4 Secrets to a Successful eCommerce Google AdWords Campaign

Google AdWords is often a controversial topic for many eCommerce brands - there are those who swear by it and use it to drive the majority of their website traffic and then there are those that see the strategy as a costly and inefficient one. But it can be a profitable and effective way of driving sales … when done right.

There are many factors that make up a ‘successful Google Adwords campaign - including the right type of ads and copy, an appropriate level of investment, the relevant expertise and accurate reporting.

We also always recommend that, if you are using Google AdWords as part of your marketing strategy, you always run this alongside other longer-term activities. Google AdWords is great for driving sales quickly, but it is difficult to drive long-term brand awareness without a strategy that includes social media, content marketing, email etc.

If you’re cautious or curious about using Google AdWords to drive some additional sales, then here is our guide for eCommerce brands.

Types of Ads

There are various types of ads that you can use on the Google AdWords platform and they can all be used for varying aims and outcomes.

The most commonly known text ads are usually the most popular choice - however there may be others you haven’t even considered.

Text AdsText Ads

These are the ads that show up as the ‘top three’ (or four) sponsored listings when you search on Google and will have a small icon that indicates that these are ads. These are good for targeting specific search queries but aren’t as visual as other ad formats.

Display Network

Display Network ads are the ads you find on other websites outside of Google in the sidebar or header of a web page. The Display Network is good for reaching customers who aren't actively searching for your product but who are browsing websites with a similar offering to your brand/product. Images can be also used in these types of ads which allows for a more visual and engaging ad.

PLAsProduct Listings Ads / Shopping

Product Listings ads have been built with eCommerce brands in mind as they promote a visual image of the product along with price and product descriptions. These can be good for showing more information about your product and letting them see how it looks.

There are a few other ad formats you could potentially use but these are the top three that are better known. Knowing which one is right for you will determine the success of your campaign as each has a slightly different cost, reach and intention. Make sure you research each ad type and align each with your eCommerce goals so that you can be sure you’re using the right format.

BudgetBudget and Investment

The cost of Google AdWords is something that turns many eCommerce owners off or at the least makes them very cautious - and for good reason.

A poorly built Google AdWords campaign can eat up a significant budget. But how can you know what an appropriate budget is?

The honest answer is that you can never be 100% sure. Some campaigns can survive from £150 a month whilst others may need around £1,500 or more a month.

The level of budget you need depends on:

  • How competitive your industry is on Google AdWords - will your competitors outbid you?
  • How much profit you make on each product - how much can you afford to spend per product?
  • How optimised your website is - are your landing pages well-designed?
  • Which keywords you’re targeting - are you going to bid on popular terms or more niche search queries?

It’s also worth noting that your budget can easily be changed - you may find that you begin with a large budget but after a few months of running your campaigns, you choose to scale it back.

ExpertiseHiring an Expert

Google AdWords can be a very complicated platform with algorithms, bid settings and formats - so if you’re unfamiliar with how Google AdWords works, you may want to hire an expert.

An expert could be a digital marketing agency who manages your overall digital marketing strategy or it may be a consultant who you meet with every month who solely manages your Google AdWords campaign.

The important thing is that whoever is running your campaign needs to understand how to make it work for you and your business.

One of the many stories we hear from business owners is when they have tried Google AdWords but they’ve set the campaign up themselves. They have then seen less-than-pleasant results and written the platform off as a consequence.

However, working with an expert can make sure that your campaign is profitable.

Monitoring AdWordsMonitoring Results

The last thing (which may arguably be the most important element to consider) is making sure that you monitor your progress.

The worst thing you can do is set up a campaign and leave it running for six months without making any changes or amends.

Make sure to monitor your ads on a weekly or monthly basis and make tweaks to copy, times of day, ad spend and even your landing pages. A Google AdWords campaign is an ongoing, live marketing asset - it’s not a case of setting it up and leaving it.

This is also why you should hire an expert - you don’t want to make the wrong changes. This is also true for any digital strategy - for social, email and content. Monitoring results is crucial for continued success.

Google AdWords is full of data that you can review and export. Almost every metric is covered on their dashboard so take advantage of the significant level of insight you have available to you.

Do you need further help with your Google AdWords campaign?

If you have any further queries or need some additional information, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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