So, you’re up and running on Google Shopping, congrats! And now you’re wondering how to go about optimising your data feed to ensure you get the most possible sales and revenue? If that’s the case then you’re in the right place, as today what we’re going to talk about is optimising your product feed to ensure you maximise your Google Shopping ads revenue.
What you Need to Know About Google Shopping
The most important factor to consider as an advertiser is how you are perceived by potential purchasers. Essentially we are asking; what makes you different from your competition? Do you offer a better price? Is your shipping the fastest? To get massive results you do not always have to complete massive account restructures, sometimes they can be small tweaks that make a big difference.
For example in a study published on Search Engine Land they noticed that simply updating the product title (one of our key steps below) in your feed can have lasting and positive effects on the bottom-line. They discovered that optimising for a specific, highly relevant search query helped increase their CTR by 88% in comparison to the previous headlines. That is a massive improvement!
So what are the best changes you can make to get massively improved results from Shopping? The following is a list of must-do Ecommerce account optimisations to ensure that your data feed is receiving the most amount of revenue it can.
4 Steps To Improve Your Data Feed
1. Title Optimizations
The title of your ad is one of the most important aspects of Google Shopping. It can showcase for the consumer clearly and concisely who you are, who it is for and what the product is. For example look at the ads selected below. The first one by Banana Republic is showcasing the most important aspects first. BRAND (who you are) + GENDER (who it is for) + PRODUCT TYPE (What the product is).
The other two ads however have their title a little less... organised. They both focus on colour first, which although important it isn’t necessary to show first as the picture clearly showcases the colour of the items. They also both use the word cheap, which is a broader term which they hope indicates that the price is cheap, however next to a big brand like Banana Republic (whose price is actually cheaper) this could be conceived as the product being subpar.
Past following a formula, you can also try your most successful keywords in your titles as well, but to start it is important that you get your titles as clear and concise as possible.
2. Selecting The Right Image
As we can see from our discussion about titles, images also play a very important role in getting a consumer to purchase a particular product from you rather that another company.
Product Images are the first thing users see when your ad is shown, so having clear, well-lit photos that display the product you are selling as well as possible will not only ensure you get you approved by Google but also help you sell more products as well.
Here are a few things to consider when you upload a photo:
Is the picture you are uploading of the highest quality?
Do your variants match your photo? (color, size, etc.)
Is there anything on the photo that Google may disapprove? (logo, watermark etc.)
Is your photo unique and interesting, or is it the same as all the other Shopping advertisers for this product?
And finally when you are running with the best photos you can, don’t forget to test new product images regularly. Try testing product images vs lifestyle images to figure out which works better for your brand or that particular product. Again you will be surprised at how much of a difference a small change can make to your bottom line.
3. Sales & Merchant Promotions
Sales and Merchant Promotions help make you unique in comparison to your competitors. What’s a Merchant Promotion, you ask? It’s basically one of these:
Notice how that ad is the only ad on the screen that has a “special offer”? This is, of course, going to help this product stand out and get the advertiser more clicks and sales than if they didn’t promote their special offer on Shopping.
If you are having a sale on your site then promote it in your Shopping feed via Google Merchant Promotions as well. Consumers are more likely to buy a click and buy if there’s a discount or offer, and this effect is even more pronounced if/when you are the only advertiser on the page that is making an offer.
Here are some ideas on how to make yourself different:
Free or discounted shipping
Price discounts (Percent off, cash back, buy one get one free, or buy one get 2nd x% percent off)
Free gifts: everyone loves free gifts, right!?
Also, don’t forget to test and track your sale! Don’t leave your 25% off sale running for 3 months without checking your bottom line. Having your items discounted is a great way to drive revenue, but only if you start to see a larger number of sales than you did in the previous period.
4. Check your feed diagnostics and fix errors and warnings
A really simple mistake committed by most Shopping advertisers is not staying on top of Google’s Diagnostics tab inside Google Merchant Center. This is where Google will tell you if there are any problems with your data feed that could be causing products to not show up. Neglecting this would be like never taking your car in for a service. And in this case it would be so much worse as you can take your Shopping feed in for a service as often as you like at no real cost!
To get to your feed diagnostics, log in to Merchant Center and go here:
You will want to stay on top of feed and items errors or warnings (too many of these and you can get suspended). It would be disappointing to look at your data at the end of a month and find out that you performed worse as your best product has been taken down by Google for an error or by a fixable infringement.
Although some errors you will be able to fix on the spot (look for the clickable help indicator next to the error which will tell you how to fix it), it is important to not be afraid to reach out to Google for further assistance. If you have an account manager at Google, contact them about your feed error if you don’t know what it means or how to fix it. If you don’t have a dedicated account manager, you can get in touch with the Google support team via the “Help” option inside your Adwords account settings dropdown.
Finally one process you can implement which will help as your account grows is creating a document using the full list item errors and warnings. Doing this will allow you to look back over past errors or warnings and then how you resolved them. It will take the guesswork out of fixing the same errors in the future.
Making sure your data feed health and quality are both good are key to running a successful Google Shopping ads campaign. The most important steps to doing this are fairly straightforward and yet in 90% of the accounts we review, they’re not being done. We’ve given you the 4 most important steps, in our view, which are: making sure your product titles are good; using a good product image; promoting your sales and discounts; and fixing any and all errors in your feed.
There are, of course, a bunch of other things you could be doing, but we’re a big believer in 80/20 optimisation (e.g. focusing on the 20% of inputs that deliver 80% of results). If you start with these 4 items you’ll be well on your way to a successful Shopping campaign.