Advertising on Google AdWords can be one of the most cost-effective ways to market your eCommerce store – if done right. That can be a big ‘if’- given that AdWords is a complex system which requires constant monitoring of your campaigns, as well as keeping up to date with the latest trends and developments – something which can be tricky for a busy business owner to manage.

Google Adwords is an advertising network that allows business owners to buy ads on Google search results pages, YouTube videos, and partner websites. For eCommerce business owners, there are two AdWords placements you should focus on first: search and Google Shopping.

Improving your AdWords performance can be tough when you start to hit a ceiling. This is a critical time when reviewing your account for areas of improvement and implementing new strategies are required.

1. Use Ad Extensions to Improve Your CTR

Probably the best thing about AdWords is its broad range of features, which enable you to get the most out of your spend and maximize your reach among potential clients and visitors to your site. These are usually free and easy to implement and can allow you to quickly increase your share of real estate on Google search results pages with minimal effort. One such example is a feature called ad site links, which allows you to display additional links to pages on your site beneath your ad. As an example, below you’ll see an ad for Shopify: The links that say “Feature Tour”, “Plans & Pricing” ..etc.. are ad site links.

Goolge site links

These are quick and painless to set up, and can have a very positive effect on click-through rates (CTR) as they increase the amount of space your ad takes up on the page and may entice more users to click on ad your ad, given there is more relevant information being shown and your ad is simply more noticeable. As with everything AdWords related – testing is key. Therefore, ensure you are testing the results from this free feature. Also consider using Location, Call and Social extensions for even greater visibility for your ads to get the edge on your competition.

2. Product Listing Ads

Google Shopping

Google Shopping is similar to search, in that you bid on keywords, but instead of appearing in a search as a text ad, your ad appears as a product listing. Product listing ads usually appear along the top and in the upper right-hand side of a search results page.

They also appear under the “shopping” tab within Google. Unlike search, Google determines when your ad shows up and for what keywords, depending on your product, site, and bids. You can tell Google which keywords to remove your product listing from, once your products begin to appear in Google Shopping searches. To set up, you provide Google a product feed through the Google Merchant Center and then create the Google Shopping ad in AdWords.

Why set it up?

  • It’s Non-Google Budget Friendly (FREE!)
  • You get to show off your gorgeous product images in your ad
  • You’re all but assured a higher conversion rate
  • More product details on display mean that genuine customers are more likely to click your ad
  • You can feature more than once on a single Google search results page (multiple product listing ads can be displayed alongside your text ad)
  • Your product display ads show up based on the product’s attributes and not keywords (This means that they are simpler to manage, without stressing about that crazy SEO stuff…)

3. Monitoring, Tracking & Monitoring, Tracking Again

This one should go without saying but should serve as a wake-up call to any AdWords advertiser who is not yet using at least one form of tracking in their account. This might be AdWords Conversion Tracking, Google Analytics (both free) – or some other tracking mechanism (or a combination of all three). To spend money on advertising without knowing how your investment is converting is something no business needs to do when it comes to online advertising – and only means you are in the dark when it comes to determining your ROI! Conversion Tracking, in particular, is simple to set up and allows you to track whenever a click leads to an action being taken on your site which you deem valuable. This could be anything from a purchase on your site to an inquiry through your contact form, or a sign-up to your latest e-book. Whichever it may be, tracking allows you to directly measure your return on investment through recording the cost associated with each conversion – and that allows you to better manage your account and plan and strategize accordingly.

Imagine running a Google AdWords campaign alongside other different marketing strategies you’re testing, getting sales, and not knowing with 100% certainty if they’re coming from Google AdWords or somewhere else. The great thing about Google AdWords is that when a sale comes from one of your ads, you’re able to attribute it to Google AdWords using Google’s conversion tracking tag. Setting the tag up in your store is very straightforward and it allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ads, as well as your return on ad spending.

4. Use Negative Keywords to Reduce Your Costs & Increase ROI

Put simply, if you or whoever is in charge of managing your AdWords campaign is not using negative keywords – question why. Negative keywords allow you to specify keywords for which you do not want your ads to appear, and are an often overlooked tool. For example, let’s say you are running a campaign advertising a software product, but you don’t do free trials or give your product away for free. If you don’t have the keyword ‘free’ in your negative keyword list for that campaign, you are most likely needlessly incurring costs from people clicking on your ads in search of free software products – who will not find them on your site! This is harmful to your ROI as it means you are wasting money on visitors who are unlikely to purchase anything from you or engage with you, as you aren’t offering what they are looking for (a free product). An extensive keyword list is crucial to your campaign. Start your lists with the most obvious relevant negative keywords and work on building your lists from there in line with your product or service offerings – your campaigns will thank you for it. Learn more about negative keywords.

Negative keywords tell Google which keywords you don’t want your ads to appear on. Why would you do this? For a few reasons. The first is to prevent your ad from showing on a keyword that simply isn’t profitable. If you’re finding your ad is appearing frequently for a keyword but it is not bringing in any sales, you may want to add that keyword to your negative keywords list to improve your return on investment. Secondly, you might appear for a search that’s actually irrelevant to your product. If I’m selling sunglasses and my ad is showing for the search “drinking glasses” I probably don’t want to appear in that search since I’m not selling that kind of glasses.

5. Dynamic Keywords Insertion

Dynamic Keywords


Headline: Buy {keyword:Dark chocolate}
Display URL:
Description line 1: Artisan sweets from Brisbane
Description line 2: Free delivery orders $50 more

What is it?

Dynamic ad text insertion allows you to make your ad more specific to the search term that your customer has used. You can create your dynamic ad text when you are setting up your Adwords ad by adding the code {keyword:<your default term>} to your ad text.

Why set it up?

  • Your ad text magically becomes more relevant to your potential customer’s search term
  • A more specific Ad means a higher conversion rate (and hopefully more sales…)
  • Your ad set up becomes a bunch more simple if you’ve got an online store with thousands of ever-changing products


  • Free to set up, with normal CPC rates when ads are clicked.

Fine Print

  • The keyword that triggered the ad is shown (not the actual search term your customer used).
  • Normal ad text limitations apply (if your dynamic term is too long, your nominated default ad text will be shown).
  • Double check the keywords in your keyword list to be sure that if the dynamic keyword is shown, your ad will still make sense.
  • You can use capital letters when using the dynamic code ({KeyWord:<womens shoes>} will display the first letter of each keyword as a capital letter).


These 5 tips will help you increase sales through your Adwords advertising. Remember to use A/B testing where you can. This will help you measure what tactics and changes are having the biggest impact on your performance.

If you’ve got a specific question about your AdWords, let us know.