Top Google Ads Strategies for E-commerce Businesses and Brands in 2022
If you are running an E-commerce business and are working hard to grow your brand, you might wonder if you’re ticking all the boxes when it comes to setting up and managing your Google Ads campaigns. To help confirm your thinking, or suggest where to tweak, we’ve put together several proven ideas and strategies to help boost your Google advertising marketing campaigns.
1. Google Trends For Thinking Outside The Box
Google Trend is a free tool available to provide invaluable insights for marketers to leverage and rocket fuel your marketing campaigns. Google Trend gives you many beneficial metrics, including statistics on levels of interest and demand, top and rising keywords and topics for your niche, competition comparison performance and more. You can also get a closer look at your target market, by filtering your search by your target country, time frame and even channel placement, i.e. Youtube, Search, Shopping, etc.
We find checking these particular metrics invaluable for getting an overview of campaign performance and more clarity on detail:
- Interest over time – especially for identifying seasonality for your niche
- Category and subcategory analysis
- Trends in your market and habit changes
- Identifying keyword opportunities
- Monitor competitor positions to work on relative advantage
- Scan queries made by customers for your products and services to build keyword success
- Find more here
2. Keywords Research Across All Data Points Available
When it comes to running ads on Google, choosing the right keywords play the most crucial role as choosing the correct keyword with the searcher’s intent in mind can only lead to higher intent traffic and more leads or sales for your business.
Understanding keyword categories is crucial to reaching the customers closest to making buying decisions. Selecting different types at different points in campaign development is an evolving process. Going for a broader keyword while learning what words customers are more likely to respond to; by the same token they can just waste your budget and take you only so far. Don’t skip this step of learning, because it can be costly. A smart move can be to outsource the early stages of your campaign set up and management, while your marketing teams learn the ropes.
To conduct your keyword research, you can use Google’s free keyword planner for a good starting point. If you’re after a more comprehensive and detailed study of relevant terms, we strongly recommend using some of the paid tools available, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs or MOZ. Given keywords are at the heart of all your Google ads strategies, these tools can be one of your best ‘basics’ investments.
If you’ve been using Google ads already, you know that Google keywords are divided into three match types: Broad Match, Phrase Match and Exact Match. It is worth mentioning that Google made some major changes in terms of how match types work. Looking into how and when each work when researching your keywords is essential campaign preparation.
Another great way of researching your keyword success is by going through your website search reports. If your website has a search functionality in place and you’ve had some traction already, you can see what your website visitors are searching for the most, then incorporate those within your campaigns, building out long tail phrases and combinations for powering up traffic generation. If you have Google Analytics setup already, you can obtain this list from ‘Search Terms’ under Google’s ‘Behaviour’ section.
To dig into key word efficacy further, If your website has been up and running for a while and sees decent traffic numbers, check out which queries your customers use to find your products and services; this shows their thinking, so you can reach them faster and with more compelling ad messaging. From your Google Search Console you can obtain a list of your top queries which have appeared on organic searches on the SERP. Again, build upon what is working and monitor. If you see changes in trends, feed your findings back into your campaigns, so your Google advertising becomes a virtuous circle.
Alternatively, if you want to analyse your visitors’ keyword queries relating to your Google Paid PPC Ads, you can obtain comprehensive data on these Keywords in Google Analytics. Simply navigate to ‘Acquisition’ > ‘Google Ads’ > ‘Keywords’.
Capturing data at all customer touchpoints is the key to your optimisation and long-term profitability, as you can consistently act on priceless data on your customers’ demonstrated intent and subsequent behaviour following clicks. At AdsRunner, Google Analytics is our favourite tool to analyse data and build ever-more powerful marketing strategies.
3. Advertise Your Products On Google Shopping
Google Shopping Ads must be our favourite strategic pick for E-commerce brands selling their products online. You can attract quality and high intent traffic to your site by showcasing your products on Google Shopping, through both free product listing and paid ads.
With traditional text-based search results made by your customers, they have to click on ads, then visit your website to see what you’re offering, then they can decide whether your product is what they are after. In other words, there are a few steps in the buying process from this traditional ad format.
By contrast, shopping ads skip unnecessary clicks and bring you together with your customer faster and more conveniently for them, while they are ‘hot’. Following their product search, your enticing product’s image is displayed at the top of their window, together with essential purchasing decision elements, like price, reviews, or other descriptives. This marketing channel offers the advantage to you that they are only one click away from their final purchasing decision.
So moving away from text display ads, means, not only do you not get charged for wasted and unwanted clicks, but more importantly, your traffic has a much higher likelihood of making a purchase, as they are on your website with prior intent to purchase your product, reconfirmed by going to Shopping Cart and paying.
What this means for you as a seller is that you allow potential customers to gain an immediate impression of what you have available, that meets their criteria, right from Google. More importantly for achieving a higher return on your marketing budget, by attracting stronger purchasing-intent traffic. Remember, first impressions count for your customers looking for the best possible product or deal.
