Best Practices for Google Shopping Feed Optimization
With businesses touching new heights with Google Shopping, the platform has been the cornerstone for many brands and companies' success!
Providing businesses of every shape & size with an opportunity to top the SERP, the platform is an avenue for opportunities. However, the platform's increased competition demands you to come up with something more than just setting up your ads using the platform.
Guess the key to mastering your Shopping feed?
Yes, it's the product data you upload over your Merchant Centre Account that plays the most crucial role. Once you master the Shopping feed, improved sales and conversions are only a matter of time!
Sounds interesting, right? Let's have a look at the best practices for Google Shopping Feed. Let's get started with the basics:
What is Google Shopping Feed?
The feed present in Google Shopping is like a spreadsheet/ file that comprises all the information around different products listed in your eCommerce store. This spreadsheet is uploaded in a file format over the Merchant Centre. It utilizes different product attributes to allow the Google Search engine to group your products as relevant search results.
Still, confused? Let's try again!
Google Shopping Feed is like a folder that comprises all the relevant information around your products and their categories. Uploaded over XML file format, it records these pieces of information to feed results to the SERP.
The Google Shopping algorithm utilizes its crawler to crawl through your product feed and get an idea of all the critical information that would allow it to populate relevant search results for queries around different product categories.
Now, let's understand the significance of feed for our store:
Reasons to Create One for Your eCommerce Store?
1. To showcase your results around relevant product search queries
You need to highlight your products over the search query because that is where your competitors are! Therefore, product feeds are a must-have for your shopping channels and marketplaces.
These sites use the shopping feeds as an indicator that helps them understand everything around your store. When you create a sound structure of your feed with relevant descriptions, it becomes easy for Google crawlers to keep a tab on the products that you deal with, recalling it while displaying search results for a specific search query.
2. To entice potential buyers to click on your product ads
Your product feed also plays a vital role in allowing your customers to discover the products! How? When appropriately structured with all the relevant pieces of information around your store, it can exponentially increase the website's traffic.
When you have a well-curated product feed, you can easily create campaigns over Google Shopping Ads, displaying your products over the SERP with ease. This way, you can easily allow the prospective buyer to choose your shopping ads and click on them to check it out.
3. For Optimizing the Shopping ads without any fuss
While it might look like a simple datasheet, your product data feed comprises all the information and attributes that come in handy for business. When you optimize this file/folder using all the policies aligned by Google, the chances are that you will have higher product relevancy.
When you are optimizing the product feed, you have a higher chance of topping people's searches!
Reasons to Optimize Shopping Feed over Google Ads
Looking for reasons to optimize? Well, this might be of some help:
1. Improved exposure over Google Shopping
Your product feed is the key to maximizing your exposure in Google Shopping. The better you have structured your feed, the better it's easy for Google to access your store and consider it while populating search results.
2. Increased clicks lead to improved sales
It isn't rocket science to understand that the higher your ad relevance, the better are your chances of getting potential customers who will make purchases. Further, the optimized feeds also help in improving your overall ROAS.
3. Improved Segmentation
Optimized data feeds help you in proper segmenting of your products over different categories and sub-categories. The better you define these products, the better these algorithms perform for you!
4. Increased Relevancy
Perhaps, an essential benefit of optimizing Google Shopping for your business is improved relevancy. The more you optimize your feed, the better it becomes for the search engine to understand and place your ads over different search queries.
Best Practices to Optimize Your Google Shopping Feed
1. Product Titles are the first thing to optimize
Put key details at the front of your product title
The Google policies allow you with a character limit of 150 to come up with the best suitable title for your business. However, here's a twist… the search engine never displays the complete 150 characters of your title.
Therefore, you should always make the smart move by putting up all the key details to your product title's first-half. It would be best to optimize it with relevant keywords, combined with a clean and crisp title.
Add Category And Brand To Product Title
While you are adding categories to our product, you can always seek help from the official Product Categories that can be found in the Google Product Taxonomy (GPC).
This way, you can easily match all the product categories based on their taxonomy; however, while you are filling out the different product categories, it's crucial to leverage the "product types" attribute to help your feed get clarity on the granular level.
The more details you can provide over the product types, the better it becomes to get visibility and adjust bids.
Add Specific Product Info Like Size, Material & Condition
Being the owner of an eCommerce store, it is obvious that you deal with different products with different attributes. Therefore, once you are done adding the different product types for your feed, it's time to include specific product information (color, size, variants, etc.).
When you optimize your product description in this manner, it becomes easy for Google and your viewers to understand more about your products,
2. Always use high-quality images
The images you provide for your product feed should always match the product's specification (size, color, model, etc.). Further, to ensure your sales chances, you should use relevant, high-quality images to provide a significant first-impression to your visitors and potential customers.
While you are placing your product images, they must stand out as they are responsible for enticing the customers to initiate the purchase process. Wherever possible, try using the original product image that is specific to the description provided. Generally, the search engine platform prefers original images over your website and descriptions as well.
Here are some tips that might come in handy:
Provide the highest resolution image_link
While you are uploading images, always try to stick to the highest resolution image_link available with you as the algorithm prefers high-quality images while populating search results.
Beyond that, your visitors and potential customers might also want to zoom into the product, allowing a better view of it; it's always better to stay prepared!
Avoid placeholder images or images that include promotional messages or logos
Here's another thing that you should avoid, never try using placeholder images or images with promotional text, logos, or watermarks over them as these situations don't align with Google's policies.
Therefore, while you are adding images, it's crucial that you include appropriate alt text and title tags to your pictures to pair it with the product it resembles.
Your product images are essential as your visitors lay their eyes upon them first. Considering the chances it has to accelerate your conversion, would you like to take the chances of not having proper images?
