Paid Search Basics for eCommerce Marketers: Getting the Most Out of Google Ads



In the age of fast networks, ubiquitous connectivity, and mobile devices, eCommerce marketers can leverage powerful solutions to target the precise type of customers they’re looking to sell to—all while being able to use a “set it and forget it” approach thanks to automation. If you’re going to use programmatic advertising in an upcoming paid search campaign, chances are you’re going to use the most popular solution on the market: Google Ads.

Google Ads is a programmatic advertising solution that enables you to promote products and services to consumers that meet specific criteria (e.g., watched a specific video on YouTube or searched for a particular keyword or phrase on Google).

Because Google is the most popular search engine on the planet, advertisers that use Google Ads are able to cast a fairly wide net when trying to reach and attract new prospects.  

For this reason, it comes as no surprise that Google commands nearly three-quarters of the entire paid search market.

How does the Google Ads platform work?

Getting up and running with Google Ads is easy. You just need to create ads, set your budget, bid on search terms (i.e., keywords), and voila, your ads will appear across Google properties when you have the winning bid.

But you don’t want to just appear on Google websites. You want to be at the top! 

To increase the chances of that happening, you need to optimize your Quality Score, a metric assigned to your ads based on the engagement they receive (e.g., the click-through rate). This is the most important metric to pay attention to when you’re just starting out.

As you prepare your campaigns, you’ll need to select the geographic location you want your ads to appear. For example, if you own a boutique in Manhattan, you’ll want to target consumers in New York City—not in Dallas. You will also need to determine which match type to go with, which you can learn more about here.

Of course, there’s also the creation of the ads itself, which involves picking the right keywords, writing eye-catching copy, and creating intuitive landing pages that convert. For more information on how to create winning Google Ads, check this out.

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What are the different types of Google Ads?

Beyond these considerations, you will also need to determine which type of campaign to go with. Google gives you many options:

  • Search campaigns enable your ads to appear alongside Google searches for the keywords you’re targeting.
  • Display ads allow you to target consumers as they browse the web and hop from app to app.
  • Video ads are displayed in YouTube videos and in videos hosted by Google partners.
  • Shopping campaigns enable retailers to drive traffic to their brick-and-mortar and online stores, with Google creating the ads themselves.
  • App campaigns are designed to help companies get their apps into the hands of more users.
  • Local campaigns are specifically designed to encourage consumers to enter brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Smart campaigns use automation to continuously optimize campaigns; if you’re new to Google Ads, this will be enabled by default.
How eCommerce brands should approach Google Ads?

If you are a brand looking to break into paid search or build out your existing paid media strategy, you can’t go wrong with using Google Ads. According to Google, businesses generate $8 in profit for every $1 they spend on the network—a massive 800 percent ROI!

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you get your first campaigns underway:

  • Success doesn’t happen overnight. Although Google does a great job at eliminating the learning curve, if you’re new to paid search, you shouldn’t expect to knock it out of the park overnight. Remember, patience is a virtue.
  • Your ads can always improve. For the best results, take an iterative approach to your ads. Measure the performance of your campaigns, see what’s working and what isn’t, and make adjustments to get better results over time.
  • Test different channels. Your ads are unlikely to get the same results across all channels. Just like you’re going to be testing the performance of the ads themselves, you should also look to determine which channels seem to be most supportive of your creative and narrow your focus accordingly.

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