If you have an eCommerce store and you aren’t already using Google Shopping, you should be!
Having your store’s products listed on google shopping has many benefits, least of all being it’s fairly simple and free! And what better way to get your products seen than directly on Google when a customer searches for it? We have a complete guide on what and how to do it below.
Step 1? Product images.
Like all eCommerce sites and services, Google Shopping is a visual experience. Google combines merchants’ product feeds into category pages for comparison shopping and gives shoppers an image of the product and price from stores. This means your product images are undoubtedly, the most important part of your listing. If the image doesn’t look good, you are never going to get that click.
If you want to be found in Google Shopping, there is one simple method to follow. A complete guide of requirements can be found here
Google is a driven as a company by data. they want to be useful to shoppers and facilitate sales. They want you to succeed. They do a great job of telling you what to do, and just as importantly what not to do. however that means you have to be compliant, and then you can take further action to distinguish yourself from the competition. First, the obvious: don’t break their rules, ever.
Here are the guidelines for Google’s image requirements:
- Don’t use borders around the image
- Don’t scale up images or thumbnails
- Don’t use watermark, logo, or text overlay
- Don’t use a multicolored, dark, or patterned background
- Don’t submit images smaller than 32×32 pixels or larger than 64 megapixels (apparel images must be at least 250×250 pixels)
These are in place to ensure that customers have a clear and concise image of what you are offering. If you do any of the above, google will do 1 of 2 things. Either disapprove your initial listing or delist you, depending on whether it is a new feed or an update to an existing one. Neither is what you want!
oogle Merchant Account.
Pretty self explanatory this one. The Google Merchant Center allows you to upload product data and create Shopping campaigns to drive sales. In addition to the millions of Google users you’re opening yourself up to, Google’s location based technology can drive online shoppers to your brick and mortar store with features like “in-stock” availability checking where applicable. It is important to note that this is something entirely separate from AdWords and Webmaster tools and is a requirement if you want a shopping feed with Google.
Step 3? Set up and optimise the data feed.
Optimising your product images is crucial and is where you should dedicate most of your resources. The next step to optimising your Google Shopping listing is to understand and target the additional pieces of your listing. What we’re calling “your listing” is what Google calls a “data feed.” When you are adding products to your Google Merchant account, you will be submitting the following basic product information in a Google Product data feed, You can find official guidelines on this here.
key fields to populate are ID, Title, Description, Google product category, Product type, Link, Mobile link, Image link, Additional image link, Condition, Availability, Availability date, Price, Sale price, Sale price, effective date. There are additional fields that may be provided, like gender for apparel. Take a close look at Google’s attributes chart which can be found here and make sure you provide as much detail as possible related to your product. Most of these are self explanatory, but a few allow for subjective interpretation and can have an effect the success of your listing.
Key attributes to focus on as a start are:
ID – This is a unique code that identifies your product for the machines. The most important thing to remember here is not to change it. If you change it later, you will effectively be relisting your product and resetting your Quality Score (in essence the reputation your item has built with Google).
Title – Be relevant, clear, accurate, and descriptive. Shorter is better – long titles may get truncated. Don’t overdo keywords by repeating them with slight variations, like “bestselling, bestseller, best seller.” these will be classed as non unique and damage your listing. Don’t get gimmicky and do the Internet version of shouting for attention with all caps, exclamation points, or FuNnY Sp3ll1ng and capitalization. Any one of those techniques can result in disapproval of your product listing.
Description – Google recommends something in the 500 to 1000 range. Lead with relevant information to your customer, like technical attributes and special features, but remember who you’re writing for. it’s as much about informing the search engine as it is marketing to customers. Include visually obvious features so Google can find you when a customer searches for specific patterns, colours, shapes, and other design attributes.
Image link – This is the primary image for your listing and must be the first image shoppers see if they click through to your page. Make it beautiful using our earlier optimization instructions.
Additional image link – Submit more images of your product! The more images you provide the better, as additional high quality images have been correlated to increased sales.
Now that all of the hard work is done, that leaves one final step.
Step 4? Add your data feed!
Click the ‘+data feed’ button when you are ready to add your selected products to the shopping feed. It is important to note that Google sends the customer to your store,s o only add products that are available to purchase at the time of submission.
Google has a “Test” mode for adding data feeds that we recommend you use the first couple times you add feeds. It will help you find any issues in your data.
“Feed type” option allows you to add new product listings or update existing listings. Select a “target country” where your products will be sold and shipped, and then name your feed. Your name should be something descriptive that will help you stay organised when adding additional feeds in the future.
“input method” step of adding your data feed is flexible and boils down to where you want to maintain your listings. “Google Sheets” allows you to keep your data in the cloud using familiar spreadsheet technology. “Scheduled fetches” will get data from a file on your website. “Regular uploads” puts everything on you, allowing you to apply updates whenever you prefer through a variety of methods, like FTP or manual upload.
Select the option that makes the most sense for you. Scheduled fetches are the easiest to keep up to date if you have the developer resources to automatically output a file that tracks your inventory, while Sheets and regular uploads are user friendly manual options. Most Ecommerce platforms will have a module or extension to allow for easy management automatically once a feed is created, so if you are a busy store, this will be worth looking at to save from any issues over time.
“feed setup” step will depend on the input method you selected. When you have completed adding your data feed, it will appear on the “Feeds” page of your account. You can also submit data feeds via API (for those with developer resources available), and many eCommerce platforms (like Magento) have account linking methods as mentioned earlier.
If you are not comfortable with completing any of the above yourself, please feel free to contact us for a no obligation quote. We are happy to set up your feed on any chosen platform, whether manual or automated. If there is anything else you would like help with, please check our other services. We are here to help YOU succeed!