Getting Started with Google Ads: A Walkthrough for DTC Beverage Alcohol Brands

Getting Started with Google Ads: A Walkthrough for DTC Beverage Alcohol Brands

In the dynamic world of beverage alcohol e-commerce, standing out is crucial. Google Ads offers a powerful platform to reach your target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. This guide will walk you through the essentials of setting up Google Ads tailored specifically for beverage alcohol brands running direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales online.

Understanding Google Ads

Google Ads is an online advertising platform where advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users. It can place ads both in the results of search engines like Google Search (the Google Search Network) and on non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos (the Google Display Network).

Benefits of Google Ads for Beverage Alcohol Brands

  1. Targeted Advertising: Reach specific demographics, locations, and interest groups.
  2. Increased Visibility: Appear in front of potential customers actively searching for your products.
  3. Cost Control: Set budgets that fit your financial plan and adjust them as needed.
  4. Measurable Results: Track and analyze performance metrics to refine your strategy.

Setting Up Your Google Ads Account

  1. Create a Google Ads Account:
    • Go to the Google Ads website and click on "Start Now".
    • Follow the prompts to set up your account, including billing information and preferences.
  2. Define Your Advertising Goals:
    • Brand Awareness: If you're looking to increase awareness of your beverage alcohol brand.
    • Lead Generation: To collect email addresses or other contact information from potential customers.
    • Sales and Conversions: Directly drive sales through your e-commerce platform.
  3. Research Keywords:
    • Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify relevant keywords for your products.
    • Focus on high-intent keywords such as "buy wine online" or "premium whiskey delivery".
    • Conducting keyword research is also a crucial part of improving your site's organic rankings - learn how to incorporate this step into your SEO strategy here.

Completing Google Advertiser Verification

Google Advertiser Verification is a process that ensures transparency and trustworthiness in the advertising ecosystem. For beverage alcohol brands running e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales, completing this verification is crucial to maintain compliance with Google’s policies and build credibility with your audience. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to complete the Google Advertiser Verification process:

Why Advertiser Verification is Important

  1. Transparency: Builds trust with users by displaying verified information.
  2. Compliance: Ensures adherence to legal and policy requirements, especially crucial for regulated industries like alcohol.
  3. Ad Approval: Facilitates smoother ad approvals and reduces the risk of ad disapprovals or account suspensions.

Steps to Complete Google Advertiser Verification

  1. Initiation of Verification Process:
    • Google may prompt you to verify your account when you set up new ads or make significant changes to your existing campaigns.
    • You can also proactively initiate the verification process by navigating to the "Billing & Payments" section in your Google Ads account.
  2. Submit Business Information:
    • Access Verification Form: Go to your Google Ads account, click on the tools icon in the upper right corner, and select “Billing & Payments.” From there, you can find the verification section.
    • Provide Basic Information: Enter details about your business, such as your legal business name, address, and website URL.
  3. Identity Verification:
    • Personal Identification: You may need to provide personal identification information, such as a government-issued ID, to verify your identity.
    • Business Documents: Submit documents that verify your business, such as a business license, tax registration certificate, or incorporation documents.
  4. Domain Verification:
    • Website Ownership: Verify ownership of your website domain. This typically involves adding a meta tag or uploading an HTML file to your website to confirm you control the domain.
  5. Industry-Specific Verification:
    • Alcohol Advertising Compliance: As a beverage alcohol brand, you must comply with additional regulations. Ensure you meet the age restriction policies and other legal requirements for advertising alcohol online.
    • Age Gating: Implement age verification on your website to prevent underage users from accessing alcohol-related content.
  6. Review and Submission:
    • Double-Check Information: Before submitting, review all the information and documents to ensure accuracy.
    • Submit for Review: Once everything is complete, submit your verification request to Google for review.
  7. Await Verification Approval:
    • Review Process: Google will review your submission, which may take a few days to a couple of weeks.
    • Approval or Request for Additional Information: You’ll receive a notification once your verification is approved or if additional information is needed.
  8. Maintaining Verified Status:
    • Regular Updates: Keep your business information updated to maintain your verified status.
    • Compliance: Continuously comply with Google’s advertising policies, especially regarding alcohol advertising.

