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  • Writer's pictureAustin Lynch

E-Commerce Business Owner’s Guide to Google Ads in 2024

google ad guide

As the digital landscape evolves, understanding how to leverage Google Ads can make a significant difference in your business's growth. Let's dive into the essentials of Google Ads and how you can harness it to scale your e-commerce business.


What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is a powerful digital advertising platform that allows businesses to show ads across Google's vast network, including its search engine, YouTube, and other participating websites. The platform offers unparalleled access to potential customers actively searching for products and services like yours.


Benefits of Running Ads on Google

Finding Your Ideal Customers

Google's massive reach can put your ads in front of your ideal customers. Google’s search engine processes over 8.5 billion searches per day. More than likely, your ICP (ideal customer profile) is making a few of these queries.


Flexibility

You can start, pause, and adjust your campaigns at any time. There also isn’t a limit to the level of ad spend required to launch ads in the platform.


Measurability

Google Ads provides detailed insights into your ad performance, enabling data-driven decisions. You can even link your Google Ads account to your GA4 (Google Analytics 4) view to ensure your campaigns are optimizing off of the same conversion events that you’re already reporting on!


Optimization

There are a number of optimization strategies available inside of Google Ads. If you are looking to scale your e-commerce business, you will most likely use a “Maximize Conversions”, a “Target ROAS” or a “Target CPA” strategy. If you are working on a “higher funnel” activity, you may want to bid on a CPC or Target Impression Share strategy. More on that later!


Google Ads Terms to Know

  • CPC (Cost Per Click): The amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

  • CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions): The amount of money you pay per 1,000 impressions. Rarely are you actually bidding on impressions inside of Google Ads, but this metric allows you to see your impression cost in a similar format as you would see Paid Social, Display or other paid ad channel costs.

  • CTR (Click-Through Rate): The percentage of people who click on your ad after seeing it. This is one of the best indicators of creative performance (if your creative is resonating with your target audience).

  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of clicks that lead to a desired action, such as a sale or sign-up.

  • Keyword: Words or phrases relevant to your products and services, which are used to show your ads in related search queries. These are typically entered into Google Ads as an “exact match”, “phrase match” or “broad match” targeting option. 

  • Term: Words or phrases that your ads are actually showing up for when your target audience makes a Google search query. If you are using phrase or broad match targeting, your search terms may be slightly different than your search keywords.

  • Negative Keywords: Words or phrases entered by your media buying professional that prevent your ad from being triggered by certain words or phrases.

  • Search Impression Share: Of the total number of search queries being made, relevant to your preferred keywords, this is the percentage that you are showing up for.

  • Click Share: Similarly, this is the percentage of clicks your ads are getting vs. the entire number of available search queries.

  • Impression Share Lost to Budget: This helps you understand how your budget is impacting your search impression share. This acts as an indicator of if you are spending too much or too little.

  • Impression Share Lost to Rank: Sometimes your ads aren’t showing because Google reads your ads and landing page experience as poor. This metric helps you understand if your post-click experience is keeping you from showing up for more queries, or if it is your budget.


How Does Google Ads Work?

Google Ads operates on an auction system, which takes place every time a user performs a search. Advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their business offerings, and the winners of the auction get their ads displayed to potential customers. The position of the ad depends on the bid amount and the quality of the ad experience (as determined by Google).


What Factors Influence Google Ads?

Bid Amount

Higher bids can improve the chance of your ad appearing in a better position. For example, if you tell Google you need a 50x ROAS on your product sales campaign - Google may not show any ad impressions (because it is having too hard of a time delivering on this goal). A lower goal, of say 3-4x, would likely drive far more impression and conversion volume.


Ad Quality

Google rewards high-quality ad experiences (especially those that are relevant, well-written, and leading to a good user experience) with better positioning and lower costs.


Competition

The level of competition for your keywords can affect your ad's visibility and cost. More competition often means higher cost and increased difficulty achieving impression and conversion volume.


Targeting Settings

How well you target your ads can influence who sees them and how effectively you reach potential customers.


Types of Google Ads Campaigns

Search Campaigns

Ideal for businesses looking to appear in search engine results. This is best for capturing a user’s purchase intent when at its highest.


Display Campaigns

Suitable for awareness goals, using visual ads that appear on the Google Display Network. This often works great for e-commerce businesses with visually appealing products.


Shopping Campaigns

Perfect for e-commerce businesses wanting to showcase their products directly in Google Search results. This campaign type relies on Google Merchant Center to serve product placements.


Video Campaigns

Best for businesses aiming to engage users with compelling video content on YouTube and other platforms.


App Campaigns

Ideal for businesses looking to promote app installations across Google's networks.


Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) Bidding

Uses the advertiser’s goal profitability level to acquire customers and conversions profitably.


Maximize Conversion Value (Revenue) Bidding

Focuses on driving the maximum amount of revenue possible within your budget allowance.


Target Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) Bidding

Goal of acquiring customers at a specific acquisition cost.


Maximize Conversions Bidding

Focuses on driving the maximum number of conversions possible within your budget allowance.


Maximize Clicks Bidding

Focuses on driving clicks to your website.


Target Impression Share Bidding

Suitable for advertisers aiming to increase brand awareness.


Google Ads Best Practices

Optimize for Quality Experiences

Focus on landing page quality and CTR to judge a user’s experience after the click.


Use Negative Keywords

To prevent your ads from appearing for unrelated searches.


A/B Testing

Regularly test different ad variations to see what performs best.


Targeted Ad Extensions

Use the various free ad extension options to provide additional information and increase your ad's visibility and click-through rate.


Tips for Google Ads

Stay Updated

Google Ads evolves constantly, so stay informed about the latest features and best practices. We recommend the Search Engine Land newsletter and the High Beam Marketing newsletter which gets sent out weekly and includes fantastic updates about the industry and platform.


Monitor and Adjust

Regularly review your ad performance and adjust your strategies accordingly.


Work with Professionals

Google Ads can feel extremely overwhelming to navigate. We always recommend working with a professional or team of professionals to ensure you are properly navigating the platform and are making the best possible decisions for your business.


At High Beam Marketing, We Get Google Ads

We are dedicated to helping e-commerce business owners maximize their return on investment. In fact, since our business was founded - we’ve averaged over a 6x on e-commerce campaigns! Check out our Case Studies page to learn more.

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