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Tools, apps and e-commerce websites

Optimizing for Google Merchant Center

With its gigantic year-on-year growth, Google Shopping has become a must for any online store. You may have learned about Product Feeds previously, but it’s time to ensure that you’re optimizing your product feed for Google Merchant Center, and making the most out of your data.

Using your product feed is paramount to implementing a strong Google Shopping strategy. If your data is bad or poorly-written, it can end up costing you in lost sales.

This article is for those who already know what product feed optimization is and need extra tips on how to move their Google Shopping campaigns up a notch. ShoppingFeeder has got you covered – some things we’ll talk about include writing product titles, pricing and product descriptions for quick Google Merchant Center integration. 

1. Optimizing Product Titles

Product title optimisation is an integral part of scaling up your Google Shopping campaign. It can grow your overall impressions and help increase your shopping revenue. The best way to accomplish this is through strong product titles that match the target users’ intent. 

First and foremost, you’ll need to spend some time on your Product Feed for Google. This is the key to keeping your ads relevant to the intention of your users. It is arguably one of the most important attributes in your product feed, and as such, commands a lot of time and effort. One trick is to come back to titles last, as this way, you can work on all other attributes first – which can help you optimize your title later. 

The attributes you use will depend on your product and category. Here are some examples of titles for different categories of products: 

  • Apparel items should include brand, gender, product type, colour and material. 
  • Books should include the title, type, format and author.
  • Consumable products should include the brand, product type and attributes, including the weight/pack size
  • Electronics should include the brand, attributes, model number and product type.

… and so on!

The key concept for title optimisation is to add the most important keywords in your title. You could conduct a search term report in order to see which queries have a higher propensity to convert, and you could use these words in your product titles. 

A good tip is to do some keyword testing within your feed to figure out which keywords can work well for your ecommerce  store. You should also be mirroring product information from your own website, so when your ad is clicked on, there are no discrepancies on your website. 

Another pro tip is to place the most  important information in the beginning of your product titles. This is a good practice in case your title gets shortened on the results page – you’ll be safe because the important information will be shown to viewers first.

2. Optimize Colour Attributes

This one is applicable to you if you sell many colour variations in your inventory. It can be difficult to manage all of your colours when examining your Product feed for Google.  In the past, it was best practice to simplify the colors in your product feed into simple colour terms. Peach would become pink, for example. 

If you do this today, you can get disapprovals for directing viewers to landing pages that contain mismatching information. Google will search the micro data on  your landing pages and will match your feed’s color attribute to the color listed on your landing page. Remember to let unique colours stay this way if you want better results!

3. Adjust Pricing

Getting your pricing right using the Product Feed for Merchant Center can play a huge role in your digital marketing strategy.

You’ll need to use dynamic solutions in order to keep up with daily price fluctuations that you’ll encounter with Google Shopping. A third-party app like ShoppingFeeder can help with this.

Regardless of what you choose, you can use this data in your feed to create your own dynamic pricing tool that is used only for your feed. How it works is that you’ll export a file of your pricing tool and merge it with your product data feed, matched by id. 

You can also opt to create custom labels for how you want to bid – this will be determined by how competitive your pricing already is. 

What’s important to take away from this is that you should always be checking your competitors’ pricing and see how you match up to them and their chosen keywords.

4. Optimizing your images

It may not seem obvious – so we’re going to tell you directly. Your product images are the first thing any potential buyer will see when your ad is displayed, so you’ll want to take care to ensure that these look amazing.

Your images in your Product Feed for Merchant Center should stand out amongst your competitors’ images.

Here are some top tips to make sure your image link is optimized:

  • Always use high-quality pictures (These can also help for mobile responsive devices)
  • Make sure the variants in your ad match the picture used (Check for matches in colour, size, material etc.)
  • Look out for text that is blocking your picture (This includes watermarks, manufacturer parts numbers or logos)
  • You should test both product images and lifestyle images (you’ll find that one of these works better for your brand).

5. Using Keywords in Product Titles & Descriptions

First, you need to check the keywords that your products are ranking for. Then, you’ll want to run a Search Terms report in AdWords to find your best performing search terms.

Please note that this may not be keywords that you are bidding on in Adwords already – they are based on what your audience is typing into search bars in order to find your product.

You should ask yourself the following questions as you decide on your keywords:

  • Do PLAs show up for this keyword when manually searching?
  • Do at least one of your products show up when running this specific search?
  • How much are your shopping campaigns spending on these keywords?
  • Do your product titles and descriptions contain the intended keyword?

This is a continual process–you’ll need to update the titles and descriptions of your products as you notice new queries appearing in Adwords!

6. Consider integrating with Google Merchant Center

Do you need to find a one-stop channel in order to integrate your store with Google Merchant Center?

Look no further than ShoppingFeeder. It’s a feed management app that offers expert data feed management, such as product feed optimisation and categorisation, automated feed submissions, inventory management, analysis and more.

You can easily set up channels and modify your product data, and you’ll be able to create product feeds quickly. Some of the supported platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, OpenCart and more. Supported channels include PriceCheck, Google, Gumtree, Takealot and more. 

7. Create Merchant Promotions

You can create Merchant Promotions within the Google Merchant Center. You can use these to inspire new leads. 

Here are our top 5 choices for enticing Google Merchant Promotions:

  • Advertising Free Shipping
  • Lowering your threshold for Free Shipping 
  • Buy One, Get One Free or Buy One, Get One Half Price
  • Tiered discounts using percentages and order thresholds (For example, 15% off orders of R1000 or more).

You’ll want your website deals to align with your Merchant Center integration when deciding on a promotion for your product feed display.

8. List item variations individually

This is especially useful for larger retailers and although it is related to your product feed, it actually refers to making separate pages with unique URLs for each variant or your product.

This is obviously a bit of extra work to undertake, but once completed, it means that customers can be taken straight to the product they’ve chosen and can add it to the basket in one easy click without selecting the size or colour they want.

Listing variants separately will improve the customer experience and can result in increased conversions.

9. Use Google Categories

To improve your performance and avoid product disapproval, you’ll want to categorize your products correctly. Ideally, you want to use as many product categories as possible for your products.  

This is something that you shouldn’t overlook, as you can gain conversions from an unsuspecting category. This is also important for Merchant Center integration.

10. Organize your Content

Whether you’re a reseller on the Google Merchant Center or brand manufacturer, your first step is to organise your content. This involves four main actions:

  • Centralising all of your product information
  • Editing all of your product data to align with Google’s specifications
  • Adapt all necessary product information to align with Google’s requirements
  • Create your own process to keep content updated constantly

You can do this manually or choose an automated content management system.

Conclusion

There are a lot of ways you can optimise your product feed for Google Merchant Center. This includes using appropriate categories, organising your content, performing title optimization, listing item variants separately, creating merchant promotions, using Google Merchant Integration, using high-quality images, keywords and more!


Need help with setting up your product feed for Google Merchant Center? Try out ShoppingFeeder today. We’ve got everything from data analysis and feed optimisation to the basics of setting up your accounts. You can try a 14-day trial for free today!

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