Tips for a Smooth Verification Process

  1. Accurate Documentation: Ensure all submitted documents are clear, accurate, and up-to-date.
  2. Clear Communication: Use a consistent business name and address across all submitted documents and your Google Ads account.
  3. Proactive Compliance: Stay informed about Google’s advertising policies and legal requirements for alcohol advertising to avoid disruptions.

By completing the Google Advertiser Verification process, beverage alcohol brands can enhance their credibility, comply with regulations, and ensure their ads reach the right audience without interruptions. This verification not only supports a trustworthy advertising environment but also fosters consumer trust and loyalty.

Linking to Google Analytics

Integrating your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts is a crucial step for beverage alcohol brands running e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales. This connection provides comprehensive insights into how your ads are performing and how users are interacting with your website. Here’s a brief guide on how to link these accounts and why it’s important.

Why Link Google Ads and Google Analytics?

  1. Enhanced Reporting: Get detailed insights into user behavior on your site after they click on your ads, including which pages they visit and how long they stay.
  2. Improved ROI Tracking: Track conversions and e-commerce metrics more accurately, allowing you to optimize your ad spend and maximize returns.
  3. Advanced Remarketing: Create more sophisticated audience segments for targeting (note: alcohol brands must adhere to restrictions on remarketing).
  4. Better Campaign Optimization: Use Analytics data to refine your ad targeting, bidding strategies, and overall campaign performance.

How to Link Google Ads to Google Analytics

To link both products from within Google Ads, follow these instructions. To do so from within Google Analytics, follow the below instructions.

  1. Access Google Analytics:
  2. Navigate to Admin Settings:
    • In the bottom-left corner, click on the Admin gear icon.
  3. Select Property:
    • Under the “Property” column, choose the Analytics property you want to link to your Google Ads account.
  4. Google Ads Linking:
    • Click on Google Ads Linking under the “Product Linking” section.
  5. New Link Group:
    • Click on the + New Link Group button.
  6. Select Google Ads Account:
    • Choose the Google Ads account(s) you want to link. If you manage multiple accounts, select all that apply.
  7. Link Configuration:
    • Turn on Link for each Google Ads account you want to link.
    • Optionally, enable Auto-Tagging to automatically tag your Google Ads URLs for easier tracking in Analytics.
  8. Name Your Link Group:
    • Provide a name for your link group (e.g., “Beverage Alcohol Brand Campaigns”).
  9. Complete Linking:
    • Click Link Accounts to complete the process.

Verification and Final Steps

  1. Check Data Flow:
    • Ensure that data from Google Ads starts appearing in Google Analytics reports. This may take a few hours.
  2. Customize Reports:
    • Utilize the integrated data to create customized reports that align with your business goals and track important metrics like conversions and user behavior.
  3. Optimize Campaigns:
    • Use the insights gained from Analytics to refine your Google Ads campaigns. Focus on high-performing keywords, ads, and audience segments to improve overall campaign effectiveness.

Creating Your First Campaign

  1. Choose the Campaign Type:
    • Search Campaigns: Show text ads in Google search results. Learn how to create effective Search ads here.
    • Display Campaigns: Display banner ads on websites within the Google Display Network. Learn how to optimize Display campaigns here.
    • Shopping Campaigns: Showcase your products directly in Google search results (note: ensure compliance with Google’s policies for alcohol advertising). Learn how to make your products stand out and maximize your reach across Google’s channels here.
  2. Set Your Budget and Bidding Strategy:
    • Daily Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend each day.
    • Bidding: Choose between options like Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM), or Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA).
  3. Define Your Target Audience:
    • Use demographic targeting to reach specific age groups, genders, or income levels.
    • Geographic targeting to focus on locations where you can legally ship alcohol.
  4. Create Engaging Ad Copy and Visuals:
    • Headlines: Make them catchy and relevant.
    • Descriptions: Highlight key selling points and include a clear call-to-action (CTA).
    • Visuals: Use high-quality images for display ads and product listings.

Optimizing Your Ads

  1. A/B Testing:
    • Test different versions of your ads to see which performs better.
    • Experiment with different headlines, descriptions, and images.
  2. Monitor Performance Metrics:
    • Click-Through Rate (CTR): Percentage of people who click on your ad.
    • Conversion Rate: Percentage of clicks that lead to a sale.
    • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Revenue generated for every dollar spent on ads.
  3. Refine Your Strategy:
    • Use insights from performance metrics to optimize your ads.
    • Adjust your keyword bids, ad copy, and targeting parameters based on what’s working best.

