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September 5, 2022
If you’re considering listing your products on Google Shopping, or if you already are, you’ll know there are specific data requirements you need to meet. Before we delve into the these, let’s outline what Google Shopping is. We’ll also outline some key stats that demonstrate why Google Shopping represents a huge opportunity for any business selling online.
Google Shopping is a service that enables customers to easily search online for products from different vendors. The advantage for customers using Google Shopping is being able to compare prices from different vendors, as well as being able to see all product reviews. This gives direct insight into the best options available. When a shopper clicks on the products listed on Google Shopping, it takes them directly to the vendors’ landing page.
This is how items display in Google Shopping once a customer’s entered a search term. Here, we’ve searched for a green couch:
Google shopping represents a huge opportunity for you to significantly increase the exposure of your products on SERPs. However, there are certain steps you should follow to make sure you get the best bang for your buck. We’ll go through each step you need to follow, then you’ll get a deep dive into the data you need to include to rank well. There’ll also be an overview of some of the other things you can include to really set yourself apart from the competition.
You need a Google account to complete this step. Once you’re set-up, you can go to the Merchant Center and get started. This will essentially be the home for all the products you’d like to list on Google shopping. Within the Google Merchant Center, you can also determine where your customers will check out. Here are the options:
Google Shopping will use the featured images from your own eCommerce site, so you need to make sure they’re fully optimized for search. Be sure to include all the relevant keywords, longtail keywords, and LSI keywords, to guarantee the best possible results.
Your digital assets play a key role in the Google Shopping experience as it’s so visual. For instance, your Google Shopping campaign will be denied if the images are poor quality.
Skip ahead to get all the specific details around image requirements
Specific Image Requirements
Now, you’re ready to set up your Google Shopping data feeds for the products you want to list! Creating a feed enables you to provide Google with all the information required to surface your products in search results.
As with your digital assets, your products will be shown when consumers enter certain search terms of specific attributes. It’s important to include the countries you sell to so Google can properly identify the correct demographics.
Get your hands on the Google Shopping feed template for details of all the attributes you need to include
Access The Template
Once Google has all your product information, you’ll need to link your Google AdWords account so customers can find them. Once you’ve linked your AdWord account, you’ll need to set up an ads campaign to advertize your products. This will involve determining sufficient bid amounts. This, coupled with high-quality product data and digital assets will earn you a higher rank.
This dictates who will see your products and when they’ll see them. This is super handy if you’re looking to target specific demographics or geographies. For example, you can set certain rules for when and where ads appear to ensure you generate the most relevant traffic.
This is where you can decide what type of ads you want to run. There are a couple of different options you can go for. One is the “Product Shopping Ads” which promote a single product. Alternatively, you can opt for “Showcase Shopping Ads”. This is a new format that gives you the option to promote multiple items as part of a product or lifestyle ad.
Google Shopping is all about offering the best possible user experience. The specifications very clearly set out how you should structure your product data feed so Google Shopping can compare the right products when customers are looking for something specific.
The quality of product data ultimately determines how your products will be indexed and surfaced in search results. If you don’t provide data that meets the requirements set out, Google Shopping may delay publishing your listings. The longer they’re delayed, the more revenues you could lose, so you want to get it right the first time around.
When you’re looking at how to get your products on Google Shopping, there are going to be fields that are
These are essential if you want to differentiate from your competitors and boost your rankings. These individual numbers give your products their own identity on the google Merchant platform. The GTIN also enables customers to find better product comparisons when shopping online as each GTIN is unique for every single product you list. Overall, it makes your listing richer, easier to classify, and suitable for all Shopping programs and features.
You should test your product titles with a range of keywords you’ve identified as being relevant to the item you’re selling and the sector you operate in. This will be a big factor in how well your listings perform. You also need to make sure there is consistency between what’s displayed on Google Shopping, and what’s displayed on the landing page your customers will end up on. A good way of ensuring this is the case is to optimize all product titles for your site and the Google Merchant Centre at the same time.
Like product titles, what customers see on Google needs to be consistent with what’s on your landing page. Any mismatched information can lead to disapprovals which will harm your listings. Google crawls microdata on landing pages and will match product characteristics, such as color or measurements, to the landing page. The maximum length of product descriptions can be as long as 5000 characters. However, it’s best practice to include all important details within the first 160-500 characters to avoid these being truncated.
Here's a handy resource that covers off best practice for your eCommerce landing pages
Whitepaper: Creating the Perfect Product Detail Page
This is a user-focused shopping platform, which is why there’s no such thing as “too much product data”. Google will prioritize listings that have in-depth product information and high-quality digital assets. This means customers get the best possible online experience and all the information they need to make fully informed buying decisions. In other words, Google Shopping is unlike other web stores that rank products from an SEO perspective.
You should also ensure you’re letting customers know about your product’s availability and ensure this is always up to date. You should also prominently display the cost of your products in the currency of the country of sale. Remember, if you’re selling in the US or Canada, you shouldn’t include the tax in the price. If you’re selling items in bulk or in multipacks, you should include the price for the minimum purchase quantity.
Sales and merchant promotions enable sellers using Google Shopping to add special offers and reductions to their listings. Items listed with sales and merchant promotions will often deliver higher click-through rates and lower costs per conversion. Google research shows that listings with promotions can see improved conversions by as much as 28%. Overall, this would be a great feature to take advantage of during sale seasons or clearance sales.
Images are an extremely important part of the user experience on this platform, which is what Google focuses on. It’s extremely visual by nature, so images must be high quality, show all angles, and accurately represent the true product.
A poorly optimized version of an image can dramatically reduce the quality of your shopping feed. In other words, poor-quality images will essentially mean you’ll end up ranking lower than your competitors.
Unlike other Google tools, Google Shopping develops ranks based on product information uploaded by the Merchant Center user.
Google Shopping presents a great opportunity to extend the reach of your products. It’s also a great opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from the competition with quality product data. Remember, with Google Shopping – high-quality product data = excellent campaign performance!