The Lowdown on Google Shopping Feeds

A lot of online shopping these days comes from products being shown alongside a Google search, and that’s thanks to the Google Merchant Centre, that helps to sell your products to potential buyers who are looking on Google with shopping in mind, or as an added bonus – kind of like a shop window.

What is Google Shopping Optimization?

Google shopping, powered by the Google Merchant Centre, sells your products using an ad that appears as part of certain Google searches, all with the purpose of selling your products and gaining additional clicks on your ads. By setting up a price, description, and image for each product, including any specific keywords to trigger the product listing alongside certain Google searches, Google shopping is a popular way to bring more clicks, and more interest to your products. Google considers your feed, site and bids to determine which search queries will show your listings. By ‘bidding’ a chosen amount, depending on your budget, you have the chance to take advantage of ROI (Return On Investment), as you only spend the amount of your bid if someone clicks your listing. Your bid is your increased chance of gaining impressions and clicks on your product listing.

As an example, if someone searched for ‘television’ they probably aren’t interested in shopping at that moment. However, if they searched for ‘52” Sony Smart Television’ they’re more than likely going to be considering making a purchase – and Google will offer them products that are deemed suitable for this search criteria.

Google shopping offers a wide variety of options for products to be seen by people searching for similar keywords, and presents them professionally on one big, global online store, making it an easy place for shoppers to find what they’re looking for without browsing lots of different sites. Additionally, any available promotions will show up on the listing – but it’s worth noting that Google will not run the ad if it isn’t correct on the actual website, or if the listing isn’t completed properly and fully. As well as this, any product reviews are shown all in one place, which is another factor that buyers might consider before they choose a product.

What’s the process?

  •  Create your account. If you already have a Google account, connect your account with Google Merchant Centre and set yourself up as a seller. If not, create a new account with an email and password which you can then use to login to your Merchant Centre campaign.
  • Create your campaign. Choose a campaign name, country of sale, a maximum bid/ CPC (Cost Per Click) for each click (you can edit this at any time) and a daily budget. The near-constant fluctuation of Google traffic means that your maximum bid and daily budget might increase frequently – this is to make the most of your campaign and bring in as many sales as possible to your store. It’s advisable to start with a smaller budget and gradually increase it as your campaign grows. Once your campaign has been created, you can alter and monitor it as often as you’d like.
  •  Make sure your store is Google-friendly. Google requires a white background on each image – watermarked images and/or ones copied and pasted from other sites as product images won’t be approved. Make sure the product that is being sold can be clearly seen and the picture is of good quality. Keep the content of the store concise and interesting to any potential buyers, including keywords and the full name of the product you intend to sell, to make sure it appears in as many searches as possible. Adjust the content of your store as necessary – frequent new product data uploads will allow you to upload your full feed more often (up to 4 times a day).
  • Keep tabs of your store. Make a spreadsheet listing each product as you’d like it to appear on the store. Alternatively, you could make use of one of the industry tools available. There are extensions, plugins, apps and services that can pull data from your site and format it into data that is recognised by Google. If you have a few products, a manual record of each product may be better – but if you have thousands of products, it would be very difficult to keep a track of each one without using a tool to speed up the process.

Why Clicks?

Here at Clicks, we want to help all of our clients make more money from their online presence. We have experience with Google Shopping Feeds, including knowledge of what works, what doesn’t, and how to bring more clicks to your site and your products. We can help you manage your feeds and provide you with advice and hands-on technical monitoring of your personal shopping feed campaign. Our team has experience working with Google Merchant Centre and other industry tools. If you’re stumped with the whole process of putting your products online, we’re here to help.