Should You Try Google Shopping Ads?

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

should-you-try-google-shopping-adsI have said it before, you have to advertise your online shop.  There are only so many free marketing ideas you can do and they still will not give you the traffic and return that advertising will.

If you have an online shop, including an Etsy shop, you may want to consider Google Shopping Ads. Over the last few months I have reviewed the advertising stats for many Etsy shops that have been running these ads, and I have to say, all the shops I have seen to date have had good success.

How to Measure Ad Success

Advertising costs should never be more than 25% of what you gross back in revenue. The reason is, you have to account for your profit margins. If your profit margins are 50%, this means if you spend $200 on an ad that grosses you $400 in sales (which means it then nets you $200 in profit), you are not making any money, just breaking even. The average return I have been seeing on Google Shopping ads is the ad cost averaging 20% or less on what the shop ends up grossing in sales. This is a good return.


Now, this is not to say that every shop will have the same success. If your current conversion rate is less than 3% (number of orders/number of views) do not run ads because you will just end up paying for click-through. Instead, identify and fix your conversion issues first (see my Etsy Shop Critique).


If you sell on Etsy, and you want to try Google Shopping Ads for the first time, Etsy will match your ad spending for the first 30 days, up to $25. In addition, if you spend $25 within the first 30 days, you’ll receive $100 in Google Shopping credit.

By the way, this is a completely unbiased, unpaid opinion. I do not get compensated in any way for recommending these ads, either from Etsy or Google. I have always just passed on marketing advice that works, free of charge.

Sharing articles is a great way to draw attention to your shop, so be sure to share this with other shops! Here is the short link:

Still not sure why your sales are lagging? Try my Etsy Shop Critiquemy Online Shop Critique or my Marketing Ebooks.


© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.


Not Making Sales? Time for a Marketing Checkup



by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Have sales at your online shop stalled? Then maybe it’s time for a marketing checkup.


When was the last time you updated your keywords and search phrases? The way people search is always changing, particularly since a lot of people are now speaking their searches into their phones as opposed to typing them. So try typing your main product word, i.e. “necklace” into the search boxes of Google, Amazon, Etsy, even Pinterest and see what types of searches fill down, and then update your keywords accordingly.


You have to advertise your shop if you want to get decent sales. The money you invest you will make back and then some, so don’t fear it. A good rule is to make sure that advertising costs are no more than 25% of the revenue the ad generates. You have a variety of options from Etsy promoted listings (for Etsy shops), Google shopping ads, Google Adwords ads, Facebook/Instagram ads, Pinterest ads and ads on blogs. You don’t have to do all of these, but if sales have stalled it is time to try at least one and measure the results.


If you are not sending out at least one publicity pitch a week, you are missing out on free traffic. Make a list of all of the blogs that your target market reads and pitch the blogger a story idea that would include your product. Start with the smaller blogs as they are more receptive to submissions. Need a refresher? Read my blog post, “How to Pitch Your Products to Editors“.

Email Marketing

What about all those people who have previously purchased from you? Maybe it’s time to get in touch with a special offer (buy one, get one half off), summer sale, a giveaway or just to show new product releases.

Social Media

Which social media site brings you the most traffic? Then double your “posting” and “following” efforts on this site and you will likely double your traffic. Maybe there is a social media site you haven’t tried yet, like Instagram. Now is the time to see what traffic it can drive. If you can’t come up with interesting content ideas try my Social Media Plan, which gives you creative content ideas for every day of the month for the last six months of 2017.

Still not sure why your sales are lagging? Try my Etsy Shop Critique or my Online Shop Critique to make sure that your shop is in optimal shape.




© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

6 Killer Marketing Ideas for Your Lularoe Business

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Lularoe is a direct sales clothing brand that has become a billion dollar business in just 5 years, selling their vibrant fashions through home based consultants, as well as finding success with Facebook pop up stores. Direct sales businesses can be lucrative, but it can take time. So here are 6 killer ideas to help you promote your Lularoe business, from my new ebook, Direct Sales Clothing Marketing Ideas

6 Killer Ideas for Your Lularoe Business

  1. Since one of Lularoe’s most popular products is their leggings, attend free yoga classes in the park (or other free exercise classes in your town) wearing a pair of Lularoe leggings, along with a gym bag full of the leggings for on-the-spot sales.
  2. Have your yoga mat printed with, “Like My Leggings? They’re Lularoe”. Any print shop can do this for you onto a plain yoga mat. Free advertising!
  3. Suggest to your Lularoe consultants that they hold a home party to coincide with a TV show viewing party, like the finale of the Bachelor or during the half time at a Super Bowl party.
  4. Create paper door hangers to hang on neighbour’s doors (or hit up an apartment building) inviting people to your next Lularoe Facebook pop up shop. There are many shops that do custom door hangers on Etsy.
  5. Repackage older items, out of season items or stock that didn’t sell into value bundles for sale or “grab bags”.
  6. Post a countdown graphic daily on your social media sites, leading up to your next Lularoe Facebook Pop-up Store to create momentum.

