Generating consistent traffic and sales for your ecommerce store is one of the biggest challenges faced by both new and established ecommerce stores. Google Ads for ecommerce provides you with an opportunity to drive targeted traffic and generate sales profitably.

If you are new to ecommerce Google Ads and don’t know where to start, this detailed actionable guide is for you. You’ll understand Google Ads, their importance for ecommerce stores, the best types of campaigns most suited for ecommerce, and how to get started from scratch.

Let's get down to (ecommerce) business!

Why Run Google Ads for Your Ecommerce Business?

Google Ads provide ecommerce businesses with a wide range of benefits, making them an essential component for success:

1. Instant Traffic (and hopefully sales!)

Most ecommerce businesses, especially newly launched ones, struggle with traffic, conversions, and sales. Converting visitors into customers is a big challenge for ecommerce stores, followed by attracting the right type of customer. Google Ads gives you access to targeted traffic almost instantly. The moment you launch your store, you can drive traffic via Google Ads. If you have a great product, a well-optimized website, and a good user experience, driving traffic to it will ultimately generate sales.

2. Advanced Targeting Features

Google Ads offers a wide range of targeting options to ecommerce businesses, making it easier to reach your target audience. You can target audiences based on demographics, affinity, in-market, life events, keywords, and more. For example, Google Search ads trigger for selected keywords and are typically given preference over organic search (SEO) results. The end goal is to show your ads to the right people searching for your product at the right time.

3. Massive Reach

Google has one of the biggest ad networks in the world with the highest market share and ad revenue share in the US. The Google Display Network (GDN) has more than 2 million websites, apps, and videos, and its search engine has the highest market share in the world. A Google Ads campaign gives you access to 91% of global search traffic and more than 2 million websites and apps. Growing your ecommerce business and connecting with your audience, irrespective of how diverse and dispersed your market is, isn’t a big deal with Google Ads.

4. Cost-Effective

The average Google Search Ads CPC across all industries in 2023 was $4.22 with an average conversion rate of around 7%. These figures make Google Ads quite cost-effective compared to other forms of marketing, such as traditional advertising. For instance, the average cost to reach 1,000 viewers on TV is $47.14 with no guarantee of interaction or conversion. The low cost of Google Ads reduces your customer acquisition cost (CAC), leading to a higher customer lifetime value (CLV). Low CAC increases revenue and helps you make more money with the same number of customers and the same transactions. The cost efficiency of Google Ads has numerous positive outcomes for ecommerce businesses both in the short and long term.

5. Trackable ROI

Measuring ROI is complicated for most marketing and advertising campaigns. Google Ads are different as they provide trackable ROI and ROAS for ecommerce businesses. You can set up transactional values and attribution models in Google Analytics to track ROI at a granular level for your ads. This makes proving ROI for your ad campaigns a straightforward task. Google Ads calculates and reports ROI and ROAS if you have set up conversion tracking on your website. You can use this guide from Google to set up conversion on your store for the calculation of ROI.

Before Starting…

Follow this checklist and make sure you have all of these in functional condition before you head over to Google Ads to create your first campaign:

  • A functional, responsive ecommerce store: Your website should work on all types of devices, including mobile, desktop, and tablet. Your payment gateway should be embedded and functional.
  • Sales funnel: Have a functional sales funnel integrated with your store, including email marketing/marketing automation tools or a CRM tool to set up a sales funnel for ecommerce.
  • Active Google Ads account: You should have a Google Ads account with an active payment method. If you don’t have a Google Ads account yet, head here to create one.
  • Budget: Have a realistic ad budget to spend on Google Ads. Although there’s no minimum daily budget to get started, more spend means more data and faster learning.

Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center allows retailers to upload and manage their store and product data. Setting up Google Merchant Center is essential for ecommerce businesses, as it imports product data back into Google Ads for use in Shopping, Performance Max, Demand Gen, and Display campaigns.

How does Google Merchant Center work?

  • Product Data Upload: It typically takes product feed data from your CMS (Shopify, WordPress, Magento), including product titles, images, prices, reviews, availability, and other key attributes. You can also use a manual feed like a Google Sheet to upload your product data.
  • Data Synching: Merchant Center provides diagnostic tools to keep the product listings current and accurate. It automatically syncs changes in inventory or pricing from your CMS.

Why Google Merchant Center Is Essential for Google Ads

  • Visibility Across Google: Merchant Center ensures that a retailer’s products are visible where users search for them on Google for more specific shopping-related queries across Google’s networks.
  • Performance Tracking: Merchant Center allows for detailed tracking of how products are performing within ads, offering insights crucial for optimizing campaigns and budgets.

Setting up and optimizing Google Merchant Center is beyond the scope of this post, as it deserves its own dedicated resource!

Types of Ecommerce Google Ads Campaigns You Can Run

Google Ads has a wide range of campaign types for advertisers to choose from. All campaign types have their place for ecommerce business to achieve sales, but some are better than others:

1. Shopping Campaigns

  • Where do shopping ads appear? Google Search results page, Shopping/Product ad tab, Google Search, Google Images, and Google search partner websites.
  • Ad formats: Shopping ads are created by your product listing data from Google Merchant Center.
  • Best for: Sales!

Standard shopping ads should be the first campaign type ecommerce businesses use, as they provide more data access (like search terms) and control compared to Performance Max campaigns.

2. Search Campaigns

  • Where do search ads appear? Google Search results page and Google search partner websites.
  • Ad formats: Text ads.
  • Best for: Targeting people searching for specific things on Google.

