Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Supercharging Google Shopping pt 1: The Need For Specialisation

Google Shopping is the single biggest opportunity for digital retailers in 2018.

Which is why our new content series kicks off by taking a four-part examination of the channel to help you make it work harder for your business.

Let’s start with some proof of its popularity. A recent study from Adthena found Google Shopping ads are driving 82% of retail search ad spend in the UK, and are responsible for 87.9% of clicks. ¹

Ironically, even as retailers boost their Google Shopping budgets to reach consumers on this powerful channel, for most it’s still only an afterthought.

For retailers, it should really be the cornerstone of the entire search ecosystem.

With the right specialist skills and strategic foundations, any retailer can build a Google Shopping strategy to deliver incredible results.

Our Google Shopping series of four insight articles will take a deep look into exactly how to do this, covering: The Need for Specialisation; Shopping Feeds & Campaign Build; Why You Need to Start Thinking Beyond Search; and The Future of Google Shopping.

The need for specialisation

Let’s be straight here, Google Shopping is a specialist discipline in its own right. It’s easy to assume the skills needed are simply those of search marketing. However, when it comes to Google Shopping, these skills are actually only part of the picture.

It needs a dedicated team with specialist knowledge. Taking a traditional AdWords approach to something that requires specialist skills will only take you part of the way. It’s why many marketers today aren’t seeing enough returns from their Google Shopping investment.

They’re wasting budgets on the wrong products appearing for the wrong keywords  or  are unable to scale their activity successfully due to a lack of control and understanding of how the system works, meaning they end up simply not spending as much as they could.

The technical skills required for Google Shopping do owe a lot to SEO techniques. You need a deep understanding of how Google interprets the content of your website, and how and when to manipulate it. You are looking to understand user search behaviour and ensure product titles and descriptions are populated with high-performing keywords.

Another crucial reason you need a specialist team for Google Shopping is that it’s far less controllable than text ads. For instance, you aren’t able to target specific keywords in Google Shopping campaigns, so you need to structure your campaigns in a way that gives you the most control.

So, what is the right Google Shopping team? Ideally it’s made up of the following specialists:

Experienced PPC  analyst

You need at least one dedicated analyst for day-to-day account optimisation, testing and reporting. Someone with the ability to squeeze out every last click from your ad budget.

Technical problem  solver

This is someone dedicated to improving and manipulating feeds. Without a strong feed, success in Google Shopping is entirely out of reach. Someone who knows their HTML from their XML and isn’t fazed by the Content API is essential.

Retail strategist

This needs to be someone with a deep understanding of your business and brand. Someone who understands what products are relevant for what searches, and how to merchandise and trade products. They need to understand what relevant data could help inform bidding decisions and how Google Shopping is impacting other channels?

Once you have your specialist team in place, you’ve taken your first step in creating a Google Shopping strategy that will drive both innovation and bottom line results for your business.

In part two of our series, we’ll take you further along the journey, with a look at the role of shopping feeds and successful campaign build.

Journey Further is a digital marketing agency delivering clarity at speed for the UK’s leading  brands.

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