November 30, 2018

5 Google AdWords Strategies for Fashion Companies


Back to Blog

Does Google Ads Really Work For Fashion Marketing?

5 Google Ads Strategies For Fashion Marketing

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #1:  Bid On Your Own Brand

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #2:  Use Ad Extensions

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #3:  Define Negative Branded Keywords

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #4:  Use Google Shopping Ads

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #5:  Run Google Display Remarketing Campaigns


Does Google Ads Really Work For Fashion Marketing?

You can get anything in life if you dress properly for it. Using Google Ads for fashion marketing takes more than dressing—or should we say window-dressing?

Many fashion marketers don’t think Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is suitable for fashion marketing. They believe images play a big role in their business, and they’re correct. Then again, who said you couldn’t go visual with Google Ads?

Traditional marketers think of text ads when AdWords is mentioned. However, Google Ads allows you to run six different types of campaigns.

  • Search Network with Display Select
  • Search Network only
  • Display Network only
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Universal app

Shopping, Display, Search, and Video ads work best for fashion and apparel brands. While extremely necessary, marketing your business on all of these media channels is something you can’t do alone—at least not successfully.

To be honest, you need a cross-channel marketing consultant and a team of experts to implement this new strategies if you really want your brand to become the next big trend.

5 Google Ads Strategies For Fashion Marketing

Even with these five AdWords strategies, you still may not be able to run a multi-pronged Google Ads campaign all by yourself.

This 10-minute read can help you develop a greater understanding of the scope of AdWords and its potential for use in fashion marketing so that you can hire the right team of experts for your company’s needs.

On the bright side, harnessing the full power of AdWords can deliver astronomical returns, as we’ll see in some of the examples below.

Here we go:

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #1:  Bid On Your Own Brand

Presidential candidates vote for themselves. Why wouldn’t you bid on your own brand name? In fact, not choosing your brand as a keyword is one of the biggest Google Ads mistakes a fashion advertiser can commit. Here’s why:

Keywords and phrases with your own brand name are cheap to bid on.

Branded searches signify high customer intent to do business with you.

Your brand gets free publicity if you have selected a broad match or modified broad match keyword match type.

If you don’t take advantage of your own brand, someone else might!

In the above ads that the search query fendi shoes new jersey conjures up, notice how the first three results are selling Fendi shoes, and they also have ‘Fendi’ as one of their keywords.

The fourth result does not sell Fendi but has selected a broad match type. Anyone looking for Fendi shoes is not likely to click on the ad, so the advertiser is simply getting free exposure.

In the same example, also notice that the company’s own website is the top organic result. Fendi is not using AdWords and could be losing customers to competitors!

Pro Tip: When running a branded search campaign, make sure to bid high, so your brand stays on top of the page.

Pro Tip: Create a separate Ad Group for branded keywords and phrase matches that contain your brand name. Do not mix them with other Ad Groups because it makes tracking difficult.

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #2:  Use Ad Extensions

If you’re not using AdWords extensions, you’re missing out on valuable clicks and conversions.

Google Ads currently offers ten types of extensions. The following selections work best for fashion and apparel businesses.

AdWords Sitelink Extensions allow you to feature links to various sections of your website.

Joshmeah.com Blog

A Structured Snippet Extension is a powerful text Ad feature that allows you to add three additional headlines of text to showcase different features of your business, including amenities, brands, models, neighborhoods, service catalog, shows, styles, and types.

Joshmeah.com Blog

AdWords Call and Message Extensions allows you to display your phone number in the ad, so interested customers can call your fashion outlet directly by simply clicking the ad. Message extensions are available only on mobile. When enabled, the message extension displays a message box in your where users can send a text to your mobile number.

Joshmeah.com Blog

AdWords Dynamic Callout Extensions are like sitelink extensions. They allow you to highlight different areas of your product or business, like experience, but callout extensions are not clickable.

Joshmeah.com Blog

AdWords Price Extensions may display on mobile and desktop ads. You can use them to feature specific brands, events, neighborhoods, locations, product categories, services, and more

Joshmeah.com Blog
Joshmeah.com Blog

AdWords Promotion Extensions can work best for upcoming fashion brands pitched against the bigger, meaner brands. A promotion may be the best way to break the chains of brand loyalty and encourage the customer to try your brand.

