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Actionable Google shopping feed optimization guide for 2021

Google Shopping Feed Optimization Guide

Google shopping is a power-packed platform that serves your business in multiple layers, from exposure of your products to the right buyers and concluding the sale of these products seamlessly. 

Here is a guide to Google shopping feed optimization guide for 2021. So, let’s start with understanding Google Shopping Feed. Your Google Shopping Feed is nothing but a spreadsheet that organizes and describes your product catalog as per Google specifications so that Google can easily crawl and understand the data.

It would be ideal to have a Google-friendly Shopping feed to create for your e-commerce store, to let Google crawl your website and feeds and decide that your Ads are relevant for a given search/ query and display them when somebody Google searches for the same product. Hence, the relevance of your Ads depends directly on the robustness of your Google Shopping feed.

Thought-provoking statistics provided by Adthena: ‘Shopping ads in the US drive 76.4% of retail search spend’ and ‘Google Shopping ads in the UK amounts to 82% of retail spend’ shows that prospective customers click your Google Shopping ads and the exhaustive spreadsheet helps you to optimize your Google shopping ads easily.


google-shopping-feed-product-results

Why You need Google Shopping Feed optimization?

There are numerous e-commerce stores today, and the average customer is not aware of most of them. Google Shopping ads are the ideal way to gain worldwide visibility and secure an entry to Google’s colossal database, thereby increasing sales. All this is related to how well your Google Shopping feed has been structured.

1. Increase Visibility in Google Shopping

Google is a powerful tool used by people worldwide to search for any type of information. It generates enormous traffic that is directly looking for specific products to purchase your products. 

This search engine giant is the best way for most e-commerce stores to reach out to customers. Google shopping ads are the best way; if not, the only way to reach out to potential customers and optimizing your data feed increases the likelihood of bringing relevant users to your website. 

2. Improved Segmentation

Improved product segmentation gives you better control by allowing you to group together products into categories to predefined values set as custom labels and manage them separately. Popular segmentation categories are:

  1. Bestsellers
  2. Seasonal
  3. Color/Gender/ Size
  4. On Sale/ Clearance
  5. Shipping Deals

By creating custom labels, you not only remove the difficulties but also create opportunities for further segmentation like ROI and CPA, making your bidding more tactical. 

Your Shopping feed is, in fact, your ad campaign structure. Without proper segmentation, you cannot build a winning campaign structure.

3. Increased Relevancy

Just remember, when you are creating your Google Shopping feed, there is every need to describe your product in great detail and provide relevant information. 

It will increase the relevance of your ads. Contra-wise, the less information you provide, the less accurately Google can crawl and match your ads with search queries.

Google shopping feed guidelines

When creating the Google Shopping feed, follow all the google shopping feed guidelines given by Google regarding product information, data format, and policies to be adhered to. This guaranteed to create a successful Shopping ad for your service or product. 

When you are generating your Google Shopping feed, you should remember every need for detailed information about your products. Describing your product in accurate detail will boost the relevance of your ads. Contra wise, the less and inaccurate information you provide, then you will get fewer matches for your ads with search queries.

a. Promote products that are available for direct purchase.

Ensure that each and every product of yours is available for direct purchase. Do not promote pay-per-click or affiliate ads through Google shopping feed.

b. Use at least one official language

It is necessary to use the country’s official language, where you are planning to advertise your products. It would be best to use the same language for your website to register your product and the product data that you will submit for the feed.

c. Details of your return and refund policy

Details of your return and refund policies should be accessible to the customer before concluding the purchase. It should include details of the timeframe for the return, reasons why the products can be returned, the steps the customer needs to take to initiate a refund, and when to expect a refund

d. Collect user information responsibly and securely

Follow the guidelines set by Google when collecting customer’s personal information. Do not sell the contact information of your customer. Secure channel (SSL-protected page) to collect personal information, credit, and debit card numbers when concluding sales transactions.

e. Verify and claim your website URL

Once you create your website, use a search console, verify and claim your domain and ascertain that you are the site’s rightful owner.

f. Website requirements

There is a set of standard requirements that Google has laid down that your website should meet.

  1. Provide Accurate contact information (like email and telephone number).
  2. Secure your website checkout process to keep your customer’s personal data confidential.                                            
  3. Display Return policy conspicuously and clearly
  4. The customer should easily understand billing terms and conditions. Ambiguity in terms of billing can hinder your products sale
  5. Ensure your site users can complete the checkout process with ease. Usually, a 5-stage checkout process works the best.

g. Login Regularly

Sign in to your Merchant Centre account regularly for Google to know that your data is not outdated.

h. Follow Google Guidelines 

Make sure that your data meets the google product data specifications. Understand and follow the formatting guidelines given on Google. 

How can you Optimize Google shopping feed?

With Google’s recent moves to retain as much business as possible in their ecosphere, understanding how you can optimize google feed has become even more crucial. 

In 2020 and the future years to come competing against big brands is not spending a lot of money but depends mostly on optimizing the Google Shopping feed, which integrates many of the Ecommerce SEO principles.

a. Product Titles are the first thing to optimize

Product title optimization is the most critical activity in Google Shopping feed. The product title will determine whether buyers feel a product corresponds to their search query and therefore merits a click. So be specific. 

