Google Ads for ecommerce puts your products in front of potential buyers at the right moment. Learn how to use Google Ads for ecommerce to gain maximum visibility, engagement, and sales.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What are Google Ads for ecommerce?
  2. Pricing: How much does it cost to run Google Ads for ecommerce?
  3. How to run Google Ads for ecommerce, 11 tips
  4. How to choose the best type of ad for your campaigns
  5. The importance of Google Ads for your ecommerce business

Ecommerce sales depend on visibility. Google Ads offers a great way to get in front of shoppers wherever they may be on the internet. We’ll walk you through how to take advantage of the ads platform to grow your ecommerce business.

What are Google Ads for ecommerce?

Google Ads for ecommerce are pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements that introduce your products to potential customers across the internet. They appear in a variety of places, including:

  • Search ads that appear at the top of the Google search engine results page
  • Shopping ads that display your products on Google Shopping
  • Display ads shown across the Google Display Network
  • Video ads on YouTube
  • Gmail ads that appear in Gmail amid email messages

Each format has pros and cons for your ecommerce business. Google ads work well because they enable your ecommerce store to target potential customers based on their search queries, interests, and online behavior which enhances visibility and drives targeted traffic (and sales).

How much does it cost to run Google Ads for ecommerce?

PPC management costs for ecommerce can vary. The first consideration is budget. Most of our clients spend between $3,000 and $20,000 a month, but some ecommerce brands budget well over $100,000 a month.

The average cost per click will vary immensely depending on the product, but on average, you should expect to spend roughly $0.75 – $3 per click. For niche and high-competition products, this can be much higher (think $10+).

It’s important to note that the average cost per click isn’t necessarily what you pay for every click, just the average. So, some clicks can be more or less expensive. To achieve the best cost per click and cost per conversion, you should focus on optimizing your ads and landing pages.

Optimizing these elements will improve your quality scores, leading to lower cost per click. It will also ensure that your landing pages are optimized for conversions and improve your conversion rate.

How to run Google Ads for ecommerce, 11 tips

Here are the step-by-step instructions to run Google Ads for ecommerce:

  1. Conduct thorough keyword research
  2. Choose the right ad type
  3. Segment your campaigns
  4. Optimize your product feeds for Google Shopping
  5. Use high-quality landing pages
  6. Implement smart bidding strategies
  7. Add negative keywords
  8. Use ad extensions
  9. A/B test your ads
  10. Monitor and adjust campaigns
  11. Check your mobile optimization
  12. Set performance goals

1. Conduct thorough keyword research

The foundation of all Google Ads campaigns is keyword research. Start by identifying high-intent keywords relevant to your products using Google Keyword Planner.

Look for both broad terms and specific long-tail keywords to cover a range of potential customer search queries.

For example, if you sell organic coffee beans, look for variations like “best organic coffee,” “natural coffee beans,” or “buy organic coffee online.” For long-tail keywords, you can think about “organic fair-trade coffee beans,” which are less competitive and can attract motivated buyers.

You can also consider incorporating seasonal trends and search terms. For example, certain spice blends or coffee flavors might sell more during a certain period of the year. You can then adjust your keywords to match search behavior changes at that time.

2. Choose the right ad type

Whether it’s search ads that capture users actively looking for products similar to yours, shopping ads that showcase your products visually in search results, or display and YouTube ads that help build brand awareness across the web, selecting the right ad type depends on your specific goals.

Evaluate your target audience, product type, and digital marketing objectives to decide which ad format will most effectively reach potential customers and drive conversions.

3. Segment your campaigns

Organize your Google Ads account by creating separate campaigns and ad groups for different product categories, target demographics, or customer journey stages.

This allows for more customized ad copy and tailored bidding strategies, making your ads more relevant to specific segments of your target audience.

