Creating ads in the Shopify App Store

You can create ads from your Partner Dashboard. From there, you can also set up your ad budget and bid on the keywords that you choose.

Create an ad

  1. Log in to your Partner Dashboard.
  2. Click Apps > Ads.
  3. Click Create Ad.

On the New ad page, you can enter information about your ad's settings, budget, and keywords.

Ad settings

You can advertise only one app at a time in the Shopify App Store. After you create an ad for one of your apps, you can't edit the ad to include a different app. Instead, you need to create a new ad for the app. You can’t advertise multiple apps with one ad.

You also need to give your ad a name. A good name includes a goal or an identifier to make it easier for you to find your ad later. For example, if the goal of your ad is keyword discovery, then you might name it "Keyword discovery." If it’s an optimized ad with keywords that you tested before, then you might name it "Optimized."

Budget

Set a daily budget amount that you’re ready to spend on the ad. The advertising platform slows down your bidding when you’re near the end of your budget. After your daily budget is reached, your ad will stop being shown during searches until the next day begins. Your daily budget will be used every time that someone clicks on your ad.

For example, if you set a daily budget of $100.00 and your bid per click is $1.00, then you can receive a maximum of 100 clicks ($100.00 / $1.00 per click = 100 clicks).

Keywords

Keywords are the foundation of your ad, so it’s a good idea to spend time researching and testing keywords to make sure that you'll get the best results.

Choosing keywords

When choosing keywords, it's a good idea to imagine what your customers are searching for. Think about what words describe your app, or the features it provides. If you inserted your Google Analytics Tracking ID in your app listing, then you can already see the keywords that bring traffic to your app listing. To learn more, refer to Tracking your listing traffic with Google Analytics.

You can also use the autocomplete feature on the Shopify App Store to see what popular search terms are related to any keywords you have in mind. You can use the same approach on Google or other search engines, or use the free Google Keyword Planner Tool.

Keyword match types

Keywords have 2 match types: broad match and exact match. It's important to understand how each type works because you'll need both of them to get the most out of your ads.

Broad match

Broad match is the default match type for keywords. Ads might appear for synonyms, related keywords, misspellings, and other variations. Plural and singular forms are treated the same under broad match, so you don't need to enter a plural and singular form of the same keyword.

Broad match is effective for discovering keywords. For example, if you add the broad match keyword "email," then your ad might appear for the search term "email campaigns." Or if you had "image filter" as a broad match keyword, then you can also match on the search term "image edit" because both terms contain the word "image."

Exact match

Exact match keywords are triggered only if the search term matches exactly what you specified (ignoring case sensitivity).

Exact match keywords are enclosed in [ ] brackets. For example, [edit product photo]. When adding keywords, you can enter a keyword in brackets and the match type will automatically be exact.

Entering keywords

  • You can add up to 100 keywords for each ad.
  • Enter the keyword you want to add, or paste keywords separated by commas.
  • Use [ ] to contain your keywords if you want them to be exact match. Entering "[keyword a], keyword b, [keyword c]" sets "keyword a" and "keyword c" as exact matches and "keyword b" as a broad match.

Negative keywords

Negative keywords are search terms that you don't want to point to your ad. After you enter negative keywords, your ad won't be shown for any searches that contain those keywords. This can help you to avoid bidding on search terms that don't convert for your app.

There are a few different reasons to use negative keywords:

  • blocking keywords that convert at a cost that's too high for your budget
  • preventing merchants from installing your app when it doesn't offer features that they're looking for
  • excluding keywords that aren't relevant for your app

For example, suppose that you create an app that reduces the file size for images on merchants' stores. Your ad appears on searches for "photo compression" because this is your app's main feature. But it's possible your ad appears also for a similar terms like "photo filters" if you have keywords that broad match on the word "photo." This isn't a great result, because your app doesn't include filters. To avoid this behavior, you can add "filter" as a broad match negative keyword in your ad, so that any search term with the word "filter" won’t trigger your ad to bid for the keyword.

Negative keywords also have 2 match types: broad match and exact match. They work the same way as keyword targeting, except that they prevent your ad from bidding on search terms that match the negative keywords that you've entered.

Keyword conflicts

When you choose keywords, make sure that your keywords and negative keywords don't conflict. Keyword conflicts can prevent your ad from being shown, even for relevant search queries.

For example, you want to target the keyword "shipping" with a broad match, but you don't want to include any search terms that contain "shipping rates". If you entered "shipping rates" as a broad match negative keyword, then you might see limited impressions for your ad because the term "shipping" is in your negative keywords. This means that any term that contains "shipping" won't trigger your ad to compete in auctions. Instead, you should use an exact match for the negative keywords "shipping rate" and "shipping rates", or just use a broad match negative keyword of "rate".

Restricted keywords

There are certain keywords that you can't bid against, including "Oberlo" and other Shopify-branded terms.

If you try to enter a keyword that's restricted, then you'll receive an error message on the Add keywords dialog in your Partner Dashboard.

Bidding

When you bid on a keyword, you choose a maximum amount that you're ready to pay when that keyword shows your ad and a merchant clicks on it from the search results page. After you enter a bid amount for an ad, you can always change this bid amount later. To learn more about how the cost of ads is calculated, refer to Pricing.

Relevance and how it affects ads

When a merchant enters a search term and clicks through to your app from the search results, your app's relevance score for that search term increases. An app that's highly relevant to a search term needs to pay less to win auctions for that search term than a less relevant app. If an app's relevance is too low for a particular search term, then it can't compete in an auction for that search term.

Ad preview

You can preview your ad before you launch it. Your ad preview is based on your app listing metadata, and it can't be customized. To change the information that appears in your ad preview, you need to edit your app listing directly. Any changes that you make to your app listing are subject to review by Shopify.

Example of an ad in the Shopify App Store

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