “Optimize: Prefer best performing ads”
Sitelink extensions: Choose the ones that are most appropriate for you.

Once finished, click Save and continue. 

✔️ Set up an ad group

Ad group type: Standard
Ad group name: Brand
Default bid: $.20 

Keywords: Enter your different variations of your brand name here 
[brand name] 
*brand name*
*brand name Google*

Once finished, click Save and Continue

Create ads

Final URL: https://yourdomain.com
Display Path: Come up with a URL that’s relevant to your offer. 
Headline: 
For Headline #1: Use your brand name and pin it

  • Look at what your competitors don’t have (or have) put it in your headline. 
  • Put your USP or anything that’s good about your company

Once finished, click “save and continue.”

If you see an error saying “ Your campaign isn’t ready yet. No traffic expected. Check your campaign targeting to fix this,” ignore it. 

Just click “Fix it” and “Publish.”

✔️ Adjust your CPCs accordingly

Go to Brand Campaign > Search Keywords > Look at columns:

  • First page bid
  • Top of page bid
  • First position bid

Go to Audiences: 

  1. Add audiences 
  2. Add to campaign 
  3. Browse 
  4. Observation (recommended)
  5. How they have interacted with your brand 
  6. Website visitors 
  7. All visitors (Google Ads) 
  8. Save

Discovery Campaign

This campaign is for those folks at the very top of the funnel. Don’t run them yet because they don’t have product images in it.

In the meantime, let’s get to building:

✔️ New Campaign

Inside Google Ads:

  1. Campaigns 
  2. Click the “+” symbol 
  3. New Campaign 
  4. Sales 
  5. Discovery 
  6. Continue
  • You can run YouTube ads on your own
  • But, it is not recommended to run YouTube ads with Discovery Campaigns

At Solutions 8, we don’t like Discovery…yet. Here’s why:

  • Discovery runs through Gmail and gets 40% – 60% open rate, which is counted as a click. In other words, you pay when a user opens the Gmail Ad, and this will eat up your budget quickly. 
  • Running a YouTube ad is probably better than running a Discovery. 

However, low barrier, free offers work well on Discovery, such as a free ebook or a 10% discount coupon or promotion.

✔️ Create your campaign

Campaign name: Discovery Campaign
Location: United States
Languages: English

Bidding: Conversions > uncheck “set a target cost per action”
Ad schedule: all day

Skip start and end date
Skip Campaign URL
Conversions: Use account-level “include” in “Conversions” settings

If you’re running a 10% coupon or some sort of “lead magnet,” include that in your campaign conversion settings.

Additionally, don’t “choose conversion actions for this campaign,” offer a lead magnet, and then only track that conversion—you’re going to miss people who subsequently buy. 

Content exclusions: Can’t control this so keep the default settings.

✔️ Create your ad group

Ad group name: Discovery

  1. Click add or create audiences  
  2. New Custom Audiences 
  3. Audience name: Purchase Intention – [your product] (e.g. Black Leather Wallet) 
  4. Choose “Include people with any of these interests or purchase intentions 
  5. Create
  • Include people with any of these interests or purchase intentions. These are people who’ve been looking at competitors or your own site and checking out very specific products. 
  • Include people who searched for any of these terms on Google. If your audience is visiting websites that aren’t Google-hosted but include the same terms/keywords, they’ll use this type of targeting.
  • Important: For eCommerce, you need to build an audience per product. Pro tip: You can start with products that are performing well in Smart Shopping.

6. Remarketing: skip this for now
7. Interest and detailed demographics: Skip this for now
8.
Audience expansion: Uncheck “show your ads to more people are likely to convert”
9.
Demographics: keep the default settings

  • If you have a more expensive product, you can test by removing “Lower 50%” under Household income. 
  • Household income is relative to the area/zip code of your audience. 

✔️ Create your ads

Choose Discovery Carousel Ad > Create Campaign:

You can have multiple carousels. This is good if you want to build out each one of your products (once Smart Shopping is up and running and you know your most scalable products). 