Google Shopping Campaign Options
When it comes to Google Shopping, your options are choosing between: Standard Shopping Campaigns, Smart Shopping Campaigns and Performance Max Campaigns (PMax). PMax is Google’s latest smart campaign type introduction, and in fact, all smart shopping campaigns will automatically be replaced by PMax campaigns by the end of September 2022, so why not gear up now to get ahead of your competition?
Smart Shopping campaigns are automated and A.I. driven using machine-learning, hence, they allow for very limited control by you on where and when your ads show up. This is why, when starting out, AdsRunner always recommend choosing ‘Standard Shopping’, to get a feel for what is going on when monitoring results and have more control in tuning and structuring your campaigns. This way while gathering your early data, you are building your understanding of how Shopping campaigns work and aspects of its performance; this in turn allows the Google’s A.I. to have good amount of data to refer to, when you start experimenting with Smart or PMax Campaigns.
For a comprehensive guide on how Performance Max Campaigns work, please visit our other blog here; Internal Link to Upcoming PMax Campaign
Once you get your shopping campaigns working profitably, we seriously recommend doubling down on Google Shopping incrementally, as it’s one of the best advertising campaign strategies for E-commerce brands.
4. Advertise on Google Search Ads
Google Search Ads may not benefit from such very high intent and conversion rates as Google Shopping ads (although not for all businesses), but they still do work like a charm for most E-commerce brands and businesses, when utilised correctly. Referring back to our second step above “Keywords Research”, it’s very important to identify your most promising keywords, or those that are proven to have brought the highest numbers of sales and conversions historically. Then target these high value keywords as ‘exact matches’ or ‘phrase matches’ specifically, instead of going for broader single keyword phrases.
Just to give you an example, let’s have a look at the following keywords:
Wedding Guest Dress
White Summer Dress
Dresses to Wear to a Summer Wedding
Maternity Summer Dresses
Long Summer Dress
As you can see, although broadly speaking the topic is related to “Dress”, each search is looking for something particular and entirely different. If you are targeting ‘Summer Dresses’, but you don’t have anything to suit women in maternity, or in a white colour in your range, or just not in stock right now, you don’t want to waste your budget advertising to those looking for such dresses. Hence, it’s very important to target the longer tail keywords matching your available product range, in order to best align with your ideal searcher’s specific intent.
5. Run Branded Search Ads
Another great way to promote your products on Google Search is by advertising branded keywords. Branded search terms are keywords that relate directly to your business or brand name, product manufacturers, or lines.
For example, if Nike was to target it’s branded terms, they might use some of the following keywords:
Nike Discount Code
Nike Running Shoes
Nike Air Max
Nike Air Force 1
Nike Air Jordan Shoes
Why are these choices of words so important? Good question. The answer is simple: people who search for your brand name or product names are people who are already familiar with that brand’s offering and have previously engaged with your brand array. Hence, when you show up with what they want, they find what they want faster and your ad benefits from very high intent and likelihood of conversion.
It’s worth targeting branded terms as both [exact brand term] and “phrase brand term”; this allows more room for common typos, extra spaces or misplaced vowels, which could impact the ads appearance against the ‘user error’ search term.
6. Non-branded Search Ads To Target Engaged Audience
Advertising on Google Search Ads can be quite costly if you’re going to serve your ads to everyone and show against each and every search query. Even if you have a strong advertising and marketing budget, a scattergun approach to keywords may still not work so well for you, due to high competition on some of them. Targeting is everything.
A great way to narrow your focus and prioritise for campaigns is by targeting your weaker desired keywords and broader terms, but only advertising them to your pre-engaged audience. For instance, use them in retargeting those who have visited your website over the last year, or last week, to those who have abandoned their cart, or left their purchase incomplete, or even to your existing customer list.
This is all possible thanks to Google’s remarketing capabilities, which allows you to create custom audiences and segments, using your data segments, based on a user’s interactions with your website or app. You can read more about Google audience targeting capabilities here.
7. Remarketing Using Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)
Dynamic Search Ads (DSA), as the name suggests, are dynamically created ads, for pages on your website, without using keywords. DSAs use content from the landing pages on your site to create the most relevant ads to searchers.
You can choose to target a specific URL or a group, by defining rules such as URL_Contains or URL_Equals, or target all pages and exclude certain URLS from it. You can also target from categories generated by Google Ads. This is why Dynamic Ads work particularly well if your website benefits from a clear and clean structure of collections and products, as well as effective naming conventions used.
Although dynamic search ads work as a great complement to your existing search based campaigns, you may not want to go out there and capture all the searches you never guessed the keyword for. Instead, you can simply use them as a remarketing strategy and have them running by targeting your warm and engaged audience, i.e. those who have recently visited your website, added a product to their cart, or your existing customers.
This way, when your ads show up, users have a higher likelihood of clicking through as they have heard about your brand previously, are comfortably familiar with you, or they have possibly even purchased your products in the past. Familiarity benefits your brand.
