For many ecommerce businesses, Google Ads is a foundational part of their strategy. As much as 18% of all ecommerce revenue is a direct result of Google Ads. However, Google Ads is a large platform with numerous options, making it challenging to determine which features are relevant for your business.

This guide will walk you through the entire Google Ads platform, focusing on strategies that will provide maximum impact for your ecommerce business.

Building on a Solid Foundation

Before diving into Google Ads, it’s crucial to determine if it’s a good fit for your business. While ecommerce stores can gain significant sales from Google Ads, this isn't always the case for every business.

Sufficient Budget:
Some advertisers may not have or may not want to invest the money required to test Google Ads. It’s essential to recognize that you shouldn’t expect to run a profitable campaign from day one. Your first objective should be to get familiar with the platform and understand the results you can achieve.

Recommended Budget:

  • Bare minimum: $10/day for a month
  • Ideal minimum: $1,000/month

Your budget may need to be larger depending on factors such as industry competitiveness, sales cycle length, and profit margins. If your budget is small, keep the number of products or keywords low to avoid spreading your budget too thin.

Store Prerequisites:
Two stores with the same budget can see vastly different results. One might turn a profit despite making basic mistakes, while the other loses money with every click despite running perfect campaigns. This can often be attributed to three key factors:

  1. Product knowledge
  2. Unit economics that make sense
  3. Proper infrastructure: email capture, cart abandonment strategies, welcome and repeat customer programs

These factors are essential to get right before starting with Google Ads. They can make the difference between making and losing money.

Google Ads Strategy

Google Ads is a platform that allows you to advertise in different places, using various campaign types and ad formats. The first step is to figure out which of these are relevant to your business at this point and which to save for later.

Campaign Order:
Starting with the right campaign types in the correct order can make a significant difference. Based on years of experience, here is a suggested order:

  1. Standard Shopping Ads
  2. Dynamic Remarketing Ads
  3. Search Ads
  4. Performance Max
  5. YouTube Ads
  6. Demand Gen
  7. Display Ads

This order minimizes mistakes and simplifies the process.

Levels of Complexity:
Within each campaign type, there is also a lot of complexity. This guide is divided into three levels:

  1. Beginner: Start here if you’re new to Google Ads
  2. Intermediate: For those with some experience wanting to refine their approach
  3. Expert: For those who know how to get results and want more of them

Focus on mastering the beginner steps before moving up to more advanced strategies.

Google Ads Basics

While Shopping Ads require additional setup, most other campaign types share the same basics. The most important thing is having a Google Ads account, which is free to create.

Google Ads Interface (Beginner):
The Google Ads interface is where you control everything. It might look different depending on the interface version Google is rolling out. The first two columns are for navigation, and the graph section gives a quick overview of account performance. Click data is crucial to see what’s working and what’s not.

Google Ads Editor (Intermediate):
This is a free tool by Google designed for power users, allowing for bulk changes, copy/paste actions, offline work, and more efficient management. It saves time and helps with large-scale edits.

Google Analytics (Beginner):
Google Analytics 4 is useful for getting an outside perspective on what’s happening in your store. Make sure to configure ecommerce tracking, link Google Ads and Google Analytics, and keep auto-tagging switched on.

Shopping Ads

Shopping Ads often take the largest share of Google Ads spend for ecommerce businesses. They bring in high-quality visitors that convert well but require more setup than Search campaigns.

Product Feed (Beginner):
To run Shopping Ads, you need a product feed, essentially a big spreadsheet with all your product information. Most ecommerce platforms have apps or plugins to handle this.

Google Merchant Center (Beginner):
This free tool connects your product feed to Google’s system. Ensure your product data is accurate and resolve any errors before moving to Google Ads.

Performance Max vs. Standard Shopping Campaigns (Beginner):
Performance Max automates many tasks but offers less control. If you're just starting, Standard Shopping Ads are recommended. Add negative keywords to refine where your ads appear.

Bidding Strategy (Intermediate):
Starting out, use Manual CPC. As you gather conversion data, test automated strategies like Target CPA or Target ROAS.

Shopping Campaign Structure (Intermediate):
Structure your campaigns to bid differently for various search queries. Use campaign priority settings and custom labels to allocate your budget efficiently.

Bid Adjustments (Intermediate):
Adjust bids based on devices, ad schedule, location, and audiences to optimize performance.

Product Feed Optimization (Expert):
Optimize your product feed by focusing on product titles, identifiers, and images. Properly formatted and detailed feeds improve ad performance.

Google Remarketing Ads

Remarketing Ads are a type of Display Ad shown to people who have visited your website. They can be highly effective but require proper setup.

