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Google Ads for eCommerce & The Basics



Google Ads for eCommerce & The Basics

When it comes to digital marketing for eCommerce businesses, there are a whole lot of channels to choose from:

Social media can boost brand awareness and make connections. 

Email marketing can keep your community active. 

…And PPC (specifically Google Ads) can enable steady growth and sales.

Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

Why PPC for eCommerce?

PPC (pay per click) advertising is a favorite among eCommerce marketers—and for good reason. 


PPC Advertising = Ads that appear on search engine result pages, videos, apps, websites, and social media.

These ads appear everywhere, so they get a whole lot of views (like a billboard on the side of the highway). But the business owner doesn’t pay for views, they only pay when a user clicks.

The best part? PPC advertising is about finding customers who are ready to buy through search history, audience type, and a whole lot of data.

1644530829 719 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

Why Google Ads for eCommerce, Specifically?

Google Ads is the most effective form of PPC (pay per click) advertising on the planet.

Think about it: 

The term Google” has become so synonymous with “answer.

We’re been trained to turn to Google with every question we have. And Google is so much more than a search engine, it is also YouTube, email, apps (like Google Calendar), Google Maps, and Android.

…And, Google collects information about us all, and can therefore predict intent—which means Google can put somebody who’s willing to buy your product in front of your ad (sometimes before the user even knows they want to buy).

In fact, 67% of all high commercial intent keyphrases go to a paid ad.

We’ll reiterate: 

When someone wants to buy, two out of three(!) of those Google searches result in clicking on an ad.

That tells us that when people are in the learning phase of the buying process, they go for organic search results. 

But when they are ready to buy—customers click the ads.

Is Google Ads Right for Your Business?

One more thing before we go any further: 

While Google Ads is the most effective marketing platform on the planet, it isn’t right for everyone. 

So, it’s imperative to determine Google Ads is right for your eCommerce business before you can hit the ground running.

It takes time to build, launch, and optimize campaigns—and ultimately, see results. 

That means you need to have realistic expectations. Here are seven quick questions to consider first:

  1. Are you ready to commit? It typically takes about 90 days to determine if there’s potential for a predictable, scalable growth schedule. 
  1. Can you afford the cost to get the ball rolling? You’ll want to spend at least $1,000-$1,500 per month at the bare minimum; but I recommend starting at a $2000 minimum.
  1. What are your business goals? Ask yourself:
  • Do I know my close rates?
  • Do I know how many leads I need to make a sale?
  • Do I know how many leads each month I need to make a profit?

By establishing your specific goals, you can determine if you can successfully run a Google Ads campaign in the long-term.

  1. How is the quality and speed of your website? Your website should be:
  • Fast
  • Mobile responsive
  • Informative
  • Easy to use
  1. Can you handle an influx of traffic? 
  • Are you going to answer your phone when customers call? 
  • Will people call you directly, or will you have a sales team that’s trained and ready to take calls?
  • Are you fully stocked and ready to ship? 
  • Can you accurately forecast how much product you need?
  1. What is your audience size and location? If you’re local and rural—with only a handful of people nearby—your audience size might be too small. In this case, Google Ads probably doesn’t make sense for your business.
  1. Are you ready to be competitive? Make sure your ad spend is competitive enough to get enough clicks; Otherwise, Google Ads won’t work in your favor.

How Google Ads Works Inside The Google Network

In order to be successful with Google Ads (or any marketing platform), it’s important to understand how the entire network functions.

Now, we tend to think of Google as the search engine, right?

1644530829 273 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

But the Google ecosystem is massive and includes: 

  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Apps (think Google Calendar)
  • Google Maps
  • Android
  • The Google Display Network

And for every piece of “real estate” owned by Google (email, search engines, YouTube, apps) there is a way to advertise (i.e. a campaign type).

The Different Types of Campaigns

Let’s briefly cover the different types of Google Ads campaigns:

Google Search Campaigns

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This is the campaign we generally refer to when we talk about Google Ads. 

Again, you’ll recognize these ads as the first results that pop up on the top of a Google search results page:

Google Shopping Campaigns

1644530829 587 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

This campaign type exists inside Google’s shopping ecosystem but can also be expanded to Smart Shopping and other types of responsive display ads.

Google Display Campaigns

1644530830 595 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

Websites that allow advertisements to take up space on their pages. The ads are usually an image (see: “display”).

Video Campaigns

1644530830 448 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

Video ads that pop up before, after, or in the middle of a YouTube video.

These video ads can also appear at the top of a YouTube search:

1644530830 23 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

But! Video campaigns are not just for YouTube. These types of ads can appear through Google display network (see above) and other areas of Google’s ecosystem.

App Campaigns

1644530830 907 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

Promote your app across Google’s networks, including Google Search, Display, YouTube, and Google Play (the app, game, ebook, and general entertainment store for Android devices).

Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

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Algorithmically controlled automated ads on Google and across the web.

Google Discovery Campaigns

1644530830 640 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

These ads are pushed across the entire Google ecosystem.

Believe it or not, there’s more.

But for the sake of this guide, our sanity, and your business, we’re going to put most of our focus on Google Smart Shopping.

Standard Shopping vs. Smart Shopping: What’s the Difference?

You might be wondering what the difference is between Standard Shopping campaigns and Smart Shopping campaigns inside Google Ads.

1644530830 340 Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

Here’s a quick overview of how Standard Shopping campaigns work:

  1. You (the business owner) send your product feed (the listing of all the products on your website) to Google using a Merchant Center account.
  1. You set your budget.
  1. Google uses your feed to create “placement shopping ads” that appear on relevant search results pages.

These ads include a photo of the product and its correlating information—a step above standard text ads.

These ads ensure the user sees all the important “must-know” details about your product before clicking—therefore, each click is (in theory) made by a more qualified lead.

However, Smart Shopping campaigns take standard Shopping campaigns a giant step further.

With Smart Shopping, you still: 

  1. Send your product feed to Google via a Merchant Center Account.
  1. Create a campaign and set your budget.
  1.  …And Google still pulls your product information to create placement ads that appear when a shopper searches for a relevant product.

But, that’s just where it begins.

Why Google Smart Shopping Is The Most Powerful eCommerce Advertising Tool on the Planet

Unlike Standard Shopping, Smart Shopping uses algorithmic targeting to show ads to very specific users. 

How specific? We’re talking about users who have shown high intent and interest in a product based on their past search activity.

Smart Shopping uses all five channels to advertise: Search, display, youtube, gsp, and shopping. 

And with such powerful algorithm targeting, that means you no longer have to do the heavy lifting of pushing prospects strategically from the top of the funnel to the bottom.

Instead, Smart Shopping goes through their massive user database and matches your ad with the best user who’s ready to buy from you right now.

How? Dynamic Prospecting.

Dynamic Prospecting uses information about your current users and your products to find new prospective customers.

On the other hand, Dynamic Remarketing shows ads to those who previously visited your website or engaged in your ads. 

Feeling Psyched on Google Ads?

Hey, me too. 

Next time I pop in, I’ll go over the prerequisites every eCommerce business needs before building and launching a campaign.

But if you’re feeling eager, you can check out this Google Ads Mastery Workshop that has you covered.

Or, you can check out my entire guide to Google Ads for eCommerce here.

Google Ads for eCommerce The Basics

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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

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Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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