Download my ebook, Direct Sales Clothing Marketing Ideas, ideal if you sell Lularoe, Honey & Lace, Agnes & Dora and any other direct sales clothing company. You’ll love all the inspiration!

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Create Products Editors Love

by Gail Online, Marketing Consultant

I have always recommended to my clients to come up with at least one product that is trendy, unconventional or whimsical in nature because these are the types of products that blog and magazine editors love. This product acts like a lure for your shop because it gets the media attention that brings the traffic to your shop to see what else you sell.

Here are some products (courtesy of Anthropologie) that editors would love and why:


Tassels on purses or backpacks are cute accessories, but why not give them a dual purpose and add a USB cable for charging on the go.


These sandals are interesting simply because they don’t match, have lots of bling and are right on theme for any summer editorial.


Why would editors like this pencil case? Because it doubles as a pencil holder simply by standing it on its side.


Funny product names are always editorial worthy, like this mask to get rid of under eye bags called, “Lost Baggage”, a curse of the weary traveler.


If you sell on Etsy, you know the demand for monogrammed products. Well doesn’t it just make sense that the best way to get members of the family to hang up their stuff is to give them their own monogrammed hook?!

Make it clever

What can I say; this “Love U Berry Much” bracelet is silly but clever and editors love clever products.



NEED HELP WITH YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS? Not sure which ones of my marketing products or services is right for your business? Ask me a question about what kind of help you need below and I will advise!

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Improve Click Through on Your Products in Etsy Search Results

by Gail Oliver, E-commerce Marketing Consultant


So you have optimized your Etsy SEO and your products are now coming up on the first page of search results, however, you still are not getting any traffic. It is one of two things – your price and/or your photos, as these are the only two visible factors in search results. Therefore, here are some potential reasons and solutions:

  1. Your price is way off the competition. If someone is searching for a trendy necklace, typically expecting a $25 to $40 price range, and your necklace is $200, they are probably not going to click on it. Solution: Try adding a circle or banner that says: “Less Expensive Necklaces in Shop” or “See our Under $50 Section”. This might encourage the customer to at least click on the photo to see what else you offer in their price range as opposed to dismissing your shop altogether.
  2. It is not the color/size/material they want. As a result, the customer assumes this is the only color/size/material it is offered in and doesn’t bother clicking on the image. Solution: Add a banner that says, “More Colors Available” to the photo. Same for size, style, pattern, etc. 
  3. Your photos look like everyone else’s. You do not want your photos to blend in with everyone else’s because it then appears to the customer as all the same product and it just doesn’t stand out. Solution: Do a search on your main search phrase and see the images that come up. If they are all on white backgrounds, then put your product in a stylized setting, and vice versa. In other words, do the opposite, not the same. Maybe even something as simple as adding a color border around the image might make it stand out more and differentiate it from others.
  4. There are too many other objects in the photo. I see a lot of product photos where people put all of these other objects in the image and the customer is not sure which one you are selling, so they don’t click on it because they assume the wrong product is the one for sale. Solution: There is nothing wrong with a stylized photo, but don’t over do it. Make sure your product is front and center, use no more than two other objects in the photo, and make sure that the objects are softly blurred out.
  5. The product appears too small. A larger image of a product will stand out in search results much more than a smaller one. Solution: Etsy has a built in cropping tool so use it for the shop view photo. See the difference below:
  6. Quite simply, the photo sucks. It doesn’t look professional, is poorly lit and/or poorly cropped (not all of the product is in the frame). Good photos sell products so invest in this area of your business. Solution: If you can’t afford professional photos, then just keep the photo simple in terms of styling as it is harder to mess up, such as a trendy overhead shot on a natural surface background like marble or concrete, and make sure to shoot the product in natural light using a flash, as in the example below.

2 more ways to improve click through!

My Etsy Shop Critique will improve upon every aspect of your Etsy shop – including a review of your photos – as well as advice on your Etsy SEO, your Google SEO, your products, your pricing, your listing descriptions and so much more! Get all the details on my Etsy Shop Critique and start seeing results!