  1. Click Image And Logos 
  2. Enter your domain >
  3. Get your images scanned

Complete the information needed:

  • Final URL
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Business name

✔️ Build your card(s)

You can edit your photos and add them here.

  • Enter your headline
  • Enter your final URL—make sure this is the URL of your image or the product page as the final URL
  • Add a call to action: Shop Now
  • You can build up to 10 cards

Once finished, click done > Create Campaign > Continue Campaign.

YouTube Campaign

Before building your campaign, make sure to build your audiences first. 

Here’s how:

In Google Ads Dashboard > Tools > Shared Library > Audience Manager > Custom Audiences > Click the “+” symbol. 

Display Search Keywords (DSK)

  • Functions like your Search campaign. 
  • Good Practice: Take your search campaign keywords and pasting them in DSK. 

Inside Google Ads > Campaigns > New campaigns > Create a campaign.

The best YouTube campaign for Smart Shopping is a YouTube Shopping Campaign. This is what it looks like.

✔️ New campaign

  1. Choose “Create a campaign without a goal guidance”  
  2. Video > Shopping 
  3. Connect your feed
  4. Campaign name: Video Shopping
  5. Product filter: Choose specific products
  6. Choose the products that are relevant to the video
  7. Bid strategy:  Maximum CPV
  • You can’t use automated bidding strategies. You’re relying heavily on relevancy and high traffic because your safety net is Smart Shopping–it’ll take care of everyone who clicked on your ad. 
  • Start with high amount and work your way down (e.g. $1.00 – $2.00)
  • Budget and dates: Set to “Daily” and “$30”
  • End date: none

If you choose “campaign total” you’ll have to set an end date. 

10. Networks: Uncheck YouTube search results
11. Check “YouTube videos” 
12.
Uncheck video partners on the Display Network
13.
Locations: United States

Your location is going to run where your feed allows it to run in. 

14. Languages: English
15. Content exclusions: Standard Inventory
16.
Excluded types and labels: Depends on your business preferences.
17.
Conversions: Keep the default setting
18.
Devices: Exclude TV screen

You need visits and searches. They usually happen on computers, mobiles, and tablets only.

19. Operating systems: Your preference. We keep the default settings. 
20. Frequency capping: uncheck “cap view frequency”

It usually takes 33 impressions before a person takes action.

✔️ Create your ad group

This could be an ad group per video per product. 

  1. Ad group name: Use your product name (e.g. 2-pack Trial size bottles)
  2. Demographics: keep the default settings
  3. Audiences: DSK works best
  4. Keywords: add your search campaign keywords here
  5. Topics: Choose the topic that’s relevant to your products
  6. Placements: Click Browse > search for the YouTube channel you want your ads to appear in
    • You can place your ad on a specific channel or video.
    • Use one targeting method PER ad group.

7. Bidding: $2.00

✔️ Create your video ad

  • Add a YouTube video URL
  • Add your Final URL
  • Add a display URL (this is your “vanity” URL)
  • Enter an ad name

Display Campaign

Pre-setup your display campaigns by:

  • Building your custom audience
  • Stick that to one ad group
  • Use DSK in one ad group
  • Use topics in a different ad group

A note on “Non-skippable in-stream” 

Use it if you need to have your audience see your ads. However, you won’t get watch rates. You can’t gauge engagement and relevance because everyone’s “forced” to “engage” in your ad. 

