Best Practices for Google Shopping Feed Optimisation
With Shopping Ads as a platform that shapes every shape and size of businesses, several companies rely on the platform to scale their store. We can easily conclude the platform to be the catalyst to development for a vast number of enterprises.
Giving businesses of varying type, shape, and size a chance to top Google’s Search Engine Results Page, the platform has been the go-to place for every brand today.
However, with more people running their campaigns over the Google Shopping Ads platform, there is a surge in competition, making it hard for vendors to reach the top spot.
So, what is the ideal solution to success with your Shopping Ads campaign on Google?
The answer is simple… it’s the Shopping feed. Yes, the same file format feed is uploaded via the Google Merchant Account (at the GMCA). Once you optimize your Shopping feed, reaching new heights with your business is the next step.
We understand that excitement around mastering product feeds already. Let’s look at some of the most valued practices that you can use for your Shopping Feed. Let’s have a walkthrough:
The Term Shopping Feed on Google?
The term ‘Feed’ over Google Shopping can be defined as a file/spreadsheet updated over the search engine’s database via individual merchant accounts of store owners. This spreadsheet is a composite of all the necessary information around all the available products in your store.
This way, the product feed or product data allow the search engine algorithm to easily navigate your feed (with the help of relevant product attributes) and index it to populate results when displaying search results over SERP.
Are you still confused? Let’s try to make it simpler!
To put in simple words, the term Shopping Feed on Google is a file or folder comprising all the necessary information around the products sold in your store (price, availability, tax included, variant, etc.).
This specific folder is uploaded over a certain format, allowing Google to capture such information while populating results for the SERP.
Wonder how your feed helps in populating results? Well, it’s simple. When you upload your product data in an XML format, Google’s algorithm uses its crawlers to feed on the information and store all the relevant pieces (one that aligns to its structure and policy) to its database.
Now, when a user sends a query (around your products) on the search engine, Google could easily display your products as a result.
And that’s how Google Shopping Feed functions. Now that you know what a feed is, let’s understand why do you need to create a proper Google Shopping feed for your store:
Why Do You Need to Create One for Your eCommerce Store?
To show relevant results at the right search query
Now, doesn’t this sum up the essence of using Google Shopping? If you cannot display your ads correctly, using the platform would waste your ad spend.
Further, in a situation of such intense competition, you need to be at a similar level to your competitor, and this is only possible via product feeds.
If you don’t have a product feed, the algorithm will never be able to either process or index your store at its database.
Your shopping feeds work as a guide that allows Google to understand the types of products present in your store, ultimately improving sales.
When you have a well-structured feed rich in product attributes and descriptions, showing relevant results at the right search query becomes possible.
To attract page clicks over your shopping ad
Yes, your product feed has a significant role in enticing customers to reach your website. How? When you align with Google’s policy and create your feed, the result will be a complete, information-rich listing with all the information, images, and title of different products.
When your product feed is well-curated, managing different campaigns and highlighting the overall products around SERP becomes easier. This way, it becomes easier to improve the number of clicks over your store.
To optimize your Google shopping ads easily.
Yes, your data feed helps you majorly in optimizing your Google Shopping Ads for improved results and better conversions. With most information present over a file format, you can amend changes to several factors and align it with Google’s ad policies to easily optimize your campaigns.
Further, when you have an optimized product feed, your chances of ad relevance are higher.
Convinced enough? Let’s have a walkthrough of the best practices to optimize your Shopping Feed.
Best Practices for Feed Optimization on Google Shopping
Optimize your Product Titles first
i. Pace all the necessary details at the beginning of your title
The Shopping Feed policies by Google allow businesses to develop a suitable title that defines their product, under 150 characters. The trick with these titles is that the search results never display the complete character count over the SERP.
It would be best to optimize your product titles in a manner that every significant detail (along with the keywords) at the front of your title (say, the first 70-75 characters).
ii. Add Brand, Product Title & Category
The other step at optimizing your product title is to include category and brand to your product. To align your products to feeds, you should always refer to the Product Categories officially listed around Google’s Taxonomy of Products.
Using this method makes it easy to refer to the taxonomy and match all your products to product categories while adding them to your title. However, while using different product categories, always add the “product types” to segregate your title and feed at the base level.
iii. Include minute Product Details like Material, Size, & Condition
Now that you have included the relevant brand and product category in your title, you should be including some additions to help the visitors gain clarity of the product. Try using different information (size, color, variants, etc.) over your title.
Remember, the more relevant information you provide to your title; the search engine has better chances of indexing them. Further, with better insight about the product, you have increased chances of enticing the customer for conversion.
Stick to images of high-quality
Your product image is the first thing that your visitors notice about your store, don’t lose the chance of selling your product via images. Ensure that your product image matches the description and specification provided over the feed (size, model, & color, among others).
Now, Google SERP is flooded with similar product images of a product either from the same brand or distributor. Therefore, make sure your product images stand out while placing them on your feed as it has improved chances of initiating the purchase process.
Remember, try using relevant original product images (matching the specification and variant) for the products listed on your feed as Google prefers using authentic images over both product description & website.
Here are a few tips to try out for optimizing your Google Shopping Feed:
i. Optimize your feed with an image link of the highest order
Always go with the highest possible image_link of different images of products while uploading them on your feed.
Google’s Shopping Feed algorithm prefers original, high-resolution images when it populates different search results, and we are sure that you would not want to miss the chance!
Besides, your potential customers and website visitors might want to better look at the products by zooming into them. Staying prepared is always better!
ii. Avoid going with logos or images with promotional texts or placeholder images
The second tip that you must align to before uploading or selecting images for your feed. Avoid using ‘promotional’ photos or placeholder images.
