7 tips for Google Shopping product feed optimisation

Google Shopping has become a must for any eCommerce store and optimising your product feed means you’ll get more out of your investment. But how do you do that?

 

It all starts with fine-tuning your data.

If you’re new to Google Shopping, this can feel a bit overwhelming. With so many options, plus countless best practice blog posts online, it can be difficult to work out what needs doing first. In this article, we’ll cut through the clutter and guide you to success with seven tips to help you hit the ground running. Let’s get into it.

Google vs Amazon: Which should you choose?

Pretty much all profitable eCommerce brands use Google Shopping. But the same is true of Amazon’s ad platform too.

When you delve into the figures, it looks like Amazon wins (but only just): 53% of people begin product queries there. And nearly a quarter begin their searches on search engines like Google.

You might be tempted to just focus on the big one – but when you consider how many people use the internet in the UK to do their shopping (around 12.5 million), that’s a massive number of people you’re missing out on. So, the short answer to the above question? You should use both.

We’ll write more about Amazon Shopping in a later blog post, so look our it on our News & Insights page.

What is your Google shopping feed?

Your Google Shopping feed is a spreadsheet that organises your product catalogue in a way that makes it easy for Google to understand it.

Paid search campaigns and shopping campaigns work slightly differently. With a search campaign, you bid on keywords. When a shopper types in those words, it triggers a text ad. Shopping campaigns, on the other hand, don’t give you direct control over which queries trigger your ads.

 

Instead, Google crawls websites and shopping feeds to work out which ads are most relevant to the query. The better your Google Shopping Feed, the more likely your chances of being picked. It works in a similar way to SEO: the better and more relevant your data, the more Google likes you and will put you in front of customers. This is why Google Shopping Feed optimisation is important.

How to optimise your Google shopping feed

Optimising your feed is essential. If you don’t add product details, Google won’t be able to match you up with user search queries – meaning your products won’t appear as often as they should.

Here are some easy tips for helping you get your items in front of more eyes.

1.   Make your product titles descriptive

These are the bits written in blue, and they’re important. Make sure they sound natural (i.e. not keyword-stuffed) and are descriptive. Choose a keyword, and put it as close to the start of your title as possible.

Good: laminate flooring light ash 1.48m2

Bad: laminate flooring

Top tip: shoppers usually search long-tail keywords when they’re close to buying. So be sure to include key information, like colour, size, brand, model, measurements, and so on.

2.   Optimise your product image

Your images need to look professional – otherwise, no one will click. Customers shop with their eyes first, so you need to make your product look good. Here are some golden rules:

  • No watermarks
  • No logos
  • No text
  • No manufacturer parts or numbers over the image
  • Use high quality-pictures (for mobile-responsive devices)
  • Make sure the variants match the picture (colour, size, material, etc)

When choosing colour attributes, it used to be best practice to simplify your colours into things people would naturally search for. So, for example, changing ‘plum’ to ‘purple’. Now if you do that, you will get disapprovals for mismatching landing page information, so it’s better to keep with your original colour.

Top tip: test your images to see which work best for you. A good place to start is testing lifestyle images vs straight product images.

3.   Optimise your product categories

Product categories are a back-end feature, but that doesn’t make them any less important: Google crawls this data and includes it in its decision-making.

Before putting your product up for advertising, you need to choose a category from Google’s extensive list of over 6,000 categories and subcategories. The more accurate you are, the better your results.

Good: Hardware > Building Materials > Window Hardware > Window Frames

Bad: Hardware > Building Materials > Windows

4.   Add product type

This is another way to give Google more information about your product. Often, the product category won’t be quite as specific as you’d like – this is your chance to add a little more detail. It’s optional, but adding it will help Google determine relevance, so we recommend it.

5.   Add your product description

This is the little snippet of text that appears under your product title. You should treat it as you have done your title: add as much information as you can but keep it relevant and descriptive. Add secondary keywords you haven’t been able to include so far – and keep them as close to the start of the description as possible.

6.   Add labels

When creating your shopping campaigns, you split your catalogue across different buckets. Once you’ve created these, you assign bids.

For example, you sell floor tiles, and you divide your products across buckets according to the material. You have a vinyl bucket, a stone bucket, and a ceramic bucket. Rather than setting bids for each of these buckets, it’s better to hone in on the specific products within those buckets that do particularly well – and focus your budget on those. And you can do that with custom labels, which allow you to differentiate between products in the same bucket and set individual bids on those.

7.   Get a Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN)

Last but definitely not least, you’ll need to get a GTIN, which is essentially a Universal Product Code (UPC). This is an important part of shopping feed optimisation: it’s a unique number identifier that stores information in a database. Google then groups together sellers that offer products with the same GTIN.

Google rewards products that use at GRIN by displaying them over those that don’t – so it’d be a missed opportunity not to include it.

You can get your product’s GTIN from the product manufacturer. Having this in place could be the difference between not being displayed, and massively boosting your conversions.

Final thoughts

The more effort you put into your feed, the more you’ll get out. Taking the time to add as much information as you can will show the Google bots that your product is relevant – and it’ll reward you by putting you right in front of your most receptive customers. So, whether you’re a sole trader selling a handful of items, or a marketing manager listing a whole warehouse’s worth, optimising your feed is a must.

If you’d like to get set up with Google Shopping without having to learn how to do it yourself – well, Logica Digital is here to help you out. Get in touch today.

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