Last updated:

Brands like Apple and Nike are so well known, they might not even have to advertise — at least not to generate brand awareness. For all of the other brands out there trying to build their own ardent bases of superfans — Shopify sellers included — there are Google Ads.

While some product-specific searches have migrated to Amazon in recent years, nearly half of consumers still use Google to discover new products. And that makes Google Ads for Shopify an effective way for D2C brands in particular to find new customers. 

Google’s 2019 Economic Impact Report found brands make about $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. Not bad, right? Layer in the following nine tactics, and you can supercharge those Google Ads for the highest possible conversion rate — and return on investment (ROI). Here’s how: 

Understand Your Options

Google Ads help Shopify sellers boost visibility in multiple channels, including Google Search, where ads are displayed next to searches for similar products or services, as well as:

  • Shopping Ads, which appear on YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and the Google Display Network
  • Discovery Ads, which can be found on the scrolling feeds in YouTube, Gmail, and Google Discover
  • YouTube, where Google offers video ads

If you’re looking to enhance ad performance, it’s a good idea to start by understanding the differences between these options — including which consumers are on a given channel, what they do there, and what kind of messaging would be most effective, so you can be sure you’re delivering the right ad to the right consumer at the right moment.

For an ultimate guide to Google Shopping:

The Ecommerce Marketers’ Guide to Google Shopping

Align Ad and Site Copy

To maximize the impact of your Google Ads for Shopify, make sure your ad copy mirrors the content on your website. This provides a clearer path to conversion for consumers and increases your Quality Score, which is what Google uses to measure “the overall experience your ads and landing pages provide when users search for your keyword(s).”

A high score not only means you have good ad copy, but it also reduces ad costs and increases ad exposure thanks to better positioning in Google’s search and display networks. It helps boost conversions too.

So, for example, if your Google Ads are promoting “all-inclusive women’s swimwear,” the copy on your landing page should read, “inclusive women’s swimwear” or “women’s swimwear.” However, if these ads send consumers to a website that talks about bikinis and trikinis, there’s a clear disconnect that may affect your cost per click (CPCs) leads. If shoppers land on your site expecting one product, only to see something else, they’re more likely to drop off without converting. 

Optimize Your Landing Page

You can encourage shoppers to buy advertised products by testing out various landing page elements, such as color schemes and calls to action (CTA), to see which combinations have the highest conversion rates. Once a potential customer clicks on your ad, there’s an even better chance they will actually convert based on the elements you’ve already tested — and your conversion rate should go up. 

For more on how to optimize your landing pages: 

Landing Page Bounce Rate: 7 Ways to Improve Engagement

Analyze Visitor Data

Pro tip: The Google Analytics dashboard includes a Behaviors tab. Use the data here to figure out what your site visitors want and/or need. For example, if you see more new visitors than returning visitors, it’s a clue your brand awareness may be low — so your Google Ads for Shopify should focus on helping your target audience get to know your brand better.

Capitalize on Branded Search

If you’re a Shopify seller that consumers seek out by name, don’t let that behavior go to waste. Instead, incorporate those specific brand keywords in your Google Ads for Shopify campaign as well. This ensures you’re able to speak directly to those shoppers and invite them to take advantage of the most compelling offers on your site. 

Include Retargeting

Retargeting is a highly effective display ad strategy because it reminds consumers about the products they’ve already viewed and encourages them to convert. Since the potential customers you’re retargeting have higher intent to purchase already, including this tactic in your Google Ads for Shopify strategy is an easy way to boost performance, too. 

For more information on converting leads for your online store:

7 Retargeting Best Practices for D2C Brands

Implement CTR-friendly Tactics

Google defines click-through rate (CTR) as a measure of “how often people who see your ad or free product listing end up clicking it.” The higher your CTR, the higher your conversion rate should be. There are few easy tricks almost guaranteed to immediately improve CTR:

  • Capitalizing title letters in ad copy
  • Using keywords that align with customer intent
  • And testing and optimizing ad frequency

Don’t Forget Negative Keywords

According to Google, a negative keyword is “a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.” In other words, your Google Ads for Shopify won’t appear when consumers search for these phrases if you tell Google to ignore them.

If you’re a burgeoning food brand, you may want to include words like “free” or “cheap” on your negative keyword list so your Google Ads for Shopify won’t be associated with content about where to dine out for free. Research shows this can help increase both CTR and revenue. 

Connect Shopify and Google Analytics to AdRoll

Speaking of free, AdRoll’s Shopify integration is free for existing Shopify sellers. All it takes is a few clicks to connect your Shopify account to AdRoll. Then, AdRoll can tap into your first-party data along with all of our existing data so you can ultimately provide more personalized experiences for customers and prospects.

By also connecting Google Analytics, you can give AdRoll read-only access to data like traffic to better understand your audience and create even better campaigns, as well as recommend tweaks for better performance.

CTR + Conversions = Better Google Ads

If you want to easily boost the performance of your Google Ads for Shopify, you should focus on maximizing CTR and conversions. You can do just that by understanding where to advertise and analyzing consumer data, optimizing your website and aligning ad copy, and implementing retargeting and negative keyword lists. 

Connecting Shopify and Google Analytics to AdRoll is a smart idea too. If you need help along the way, AdRoll is here.


Scott Jones is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager at AdRoll.