Google Ads case: cleaning and optimizing an online store account (NDA)


20 min


The goal of any business is to maximize profits (which is natural). But what to do when there is nothing to maximize? Imagine a client comes to you with set up campaigns in Google Ads. Advertising works, but it works in the negative. The main task in such a situation is to achieve payback and stabilize the result.

Today’s story is about what to do when advertising is unprofitable. Let’s talk about hygiene and campaign optimization.

Introductory information about the client

Client: Ukrainian online store of light construction and garden equipment (snow blowers, generators, power tools, chainsaws, cultivators).

Niche features:

  • high competition;
  • perceptible seasonal fluctuations for a part of the goods;
  • high cost of goods;
  • the decision to purchase is made for a long time (about 2 months);
  • most sales are made over the phone.

Goals: the client wanted to get more sales; and that investments in advertising pay off.

Input: The client came to us in September 2019. The account was set up as follows:

  • 7 search campaigns with ad groups based on popular models and general queries;
  • remarketing campaign;
  • Google Shopping campaign with product category groups.

We have audited the campaigns. After analyzing the settings of all campaigns, we identified critical points that need to be corrected for normal operation.

The first thing we noticed was that advertising campaigns for two websites were set up in one account. This complicates the work, and when analyzing the effectiveness of campaigns, you can make mistakes, and evaluate the productivity of not a specific website, but both, which will distort the results and prevent you from making the right decisions. It is better to separate Google Ads accounts for different websites.

The account also had other errors:

  • bidding: in Google Shopping campaigns there was a single rate for all products — UAH 20; CPA optimizer or smart bidding strategies were enabled, but the ad account was not connected to analytics. Since information about transactions and their value was not transferred to the account, bidding could not work correctly;
  • keywords were repeated, some were irrelevant to the sentence;
  • there were no negative keywords;
  • ads are written in formulaic phrases, without specifics and USP.

In addition, it was not possible to track offline sales: the client did not use call tracking and end-to-end analytics.

Results in numbers BEFORE working with Penguin-team:

  • 11 transactions,
  • spent on advertising — 725.9 $,
  • conversion cost — 65.9 $,
  • ad revenue— 2 186.28 $.
Results in numbers BEFORE working with Penguin-team

After analyzing the Analytics data, we saw:

  • ROAS – 301% (at first glance, not bad),
  • but we calculated ROI with a margin of 20% (at the time of the audit, we did not know the real margin, so we took 20% for calculation) – -39.7%.

You can work with this! First, we took care of account hygiene and fixed all the errors in the campaign settings, and then we started to optimize for keep the result and maximize it further.

Account hygiene

To begin with, we decided to comb the account and do basic hygiene. What was important for normal operation?

  1. Set up transaction import in Google Asd. Without this, correct conversion tracking and the ability to implement an automatic bidding strategy are not possible.
  2. Set up tracking of microconversions from JivoSite – sending a message, a callback request. Most orders are not made through the shopping cart, and sometimes it takes a long time to make a decision. To evaluate the effectiveness of advertising, you need to track all interactions with the website, and the resulting data must be imported into Google Ads.
  3. Work out lists of negative keywords, and further supplement them with new words and phrases. Thanks to the constant cleaning of traffic, you will not waste your budget on random visitors. The easiest way to do this is with the NegativeKeywords tool.
  4. Check the ads text: there should be no common phrases, template advantages (best price, high quality). But the USP, specific offers, understandable and attractive CTAs should be in the ads. To remove the fair concerns of potential customers, we have added information about official documents, certificates and a guarantee.
  5. Check the feed and optimize it if necessary. For example, in product campaigns, we received a lot of traffic, but only few conversions. Garbage words appeared in search queries in various combinations and word forms. And all because in the feed in the title of some products there was the phrase “Free shipping in Ukraine” + the website domain. To avoid manually fixing them, we created a conversion rule in the Google Merchant Center that removed such phrases.

Campaign Optimization

When the account hygiene was completed, we started working on campaign optimization.

Google Shopping

Created separate Google Shopping campaigns for all categories of products on the website. Narrow segmentation makes campaign management more flexible: you can add your own negative keyword list and set a budget.

Google Smart Shopping

We noticed that Smart Shopping  shows only the few products. The rest of the products are shown either rarely or not at all. Therefore, the campaign worked in the negative.

To remedy the situation, we created Smart Shopping for converting products by category: we took products that were bought more often in the last 4 months. This strategy helped to quickly collect statistics for training the system. In standard campaigns, these products were disabled to avoid competition and overbidding.

Created a dynamic search campaign. The account was set up with regular search campaigns with popular products – this breakdown brought results. Therefore, we decided to launch a DSA campaign in order not to create separate groups for each model.

Results after 3 months of work


  • total income from Google Ads in November amounted to UAH 303,173;
  • net profit — UAH 33,546.9, with a margin of 30% and excluding advertising costs;
  • ROAS — 528%;
  • ROI Google Shopping — 27%;
  • ROI Search — 89%.

We managed to reach payback and now we can continue to work on maximizing the results.

What’s next

For 3 months we managed to get out of the red and increase sales 4 times. However, you should not stop there. To improve performance, we need to continue working on campaigns:

  1. Optimize titles in Google Shopping.

  2. Track and list profitable products in Google Smart Shopping campaigns.

  3. Don’t forget about negative keywords. Even when it seems to you that everything has already been added to the exceptions.

  4. Test ads → make changes → test further.

  5. Improve quality score.


And then the results will be even better.

Check out other cases on our blog⤵

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1.Кликов 259, показов 3 515. Чему равен CTR?
2.Заходов на сайт 874, конверсий 16. Чему равен коэффициент конверсии?
3.Что такое СРА?
4.CTR 4,03%, кликов 240. Чему равно число показов объявления?
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