Compliance and Best Practices

  1. Adhere to Google’s Alcohol Advertising Policies:
    • Ensure your ads comply with local laws and Google’s policies on alcohol advertising.
    • Avoid targeting minors and include age-gating where necessary.
  2. Landing Page Optimization:
    • Ensure your landing pages are relevant to the ads.
    • Make the purchase process seamless and secure.
  3. Remarketing:
    • Remarketing Lists: Alcohol-related ads are not permitted to use remarketing lists for targeting users who have previously interacted with their website or ads.
    • Audience Targeting: Creation of remarketing audiences or similar audiences using data collected from your website or app for alcohol-related content is not allowed.
    • Reasons for the Restriction:
      • User Protection: This policy helps protect users from being repeatedly exposed to alcohol-related advertisements, which may be inappropriate or unwanted for certain audiences.
      • Compliance: Ensures compliance with local laws and regulations regarding the advertising of alcoholic beverages.
    • Alternative Strategies:
      • Interest-Based Targeting: Instead of remarketing, focus on interest-based targeting to reach potential customers who show interest in topics related to your products.
      • Contextual Targeting: Use keywords and placements to ensure your ads appear in relevant contexts without relying on past user interactions.
      • Search Campaigns: Leverage search campaigns to target users actively searching for your products or related terms.

Google Ads Benchmarks for E-commerce

  1. Click-Through Rate (CTR):
    • Benchmark: 2.69%
    • Explanation: CTR measures how often people who see your ad end up clicking on it. A higher CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and engaging.
  2. Conversion Rate:
    • Benchmark: 1.91%
    • Explanation: Conversion rate is the percentage of clicks that result in a desired action, such as a purchase. A higher conversion rate suggests that your ad and landing page are effective at convincing users to complete the desired action.
  3. Cost Per Click (CPC):
    • Benchmark: $1.16
    • Explanation: CPC is the average amount you pay for each click on your ad. Lower CPC can help you get more clicks within your budget.
  4. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA):
    • Benchmark: $45.27
    • Explanation: CPA measures the cost of acquiring a customer through your ads. It’s crucial for understanding how much you’re spending to gain a new customer and ensuring that this cost is sustainable for your business.
  5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS):
    • Benchmark: 4:1 (or 400%)
    • Explanation: ROAS calculates the revenue generated for every dollar spent on ads. A ROAS of 4:1 means you earn $4 for every $1 spent, indicating a profitable campaign.
  6. Impression Share:
    • Benchmark: 35.7%
    • Explanation: Impression share is the percentage of total impressions your ads receive compared to the total available impressions. A higher impression share means your ads are competitive in the auction and are being shown more frequently.

Industry-Specific Adjustments

For beverage alcohol brands, these benchmarks might slightly vary due to specific industry factors such as seasonal demand (e.g., holidays), regulatory compliance, and competition levels. It’s essential to continually monitor and adjust your campaigns based on your performance data and industry trends.

Tips for Achieving and Exceeding Benchmarks

  1. Optimize Ad Quality: Ensure your ads are relevant and have high-quality scores. This can lower your CPC and improve your CTR.
  2. Targeted Keywords: Focus on high-intent and long-tail keywords that are more likely to convert. Discover best practices for keyword targets here.
  3. A/B Testing: Regularly test different ad copies, visuals, and CTAs to identify what resonates best with your audience.
  4. Landing Page Experience: Optimize your landing pages for speed, relevance, and ease of use to improve conversion rates.
  5. Remarketing: Use remarketing strategies to re-engage users who have shown interest in your products but haven’t converted yet.
  6. Ad Extensions: Utilize ad extensions to provide additional information and increase the visibility of your ads.

By benchmarking your performance against these industry standards and continuously optimizing your campaigns, you can ensure your Google Ads efforts are effective and profitable for your beverage alcohol e-commerce business.


Google Ads can be a game-changer for beverage alcohol brands looking to enhance their online presence and boost e-commerce sales. By following these steps, you can create effective ad campaigns that reach the right audience and drive measurable results. Always stay updated with industry trends and continuously optimize your strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Cheers to your success in the digital advertising world!

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