Sticking with the online coffee shop example, some ways you could segment your Google Ads include:

  • Product type: Create new campaigns for each major category, such as “Whole Bean Coffee,” “Ground Coffee,” and “Coffee Pods.” This allows for tailored ad copy that speaks directly to the customer’s preferences.
  • Roast: Offer separate campaigns for “Light Roast,” “Medium Roast,” and “Dark Roast” so that you can deliver ads that match the distinct taste preferences among coffee enthusiasts.
  • Geographical location: Segment campaigns by region or city, especially if you offer unique blends or shipping promotions to certain areas.

4. Optimize your product feeds for Google Shopping

For Google Shopping ads, ensure your product feed in the Google Merchant Center is optimized. Include all relevant product details to improve ad relevance and performance. This is a lot like search engine optimization (SEO) but tailored to improving paid search performance.

Here are some of the basics to check:

  • Product titles: You want to create descriptive titles that include key attributes like brand, product type, and specifics (e.g., roast type for coffee).
  • Product descriptions: Write clear, informative descriptions that include important product details and keywords.
  • High-quality images: Use high-resolution images that accurately show your product and are of professional quality—no bad lighting or poor-quality images.
  • Accurate pricing: Ensure all products have the correct price listed.
  • Stock availability: Keep your inventory up to date to avoid advertising out-of-stock items
  • Product categories: Assign accurate Google product categories to each item.
  • Product identifiers: Include GTINs, MPNs, and brand names for all products where applicable.

Remember to regularly update your feed to reflect current inventory and pricing.

5. Use high-quality landing pages

Ensure the landing pages your ads point to are:

  • Relevant
  • Fast-loading
  • Match your ad copy
  • Provide a smooth user experience

To create a top-quality landing page, your content should match your ad’s promise, effectively guiding visitors toward making a purchase. High-quality landing pages are essential for converting ad clicks into sales.

6. Implement smart bidding strategies

Leverage Google’s automated bidding options, such as Target CPA or ROAS, to optimize your bids based on performance data. For some ad types like Shopping or Search, you may choose to start with manual CPC and choose a bidding strategy once you have conversion data.

You can also use Performance Max campaigns to automatically optimize your ad across all Google platforms, including YouTube, Google Search, Display, and more, using your conversion goals as the guide.

This allows you to reach more potential customers across Google’s vast network with minimal manual bid management.

7. Add negative keywords

Regularly review your campaigns to add negative keywords. This will prevent your ads from appearing for irrelevant search queries. This step helps to reduce wasted ad spend and improve the overall efficiency of your campaigns.

8. Use ad extensions

Enhance your search campaigns with ad extensions (assets) like sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. These extensions provide additional information and links, giving potential customers more information and increasing the chances of them clicking.

9. A/B test your ads

Continuously test variations of your ad elements, including headlines, descriptions, and call-to-action (CTA). A/B testing helps identify what works best with your target audience and what doesn’t. You can then make changes to optimize ad performance and improve conversion rates.

10. Monitor and adjust campaigns

Use tools like Google Analytics alongside your Google Ads account to track campaign performance. Analyze data to identify trends and make informed decisions to adjust your strategies for better results.

Here are some key metrics to focus on:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): A high CTR indicates that your ads are relevant and engaging to your target audience. You can improve your CTR by refining your ad copy and targeting options.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): Monitor your CPC to ensure you’re getting value from your ad spend. High CPC can drain your budget, so adjust your bids to ensure you are spending on the right keywords.
  • Quality Score: Google’s Quality Score reflects the relevance of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Improve your quality score by enhancing ad relevance, landing page quality, and CTR. Higher quality scores can lead to lower CPCs and better ad positions.
  • Conversions: Conversions are your end goal. Usually, these will be purchases for an ecommerce business. If your campaigns aren’t getting conversions, you won’t be reaching your goals.
  • Conversion value: This is the value of each purchase. It will help you see how much you’ve made and what your return on ad spend looks like.

11. Check your mobile optimization

According to the Gitnux Marketdata Report 2024, over half of all traffic for Google ads comes through mobile devices. With the growing number of people doing their shopping on mobile, you want to take the time to ensure your ads and landing pages are optimized for mobile devices.