For example, if a buyer searches for ‘Asics running shoes Ladies white color size 8 and a product pops with the exact title, the buyer is more likely to give it a click as Google’s job is to deliver exactly what the buyer is looking to pick up. 

i) Enter key details at the front of your product title.

At present, Google accepts titles with 150 characters (note: these are subject to change); only the first 70 plus characters are displayed. Key attributes of the product should be displayed first in your title to elicit clicks.

ii)Add Category and Brand To Product Title

The category and brand attribute helps identify your product, so provide the category and brand that online shoppers will recognize. 

Note: brand name is required for all products except for movies, music, books, or customized items. you can find Official Google Shopping categories in Google Product Taxonomy

iii)Add Specific Product Info Like Size, Material & Condition

Having a well-structured feed requires attributes like size, material, gender, condition, etc., to be included. 

Note: Size can come in different forms. Apparel -Medium, shoe-size 8, wine rack size-no of bottles. Add gender if the product is gender-specific or Kids if it is child-centric. State the color where applicable.

Image source

b. Always use high-quality images

High-resolution, clear images are crucial to Google’s shopping feed. Nobody will click on bad images. The images should look professional.

i.Provide the highest resolution image_link 

The image used should be a clear and high-quality image of the actual product offered for sale.

Google recommendation for image size requirements:

  • Apparel images to be  at least 250 x 250 pixels
  • Images no larger than 64 megapixels
  • Image file not larger than 16MB’
  • Non-apparel images to be at least 100 x 100 pixels

ii. Few rules by Google for your images

Avoid placeholder images or images that include promotional messages or logos, or watermarks. Always use a white background for all images

c. Product Types 

Product type is another opportunity to give Google your product attribute indirectly. Unlike the product category, this is optional but highly recommended. 

The product-type data is limited to 750 characteristics, so keep it relevant. Use Google Keyword Planner be to search for searchable terms for your product.

  • Clean up your product types – If you have a product list that includes duplicate product types in plural and singular, ensure you combine them into one. 
  • Nest Your Product Types – If you have one-off product types covering a single category, check for patterns to group them. If you cannot nest them, do them individually. It is well worth the effort.
  • Provide the most detailed product_type values that you have more complete product_type values win every time. 

d. Provide your most accurate product data 

Your Product Data should match your store data. Your inventory should be up to date to avoid campaign chaos caused by an inaccurate date on your product listing

e. Maintain up-to-date Price and availability 

The Price is the most critical attribute that tells the buyer what the product or service will cost and is displayed in the ad. Even If the particular service or product is free, you must show the ads’ Price to the users. 

The Price of the product displayed in your ad should match the currency of the country you are targeting. Hence, include the correct Price. Also, it is essential to follow the price format laid down by the Google shopping feed  guide

Note: Take into consideration the different taxation rules of the country you are targeting when you are submitting the price attribute. Lastly, add the sale_price to the feed. This move will increase your chances of getting the price drop tag in your ads and gaining visibility.

f. Use google_product_category values that are at least 2-3 levels deep. 

It will make the process easy for Google to know what you are selling. As per Google’s products are  assigned a product category from Google’s product taxonomy. 

When you provide high-quality, descriptions and titles, as well as GTIN and brand information, and accurate pricing, it will help make sure your products are correctly categorized.

g. Use a unique product id and title value for every item in your product data 

The ID is used to distinguish each product and is unique to avoid any potential confusion. You may use the same ID in different countries or for the same country in other languages. 

h. Provide the GTIN(Global Trade Identification Number) whenever available for your products. 

It makes it easier for Google to track your product and enrich your ads with more matching results. Not having a GTIN number may not get your products disapproved, but it will limit their performance. 

Therefore, for better performance against competition or to improve your ad campaign, including as many GTIN’s as you can. It is an excellent way to optimize your Google feed. Avoid using shipping details, company name, delivery date, etc., in your title.

 In case there is no GTIN any for your product, then the ‘identifier_exists‘ attribute should be set to ‘False’.

i. Clean the Product Data 

Frequently overlooked is cleaning the existing product data in the Shopping Feed. Some of the common values that you need to look out for to clean are

  1. Misspellings – casual errors, or six different ways of spelling the same category
  2. Use of another language – Use only one language used in the country where your product is on sale. Clear any foreign language used to describe the product.
  3. Wrong use of capitalization – Remove any wrong usage of capitalization in your Google feed. Google follows stringent rules for the use of exclamation marks and capital letters. Adding too many of them can get your product disapproved.

j. Feed optimization through third-party apps or services 

You can do this feed optimization through third-party apps or services that help you do these processes in less time & an error-free manner. It will save you time, and you are more assured of success in implementing the Google Shopping feed.

Conclusion

We hope reading this has given you an overview of the requirements needed in getting your product feeds optimized and uploaded to your Merchant Center Account. 

You must closely monitor your campaigns and make sure they are working effectively and making appropriate use of your ad budget. 

Note: Shopping advertisers using Google Shopping Feeds and are selling a handful of products can create their product feeds manually in Google sheets. 

Those advertisers whose products are in hundreds or thousands need to use an app or service that can crawl through their website and automatically generate their feeds in a Google-friendly manner to create sales and take advantage of Google Shopping feeds.

Guest Post by AdNabu

AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for eCommerce companies. If you are running the search, google shopping, or display campaigns in Google Ads, This software will be able to increase your sales. 

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