Ecommerce Online Marketing Strategy – Adwords Blueprint

Google Shopping Setup

(Note: This article is fairly short but some of the recommendations are quite technical to implement. For new customers or ecommerce businesses starting with their SEO or online marketing strategy, we recommend our Onpage SEO & Website Best Practices Service which will take care of most of the recommendations below.)

I’ve had 2 calls in the last 24 hours and spent a fair bit of time on both calls stressing the importance of Google Shopping for online stores. Google Shopping drives so much of the search results that you’re really losing out if you’re not taking advantage of it. Check out the image above which highlights how important Google Shopping actually is.

Here’s a broad strokes marketing strategy we recommended to an ecommerce client who wants to take advantage of Adwords:

    • Google Analytics ecommerce tracking setup
      Google Ecommerce tracking which means order and sales data can be pushed into the analytics system and we can match customer orders directly to individual search terms and traffic sources. Ultimately this will tell us which traffic sources are generating customers and allow us to focus on those. It can also tell us our exact cost per sale too.


    • Google Shopping Feed setup
      Google Shopping is a free Google service. Basically Google takes a database feed from your online store and uses that data to drive search results. Google Shopping integrates so heavily with Google that its an essential component of any online store. The screenshot above highlights just how much of the search results are driven by Google Shopping.


    • Google Adwords Product Display Ads
      This is the paid Google Shopping results – the ads that are displayed in the top right hand corner of the search results highlighted in the screenshot image – this is new to Australia (general release June 2012)


    • Keyword Research
      This differs from client to client but your first Adwords ad group should almost always target your business name.About half the clients that contact us don’t rank #1 for their business name. On top of that, in competitive markets your competitors will run ads against your business name. If you’re not running ads against your business name then they’re going to be number one instead of you.If you’re just starting with Adwords we recommend picking your top 5-10 most profitable products or categories and focussing on them first as this boosting sales of these products is going to provide the biggest boost to your business.


  • Google Adwords Campaign Best Practices setup + 1-3 months of management to tweak as appropriate
    Most clients have already had a crack at setting up an Adwords campaign before they call – usually its a disaster. I say it all the time but here goes again: ADWORDS IS NOT A DIY PLATFORM5 years ago Adwords was a DIY platform but not any more – if you’re managing your Adwords campaign yourself and don’t regularly keep up to date with new Adwords changes and features you’re almost definitely paying too much and not getting as much exposure as you could be (this is commonly referred to as the Adwords stupidity tax).

    Campaigns also need close management particularly when new as the negative keyword list will need a lot of fattening up initially. After about three months you should be seeing a strong positive return on Adwords. Initially we take your existing campaign and set it up in a best practices format.

    With this recommendation, we take advantage of several Adwords features most DIY campaigns don’t utilise including:

    • correct targeting of campaigns to Google Search only
    • correct & appropriate use of dynamic keyword insertion for ads
    • correct setup of Adwords extensions – in the attached screenshot above I’ve highlighted the shopping/product extensions
    • setup of campaign auto bidding rules to maintain specific ad positions
    • correct integration with Google Analytics
    • conversion tracking setup
    • appropriate usage of negative keywords
    • correctly setup campaign structure with campaigns separated by device and geographic targeting and ad groups split out by keyword type, something like below:
      • Australia-Smartphones
        • Ad group – target terms 1 – exact
        • Ad group – target terms 1 – phrase
        • Ad group – target terms 2 – exact
        • Ad group – target terms 2 – phrase
      • Australia-Tablet PCs
        • Ad group – target terms 1 – exact
        • Ad group – target terms 1 – phrase
        • Ad group – target terms 2 – exact
        • Ad group – target terms 2 – phrase
      • Australia-PCs/Desktops/Notebooks
        • Ad group – target terms 1 – exact
        • Ad group – target terms 1 – phrase
        • Ad group – target terms 2 – exact
        • Ad group – target terms 2 – phrase


    How much does it cost?
    In terms of cost to do this, it really depends on how many products you want to advertise for and how many keywords you want to target.

    For most online stores budgeting $850-1500 for initial campaign setup as above will probably suffice (this is in addition to Adwords budget). For really small online stores the cost of this setup could be as low as $750+GST and for bigger stores could be $1500-2000. We have some clients spending more than $5000 a month for Adwords management as they have a much broader product range (generally our monthly services are combined with SEO too).

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