06/09/19 // Written by Matthew Patterson

Google Shopping Ads & Feed Management: Why One Agency Should Manage Both

Deemed the ‘digital shopping shelf’,  Google Shopping should be prominent within your PPC strategy. Advertising in this space presents business opportunities and with Google Shopping ads driving 82% of retail search ad spend in the UK, we know that they work. However, success isn’t guaranteed. If you want to drive conversions through your Google Shopping ads, you must remember to maintain your feed. 

Shopping ads have the ability to unlock growth and outperform generic search through increased impressions, clicks and conversions while effective Feed Management is capable of enhancing campaign success.

What is Feed Management? 

Businesses don’t always recognise the importance of supporting their Google Shopping efforts with feed optimisation. This prevents campaigns from reaching their full potential and results in missed opportunities.  

Your product feed is how you communicate your inventory to Google. Google Shopping cross-references your feed data with shopper search queries and your bids to produce the correct level of ad visibility. The better optimised your data is, the more likely your products will be shown to the right person at the right time. To satisfy Google’s shopping algorithm you can:  

  • Optimise your product titles and descriptions with relevant keywords and details 
  • Use high quality product photos 
  • Organise your product feed content in line with Google’s guidelines 
  • Promote your positive reviews  
  • Take advantage of your website categories for more granular targeting  
  • Highlight promotions  

Why should one agency manage both?

To make a real impact with Google Shopping Ads, many businesses choose to run their campaigns through a marketing agency, capitalising on the knowledge of an expert team. Often however, that same business will choose to manage their feed in-house, unaware of the level of detail and maintenance required to make Google Shopping Ads a success.  

Most commonly, a company’s website will produce its own feed, or a downloadable plug-in will create a feed using the product data from the website. If a problem arises, it is usually flagged to the company’s developer for fixing. By having a singular team responsible for both ads and Feed Management, you can create an efficient, streamlined process to support campaign success and mitigate the following challenges: 

  • Delayed responses: If a feed attribute needs changing or fixing, the developer responsible for maintaining the products on the website will typically add this to a list of fixes and roll it out as a block update. This means the agency needs to plan updates ahead as it often takes weeks for the client to fix. Not only does this hinder speed of implementation, but it impacts ad campaign performance.  
  • Further costs: With more people involved in updating the feed, information is more likely to be missed. This slows down the whole process and thus the cost to the client increases. By using one agency, less development time is needed reducing incurred costs of having various teams consistently involved in the process. Additionally, if the campaigns are more successful, a better return is experienced on your ad spend and agency fees.  
  • Lack of time: As product portfolios increase in size, developers can end up spending a lot of time and resource on keeping the feed up to date which is often a tedious task. Additionally, it takes your valuable and limited time away from other important site developments.  
  • Disapproved products: If Google disapproves a product, they send out an email notification of the problem. In the case of a business receiving this email, they may have to wait for the developer to fix the issue and during this time the product isn’t visible. If an agency is managing the product feed however, they can act upon this error fast and implement the fix as soon as the error message is received.  

Having an agency that ticks all boxes could be the key to boosting your Google Shopping Ads success. Remember, if an agency is managing your Shopping, they already have access to your paid data which includes historical data, this can help to improve targeting. When you choose to work with an agency with expertise in both, an increase in clicks, impressions and conversions are often seen. Contact us to find out how we can help you.