Product data feed optimisation is without a doubt one of the most overlooked solutions for Google Shopping success. Your product listing ads are in many cases the initial window into your online store for a potential customer, and we all know how much first impressions count.
Google Shopping has quickly become the number one channel for advertisers looking to show their products to users who are ready to buy, but it can be tricky to know how to make the most of this “low-hanging fruit” audience. Here are 5 quick and easy ways you can optimise your product data feed to nail visibility and increase sales in your Google Shopping campaigns.
#1 Keep your feed healthy
The first and most important step of optimising your Google shopping feed is to make it functional. A general feed health check to try and resolve any product disapprovals is key for ensuring you’ve got good visibility across your range in the PLAs. In an ideal world the lion’s share of the ‘Overview’ graph will be green, but if you’ve got disapprovals and you’re not sure why, consult the ‘Diagnostics’ section of Merchant Centre to find out what the issues are and how to solve them.
#2 Optimise titles for users AND Google
When you’re optimising the titles of your products, it’s tempting to simply follow what your competitors are doing – but if that’s all you do, you’re missing a trick.
Start by removing any unnecessary or low search volume terms from your title. Character space is limited, so make sure each word in your title serves a purpose: particularly the first three. To do this for our commercial coffee machine retail client, we replaced “(Compact)”, which added no value in the product’s title, with the name of the product we’re advertising as the original feed didn’t even include that. In doing this, we were able to make sure Google would be able to match our titles with user’s queries as well as provide users with a straight to the point understanding of what our product is, does and looks like.
Title optimisation doesn’t have to end there, though. Identify trends in your search query data and use it to your advantage: if it performs well when users search for it, it’s likely to work well in your product titles too.
When we identified that the phrase “black long” continually appeared in high-performing converting search queries in our fast-fashion retail client’s shopping campaigns, we were not only able to bid more competitively for products relevant to this term, but also ensure titles of relevant products featured the high-performing keywords too.
#3 Don’t forget Product_Type
Although Merchant Centre only enforces the Google Product Category attribute in your data feed, it’s the optional ‘product_type’ attribute that’ll really set you apart from the rest. Although the attribute is usually considered to be most useful for potential customers or advertisers, using ‘product_type’ will actually help Google understand your product better, too.
In this example, by being super granular with our product_type attribute we were able to dominate the shopping SERPs for the key term “tabletop hollywood mirror” without even using “tabletop” or “hollywood” in the products’ titles, meaning valuable title characters are left over to include other product information.
Including the ‘product_type’ attribute in your data feed will also make campaign management much easier, providing at-a-glance product category performance and allowing you to segment your shopping campaigns into bitesized chunks.
#4 Create urgency with promotions
Win those all-important clicks from your competitors with promotion extensions on your PLAs. Whether you’re running a constant online discount or a one-off sale, your shopping ads should definitely reflect this. Create an engaging message to go with your offer code, apply the promotion to either all or selected products and you’re done.
#5 Increase customer trust with stars & reviews
It’s no secret that trust signals can massively help to boost conversion rates on your website, and shopping ads are no different. Retailer or product-specific star ratings will reassure your potential customers that your brand’s reputation is good and product quality is high, making them more inclined to shop with you over your competitors.
It’s easy to start collecting reviews for Google Shopping. Either enrol in Google’s free Customer Reviews programme, upload a reviews feed across 50 or more of your products, or get in touch with a reviews aggregator that can integrate star ratings with your PLAs.