Google Adwords for e-commerce: what it is, how it works, and how to create a campaign step by step

Did you know that Google Adwords is still the number one tool regarding conversion in terms of traffic with an intention to make a purchase?
In today’s article, we explain why you should already be working with Google advertising platform  and how to optimize your campaigns in order to increase your e-commerce’s sales.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Adwords for online shops!

What is Google Adwords and what is it for?

Adwords is Google PPC (Pay Per Click) platform and it allows you to appear within the results shown by the search engine.
Surely you will know what we are talking about with this image.
google adwords express
Here you can see the results shown by Google when we type “wall clock buy”. You can see the paid-for ads (Adwords) in red and the organic results in green.
These 2 categories of results shown by Google are the reason why there are 2 different types of positioning results:

  • SEO for free results.
  • SEM for paid for results.

Wait… if I pay for my ad, it’s not certain that it appears?
No. Google Adwords is based on PPC. This means that the first results are paid for only if you click on them. Advertisers don’t pay to be shown.
Don’t worry if you haven’t quite got it yet. We are explaining how it works now.

How does Google Adwords work?

The way Adwords functions is easier than one may think.
Let’s go back to the previous example. Imagine that you own an online shop that sells wall clocks. In this case, if your ads are shown when people look for “wall clock buy”, it is a really good thing for you.
In order to be shown with those keywords, you have to establish a bid (you have to say how much you are willing to pay for your ads to be shown).
What if you don’t win and your ads are not shown?
Actually, nothing happens since it is a PPC system and you won’t be charged at all. That is why the CPC (cost per click) is the most important metric for Adwords.
However, be careful because Google doesn’t only value the bid, it also takes into account the user experience of the website.
In order to explain it in a simple way, we could say that Google gives an average grade for the website’s quality and the established bid.
Among all of the options, those with a highest grades in this test will be the ones shown within the results.
What is the user experience all about?
Google measures the visitor interactions with the website after clicking on it. For example, it values these 2 criteria in a negative way:

  • Leaving the website too fast (it is seen as you didn’t like what you saw).
  • Not clicking at all on anything (again, this shows that something didn´t go well).

Therefore, take into account that if you want to advertise your shop on Adwords, you will have to be careful with its design, usability, web architecture, and so on.
It is not only about bidding. 😉

What is an Adword bid?

A bid on Google Adwords is the maximum quantity of money that you are willing to pay for each click on your ad, your maximum CPC.
When you create a campaign, the first page shows a place where you can insert the quantity.

There is an option to select the quantity automatically depending on what you want to achieve:

  • Increasing the number of clicks.
  • Your ad to be shown as high up as possible.
  • Optimizing conversions.
  • Beating your competitors’
  • The CPC being adjusted automatically.

Don’t forget that Google makes money when people click on your ad. If you let it do the bid for you, it is possible that you end up spending more money than if you optimize the ad yourself.
The ideal situation is if you do it manually and work on the campaign day-by-day.
Another important detail is the total daily budget of the campaign. If you only want to spend €10 per day, enter this quantity in the box “Budget”.
Let’s go a bit further and create a campaign.

How to create a campaign on Adwords for an e-commerce

Let’s take a look, step by step at what you have to do and take into account to create your e-commerce’s ads for Google Adwords.
The first step is to go to and log into your Google account.
Once your are logged in, go to the tab “Campaigns”, and you’ll see a screen like this one:

1 . Type of campaign

The first thing is to create a campaign. We can do this by clicking the red button “+ campaign”.

As you can see in the picture, several options will appear. Here you have an explanation for each of them:

  • Search Network with Display Select: in case you want Google to show your ads both in the search results and the Adsense website banners.
  • Search Network only: this one will show you ads only on the Google results page.
  • Display Network only.
  • Google Shopping: if you want to show a product alongside the Google Shopping product image ads.
  • Videos: video ad on YouTube.
  • Universal campaign of apps: if you want to show your ads everywhere.

By far, the best option for you that we recommend is “search network only”. This is because this is the option where you can 100% control what is going on with our ads.

2. Campaign settings

Once you have selected the type of campaign, you will reach the settings screens. Here you’ll have:

  • Name of the campaign.
  • Networks: it allows your ads to be shown only in the search or in “search partners”. These are Google’s other platforms (YouTube, Google Play, or Google Maps) and other websites that don’t belong to the search engine ( or among many others).
  • Device: you can choose to show your ad just on mobile devices or just on desktop (a computer with a big screen).
  • Location: you can choose the geographic area.
  • Language: Spanish, English, or your e-commerce’s language.
  • Bit strategy: as we mentioned before, our recommendation is manual CPC. You can select €1 maximum CPC and analyze the results. The daily budget will be limited by the amount you choose so don’t worry about spending too much.
  • Extensions: Adwords allows you to add extensions to your ad. For online shops, the most normal thing is to add highlighted text with information or limited offers.

To sum up, this will be the most recommended setting:

  • Search Network only
  • No search partners included
  • Manual CPC

Warning: if you don’t put limits, Google will act as it pleases and will show your ad everywhere. The best thing to do is to have 100% control over your ads, otherwise you could spend your whole budget without even realizing it.
And, what is even worse, without results.

3. Ad groups

The following screen allows you to select two important elements:

  • The landing page where all of your users will go after clicking on our ad.
  • The maximum CPC for this ad group.

For e-commerce, the normal thing is to send all the traffic to the card for the product that you are advertising or to the category if the ad is more general.

4. How to select the correct keywords

This will also depend on the keyword selection that we make (you will also see that on this screen).
In the keywords box we will enter the ones we want to appear in our ad.
You can start with more specific words. For example, instead of “wall clock”, you can use “antique wall clock”.
If you don’t have any ideas, don’t worry, you just need to add the main keyword and the tool will show you some options.

You could also use Keyword Planner.
Before continuing, here you have some tips so you can select your keywords better:

  1. Use the amplified concordance by adding the sign + before each Word: for example “+wall +clock +buy” will help your ad to be shown when people search for longer sentences that include the three words such as “which wall clock is better to buy” or “where to buy a wall clock”. This is good to position words that many competitors use.
  2. Start with longtail words: such as “kitchen wall clock” or “antique wall clock”. If you use the quotes, it will be for exact searches.
  3. Don’t let Google select the keywords for you: again, you decide when and who to show, not Google.
  4. Launch the campaign with a maximum of 3-4 words: every few days you can delete those words that give the worst results.

And now, let’ see how to create this ad.

5. The ads

The last screen is about the ad creation itself. It is very intuitive, so you just need to enter some basic data:

  • Final url: the one the users will arrive at.
  • Tittle 1: 30 characters for a concrete and attention-getting title.
  • Subtitle: it appears after the title, separated with a dash. It also consists of 30 characters.
  • Route: a fictional url to clarify what the user will find.
  • Description: an 80-character text to convince the reader to click on the ad.

And that’s that—it’s all set! 😉

Start promoting your e-commerce’s products on Adwords

Just like with many other digital marketing strategies, you will have to keep trying until you find the key combination to get the most out of your campaigns.
Don’t forget that you have the great advantage of controlling what you are spending.
Establish a budget, follow the rules that we have seen and… get selling!