Mobile-friendly designs can significantly impact your campaign performance by improving user experience, which boosts conversion rates.

12. Set performance goals

Performance goals for your campaigns and your account are important. These goals will help you build your strategy to drive sales and maintain costs.

We spoke with HawkSEM’s Lead Strategist, Chloe Derse, about setting goals for your campaigns and your accounts.

“One common goal for an ecommerce business is growing revenue,” she says. “Another common goal is increasing ROAS (return on ad spend).”

She goes on to explain that revenue goals are usually set when you want to scale your business, while high ROAS goals are set when you’d like to maintain efficiency.

“You can look at historical data to set a benchmark for your goals and base them on that,” Derse explains. “You can also use industry benchmarks to understand how your business is doing compared to other businesses in the same industry.”

Some common goals include:

  • ROAS: To ensure your ad cost doesn’t outweigh conversion value
  • Impression share: For exposure in branding campaigns
  • Cost per conversion (CPA): When you need to run ads at maximum cost efficiency

How to choose the best type of ad for your campaigns

Typically, when you hear about ecommerce Google Ads, you will notice that most businesses choose between two campaign types: search ads, shopping ads, or some combination of the two.

Selecting between Google Search Ads and Google Shopping Ads depends on your ecommerce business’s unique needs and goals.

Derse explained to us, “In most cases, ecommerce businesses will want to run a mix of search and PMAX campaigns at minimum. In certain cases, separate video or display campaigns may be helpful as well.”

“For example, if a business doesn’t have a lot of brand awareness, video and display can help grow brand awareness, while the search and PMAX campaigns will be the primary drivers of revenue,” she says.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each to help you decide which to use:

Google Search Ads


  • Large reach: Appears in search results when users search for related keywords
  • Easily change ad copy: Customize text to highlight the unique selling points (USPs) of your products
  • Control over ad spend: Use bidding strategies to manage your ad budget
  • Detailed targeting: Target based on keywords, location, device, and more


  • Highly competitive: High-volume keywords can be expensive to bid on
  • Requires continuous optimization: To get the most out of your ads, you need to regularly adjust keywords and bids based on trends and changes in the market
  • Text-based: Search ads are limited to text. This lack of visual media, such as images or video, can make it harder to get the value of your product across.
  • Ad blindness: Users can become desensitized to text-based ads, making capturing attention a greater challenge. This means you need more creative and engaging ad copy to stand out.

Google Shopping Campaigns


  • Visual product displays: Showcase products with images, prices, and more
  • Integrated with Google Merchant Center: Automatically updates inventory and pricing
  • Effective for specific product searches: Ideal for users with a clear intent to purchase
  • Automated Bidding Options: Google Shopping Ads offers bidding automation that adjusts bids in real-time to maximize conversion value or the number of conversions, making it easier to achieve your sales goals efficiently without constant manual adjustments.


  • Requires product feed: Must maintain an up-to-date product feed in Google Merchant Center
  • Limited control over keywords: Google determines when your ads appear based on product data
  • Can be complex to set up: Involves more steps to start compared to text ads
  • Lower conversion rates: According to WordStream, the average conversion rate across Google Shopping is 1.91%, which is roughly half the general Google Ads search benchmark of 3.75%
Clothing store owners having a discussion while preparing online orders for shipping. Two young women using a laptop together in a thrift store. Female entrepreneurs running an e-commerce small business.

(Image: Adobe Stock)

Performance Max

These ads have taken over for Smart Shopping and Local campaigns. They offer more control than Smart Shopping campaigns but offer their own set of pros and cons.


  • Visibility: Ads show across all Google networks from one campaign.
  • Multiple ad types: A variety of formats can be created, from YouTube videos to images and text ads in one campaign, reducing creation and management time.
  • Final URL flexibility: Your ads can target a single category or product page, or use final URL expansion to create flexible ads.