Static Remarketing Ads (Beginner):
These ads show the same content to all visitors. Create separate ads for specific pages on your site to increase relevance.

Dynamic Remarketing Ads (Intermediate):
These ads display the exact products a visitor viewed. They require a more complex tracking code but can be very effective.

Creating Effective Remarketing Ads (Beginner):
Use responsive display ads to provide Google with various assets. Monitor which assets perform best and adjust accordingly.

Remarketing Audience Segments (Beginner):
Target different segments of your audience based on their behavior. Create specific campaigns for product viewers and cart abandoners to increase conversions.

Google Search Ads

Search Ads are what most people think of when they hear "Google Ads." They offer a lot of freedom and options but require careful setup to be effective.

Settings (Beginner):
Opt out of Search Partners and Display Network when starting. Use Manual CPC for initial campaigns to maintain control.

Keywords & Match Types (Beginner):
Select the right keywords and match types to balance traffic volume and buying intent. Use specific keywords and match types to refine targeting.

Search Ads Campaign Structure (Intermediate):
Organize campaigns to ensure the right ad appears for the right query. Split campaigns by branded and non-branded searches, country, and language.

Search Ads (Beginner):
Create responsive search ads by providing Google with multiple headlines and descriptions. Monitor performance and make adjustments as needed.

Ad Assets/Extensions (Beginner):
Use ad extensions to increase visibility and click-through rates. Experiment with different types to see what works best.

Bidding (Intermediate):
Start with Manual CPC and test automated strategies as you gather more data. Compare performance metrics to optimize bidding.

Dynamic Search Ads (Intermediate):
Use your product feed to create dynamic search ads that automatically populate headlines based on user queries. This can be a low-cost way to target a wide range of keywords.

Google Performance Max

Performance Max campaigns show ads across all of Google’s placements, including Search, Shopping, Display, YouTube, Discover, and Maps. They heavily rely on automation.

Campaign Structure (Intermediate):
Organize campaigns to ensure you have enough data for effective optimization. Avoid over-segmenting and ensure campaigns have enough conversions to optimize effectively.

Creative (Intermediate):
Decide on the assets to include in your campaigns. Providing only the product feed can focus the campaign on Shopping Ads, while adding headlines and images opens up more placements.

Audience Signal (Intermediate):
Use audience signals to guide Google’s initial targeting, which will then expand based on performance.

Search Themes (Intermediate):
Add search themes to guide Google on the keywords relevant to your campaign.

Google Display Ads

Display Ads appear on the Google Display Network, including YouTube, Gmail, and millions of websites. They require a different approach compared to Search and Shopping Ads.

Creative (Beginner):
Use responsive display ads to combine logos, images, and text. Design custom banners to better match your brand if necessary.

Targeting Options (Beginner):
Target specific demographics, keywords, topics, placements, and audience segments. Test different options to find what works best.

Display Campaign Structure (Intermediate):
Organize campaigns by targeting options and ad groups to isolate and test different strategies.

YouTube Ads for Ecommerce

YouTube Ads tap into a massive platform with significant potential but require a unique approach.

Campaign Subtypes (Beginner):
Choose the right campaign subtype based on your goals. "Drive conversions" is often the best option for ecommerce.

Video Ad Formats (Beginner):
Understand the different ad formats: skippable in-stream ads, non-skippable in-stream ads, shorts ads, in-feed video ads, bumper ads, outstream ads, and masthead ads.

High Budget Creative (Expert):
Invest in high-quality production if your budget allows. Professional videos can have a significant impact.

Low Budget Creative (Intermediate):
Create effective ads with fewer resources by leveraging user-generated content and repurposing videos from other platforms.

Targeting (Beginner):
Use detailed demographics, competitor channels, life events, and retargeting options to reach the right audience.

Bidding (Beginner):
Choose the appropriate bidding strategy based on your campaign objectives. Test different strategies to optimize performance.

Build Your Channel (Beginner):
Invest time in making your YouTube channel look professional to convert viewers into subscribers.

Product Feeds & YouTube Ads (Intermediate):
Enable your product feed with YouTube Ads to feature products alongside your video ads.


This guide has provided a comprehensive overview of using Google Ads for ecommerce, covering various campaign types, strategies, and optimization techniques. By following these steps, you can effectively use Google Ads to drive traffic and sales to your ecommerce store.

Remember, the key to success with Google Ads is continuous testing and optimization. Start with the basics, refine your approach, and gradually implement more advanced strategies as you gain experience. Stay focused, be patient, and leverage the power of Google Ads to grow your ecommerce business.