8. Dynamic and Responsive Display Ads for Remarketing
Dynamic Display Ads (DDA) are another great tool you can use as a part of your Google Display Network marketing to remarket your products to your audiences. They’re a great complement to your other Search and Shopping campaigns. DDA’s use your data feed to generate and show personalised content to your audience, based on products they viewed on your website or app.
If you’re selling hundreds or thousands of products, it’s very difficult to adapt each ad’s message and content to each user, based on their interaction. Hence, Dynamic Ad campaigns save you tons of time by doing just that.
In addition, upload your assets to have access to all ads formats. You can upload up to 15 images and input logos in landscape and square formats. You’d also need to add a short and long headline, together with 5 descriptions, which will help google generate the responsive ads for you.
Advertisers can be somewhat confused when differentiating between DDA’s and Responsive Display Ads (RDA’s) – or likely as not, failing to understand the distinction. Briefly, here is how we think of it:
DDA’s ADAPT CONTENT; so your messages are tailored to the demonstrated interests and behaviours of your customers. The template is chosen, you then fill in the dynamic elements box, to capture potentially associated intentions of your segmented customer groups.
RDA’s ADAPT SIZE of your ad, to fit ad spaces or templates on Google’s network. You simply choose your text, which is then adapted to work for available advertising spaces online, be they headline banners, skyscrapers, boxes and so on.
Frankly, display ads are not the type of ads that bring in a lot of direct sales, as these DA’s show up when your targeted user audiences are generally busy doing something else; writing an email, watching YouTube, visiting a news website, or checking weather forecast, etc.
The idea is to have your ads displayed and make enough of an impression, such that you’re at the forefront of your audience’s mind at all times, until they are convinced to make a purchase. Coca Cola is a great example, everyone knows about this global megalith, but they still put so much effort to be everywhere they can, so that they are your obvious choice next time you want to order a soft drink.
9. Remarketing with YouTube Ads
If you’ve read our thoughts on YouTube Advertising, you must know that here at AdsRunner we’re a huge fan of YouTube Ads. Now, we understand that many advertisers are concerned that it can be quite costly when it comes to generating direct sales and conversions. However, if your budget is constrained, you can simply use it as a part of your remarketing strategy.
You can advertise to your website visitors, or those that viewed certain products, or you can choose to target the hot prospects at the very bottom of your sales funnel, like those who didn’t complete their checkout, or even your existing customers, to encourage them to come back for another purchase.
Why we love YouTube is probably exactly the reasons you do too, because you get to choose to sit back and relax and watch exactly the kind of content that suits your shifting mood. You get to choose content according to the time you have available to tune into what you love; YouTube accommodates whatever your fleeting desire to be entertained or informed by. In other words, this audience is relaxed to easily digestible formats. You can leverage that receptiveness, getting your branding and compelling messages right at the time they are viewing related content for which your offering is relevant.
YouTube advertising serves a variety of purposes and business objectives, be that building brand awareness, generating familiarity and trust to underpin potential buying decisions, to pro-actively drive new traffic, rekindle previous buyers’ interest in your offerings and connect audiences to you via new channels, such as social media. It’s a highly versatile marketing channel which can add weight to simultaneous campaigns you have running.
10. Exclude Irrelevant and Poor Keywords. Actively Maintain Negative Keywords List
As important as it is to find the right keywords to target within your Google Ads campaigns, it’s just as important to exclude irrelevant, low- or non-converting keywords from your campaigns, so that you don’t waste money paying for these again and again for diminished returns.
When it comes to Google Search Ads, no matter how hard you try to narrow down your keywords choices, your ads may be triggered by very similar keywords that may not be suitable for your brand. For example, these could be brand terms for other companies, for which you do not want to show up, only to have customers click away just as fast. Hence, it’s important to keep an eye on keyword performance to add irrelevant terms to your negative keyword list. You can add up to 5000 negative keywords per list and add them to your campaigns or ad groups, so your ads won’t be triggered by these again.
When it comes to Google Shopping Ads, you don’t get to choose which keywords your products and ads will show up against. However, if you’re running a ‘Standard Shopping’ campaign, you can exclude certain keywords by adding them as negative keywords into your campaigns, or ad groups; this way, your ads won’t show up against irrelevant searched leads to a highly converting campaign, with higher returns for less investment, i.e. campaign optimisation.
When it comes to Google Smart Shopping or Performance Max campaigns, you have very limited keyword exclusion possibilities. Google has confirmed, however, that “Account-level negative keywords will soon be available and can be used to exclude certain search terms from your Performance Max campaigns”
So that is our top 10 Google Ads strategies for e-commerce businesses covered for the time-being, but stay alert out there. Google is an ever-moving feast. If you’re running out of ideas, or stuck on a performance plateau, need some recommendations for scaling, have a general online advertising mental block, lack the in-house expertise, just drop us a line and let’s explore how we can scale your Google Ads campaigns with the best keywords for your marketing to reach its full capacity in 2022.