  • Lack of data: This campaign type provides far less data than many others. There are fewer insights into audiences that perform well and asset group performance.
  • Less control: There are fewer options for bid strategies and bid modifiers than other campaign types.
  • All networks required: There is no ability to opt in or out of individual networks.

Remarketing Ads

Remarketing ads can be accomplished in two ways. They can be set up as a display campaign with your remarketing lists attached, or with search ads and your remarketing lists.


  • Reach people with a variety of behaviors: Allow you to target a variety of audiences including cart abandoners and purchasers
  • Maximize ad spend: This lets you maximize ad spend by reaching those who have already expressed interest
  • Increase customer lifetime value: Give you the ability to create repeat purchases and increase customer lifetime value


  • List size issues: Your list needs to be big enough to serve
  • Placement relevance: Can appear on unrelated sites
  • Privacy controls: Privacy settings may make it difficult to target some users

Dynamic search ads

Dynamic search ads give you the ability to show ads when people search for terms related to your page titles, phrases used on your website, and themes related to content on your website.


  • Extend reach: Helps you reach audiences you may not have reached otherwise
  • Time-saving: Saves time on keyword research and headline creation
  • Increased relevance: Highly relevant headlines based on the relevant page on your site


  • Serving issues: May not show if there aren’t many queries to match your terms and themes
  • Ad overlap: They may overlap with your Search campaigns
  • Affected by landing pages: Need well-optimized landing pages

The importance of Google Ads for your ecommerce business

Google Ads play a crucial role in the success of ecommerce businesses by driving targeted traffic, increasing sales, and enhancing brand visibility.

Drive traffic

Google Ads excels at connecting your ecommerce business with people who are actively seeking your products or services.

By carefully selecting your keywords and audiences, your ads will be positioned to appear precisely when potential customers are searching for products like yours. This strategic placement ensures the traffic coming to your site is not just any old person. Instead, it’s someone who has shown an interest in what you’re selling, significantly increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Increase sales

Google Ads isn’t just about getting eyes on your products; it’s about getting the right eyes. Features like remarketing campaigns and customer matches help you increase conversion.

They allow you to re-engage people who have previously interacted with your site or match your ideal customer profiles. This targeted approach means you’re not just shooting arrows in the dark but instead aiming at targets likely to convert, thereby boosting your sales in a predictable and controlled manner.

Enhancing brand visibility

The power of Google Ads extends beyond direct conversions. Even when users don’t click through on your ads, your brand awareness grows when it appears in Google’s search results.

This consistent presence ensures your brand remains at the top of potential customers’ minds. It cultivates a familiarity that can pay dividends in both the short and long term as you become the go-to option when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Google Ads for ecommerce example: Grayson Living’s success with HawkSEM

If you’re not yet convinced about the power of Google Ads for ecommerce stores, let’s examine a real-life example of their impact.

Grayson Living is a Beverly Hills-based furnishings and design services retailer. It partnered with HawkSEM to enhance its ecommerce campaigns and physical store sales.

HawkSEM ran a comprehensive marketing strategy that included:

  • shopping campaign improvements
  • Retargeting
  • feed optimization
  • display advertising
  • cross-platform advertising
  • landing page enhancements,

With these improvements, HawkSEM propelled Grayson Living to remarkable success. Within the first year, conversion rates soared by over 100%, and over three years, the return on ad spend (ROAS) increased nearly sixfold, demonstrating the transformative impact of a well-executed Google Ads strategy on ecommerce growth.

The takeaway

Leveraging Google Ads effectively for your ecommerce business requires keyword research, precise campaign segmentation, optimized product feeds, and strategic bidding.

By focusing on continuously refining your campaigns based on key metrics like CTR, CPC, and quality score, you can grow your presence, drive targeted traffic, and increase sales.

Ready to take your ecommerce business to the next level with Google Ads? Contact HawkSEM today to discover how our expert strategies can boost your visibility, conversion rates, and ROI.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation