Google adwords for shopify store

Do you have a shopify store and want to use Google ads to reach to a wide audience? The good news is Shopify offers Google ads credit provided you meet certain conditions.

  • Set up a Google ads account
  • When you pay your first subscription fee to Shopify, you get Google adwords credit. Of course, this is subjected to users in certain countries only and your Google adwords account should have no activity history.
  • Log into your Shopify admin and navigate to the discounts section. If you are eligible to get this free credit, you'll see a message regarding Google adwords. Otherwise, you won't see this message.
  • Click the link called "Claim your Google Ads Coupon" to get the coupon code.
  • Enter this discount code in your Google ads account to enjoy the credit.
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How to use Google AdWords for Shopify

Running an e-commerce shop such as a Shopify store is not an easy task. It’s very time-consuming and you have to do a million things from your store’s design to making sure the products are delivered on time.

If I told you to add another task to your daily entrepreneur routine, you would probably want to kill me, because you’ve already so much to do. But if you think about it, how many of these tasks are really helping you make more money. And now, what if I told you that there’s a specific task that you can do every day that will help your store blow its sales figures? You would want to learn more about it, right?

Well, that thing is called Google AdWords and it’s a tool that can completely change how you apprehend your sales process. It can turn a not-so-profitable shop into a cash machine by following the right steps.

And how do you do that, you may ask? Well, the great news is that we will just see that below. Let’s go.

Preliminary words on Google AdWords (pun intended)

When most people think of Google AdWords, they mostly think of the Search Network. And they’re right to think so – most of Google AdWords’ power comes from the Search Network, i.e. people typing various terms on Google, and having textual ads displayed that match with their intent.

But by taking a closer look at Google AdWords, and especially from a store’s owner standpoint, you can see that there’s much more to Google AdWords than just the Search Network.

Here are all the campaign types that you can create in Google AdWords if you want to promote your store or product:

  • Search Network campaigns: to promote your products with text ads.
  • Display Network campaigns: to promote your products very visually (using images and videos).
  • Video campaigns: to promote your products using videos on YouTube and related.
  • Shopping campaigns: to promote your online and local inventory through Google’s Merchant center.

We will focus mostly on the Search campaigns and the Shopping campaigns, because they’re simply the most straightforward way for your shop to increase its profits.

Selling your products using Search Network campaigns

If you’re not familiar with Search Network campaigns, please have a look at our previous article on “how to use Google AdWords for my website”. We show you the very basics of the Search Network, and how to set up your first AdWords campaign.

Now, let’s dive more into how you can use Google AdWords for your Shopify store.

Essentially, what you want to do is to sell more products. And just displaying some ads about your products to potential customers won’t cut it. If it was sufficient, everyone would be rich nowadays.

In other words, there has to be a match between what you’re trying to sell, and what they’re looking for. And the best way to do that is to be in good terms with Google’s “quality score”. It’s a metrics that Google uses to determine whether or not your ads should be served to people, and how much it’s going to cost you.

This indicator makes it easier for you to sell more products by following these three principles:

  • Ad Relevancy: Your ads have to be highly relevant to what you’re trying to sell. So, for example, if you’re promoting the benefits of your new broom, people shouldn’t land on a dog food page.
  • Keywords Relevancy: The keywords you use to trigger your ads should match with the content of your ads. So, if someone types “US vacations”, when don’t want to see car ads.
  • Landing Page Relevancy: The landing pages you drive people to by clicking your ads should match tightly with your ads’ content and the keywords you’re using.

You have to stay consistent during the whole advertising cycle, from the keywords that trigger your ads, to your ads’ content, to the end product. But the great thing is that if you follow these principles tightly, you’ll end up with qualified traffic, and increase your sales in return.

Let’s take a completely random example. Imagine that you’re trying to sell pet products, e.g. “petsmart”.

How would you proceed to promote your products?

You would start by creating a campaign that promotes pet products to people that type “pet products” on Google, right?

WRONG. That’s not how you should do it.

First, you would have to take a close look at your site’s categories structure. And it’s generally easier to look directly at your menu bar, because you’ve already done this preliminary work:

So, we see some interesting things here:

  • Shop by brand: you could create a campaign for people looking for pet products of a specific brand.
  • Shop by pet: you could create a campaign for people looking for pet products such as dogs, cats, fishes, etc.
  • Pet services: you could create a campaign for people looking for pet services such as grooming, training, hotel, etc.
  • Sale: you could create a campaign for people looking for pet products and sales discounts.

To do just that, first go to “All Campaigns”, then click on “Campaigns” and “New Campaign”.

You would then have to choose your goal, which is obviously “sales” here:

And then, you’ll see all the various kind of campaigns we’ve mentioned above. You should choose “Search”, here:

You should then tick either just “website visits”, or both “website visits” and “store visits” if you have both. It will essentially let Google track people who either visit your store’s website, or your actual physical store location by tracking their GPS data:

You’ll then be asked to fill your campaign’s name, and the networks you want your campaign to run on. Make sure to untick “Google search partners” and “Google Display Network”, mostly because you would otherwise have text ads running in competition with images. And that wouldn’t convert very well:

Then, select the location and the language of the people you want to target:

You’ll then be prompted to select the “audience” you want your ads to target. Since you’re only beginning with Google AdWords, it wouldn’t be wise to select “targeting” because there would be a risk to miss a lot of potential sales and clicks. So, for now, you should run in on “observation”, so that you can actually observe the audiences that are the most likely interested in your products, and decide later on to actually target them:

After that step, you’ll have to set up properly the budget you want to spend on a daily basis, the delivery and the way you want to evaluate the success of your campaigns. You don’t have to start with a huge budget but starting with $30-50 per day is a good idea.

Select the “standard” delivery method to make sure your ad is displayed evenly through the day, and not very quickly because there’s a risk to blow your budget early on.

At first, you shouldn’t pick the “conversions” or “conversion value” objectives because there simply won’t be enough historical data available for Google to help you with that. So, you’ll have to either select “clicks” or “impression share”. We do recommend “clicks” as you want to be in control of how much you paid for how much traffic:

Once that’s done, you will be prompted to set up your ad extensions. Those are snippets that are displayed along your ads such as your store’s location, phone number, special offers, etc.

Use those extensions extensively because they’re extremely helpful to provide more information, and they also help you take more real estate space on Google.com’s ad section.

Once that’s done, you’ll be prompted to create your first ad group. Essentially, ad groups are a way to divide your campaigns into sub-groups in a more meaningful way. To take the example of the “shop by pet” section of Petsmart, the campaign could be structured in such a way:

If you take a look at Petsmart’s dog category, you’ll see that there are a lot of sub-categories as well:

In this kind of situation, you should therefore create a dedicated campaign. Here, that would be the “dog” campaign, and the sub-groups could be either each individual item, or the “food”, “treats” and “supplies” categories.

It would look like this:

Each of these categories would be an “ad group” on its own. And to come back to our campaign creation process, you would have to add appropriate matching keywords. For example, if you were creating the “biscuits & bakery” ad group in the “dog campaign”, you would have to add the appropriate keywords such as this:

You’ll then have to fill in your ad copy such as the final URL where people who click will land, what they see in the headlines, the descriptions, etc.

Your ad will then look something like this:

Your “Dogs” campaign would soon start to look like this:

Once all of your Dog campaign’s ad groups are created, and that all the individual keywords have been set up for each ad group, make sure that your campaign’s settings are correctly set. That includes parameters such as the location, the schedule, the devices used, the budget, etc.:

And now, you’re done. Tada, you’ve created your very first Google AdWords campaign based on a meaningful structure. Each ad group has its own theme, its own keywords and its own ads. You’re ready to start shooting the ads!

Using Shopping campaigns for your Shopify store

What we did previously by setting up a Search campaign for your products is a process that’s common to basically any business that wants to advertise using Google AdWords. It’s not particularly specific to e-commerce Shopify stores, and anyone could follow the steps mentioned above.

But now comes the part that’s really specific to e-commerce stores, and that really unleashes the power of Google AdWords: Google Shopping Campaigns.