3. Use the perfect product types
Your product types play a significant role in highlighting relevancy to your shopping feed. When you optimize your feed, it is essential that you understand the different ways around perfecting your product types;
here are a few takeaways:
Clear the different product types - combine plural and singular duplicate types of product as a singular
Providing too many product types can bring good results over ad relevance; however, when you try the same stunt using a similar product type (in singular or plural form), the results might not be obvious! The reason is that the crawler might get confused while showing different search results and end up showing a similar result for all search queries.
Therefore, while optimizing your product feed, it's always crucial that you clean up your product types and include all the singular and plural product types as one. This way, you improved your chances of relevancy over search query, without the risk of showing inappropriate results.
Integrate the different Product Types
Grouping or categorizing your product types under different categories is one of the best ways to optimize your product feed! The better you are at nesting your product types, you provide the Google algorithm with a clear message to pick up different products over different categories.
Fill in very detailed product_type values for your products
When you optimize your Google Shopping Feed, you would like to ensure a complete detailed description of your product_type attributes for your products. Further, you should also be using the Google_product_category attributes, ensuring that they are over two to three levels deep, at minimal. Remember, your feed's product types present your feed's overall "quality score," you need to make the best of it.
Moreover, once you are done organizing all the different products into the desired categories, using the product_type, you can easily categorize them so that it starts around a wide group and ends up around a specific group.
Let's understand it with an example:
Electronics & Gadgets> Gadgets > Earphones > Wireless earphones. This example sums up a detailed produt_type.
4. Provide your most accurate product data
You should always try to provide Google Shopping with our most accurate format of product data. The reason behind the same lies in improved search relevancy by Google as the better the algorithm knows and navigates your product data, the better it can suggest you for relevant search queries.
Further, it also saves you from causing mismatches over search results as you align your product feed with all the rules laid down by the platform.
5. Maintain updated price and availability
You should always be consistent while providing price-related data in your shopping feed. When you include updated availability and price, including shipping and tax, you ensure that Google Shopping has all the ideas around real-time changes in your shop.
Further, it also positively impacts customers as they can easily understand the availability of a product over your store. In a situation where the aforementioned details are not provided, customers will abandon your website, causing mismatches, leading to disapprovals. Therefore, the more information you provide, the better are your chances of matching Google's search queries.
Use google_product_category values that are at least 2-3 levels deep.
6. Use different title value & product ID for various items in your product data
When you are optimizing your product's titles, you are a step closer to making your ads more relevant for search queries of different users. Your product titles are the most critical attributes present on your feed.
Further, they are also the first thing that your customer notices while they are surfing for a product online, make it impactful!
Similarly, when you are using the same product id every time on your feed, you are retaining the data's history. However, when you assign different ids for individual products, you can easily highlight attributes and details of individual products, allowing customers to find products more easily and quickly.
When your product titles are descriptive & specific, you better your chances at improving sales. Remember, your product titles are the second most impactful element of Google Shopping, after the image.
7. Provide the GTIN whenever available for your products
GTIN or Global Trade Item Number also adds to the optimization bit of your feed in Google Shopping. The search engine utilizes the provided GTIN from the supplier's catalog and showcases it over your ad, pairing it with other resellers of a similar product. This way, adding GTIN boosts your sales by feeding Google with the data required around the products you sell.
GTINs are a critical element to get your ads placed with searches like "Best" and "Top" over all other Google Shopping Ads channels. Interestingly, merchants using the GTINs in their feeds have also witnessed an increase in their average number of clicks.
8. Clean The Product Data
Once you have created the product data, the chances are that you might have made some mistakes in the process. However, even in a situation where you wouldn't have made any mistakes, here are a few tips that might help you with a quick idea around important things:
Several sellers out there fail to realize the errors they have created over the product titles. We bet you wouldn't want that to happen to you!
Further, the sight of spelling errors over titles, descriptions, ads, or website text, makes you look unprofessional as a seller. Therefore, it is always advisable to do a quick spell check once you have created your feed.
Use of another language
When you run your campaigns across multiple countries, you are at a high chance of making mistakes over the feed language; let's understand it this way: You are running your Shopping Ads over two different regions using different languages.
In this situation, you might have misplaced or even switched the languages at some places. Here, the customers who go through your website will close it when they cannot understand the content.
Therefore, it is always advisable to maintain a singular language over your product feed (depending on the country you are selling).
Wrong use of capitalization
You should altogether avoid using capital letters over your content (unless necessary). The reason behind the same is that it makes the description/ title look downright aggressive and acts as a deterrent while shoppers are surfing your website.
Think about the situation from the perspective of an apparel outlet. You will more likely scare off your potential customers by using shouty capitals that say "BUY ME BUY ME!" "SALE 50% DISCOUNT"!
The Merchant Center account relies on your product feed values to understand and populate search results, making it one of the most crucial elements to your success. Further, it is also the foundation to successful Google shopping ad campaigns.
Optimizing your product data is one of the most powerful ways of improving your ad performance over Google Shopping while keeping up with a low ad spend. Listed above were some of the best Shopping feed practices for your campaigns, all the best!
About the Author
Salil Panikkaveettil is the Co-Founder and CEO of AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for eCommerce companies. If you are running a search, shopping, or display campaigns in Google Ads, Their software will be able to increase your sales. You can connect with him on Twitter or Linkedin.
Guest Post Contribution from AdNabu
Creating an approved Google Shopping Feed & running profitable Google Ads is a multi-step process. AdNabu’s app helps you to easily create a Google Shopping feed & run profitable Google shopping Ads. All changes from your Shopify store are fetched and updated automatically in the feed.
eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia, and is a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.
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