Joshmeah.com Blog

ProTip: Google Ads extensions are not going to show each time your ad is displayed. Google will decide when to show which extension depending on the bidding conditions and your Google Ads Quality Score.

For additional details, and there are tons of them, visit Google’s guide to extensions!

For more information on strategy and how these extensions can work for you, feel free to contact JoshMeah.Com, a digital marketing strategist specializing in Google Ads for fashion.

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #3:  Define Negative Branded Keywords

This is a quick one!

Negative keywords tell Google when NOT to show your ad.

Let’s say you are a rising apparel brand and you sell jeans.

You know that Levi’s customers happen to be very loyal to the brand and would probably never buy your pants. You can list ‘Levi’s’ as one of your negative keywords to avoid unwanted clicks.

Here are 12 negative keywords that DO NOT belong in any AdWords campaign.

Joshmeah.com Blog

For a more thorough list of words to avoid, be sure to consult Google’s list of 1500+ Google Ads negative keywords.

WordStream also offers a free negative keyword tool that you may use.

Joshmeah.com Blog

To define negative keywords, log into your Google Ads account and click on Campaigns>>Ad Groups>> Keywords. Click the Negative Keywords tab and add the branded and non-branded keywords.

You can define negative keywords for individual ads, Ad Groups, campaigns, or your whole account.

You can also create shared keywords lists and apply them to any Ad Group or individual ad.

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #4:  Use Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), are arguably the best medium for promoting small and medium-sized fashion businesses.

Joshmeah.com Blog


PLAs have at least three things going for them:

  1. Shopping ads include photos of your products. What shows, sells, especially in fashion.
  2. Shopping ads are targeted by product data and customer intent, not by keywords. Google determines the customer’s intent, and then displays relevant ads. This helps you get quality traffic—customers who are ready to buy!
  3. Product Listing Ads command a higher click-through and conversion rate than paid search ads, mainly because customers can see your product’s image in the listings.

JanSport, the collegiate apparel and backpack brand, achieved a 13% jump in conversions using Google Shopping Ads.

A Sears outlet increased its store visits by 12% and earned $8 in revenue for each $1 it invested in Product Listing Ads.

If big brands like Sears and JanSport are using Google’s platform to sell their products, what’s stopping you?

How to Create Product Listing Ads

PLAs are a part of Google Ads, but they’re a different beast from paid search advertising. Follow these instructions to set up your campaign.

Sign up for a Google Merchant Center account.

Upload your product feed. It can be an Excel spreadsheet containing all the info you want to advertise, such as brand, price, availability, size, color, and more.

Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and all other major e-commerce platforms include proprietary or third-party software that automatically integrates your product feed with your Google Merchant Center account, and spares you the trouble of creating a manual product feed.

Link your Merchant Center account with your Google Ads account. This will make the product information available to your Shopping campaign.

That’s it! Now you can run Product Listing Ads directly from your Google Ads account.

Click on the Campaigns tab and click the plus(+) sign to create a new campaign. Select Shopping as the campaign type.

On the next screen, select the campaign goal. Google gives you four options: Sales, Leads, Website traffic, and Create your campaign without a goal.

The Sales objective works best if you’re a fashion and apparel business looking to sell products, whereas the Leads objective is appropriate if you want to create brand awareness and showcase specific products.

Joshmeah.com Blog

The website traffic goal is suitable if you only want to drive traffic to your site and don’t care for conversions or leads (which I think you do!). And the fourth option—Create your campaign without a goal— isn’t really an option if you’re serious about business.

Pro Tip: As a fashion business, you should use a combination of Leads and Sales campaigns to sell products while also building your brand at the same time.

Google Shopping Ad Extensions

Just like text ads, Shopping ads come with extensions you can use to improve your click-through rates (CTRs) and conversions. There are three extensions that work best for fashion and apparel brands.

