Many people may be wondering what exactly a shopping feed is. A shopping feed is a document that has information on all the products you carry and want to sell on Google shopping. Google requires that each product listed have certain attributes assigned to it in order to be shown on their shopping results, you can find out more about these required attributes here.
A great way to think about your product feed is to compare it to your product’s packaging. Customers can not always physically see or try out your product before purchasing it, so having an informative product feed can help the customer make a more informed buying decision. Subsequently, the quality of the information in your product feed needs to outshine your competitors. A few areas in the product feed need to stand out, as these are the areas the customer will see right away. These include the title, description, price, and keywords.
Shopping Feed Title:
The title can be up to 150 characters, but typically only 70 are shown in the feed. In order to keep your title to the smallest number of characters you will want to prioritize the most important words first. Shy away from having your company name in the first part of your title for an item, and try to have the product name in the first 25 characters. A good rule of thumb to follow when creating the product title is: Brand Name – Exact product type – any additional features. Since the title is the first thing the customer will see it is important you get it right. Below are a list of do’s and don’ts for creating your title.
- Use product name
- Front load information
- Include top keywords
- Add promotional text
- Be vague
- Overuse keywords
Product Descriptions in Your Shopping Feed:
When it comes to the product description it is a good idea to look at the product from the perspective of a potential buyer. What do they need to know about the product? What questions might they need answered? With the product description, you want to try to answer any questions the customer may have before they click on your ad. Make sure to keep your description easy to read, as the customer is most likely scanning through multiple items, so you want your product to stand out and answer all of his or her questions quickly. Below are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing your product description.
- Front load information
- Accurately describe product
- Use proper keywords
- Use too many words
- Be vague
- Overuse keywords
After your shopping campaign has been up and running for a while, you will be able start creating reports and analyze how your ads have been performing. From this data you can find out what keywords customers are actually using to search for your products. With that information, you can go back and update your product description to optimize it with keywords people are actually searching for.
For shopping campaigns, you cannot specifically add keywords you are looking to bid on, but you are able to add negative keywords. A great use of negative keywords is if you notice searches coming in that are costing you money and not leading to conversions. When you see this you can take that search term and add it to the negative keyword list.
UPCs, MPNs, and Brands:
UPC (Universal Product Code), MPN (Manufacturer Product Number) and brands are codes and numbers that help Google compare products. Google requires that you have at least two of these three codes for each product in your shopping feed. If you have missing codes your products can be penalized or not shown in the shopping campaigns. If you don’t have these fields filled out properly Google can’t accurately compare your product to others and that could lead to you losing out on sales.
Images are the first visual the customer will get of your product. You want to make sure you have a clear, high quality image of the product you are selling. The only thing in the image should be the product that is for sale. Some manufactures already have stock images they want you to use, or you may have your own stock images to use. If you are unsure of what image to use, conduct your own search to see what type of image your competitors are using. Some tips for creating your own images are:
- Have a white background
- High quality image
- Make image visible in thumbnail view
- Follow good merchandising principles
- Use text, watermark, or logo
- Have multiple products in one picture
- Use poor lighting
The price if your item is really what can make or break a sale. It is the most influential reason why someone will or won’t click on your ad. It is important to make sure the price is accurate and always up to date on the product feed. Every industry is different and some industries don’t rely on having the lowest price. No matter your price range, make sure that it is always up to date and matches the price listed on your website. If the pricing on your shopping feed does not match the pricing on your website, you can incur heavy penalties.
The biggest mistake most people make when it comes to their product feed is not optimizing it with the tips given above. If you stay diligent and update your feed often you should start to see better results and start out ranking your competitors. Remember it is important to be updating your product title, description, and price while keeping in mind what competitors are doing to maintain competitive advantage. Lastly, be sure to get in all the pertinent information without using too many words. As the competition becomes more and more intense, having a finely tuned shopping feed is the most important thing you can do.