Google Shopping campaigns are one of the most effective ways to get your product in front of shoppers at their moment of intent. And a fundamental part of Shopping Campaign management is a healthy data feed through the Merchant Center.
Google is all about relevancy, so the information submitted in a feed needs to be accurate, up to date, and optimized. An unhealthy feed is the difference between shopping campaign success and total failure. Here are my eight tips for optimizing your Google Shopping feed to end up in the “total success” category. Enjoy!
Look at the Whole Enchilada
When creating a data feed, think of the product ad in its entirety, not just as fields that need to be filled in. Like any other type of ad, use the space wisely. Provide top-level product information that will make the ad stand out and attract customers.
Product titles are extra important, not only are they one of the first things that customers see, but also it can easily be cut off (see image to the right). Titles have a 150-character limit, but 70 or fewer characters will be displayed in the ad. Titles should be exactly the name of the product and make it easy for customers to visualize. Any sort of fancy promotions like “Free Shipping” or text IN ALL CAPS will be rejected, so keep it simple.
Product descriptions have a 5,000-character limit, but Google recommends keeping it between 500 and 1,000 characters. Use this space only for the most important and relevant information about the product. Descriptions should be readable, follow grammatical rules, and end with a punctuation mark.
Put on Your SEO Hat
Get inspiration for writing product descriptions by looking at search term reports to discover keywords that customers use. This is the time to stand out from other retailers with descriptive words like waterproof, kid-proof, recyclable, or guaranteed quality. Being spammy is always a no-no, so don’t over do it by stuffing keywords or using slang that only a few people understand.
Put on Your Editor Hat
Spell check often. Google doesn’t always catch spelling errors, but searchers do, and no one wants to be that guy who missed an opportunity because of a “there” instead of “their”.
Write titles and descriptions then get a friend to check for grammar and for spelling. Retailers can go on to auto-pilot when it comes to describing products, so having an extra set of eyes is extra helpful.
The Price Better Be Right
The fastest way to get a feed disapproved by Google or to disappoint a potential customer is to advertise using incorrect pricing. Make sure to keep prices and sales prices up-to-date.
Be aware of competitor pricing and how your ad appears next to other ads. If your product costs more than another, is it at least competitive? Do you offer product packages that cost more than a single product at a quick-glance? Be mindful of both how the price is displayed and that it is accurate.
High Quality Images Are a Must
Product images will make or break the success of a shopping campaign. Google won’t display ads for products without images, and searchers won’t click on ads with poor images.
Submit the largest, highest resolution, full size image that you have of the product. The minimum image size required by Google has recently increased to 100 x 100 pixels to support the new ad formats, and images at least 800 x 800 pixels are recommended. The product should take up at least 75% of the full image, but no more 90%.
Ads should directly lead shoppers to landing pages that are relevant and easy to interact with. No one wants to land on a page with pop-ups or a page that doesn’t match their search, and Google knows it. Make sure that all pages quickly load in both desktop and mobile to keep everyone happy and your feed approved.
What are your tips for optimizing product feeds? Share with us in the comments!