Google Ads E-commerce

Google Ads best practices 2024 for your E-commerce business

Expand your e-commerce with Google Ads best practices for 2024. Increase your profitability and conversion volume.

Despite a complicated economic climate over the last few years, using Google Ads best practices 2024 to grow your e-commerce business remains a profitable solution, when done right.

At Impulse Analytics, we’ve developed our own technique for running e-commerce accounts on Google Ads. And we had with some brilliant successes in various industries:

  • 4-fold increase in profit for the South African subsidiary of one of the biggest players in the DIY market
  • Launch of paid digital activity for a dietary supplements e-commerce site. It enabled the company to return to growth after several difficult months.

Here’s some Google Ads best practices for 2024 if you’re just starting out ⬇️

1 – Define your objectives precisely

Profitability? Conversion volume?

-> Ideally, this should lead to precise objectives in terms of target ROAS or target CPA (important when setting up and managing campaigns). For the e-commerce accounts I manage, our objectives are those of profitability. The target ROAS levels are determined prior to each campaign launch.

2 – The importance of tracking

Google Ads is based on a powerful algorithmic machine. Sending the right conversion signals becomes essential for machine learning. This includes:

  • Setting essential events
  • Prioritizing the right events (Purchases). We can either play with the status of the conversion (priority or secondary event) or give a different fictitious conversion value. It will depend on the importance of the event and its place in the conversion path (ATC, Begin Checkout, Purchase). This maximizes the volume of conversions sent to the algorithm, while indicating which events should be prioritized.
Évènements de conversion Google Ads
Évènements de conversion Google Ads

In this example, it makes sense to track both Purchases and Add to Cart events. That’s because the volume of ATCs feeds data into the algorithm. Here, we’ve decided to indicate to the algorithm the importance of each conversion action via a given value: 1€ per ATC and the true conversion value for Purchases (average basket of around 50€).

  • Make sure that data is correctly reported in terms of conversion volume and value. It’s essential, as the algorithm will often try to maximize either conversion volume or conversion value for each campaign.
  • To take it a step further: the more data we feed into the algorithm, the more effective it will be. There are a number of ways to do this.
    • Advanced conversion tracking. It allows you to send first-party conversion data (demographic information, information on the purchasing or browsing path on the website, email, interests) collected on the website to the algorithm in hashed form.
    • Consent Mode: allows you to model some of the data lost when cookies are not accepted on the site. And it increases the volume of data sent to the algorithm.

3 – Account structuring

Google offers a wide range of campaign types, many of which are interesting to use in search. Let’s focus on two that are essential for your Google Ads account.

Search campaigns

The very essence of Google Ads: the purchase of keywords relevant to your business to appear on the corresponding search pages. Here, the selection of your keywords is important. First of all, you need to distinguish between Brand keywords and Generic keywords.
Brand keywords should be the subject of one or two specific campaigns. The challenge here is to maximize your share of impressions to protect your brand territory.

In Generic, we advise you to develop your semantics according to your products/services. For example, if you’re a fashion e-commerce business, your campaigns could be structured according to your product categories. They can be like shoes, clothing, accessories, with sub-groups (e.g. sneakers, sandals, boots, etc.). In Google Ads, we can choose different match types to more or less control our distribution. As a Google Ads Agency, we always recommend developing the Exact and Phrase match types first. And then you can move on to Exact & Broad once satisfactory levels of profitability and limited query volume have been achieved.

Shopping Campaigns

These campaigns are based on your product catalog and will display it directly on the search engine results pages. It will be in the form of a card containing: an image of the product, a title, a description, the price and potentially other information (reviews, promotions, delivery times).

In this campaign category, we recommend using Google’s most recent campaign: Performance Max. This will enable you to be displayed on the various Google environments (search, shopping, display, Youtube, gmail). You can maximize your distribution and the volume of data collected within a single campaign (the lifeblood of the campaign). To date, this is the google ads campaign we use most on our e-commerce accounts. And we had very impressive results (ROAS 3 to 4x higher than on generic search campaigns, notably on one of our DIY Industry accounts).

Composition of a Pmax campaign

The Pmax campaign is made up of asset groups that can be modulated according to your product flow. For example, it can be a product category. In this asset group, we recommend that you pay particular attention to the ads you create (fill in all titles, descriptions and short descriptions, and include images, videos, logos and extensions as far as possible) to give the algorithm the choice of testing the different combinations and enabling it to find the winners according to the target audiences and queries.

Adapt bidding strategies to your objectives. In the case of our customers whose main objective is profitability, we use the Max Conv Value bidding strategy with a target ROAS given to the algorithm. Be careful, however, not to be too restrictive on the latter, as this will have an impact on the delivery of your campaign and limit the volume generated, and therefore machine learning. At Impulse Analytics, we always launch these campaigns without ROAS or tCPA to facilitate the launch before restricting the algorithm to match our objectives.

4 – Reading the results

Reading the results should be done through the main KPIs we decide to track.

At Impulse, we also use visualization tools to make it easier to read the results (especially if we manage different channels). Processing data via an aggregator allows us to create customized tables on Google Looker Studio based on the main KPIs and with data from different sources.

Dashboard Looker Studio Impulse Analytics
Dashboard Looker Studio Impulse Analytics

5 – Technical optimizations

Once you’ve launched your campaigns and collected the initial data, there are a number of optimizations you can make to maximize your results and increase your ROAS:

  • On Performance Max: Identify top-performing product categories. Once identified, these products can be isolated within asset groups or dedicated campaigns to allocate a larger share of the budget to the most profitable products. Isolating top-performing products will also enable you to refine your key messages delivered via titles and assets, directing traffic to more specific pages and thus optimizing your click-through and conversion rates.
  • For Generic search campaigns, it’s best to exclude irrelevant search terms to guide the algorithm’s dissemination, and to avoid ineffective and costly keywords.
  • For Generic campaigns, to cover unidentified queries, it’s possible to launch a DSA campaign, excluding keywords already in use. This campaign will enable you to identify high-potential keywords or unidentified semantics of interest to your business.

6 – Optimize your shopping catalog

As you can see, shopping campaigns are an essential element in the development of your e-commerce activity on Google Ads. To achieve this, it’s important to set up and structure your shopping flow properly.

Add as many elements as possible to enable precise identification of the product: id, title, description, brand, price, whether in stock or not, images, additional images, URL, product type, etc.

Categorize products according to their type → these elements can then be used in Google Ads campaigns.

Add personalized labels in certain cases (products on sale or special offer, for example). Once again, these personalized labels can be used to create specific sets of products within the platform.

These initial Google Ads best practices in 2024 will enable you to approach the launch of your business on Google Ads with greater confidence. There are many other ways to optimize your activity on Google Ads. Developing your presence on other channels can also increase your visibility and maximize business opportunities.

We’ve positioned ourselves as an e-commerce agency, and we’re used to supporting players in the e-commerce sector. Whether you’re getting ready to launch your business or looking to accelerate it, don’t hesitate to call on us for an initial audit of your account.

Gautier Jaremko

Gautier Jaremko

Coming from the MSc Digital Marketing & E-Commerce at TBS, Gautier cut his teeth in the very demanding sectors of retail at Sarenza & luxury at Christian Dior. Gautier's SEA expertise now allows him to launch successful campaigns in France, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, US & South Africa.
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