☀ increases traffic to Etsy listings by 10% on average by using cutting edge data analytics that tell you which of the first two images in your listing should be in the primary image spot in order to get the best click through. Get set up in less than 30 seconds and then sit back and let them gather and analyze your traffic data. Learn more.

FREE OFFER! Mention my blog with a link ( on a Facebook Etsy Team page that has 5,000+ followers and I will rewrite one of your weakest product descriptions for free!


© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Maximize Sales for Every Gift Buying Occasion

by Gail Oliver, Ecommerce Marketing Consultant

If you want your online shop to succeed, you have to advertise. There is no way around it. Your competitors are advertising, so you need to as well. I am not sure why so many shops fight it when it is one of the most effective and proven ways to drive traffic and sales.

Now, I also believe in spending your ad dollars wisely, especially if they are limited. Therefore, if your shop does the best during the high gift buying times of the year, such as Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and so forth, then save your advertising dollars for these occasions to get the most bang for your marketing budget.

The key is to look at when people start searching and when those searches peak. Below are my recommendations for when you should run ads to maximize your sales opportunities as well as cash in on those early shoppers. Be sure to bookmark this page for reference.

Teachers Gifts                       

Searches start in November and reach their peak in December. They start again in early May and peak in late May, with some searches still in June, but searches are highest in December overall, so we can assume that Christmas gifts for teachers are more popular than end of year gifts.

RUN YOUR ADS: mid November to mid December; all of May.

Valentines Gifts                       

Searches start in late December right after Christmas and reach their peak the first week of February.

RUN YOUR ADS: late December to February 9th. 

Mother’s Day Gifts

Searches start around Valentines Day and then hit their first peak mid March, likely for the UK Mother’s Day. Searches start up again mid April and peak the first week of May.

RUN YOUR ADS: mid February to mid March; mid April to the first week of May.

Graduation Gifts                       

Searches start in early April, peak in mid May, with still some searches in June.

RUN YOUR ADS: early April to first week of June.

Father’s Day Gifts

Searches actually start in April as the second wave of people who are searching for a Mother’s Day gift likely decide to look for a Father’s Day gift at the same time. Searches peak by mid June.

RUN YOUR ADS: mid April to first week of June.

Christmas Gifts

Searches start in October, grow through November, but forget about what you heard about Black Friday. December is still when searches for Christmas gifts is the highest (those last minute shoppers).

RUN YOUR ADS: mid October to December 20th. 

Wedding Gifts

Searches for wedding gifts are popular all year long but particularly strong in December, November and May (in that order).

RUN YOUR ADS: early November to last week of December; all of May.


“Some wonderful ideas to put in place and I know that in time, Gail’s advice will pay off in spades. Many thanks!”. Jill, FantailsandFeet on Etsy.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Creating Grabby Headlines for Your Social Media Ads

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

creating_grabby_headlines_for_your_social_media_adsIf you are running online ads, particularly on social media, you really don’t have a lot of space to use a lot of words. In fact, Facebook only allows 20% of an ad’s graphic to be text. Therefore, your ad’s headline has to have a big impact in just a few words in order to get clicked on. So, just how do you write a grabby headline?

One way to start is to figure out what is your customer’s problem or need. You can do an ad for your entire shop, or you can do an ad that focuses on a specific product, so let’s say you are focusing on advertising a specific product. The form you want the headline to take is as follows:

Descriptive adjective or feature | the product | target market

The more niche your target market is, the better. I have written some sample ad headlines to inspire you:

  • The Prettiest Statement Necklaces for Summer
  • Light Up Dog Collars for Night Walking
  • Adorable Baby Bibs for Big Droolers
  • Inexpensive Art Prints for Apartment Dwellers
  • Stunning Photo Invitations for a Rustic Wedding

Try to keep the headline to 6 to 7 words. We are just trying to get their attention, not make the sale at this point. The goal is to get them to click on the ad to learn more and this is where you try to get the sale as the ad links right to the product listing. Make sure that the ad links directly to the product in question, not just to your shop. You don’t want the customer to have to take too may steps to get to the product or you may lose the sale.

Now, maybe you want to advertise a sale or special offer. Then try one of these grabby headlines:

  • Any 2 Prints for $39 
  • Mother’s Day Jewelry 40% Off
  • Today Only 25% Off All Summer Decor
  • Shop 3 for $30 Pillow Covers
  • 50% Off Flash Sale 1 Day Only!

Facebook and Instagram ads are very affordable, but you want them to be effective, so try a grabbier headline and see if this helps your click through.


“Very detailed analysis. I got great insight into how to run my business”. Paula, HandleWithCareCreations on Etsy.

© 2017 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.