  1. Product Rating Ad Extension: Shows your star ratings to help your products stand out.
  2. Local Inventory Ad Extension: Allows customers to view your current inventory and prices. Customers can click the ad to visit the webpage of the nearest local store.
  3. Google Merchant Promotions: Enables you to advertise special offers and discounts to boost clicks and conversions.

Pro Tip: Google shows Sales ads when it perceives the customer’s intent to be high, and Leads (or Showcase Shopping Ads) when it thinks the user is not ready to buy immediately.

Pro Tip:To make the campaign run smoothly, create a separate Ad Group for each individual product and most of your Product Listing Ads. Putting all products in a single Ad Group is the biggest Google Shopping mistake that many AdWords agencies and advertisers commit.

For more details about Google Shopping, follow Google’s instructions or contact Josh Meah for a free consultation!

Google Ads for Fashion Strategy #5:  Run Google Display Remarketing Campaigns

Google Display Network (GDN) reaches more than 90% of internet users across two million websites. Small businesses tend to be wary of GDN thinking it’s too expensive, but that’s just a myth.

The fact is that Google display ads are one of the cheapest ways to feature your products and build your brand.

The average CTR for display network is only 0.35%, compared to 1.91% for search ads. This means you get tons of free impressions that would normally cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars on other media like billboards or TV.

Display ads work particularly well for fashion businesses that depend heavily on optics to sell products.

About Google Display Remarketing Ads

The average Google Ads conversion rates are around 2%.

This means, regardless of what you or your pay-per-click (PPC) consultant might do, the overwhelming majority of your PPC visitors are not going to buy from you the first time.

You have spent time and money to get people to visit your website. It would be a shame to let most of them just ride off into the sunset. Enter Remarketing!

The Google Ads remarketing feature allows you to retarget lost customers wherever they go on the internet.

Statistics show that remarketing clicks are cheaper and covert better than regular PPC clicks.

According to Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream, remarketing clicks cost anywhere between 2-100x less than search ads.

One of their remarketing campaigns increased repeat visits by 50% and conversions by 51%.

Here’s what happens when you use a combination of search ads and remarketing display ads:

  • Search ads create brand awareness and bring people to your website or landing pages
  • Customers see your products and leave because they’re not ready to buy yet
  • Remarketing ads follow your customers wherever they go online—including GDN websites and Facebook (if you’re using Facebook retargeting)
  • Remarketing ads generate brand recall and tell the customer the products they showed interest in are still available
  • You can also reach the customers with special offers to entice them to come back and buy your products

In conclusion, GDN remarketing ads are most effective when used in tandem with search ads to boost brand awareness and conversions at minimal cost.

Before You Start

  1. Remember, image display campaigns deliver better CTRs and conversions than text display ads. You can run text display ads, but why would you?
  2. Never run a Display and Search campaign at the same time. You’ll confuse Google and yourself.
  3. Don’t forget to create at least one remarketing list before you can run a display remarketing campaign.

Getting Started with Google Display Remarketing Ads

After signing into your account, click Campaign and then click the plus (+) sign.

Select the goal of your campaign and select Display as the campaign type.

Joshmeah.com Blog

Choose your campaign name, locations, languages, bidding strategy, and budget.

Click Additional settings and select more options, like ad scheduling, content exclusion, or device targeting.

Joshmeah.com Blog

Next, click the Remarketing tab in the Audience section.

Click the checkbox next to the remarketing audience you’d like to target.

Click Save, and you’re all set!


Unlike beauty, Google Ads is NOT skin deep. It’s driven by numbers, keywords, and customer behavior—that makes it complicated. The fashion industry contains at least 22 different types of businesses. It’s a highly competitive market dominated by mega-brands with brand loyalties running sky high.

Unless you’re smart about utilizing Google Ads, it’s not easy for a small or startup fashion business to make a dent in the market.

This article was designed to help you understand Google Ads, as well as seeing why it’s a crucial component of any digital marketing strategy. We know it’s a lot of information to navigate when you’re busy running your company, so we encourage you to work with a digital marketing firm that specializes in GOOGLE fashion marketing and has the expertise your company needs.

latest post

The art is building the right growth campaign. The science is in the results.

Ready to get started?

Let's Talk     +