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Google Ads serves up success for McElhinneys

Back to all success stories

Google Ads serves up success for McElhinneys

  • McElhinneys invested in Shopping campaigns to boost specific products.
  • Generate interest in the brand and drive in-store traffic.
  • Reach new customers abroad.
  • Launched Google Shopping to promote products.
  • Used audience features to target new and previous site visitors.
  • Inserted Google Ads scripts to alter exchange rates in real time for UK based customers.
  • 84% rise in sales revenue.
  • 63% better ROI than previous 12 months.
  • €10 return for every €1 invested.

About the company


McElhinneys started selling household goods door-to-door from the back of a van.


Owner, John McElhinney, opened his first store.


The business moved to its current location in Ballybofey, Ireland.

About the goals

As John’s son Martin explains, McElhinneys’ main goal was simple: to increase sales. But having been an offline-only business for 45 years, the team there knew next to nothing about selling online. “We started by running search campaigns, as well as remarketing on the Google Display Network,” he explains. “We were really trying to prove this could be successful, so we figured we should start at the bottom of the purchase funnel.”

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an advertising service by Google for businesses that want to display ads on Google search results and its advertising network.

Try Google Ads now

“Google Ads was a big leap for our business to move online, and Google have helped us every step of the way.”

- Martin McElhinney, Managing Director, McElhinneys


After deciding to take the plunge, McElhinneys knew Google would be at the heart of their online strategy. They started their first Google Ads campaign in 2012, and have since broadened their investment to reach more shoppers, in more ways.

step 1

McElhinneys invested in Shopping campaigns to boost specific products. “We were one of the first businesses to set up Google Shopping campaigns in Ireland and run dynamic remarketing,” says Martin.

step 2

Martin and his team have also invested in RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) and identified a number of distinct audiences which they target and speak to differently.

step 3

They’ve also used a Google Ads script that pulls in today’s currency exchange rate and places a real-time price in their ads. “That means we can offer an exchange rate guarantee if UK-based shoppers pay in Euros,” says Martin.



Revenue growth in the last 12 months.


Better ROI compared with the last 12 months.

€10 return

For every €1 invested.

From a standing start, Google Ads has quickly become a key revenue channel for the business. “It’s been great as it’s allowed us to get started on the scary process of selling online,” explains Martin. “So far this year, our Google Ads revenue has grown by 84%—and as our Google Ads’ strategy gets smarter, our return on ad spend has actually improved by 63% over the same period,” he adds.

So far this year, McElhinneys have sold to almost 65 countries, from Cambodia to Tanzania—and they’re looking forward to more of the same. “One of the big benefits we’ve seen from Google is the ability to open doors in new markets. That’s something we’re very excited about continuing, and Google will play a massive part in this strategy,” concludes Martin.

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