To create your first Google Shopping Campaign, follow all the steps mentioned above up to the objective section. At this stage, you should of course pick “sales” as a goal, and then “Shopping” as the campaign type.

You’ll then be asked to provide your Merchant Center account, along with your store’s location:

To do that, you need to go to merchants.google.com where they’ll explain you all the steps to create your merchant account.

You’ll have to fill of your Merchant Center’s account info, and it will look like this:

To upload your products to your Merchant account, you’ll have to click on “Products”, and then on “Feeds”. Basically, the “feeds” are the connection between your shop’s inventory and your Google Merchant account. It’s where Google will take your products from, and you want the connection to be properly set up. To do that, click on the (+) icon:

Google will ask you to define your store’s country, along with the language. “Shopping ads” and “Surfaces across Google” are the locations where you want Google to display your products. The first one is just on Google Shopping, whereas the second one is more generally on the Google Network:

Now, that’s the part that’s a bit technical. There are essentially 4 ways to let Google parse your products to display them on Google Shopping:

By using Google Sheets:

that’s a usual Google Sheet where you’ll upload your products’ information and URL. You can use Google’s add-on to make sure your sheet is valid.

By using a Scheduled fetch:

you host yourself your products file and let Google regularly fetch it for Google Shopping. Here are all the valid file formats.

By using Upload:

as the name states it, you can upload directly your products file so that Google can upload your products on Google Shopping. It’s time-consuming and the least interesting of all the methods.

By using the Content API:

that’s the most interesting method, because it lets you connect your shop directly with Google Shopping, so that everything happens automatically.

We recommend the Content API method before anything else. Since you have a Shopify store, it’s extremely easy to set up by using one of the many Shopify apps that already exist to synchronize your store’s product list with Google Shopping. You can have a look at all the Shopify apps here. Follow all the steps and you should be all set up.

Now, back to Google AdWords and the Shopping Campaign. If you’ve properly created it, you should end up with something looking like that:

The main difference with the Search Campaign that we’ve set up previously comes down to how the Shopping Campaigns are structured. If you take a close look, you’ll see there are there are two new categories:

  • Product groups: if you’ve made sure that your product feed is organized around categories, Google will automatically recognize them and group your products accordingly.
  • Products: those are all the products that you’ve made available to Google through your Content API app.

In terms of how you want to structure your Google Shopping campaign, there’s no main difference with a Search campaign, in the sense that you have to use “ad groups” to structure the campaign. You’re free to device which product group should be included in your ad group, but you cannot decide which product should be there individually. That’s why it’s important to structure your products properly before uploading them on Google Shopping.

If we came back to our Petsmart example, the campaign could look like this:

Here, for your Dog products shopping campaign, you would have three ad groups:

  • Food
  • Treats
  • Supplies

Each of these ad groups would include multiple groups of products. For example, the “food” ad group would include three groups of products:

  • Canned Food
  • Dry Food
  • Food Toppers

In the end, it’s up to you to decide how deep you want to go into structuring your campaigns. You could even create a shopping campaign specifically for dog food products and have your ad groups be each specific product group.

Once that you’re done with that, you can congratulate yourself. You’ve just created your first Google Shopping campaign!

And to complete the process, you may want to specify who’s going to see your Shopping ads. As for a regular Search campaign, you can set up various parameters such as the location and the language.

Keep in mind that unlike Search campaigns, you cannot target people based on keywords. You can only use negative keywords to exclude certain queries from triggering your shopping ads. However, you can be more specific by selecting the right audiences and by building custom and retargeting audiences. You can learn more about it here.

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article that you could properly understand the basics of using Google AdWords for your Shopify store. The topic is not easy in itself and as you could see, there’s a way to do it properly.

You’ve learned about two great campaign types that can be used to promote your products on Google:

  • Google Search campaigns
  • Google Shopping campaigns

Both have their pros and cons, and they can be used in combination. The best way to go is to try both and see the kind of campaign that makes you the most money for the lowest price. You can then go further with it and create more campaigns of that type.

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