Inside Google Ads:

  • Campaigns 
  • Click the “+” symbol  
  • Create a campaign without a goal guidance  
  • Display 
  • Standard display campaign

✔️ Create your campaign

Campaign name: DSK

  1. Location: United States 
  2. Target “Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations” 
  3. Exclude “Presence: People in your excluded locations (recommended)
  4. Languages: English
  5. Bidding: Maximize conversions
  6. Budget: $30
  7. Additional settings 
  8. Optimize: Prefer best performing ads
  9. Ad schedule: All day
  10. Skip Start and end dates
  11. Devices: Show on all devices
  12. Campaign URL options: Your preference / if you want to set it
  13. Dynamic ads: Uncheck “Use dynamic ads for personalized ads” (if you’re on a lower budget)
  14. Product filter: No filter
  15. Conversions: Account-level conversions setting
  16. Content exclusions: keep the default setting

✔️ Create your ad group

Ad group name: DSK Ad Group

  1. Skip Audiences

However, if you built your custom audiences, go to Browse > Your custom audiences > select your audience.

2. Skip Demographics
3. Content targeting: put your DSK keywords here
3.
Keyword Setting: Choose “Content: Only show ads on webpages, apps, and videos related to these keywords.”
4.
Target expansion: Use it with an “off” in the beginning

✔️ Create your ads

  • Final URL: This depends on what your ad says. (e.g. For multiple products, send them to your “collections” page)
  • Images and Logos: scan your page by pasting your URL > Select the photos you want to use
  • Videos: add your videos (use them sparingly)
  • Headline: Add your headlines here > Choose “Google Properties” to view your headlines.
  • Make your images and headlines relevant and expansive enough to offer choices.
  • Long headline: you can be more descriptive here. 

Business name: Use title case URL:

https://yellowbirdfoods.comYellowBirdFoods.com
This gives you a little bit of brand recognition.

Additional format options: Check all.

Once finished, Click Create Campaign > Continue to campaign

PART NINE:

Optimization

  1. Prerequisites 

  2. Daily Optimization

  3. Weekly Optimization

  4. Monthly Optimization

  5. Annual Optimization

After your campaigns are built, the deep work begins. 

We’re talking optimization. 

We’re not going to lie: optimization is time-consuming and super important to the success of your campaigns. That said, keep in mind that improper optimization (i.e. changing things too frequently) is equally as detrimental.

With that out of the way, let’s jump in:

Prerequisites

Back in Part One, you determined Google Ads was right for your business and (hopefully) used our estimates and projections calculator to determine the expected performance of your campaigns post-launch.

Using those predictions (in conjunction with our ROAS calculator), it’s time to revisit your goals and document them. 

  • What is your target CPA
  • ROAS?
  • What are your main key performance indicators?

Daily Optimization

On a daily basis, there won’t be a lot of optimizations to make; however, it is important to check your account daily for:

☐ Ad Disapprovals
☐ Budgets
Review spend per day and per campaign: Are you spending the daily budget?
☐ Credit Card Declines
☐ Active Conversion Tags
Catching these issues early can save you during your optimizations later.

Weekly Optimization

☐ Review Your Budget and KPI Goals
Are you on track with your budget? 
ROAS goal?

☐ CPA and ROAS Bid: Review
Does your current CPA bid match your target?
If not, optimize!

☐ Search Terms: Review and Qualify

☐ Add Negative Keywords at the appropriate level (account, campaign, or ad group)

☐ Add Positive Search Terms that you aren’t bidding on as keywords (appropriate match type)

☐ Add a Coded Negative Keyword at the account level using the following naming convention: “gads+[YYYYMMDD]+checkin” So, for example: [gads20210927checkin]

☐ Budget: Check to Ensure Spend is on Target

☐ Products, Ads, and Extensions: Check Eligibility

☐ Are there more than 1,000 products? 
☐ Check for Shopping Campaign disapprovals
☐ Check Ad eligibility (showing or not showing and why) 
☐ Check Ad extensions eligibility (showing or not showing and why) 

☐ Tracking Codes and Actions

☐ Check Google Tag to ensure remarketing is firing more than 0% with eComm ProdID
☐ Confirm all codes are intact (GTM, Analytics, etc.)
☐ Test conversion actions (forms, downloads, phone numbers)

☐ CallTrackingMetrics (If Using)