Search ads help you target users across the awareness funnel (top, middle, bottom) with specific ad creative and messaging.

3. Performance Max Campaigns

  • Where do Performance Max ads appear? Google Search, Display, YouTube, Discover, Maps, and Gmail.
  • Ad formats: Image, text, and video.
  • Best for: Generating ecommerce sales without focusing on a single Google Ads campaign type.

Performance Max lets you show ads across all Google channels from a single campaign. This campaign is suitable for sales, top-funnel awareness, remarketing, and local store visits.

4. Display Campaigns

  • Where do display ads appear? Google Display Network of websites and apps.
  • Ad formats: Banner ads (static and animated images), Responsive Display ads with images and text, and product feed remarketing.
  • Best for: Brand awareness campaigns targeting top-of-the-funnel audiences or lower-funnel remarketing.

Display ads let you run ads across Google’s massive network of websites and apps, targeting users via a wide selection of audience types.

5. Local Campaigns

  • Where do local ads appear? Google Maps.
  • Ad formats: Local inventory ads and local product listing ads.
  • Best for: Driving customers to your physical store or website from a specific location near or around your store.

Local ads help you reach a local target audience through ads that appear in different locations, including Google Maps and Search.

6. Demand Gen Campaigns

  • Where do Demand Gen ads appear? Discover feed, YouTube Shorts and in-feed, Gmail.
  • Ad formats: Image, text, video, carousel, and product feed ads.
  • Best for: Brand awareness campaigns to reach a wider audience or lower-funnel remarketing.

Demand Gen campaigns (previously Discovery campaigns) show ads on Google-owned properties like Discover, YouTube, and Gmail.

7. YouTube Campaigns

  • Where do YouTube ads appear? YouTube.
  • Ad formats: Video.
  • Best for: Brand awareness, brand consideration, and ecommerce sales.

YouTube campaigns are suitable for video ads that appear on YouTube. These ads are most suitable for brand awareness campaigns targeting the top of the funnel.

How to Set Up a Google Ads Campaign for An Ecommerce Website?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started with Google Ads and set up your first ecommerce campaign:

1. Set up your Google Ads account

If you don’t have a Google Ads account, you need to create one by clicking this link. Click "Start now" to begin with an existing Google account or create a new one from scratch. You’ll be asked to add your business details and payment information. You can link other Google accounts like Business Profile and YouTube channel. Follow the instructions to complete the account setup and get started with your first express campaign.

2. Define your campaign objective

You’ll notice that when you create a new Google Ads account, Google prompts you to create a new campaign right away. You can follow on-screen instructions to set up your account and have your first campaign ready (which can be tweaked later). If you have an account already, sign in and click the "+" sign to create a new campaign. Select a campaign objective from the given list. For ecommerce stores, "Sales" is generally the best choice, though it’s not essential. Other objectives include leads, website traffic, local store visits and promotions, and awareness and consideration.

3. Set bidding strategy

Your Google Ads bidding strategy depends on what you want to focus on. Sales are generally focused on conversions or conversion value. Clicks and impressions are other optimization techniques that aren’t always suitable for ecommerce stores unless you are running a broad top-funnel brand awareness campaign. You can set a target cost per action for conversion, helping you optimize your budget and avoid overspending on conversions. This is helpful for keeping CAC low or manageable.

4. Campaign Settings

After selecting a bidding strategy, you need to tweak campaign settings. This includes selecting the network, locations, languages, audiences, broad match keywords, and other settings. For example, if you’re new to Google Ads, read about common mistakes to avoid. Select the correct targeting options for your ads to ensure they reach the right audience. You can also select language and audience segments based on interests, demographics, and other variables.

5. Keyword research

Keywords are essential for a Search campaign as your ads are triggered based on search queries. Ensure your ads trigger for the right queries with the right search intent. Google Ads generates keywords automatically based on your product. You can add and exclude keywords from the list. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SpyFu for keyword research to find PPC campaigns and keywords your competitors target.

6. Write compelling ad copy

After adding keywords, create ads relevant to the product page and keywords. Google Ads generates headlines and descriptions based on product URLs and keywords. Use a built-in AI tool to create headlines and descriptions automatically. Ensure your ad copy and asset selection are relevant to the landing page and product you are promoting.

7. Set Your Budget

Select a daily budget from the given options or choose your daily budget for the campaign. Google suggests an average daily budget based on your campaign settings, but you can set it to whatever you like. If you don’t have an end date for the campaign, you’ll have to manually pause it from your Google Ads account.

8. Launch, Monitor & Optimize Your Campaign!

All Google Ads campaigns require monitoring, tracking, and ongoing optimization. After publishing a campaign, monitor its performance. Basic checks and optimizations include monitoring spending, checking keywords that trigger your ads, adding expensive but low converting keywords to the negative keyword list, and optimizing ads with high CTR but low conversion rates.


For ecommerce businesses looking to drive targeted traffic and increase revenue, running Google Ads is a must. Setting up your Google Ads account and managing multiple campaigns can be overwhelming. Consider using an ecommerce Google Ads agency like us to improve and maintain your ad performance, product feed management, reporting, auditing, experimentation, conversion tracking, and more. Let us handle the Google Ads growth engine while you focus on growing your business. Contact us today to see how we can help you improve your campaigns’ profitability. We also offer free Google Ads audits to qualifying brands and businesses.