A guide for finding the right Google shopping specialist for your business.
Why hire a Google Shopping specialist?
Let's consider three scenarios when hiring a Google Shopping specialist makes sense.
Save time and money while starting with your store.
Shopping ads are quite different from Google text ads, and even if you want to manage Google Ads yourself, external guidance in the beginning will save your time and money.
You will learn faster by following the specialist building the campaigns and the product feed, and by asking questions.
Wasted spend is another consideration. Wasted spend is an inevitable part of each Google Ads campaign. It tends to be higher in the beginning.
A good specialist can minimize wasted spend significantly, and these savings alone can justify their fees.
Improve performance of existing campaigns
One of my clients before hiring me complained that "Spend has gotten out of control, comparing to sales".
He also felt that Google Ads have gotten more complicated.
Indeed, to stay competitive with Google Ads today, you need not only continuously manage campaigns, but also test new features Google is throwing at you, and integrate those that make sense. Because your competition is certainly doing that.
Once your Google account is running with adequate ROI, you'll eventually want to grow revenue profitably, i.e., without hurting ROI.
Direct budget increase is not going to be sustainable because additional spend at some point will start bringing less and less additional return.
Scaling revenue is often a project in itself in Google Ads. It involves restructuring the account to boost traffic at the higher sales funnel levels.
In Google Ads, it's done by adding Search Ads and Display Ads to Shopping Ads. At the beginning, spend will increase faster than sales, but it will stabilize later.
And a good Google shopping specialist should be able to plan, explain, and execute all the elements of the project.
PPC Agency vs PPC specialist
Pay-per-click agencies usually have expertise in several platforms. They can provide unique services, such as guiding your overall marketing strategy or optimizing sales funnel beyond Google Ads.
But they are definitely more expensive than a specialist. In addition, a specialist usually focuses on a specific platform. Because of that focus, the expertise of a specialist in their field can match or even surpass that of an agency.
And finally, clients can often expect larger commitment from a specialist.
What to look for in a PPC freelancer
In my opinion, the three most important skills to look for in a Google shopping specialist or any PPC freelancer for that matter, are experience, references, and communication fit.
This is the main reason for hiring a specialist, after all. They need to know what they're doing. The experience level usually correlate with the price the specialist commands. More about it below.
Ideally, a specialist is referred to you by someone you know. Another good option is client names and case studies provided by the specialist. And finally, reviews from Google or marketplaces can be useful as well.
In many cases, Google Ads is the main channel driving sales for your e-commerce store; and a specialist becomes de-facto your partner. You need to feel comfortable working with them.
Do they clearly explain what happens in the account and what they do?
Are their performance reports easy to understand and actionable?
Do they all their mistakes?
Good communication builds trust. If two months down the road, trust is not there. I would reevaluate the relationship.
How much Google Ads expertise do you need?
Obviously, Shopping Ads specialists have different expertise levels. An indicator of their expertise is often their prices. It happens because of the laws of the market.
Inexpensive consultants have basic Google Ads knowledge, and they'll do what you tell them.
They can be a valid choice if you understand Google Ads, can check their results, and want to outsource some manual management tasks.
Mid-price consultants have more experience, know basic optimization approaches, and can get you better results. You are still expected to understand Google Ads, and scrutinize their results.
High-priced specialists are experts in their field. After reviewing your account, they should have a clear plan on maximizing your results, and know exactly how to execute it.
With a top specialist, you don't have to have any Google Ads knowledge, they should explain you their efforts and results in layman's terms. Their results should speak for themselves.
It becomes almost irrelevant how much you pay for the top specialists, as the value they deliver, will exceed their fees many times over.
Using Upwork to hire a Google shopping specialist
Upwork is an online marketplace that connects enterprises and individuals to conduct business.
To start using Upwork, type google shopping specialist upwork in the Google search box and click on "hire the best Google shopping specialists".
You'll see info cards of the top Google shopping specialists on Upwork. Each info card shows the published hourly rates, the clients' ranking, number of jobs completed, and their skillset.
If you are registered on Upwork, you can view more details, read customer reviews, shortlist a candidate or invite them for an interview via Upwork chat or call, and eventually hire them.
You can hire a freelancer by sending a contract with the set hours, pay rate, and deadline for the work.
Upwork is a great option of hiring low- and mid-price freelancers quickly. One downside is that Upwork charges a small fee to both client and a freelancer.
Using Clutch to hire a Google Shopping specialist
Clutch is a business reviews platform for leading IT, marketing, and business service providers.
Arguably, the two best Clutch features for businesses in search for freelancers are independent reviews and the Clutch rank.
Clutch analysts interview past clients about the quality of their interaction with each service provider registered on Clutch. Based on the data gathered, each provider gets a rank.
In addition to the clients' feedback, the freelancer's rank is influenced by the quality of the clients, experience, and market presence of a freelancer. Visitors have full access to those interviews and the rank. This way, instead of glorified testimonials, they can see independent reviews about candidates. To find the Google shopping specialist on Clutch, open clutch.co, start typing PPC, select "Top pay-per-click companies", click on "All filters", and select Freelancer under the agency size.
You'll get the list of around 600 firms. Click on the Leader's Matrix to view the 15 top performers in this category.
Click on each dot in the Matrix for quick info about the freelancer's name, minimum project size, location, service focus, and a Clutch rank.
To get more details, click on the company name. I'll use my company as an example.
Scroll down for the reviews section here. You see four verified five-star reviews.
Look for the project that sounds most closely to yours.
Let's read the full review of this project: "PPC for Furniture Company".
This e-commerce company was looking for the PPC help. They went through three PPC agencies before.
The company explains why they picked this freelancer and gives more project details.
Finally, the company talks about results, freelancer's management style, communication tools, and timelines.
At this point, you can shortlist the candidate and continue search, or contact them via a website, phone or the Clutch chat.
Because of its rigorous vetting and interview process, Clutch is a great choice for finding more experienced PPC, freelancers, and agencies.
Finding the right Google shopping specialist is an important task. I've talked about only two ways of doint that I am comfortable with, but there are definitely many more.
What is your favorite way of finding a PPC resource? Please write in the comments section below.