It would help if you always steered clear images with either logos, promotional texts, or watermarks as it provokes the search engine policies.
Moreover, you should always include proper title tags and alt text to the product images, pairing the image to the suggested described product.
Considering the role that product images play for your Shopping feed, should you consider risking your campaigns using images that don’t align with Google’s image policies?
Choose product types that are perfect
What if we told you that product types are an essential key to your feed optimization? Yes, it’s right! Your product adds relevancy to your product feed.
However, while you are optimizing your product types, you need to follow a definite way. Do follow these takeaways to help you perfect your product types:
i. Clean up the product types – try using different combinations and avoid using singular product types
Classifying your feed with unique product type attributes can offer you good relevancy and improved results; however, you won’t be able to drive the desired results using plural or singular product types.
The reason being that using a singular product type attribute across your feed will leave the crawler confused. This might cause the algorithm to display similar search results for different queries.
Therefore, it is always advisable to use a plural product type attribute while creating your product feed. By following this method, you can improve your ad relevancy over different search queries.
ii. Nest Your Product Types
Categorizing or grouping unique product types available at your store is a reliable method of optimizing product data.
The more you can nestle different kinds of products into relevant categories, the better it becomes for Google’s algorithm to allow you to arrange your categories.
iii. Provide the most minute values of product_type that you have
Providing complete details of your product feed is one of the best measures to assure success with your Google Shopping Feed. Placing relevant product_type attributes over your products allows you to use Google_product_category attributes in a better way, making sure it’s at least deep until three to two levels at minimal. Note that the way you place your product type attributes plays a significant role in highlighting your feed’s total quality score.
Further, after organizing your products into different categories, you should start using product_type to segregate them, to begin with, a broad group and conclude in a much smaller one.
Here’s an example to help:
Let’s understand it with an example:
Sports & Accessories > Accessories > Cricket Gloves > Padded Cricket Gloves.
This example gives you the idea of a complete product_type.
Fill in the most relevant product data
Perhaps, the most basic way to optimize your Google Shopping Feed is to structure your product feed in a manner that aligns with the search engine’s policies.
The set of instructions laid out by Google allows the algorithm to easily navigate the search index, allowing improved search relevancy.
Moreover, this way, your store also saves itself from being placed in an irrelevant manner, saving you from mismatches and ultimately improving the feed quality over time.
Maintain up-to-date availability of products and their prices
One of the ideal steps to optimize your Shopping Feed is to keep it updated with the latest changes over data related to price.
When you keep your feed maintained with your products’ prices and availability, including the taxes over shipping, you provide Google’s algorithm with the latest updates around your eCommerce store.
This way, both your visitors and the search engine will understand the product and pricing of different products around the store.
However, when you have not updated your feed with all the latest availability and prices, you might lose a potential customer besides your ad spend.
Use different product ids and title value for individual item present in product data
Remember, the more you optimize your feed, the better your chances of improving your ads relevancy over specific searches.
Therefore, the product titles that you use are one of the essential attributes of your product data. Moreover, your titles are the first information-bearing piece that visitors notice when they come across your products online.
Like the titles, while using a similar product id throughout your product data, it fails to input new values and retain your data’s same history.
However, when you assign products that are not similar to individual ids, highlighting attributes and the information around single products over them becomes easier, making it easy for the customers to navigate through your store easily.
When the product titles used in your feed are specific & descriptive, the chances of sales are multiplied.
Remember, the title of any product in your store is the first piece of content that educates your customer about the product, making it impactful.
Try including GTIN, wherever applicable.
GTIN is the number that defines the numeric values of your products. Interestingly, adding GTIN to your product data also aids the process of Google Shopping feed optimization. Google refers to the given GTIN with different suppliers’ catalogs to highlight it around your advertisements.
This way, your ads are successfully paired with the resellers who deal with products that are similar.
Therefore, adding GTIN improves your chances of a sale by aligning with the crawlers algorithm and feeding it with relevant information around your products.
Interestingly, GTINs also play a significant role in helping you place your ads with key terms like “Top” or “Best”, over different channels integrated with Ads.
Clean the Product Data
Mistakes are a part of the game when you are preparing your product data. Yes, it is common as the process is long & complicated.
However, if you are one of those readers who want to be double sure while creating their perfect Google Shopping Feed, these tips might come in handy:
It’s a thumb rule that hardly needs to be mentioned. The internet is filled with websites and stores that fail to correct their grammatical errors, which they might have accidentally created while curating their product titles. Would you want to repeat a similar mistake?
Yes, nobody likes it. Imagine coming across a website filled with spelling errors and grammatical errors over its descriptions, ads, titles, and website content.
Wouldn’t it make you look like one unprofessional vendor? The smart way to do this is to always check grammatical errors and spelling mistakes and post data feed creation.
ii. Use of a different language
Running your campaigns around multiple countries is not easy, the chances of running a similar feed language are possible!
Now, when you run irrelevant feeds in a language that your visitor is not used to, the back button is the first thing they’ll reach for.
Therefore, we advise you to use a similar language format when running campaigns around a specific region.
iii. Using capitalization
Using capitalization around content ‘fails’ to add a sense of urgency to it. Instead, it makes it look irrelevant; therefore, it is always advisable that you try and avoid the use of capitalization unless necessary.
Think of a situation where you run an apparel market. Here, you are more likely to scare away customers if you keep trying to highlight “SALE” or “END OF SEASON SALE”.
Your Google Merchant Center relies heavily on the product feed to be able to index and help the search engine while populating relevant results over queries, proving it to be an ideal element for your campaign’s success.
Product feed optimization in the right manner is your sure shot ticket at making your ads relevant and bringing sales while generating enough ROI. All the best!
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.