Google Ads Strategies for E-commerce Brands – Full Playbook

Table of Contents  

A detailed document on how to grow a Google Ads Account for an e-commerce brand

Contents 

  1. Basic Campaigns
    1. Branded Search
    2. Performance Max Campaign
  2. Campaign Expansion
  3. Top of the funnel Expansion
  4. Questions
  5. Insights 

Basic Campaigns

These are the set of basic campaigns brands should be running when starting Google ads

  • 1 Branded Search Campaign targeting keywords and their variation of the brand
  • 1 Shopping campaign for other products in top-sellers category
  • (Optional on budget) 1 Non-branded search campaign
  • Performance Max campaign (with or without assets) of best-sellers

Branded Search 

  • Target all branded keywords
  • Create a separate ad group from product-specific keywords if people are searching for your brand
    Ex: If they search product name directly “OG Power Player Trimmer” or “Blue-Black Trie Tie Coat” and if this is a unique name of your product then create a separate ad group for these keywords
  • Stick to target impression share campaign, but sometimes also test if manual CPC yields better results for you (as in some accounts it has)

Checkout a short video on must try Google ads tips

Performance Max 

  • Separate each of your best-seller categories by asset groups 
  • Aggressively check placement reports and exclude bad placements from targeting 
  • Bid strategy recommended to start with Maximise conversions and if you already have 25 to 30 conversions in last 30 days then
    • Move to tCPA if the products being advertised have same margins and selling price
    • Move to tROAS otherwise
  • This campaign has a bad habit of canabalizing your branded search campaigns, so exclude the rband name keyword list

If you need more info on our excluding bad placements check this video here

Campaigns Expansion

These are the set of basic campaigns that needs to be started once you are into the expansion phase of increasing budget and are satisfied with existing results.

Make sure to not use these campaigns as a way to improve performance when the other existing campaigns aren’t working. More often you will end up losing more

Onto the next

  • 1 Dynamic search ads, stick to certain product page URLs only and monitor the negative keyword list closely
  • 1 Discovery ad (or now Demand generation ad) Discovery with feed tends to perform better, use your best audiences from PMax to target here along with other assets.
    • Assets here should be about speaking to MOF audiences who are aware of product and category
  • 1 Performance Max campaign geared towards medium sell-through products with each product/category separated by asset groups
    • Assets must concentrate on both TOF and MOF audience 
    • Create separate audience signals for each category/product
    • Constantly monitor the listing group to exclude bad categories/product and avoid wasted spend

Checkout a short video on optimizing a landing page

Top of the funnel Expansion

This set of campaigns are a stepping-stone to increase the awareness which other campaigns can tap into. The metrics of measurement here isn’t strictly performance-based

  • 1 Skippable YouTube ad optimized for conversions. You can also consider using video sequencing to educate the audience
  • 1 Non-skippable YouTube ad but towards MOF and BOF audience. So the videos shouldn’t be about what the product is more about what is the differentiation of this product compared to others in the market
  • 1 Shopping campaign focused towards non-best sellers but good margins and sufficient search volume to bid 

Questions

  1. Does the above information even if you have high number of SKU’s?

    Answer

    Yes it does apply, but the context differs

    In case of a High number of SKU’s you have to proactively manage the active/inactive products based on spend and performance

    Use custom labels  to assign values on performance such as “best”, “good”, “mixed”, and “bad”, this can be generated by using spend, conversions, and performance

    It is essential to separate the products logically based on price, margin, best-sellers, category… to encourage better management and analysis
  1. What about remarketing with Google ads?

    Answer
    YouTube and display are good sources for remarketing and retargeting customers. For if the other campaigns are working, there will be an uptick in brand queries in search ads

    Display ads also serve to stay on top of customer’s minds during their journey of purchase.

    It is important to always lead with a different message for this audience compared to new customers

  2. Best way to improve Search, Shopping, and Performance Max performance?

    Answer
    The best way to improve search ads is to target white-space keywords – ones that have sufficient volume to drive consistent purchases but are underserved with ads.

    Ways to find them
    – Search term reports
    – Google keyword planner
    – Ask ChatGPT
    – Exclude high-competition terms from search keywords and look at others
    – Bid on education-based search terms where people describe the problem, as they aren’t aware of the solution

    For the Shopping and Performance Max campaign, work on improving the Google Merchant Centre feed. Consider going through all the available fields in Google merchant center. Add all fields relevant to the category

    In Performance, Max/Shopping ads recommended that products with a range of pricing starting (such as low 3 figures to high 3-figures) be
    separated into different campaigns as they have different audience sets through the same product

Insights

  • When certain products/categories are over-performing the targets, then consider a dedicated campaign to scale them more effectively
  • For high SKU business, consider weekly reporting on product sell-through as most of the sales might be concentrated towards certain products only and others might be wasteful spenders
  • Use search ads to extract keywords to optimize the Google shopping feed with the search terms
  • Dynamic keyword insertion in search ads helps marginally, do not expect big differences 
  • In the case of geo-specific ads mention the geo name in the ad copy to improve CTR

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Thank you for reading

If you have any questions you can reach out via LinkedIn

If you are an eCommerce brand looking to grow your brand, you can book a free call here

Till then, Adios!!