☐ If you are using CTM, review and manually score your recorded calls

Monthly Optimization

☐ Product Performance (Analyze and Include/Exclude as Needed)

☐ Go to “Product Groups” and check if the products are distributed at item ID leveL
If not, split them into IDs
☐ Sort by Conversions: Check if ROAS (last 30/60/90 days) is above par (3x or more)
☐ Sort by Clicks: Check if clicks are above 50 and ROAS is below par them EXCLUDE 

☐ Identify Keyword Opportunities from Google Ads Interface

☐ Go to each ad group (under each campaign) 
☐ Hit the “+” button and check the keyword suggestions 
☐ Take relevant keywords and populate them in a Google Sheet for each campaign/adgroup 
☐ Check with your Specialist for approval and add to the respective ad groups when approved

☐ Check Bidding Strategy Performance 

☐ See if the bidding strategy in use is performing as expected

☐ Check CTR on High-Performing Assets

☐ Check CTR on high performing assets Videos, products, keywords, ads, etc 
☐ Make a note of the CTR for the last month 
☐ Look into optimization to improve CTR

☐ Check Auction Insights and Impression Share 

☐ Check for new competitors bidding on your keywords, especially Brand Keywords 
☐ Add these competitor brand keywords in your competitors campaign (if applicable) 
☐ Check increase/decrease in impression share 
☐ Accordingly optimize bids to mitigate the change (if applicable) 

☐ Check Analytics Goals Vs. Conversion Actions

☐ Check if identical Goals are being tracked properly in Google Analytics 
☐ Check if the Analytics Goals are in line with Conversion Actions (and vice-versa) 
☐ Create Analytics Goals if missing 

☐ Check and Optimize Bid Adjustments 

☐ Check:

☐ Device bid adjustments 
☐ Demographics ID adjustment 
☐ Day/Time/Hour bid adjustment 
☐ Location bid adjustment 
☐ Audience bid adjustment

☐ Quality Score Review 
How many keywords fall under the following buckets? 

  • QS < 3 
  • QS 3-7 
  • QS 8-10 

☐ For keywords with a low quality score (QS < 3) create ad headlines with the low QS keyword (in other words, make sure your ads are relevant)
☐ Audience Segments: Analyze and Create New Segments (if Needed)
☐ Test New Ads 
If there are improvement opportunities (and ONLY if there are improvement opportunities): 

☐ Test new headlines (use different ad angles) 
☐ Switch headline position 
☐ See if it would make sense to test these ads evenly Vs. Google’s optimization

Annual Optimizations

Each year, it’s a good time to review your products and campaign data from the year prior. Consider: 

☐ ​​The Seasonality of Your Products
How does this impact your campaign year-round?
☐ Cyclical Products
☐ Time Lag for Busy Season
☐ Long Term Value of New Vs Returning clients
☐ Updating Your ROAS Goal
Set your ROAS goal using annual customer value

Other Optimizations: Display Network

Display Campaigns: Look at where your ads are showing and make exclusions as needed (if they aren’t relevant).

From the Google Ads dashboard:

  1. Placements
  2. Where ads showed
  3. Select irrelevant sites and exclude 

What’s Next?

You’re ready to fly, friend!

But if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the idea of running these campaigns on your own, the Solutions 8 YouTube channel is chock full of educational content including step-by-step tutorials, detailed explanations, and the latest updates and to help you along your Google Ads journey. 

Subscribe to 
The Solutions 8 YouTube Channel

Or, you can sign up for Traffic Ahead, the weekly newsletter that rounds up the best Google Ads content and delivers it straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to 
Traffic Ahead: The Sol8 Weekly Update

“Glad to have met the team at Solutions 8. Their creative minds have really given our business the competitive edge we needed through digital marketing. I highly recommend Solutions 8 for their creativity and personal attention, I can’t say enough about how EXCELLENT Soultions 8 is!”
Tim Lyons
Founder || ProFit Marketing Solutions
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