The popularity of E-commerce is undeniable and is increasing at a dramatic rate. Owed to the lockdown imposed on the entire world, most aspects of our lives shifted online- which of course, entailed a spike in online shopping.
Over the last few years, e-commerce consumption has grown by drastic amounts, to such an extent that it is expected to reach the $3 trillion mark by the end of next year. Therefore, now is the best time for e-commerce stores to optimize their businesses and marketing strategies to reach as many consumers as possible. Having a robust marketing strategy for your e-commerce business can lead you to unparalleled benefits, not only during current times but in the upcoming years as well.
An effective way to reach consumers is by running online shopping ads that aim to draw the consumer to your website or product. Essentially, shopping ads enable the viewer to know more about your product, convincing them to make a purchase or at least visit your site.
When consumers are interested in any product or service, they mostly resort to search engines like Google to look it up. Millions of consumers turn to the internet to search for products; therefore, if you do not optimize your Google shopping feed, you miss out on hefty profits!
OK but What is a Google Shopping Feed?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, we need to go over the basics. So what exactly is a Google Shopping Feed, you ask?
Well, to put it in the most basic terms, your Google Shopping Feed is like your product catalog, but it is organized in a way that Google can easily understand and crawl.
Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
So we know how standard search engine campaigns work; marketers bid on certain keywords, which then determines which search queries will trigger their ads. Shopping campaigns work differently than this as shopping marketers do not have direct control over which search queries would trigger their ads. Instead, Google takes control! Basically, Google itself crawls the feeds and websites of Shopping advertisers to uncover which ads would be relevant for a particular search query.
In fact, we can say that the working process of Google Shopping Feed is quite similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In both the processes, advertisers provide relevant information in hopes of increasing their visibility and appearing when consumers make specific searches.
Optimizing Google Shopping Feed
Now that you know what Google Shopping Feed actually is, the next step is learning how to optimize it for the best ads. In order to provide you with a clear understanding, we will take you through the main aspects of your Google Shopping Feed and will provide you with tips on how to optimize each.
One important thing to remember generally when you create and optimize your Google Shopping Feed is to never be afraid of providing ‘too much information’, as there is no such thing when it comes to Shopping ads.
A detailed description of your product increases the relevancy of your Shopping ads. In contrast, if you provide only limited or less information, Google will not match your ads with search queries accurately.
With that said, let’s move on to the tactics that can help optimize your Google Shopping Feed.
The hyperlinked, blue text at the top of your shopping ad is known as the product title. And of course, titles are a priority, not only is Google Shopping Ads but in all aspects of your life!
Ensure that the front of your product title is as close to your chosen target keyword as possible.
When Google is crawling for relevant results, your product title is the first thing it looks at. A product title is, therefore, similar to a webpage title.
Furthermore, it’s essential to keep in mind that when consumers search for products and are preparing themselves to make the purchase, they prefer long-tail queries that provide them with full information. Thus, you should include as much detail as you can, for instance, be sure to mention the color, model, size, style, or any other relevant attributes. This gives you a better shot at capturing consumer intent.
When choosing an image for your product, keep the famous saying in mind– eyes are the window to the soul. If you want to reach deep within your consumer’s soul (and get it to buy your product), you need to appeal to the eyes with an impressive image. Remember, no consumer will even think of clicking on your Shopping Ad if your project image is anything less than impressive.
The whole point of a product image is to attract consumers and make an excellent first impression. Product images have significantly less to do with communicating the relevance of your ad to Google. It is all about the consumer’s eyes!
Product category, on the other hand, is at the other end of the spectrum. It is entirely a backend attribute and is not visible to the consumers at the frontend. It is solely for Google to know and see- and determine the relevance.
While populating Shopping search results, Google takes the category of your product into consideration and judges whether or not it is relevant to the specific search.
A product category is an essential aspect of your Google Shopping Feed. To make your product eligible to be displayed, you will need to choose a category from Google’s Product Taxonomy (GPT), which encapsulates numerous categories and subcategories.
To make your product as relevant as possible, ensure that you have narrow and targeted subcategories. And remember, no information is too much!
As the name suggests, product type is quite similar to product category, except that it is optional. Product type simply serves as another back-end attribute that can help Google determine your product’s relevance.
Although you do have the option to leave the product type empty, we suggest you avail this opportunity to add more details about your product.
For instance, sometimes, choosing a category from GPT still leaves quite a lot of room for details. This is where product type comes to the rescue! It gives you a chance to be more precise and paint a clearer picture of your product for it to be displayed in front of relevant audiences.
Product description now brings us back to the consumers’ eyes- and mind. The production description is basically the text that is displayed below your product title. It’s primary aim is to, well, describe your product of course.
It is quite beneficial to utilize the product description to add the keywords that you could not add in the product title because Google crawls descriptions as well. Also, remember to be detailed but do not be redundant. A useful product description should articulately describe all the necessary details of your product without spamming the consumers.
Here we digress a little from Google Shopping Feed optimization; however, we still retain relevance. Custom labels is an advanced bidding tactic that allows you to differentiate between products easily.
While creating your Shopping campaigns, you are required to segment your product catalog across buckets. You have the freedom to segment according to your own requirements, for example, you could divide your products according to style, age groups, brands, etc. After you have created the product buckets containing the segmented products, you then move on to assigning bids.
You can now set bids at the bucket level; however, with custom labels you can even differentiate among the same bucket products and accordingly set the bids on specific products.
Not paying the required attention to miscellaneous product information is a huge mistake as it takes away a lot of opportunities. Ensure that you mention the product price as it is an essential part of your Google Shopping Feed. Do conduct competitor research and set your product price accordingly.
Furthermore, if you are a reseller, you will need to include each product’s brand in your catalog. You will also have to list other relevant attributes such as gender, size, color, type, etc., in case you sell apparel.
You also need to state each of your products’ condition, for example, whether it is new or refurbished or used.
Another thing to bear in mind is that every product you sell will have a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), which is just a unique identifier number assigned to articles to store information in databases. Every product should have a universal GTIN so that it can be identified across all databases. It also affects relevance as Google is known to group together the sellers who offer the same GTIN products.
There is no denying the importance of Google Shopping Feed and how essential it is for your business’s success. Your products may be the best out there, but there is no point if you cannot get them in front of the relevant audience.
Your products and your brand’s visibility essentially depends on how well you have optimized your Google Shopping Feed. Whether you are a solo seller and have the ability to optimize your Google Shopping Feed yourself, or ad advertising agent in need of a software solution, feed optimization is imperative!
If you have any concerns or need help optimizing your Google Shopping Feed, please feel free to contact us.