Your product feed can be daunting, and is therefore often ignored by retailers. Is optimizing the product feed sitting at the bottom of one of your retail manager or marketer’s to-do lists? Yet, optimizing your feed is a crucial step for successfully advertising your products online. Whatever your approach to date, it’s time to make it a priority.
Why it’s a big deal
Your product feed is your direct communication channel with product advertising and comparison channels. These channels use the data you’ve submitted to match an engaged online shopper to your product. If there is missing, irrelevant or outdated data, you’re losing out on the opportunity to be linked with someone who is actively looking for a product you’re selling: a hot lead.
As a retailer, you want to provide comparison channels with as much information as possible via your product feed because – the more information in your feed, the higher you’ll rank. And, the more accurate and comprehensive the information that a consumer receives about your product via online advertising or a comparison search, the higher the likelihood that they will convert when they do click through to your website. And therefore, a lower CPC and a higher ROI.
In essence, high quantity and quality data in your product feed = greater connection with high quality searches = greater conversions. Therefore, investing in optimizing your product feed can yield an immediate impact on your sales. Here’s how we suggest you approach it…
Decision: Use a tool or DIY
To start using online advertising or comparison channels, such as Google Shopping or PriceCheck, you’ll need to upload your product feed. At this stage, you have 2 options. You can directly upload your product feed onto the Google Merchant Centre, for example. This might be a good option if you have a very small range of products and have the time to monitor performance and play around a bit. Alternatively, you can choose to use a product feed tool, such as ShoppingFeeder.
The benefits of using a tool are huge, especially if you’re strapped for time and resources:
- A feed management tool will extract product information straight from your website, and format it to create a feed for the multiple channels you’re using (different channels have different requirements). Price and stock changes will be automatically updated every few hours.
- A tool allows you to make quick data edits on your different feeds, without affecting your site data.
- Tools also continuously monitor each of your channels for feed errors, picking them up quickly and reducing the time your account is suspended for when they do arise.
Optimizing for Google Shopping
Optimizing your feed is especially important when you first start using a new advertising or comparison channel, but it is important to keep your eye out for areas to optimize on an ongoing basis too, taking into account channel performance and search trends. Before you start tweaking your feed for Google Shopping, do an audit of all the keywords that have worked well in your search campaigns and look to incorporate in your feed.
Spend time on product titles. Arguably the most important information in your whole feed, you should ensure that your titles include the relevant details, including brand name; size, color, or material product specifics; and any related promotions or discounts. Also, add in any successful keywords from search campaigns. Search Engine Land found that including a successful keyword “party dress” in the title for a specific dress increased interest by 3600 clicks, in comparison to the original title. There are 2 goals with the product title: for Google to rank your product, and for customers to click. So, all the relevant information should be there, but it must be attractive to read.
Ensure you have attractive images. Google is fussy about images – white background, no logos, and only the product in the photo. Alongside price and titles, images are the most influential factor on clicks.
Product descriptions are not so important. They need to be there, but the product title is far more important and should be where all relevant information is featured.
Don’t keyword stuff. Google doesn’t take kindly old school SEO tactics.
Check your Google Product categories. There are many product categories, so ensure each of yours is in one that is the most relevant.
Ensuring information in your feed is accurate and comprehensive is essential for maximizing your ranking, click-through-rates and conversions from product comparison channels. Yet, the process need not be daunting.