If we want to stand out from our competitors on Google Shopping and pay less for our products’ ads, the secret is to get Google Shopping Feed Categories right. The Google Product Category is a fundamental element of all Google Shopping Campaigns and if we have put it aside so far, it is time to pay attention.
Google Shopping Feed Categories are crucial for product ads, because it helps Google identify quickly if the products in a feed come up as a good result for a buyer’s search.
Selecting the right category for our products is fairly easy, the tedious side of it is that Google has more than 6,000 categories. Finding the right category for our products can become an annoying task. This is true for all merchants, but in reality, it is very difficult for those who have very long feeds with hundreds and thousands of categories.
However, there are numerous benefits from taking the Google Shopping Feed Categories very seriously and here we show why we should take time to do it properly.
So, what is Google Shopping Feed Category?
Basically, it is the term that Google uses to categorize a product or element. To do this, Google created a document that standardizes the classification to be followed in order to define Google’s product categories. However, we should not confuse it with the Product Type, which is the categorization of the product according to our own criteria.
Its inclusion is mandatory in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan in sections such as electrical appliances or clothing and accessories. Although in Spain is still not as strict, if we are not careful we can find massive rejections within our Google Merchant account.
How do we use it?
The benefits of having a correct classification of each category is good for both the buyer and the seller. As advertisers, we will help in the following ways:
- Any field defined correctly helps increase the quality of our Google ads account with what it entails: Lower cost per click, better position in the ranking of advertisers who have similar products to ours, etc. If our product is not positioned or not ahead of our competitors, it may be due to not filling in the Google Product Category.
- We will help Google identify which of our products fit better with certain searches.
- Channels like Bing Shopping or Facebook Ads are nourished by this categorization, so once we have defined this field we can use it in our multichannel strategy.
As a consequence of this increase in the quality of our Google Shopping ads, we will adapt our strategy accordingly to allow us to unify the needs of our customers with the products we offer.
We will only announce what the potential client needs. For example, if we are looking for a sandwich maker, it does not make sense for us to get hit with an electric grill. In this case the Google Product Category can be decisive.
Defining the right Google Product Category
- We need to use updated categories or Google could assign our product to a less relevant category.
- Be as specific as possible with the levels we define. The more information we provide to Google, the better for the quality of our feed and our account.
- Use the merchant module available for the different content managers in the market. Among the options offered, there is the automatic configuration of Google categories.
- Evaluate the possibility of collaborating with specialized companies in the world of e-commerce that allow us to save time and give us the best advice in the digital marketing environment.
How to optimize campaigns
This option did not exist when the platform first started, but Google has been improving the tool. Options such as creating campaigns by brands, products or custom tags that we can add into all our ads or display campaigns offered by Google.
Once we’ve created the campaign and we have configured it, we can include the products we want to add in it.
This is a way to organize our Google Merchant Center product inventory in a Shopping campaign in Google Ads. Create product groups using attributes derived from the product data that is available in Google Ads. Afterward, we must bid for those product groups.
- Instead of keywords: In Shopping campaigns, product groups are used to determine when a Shopping ad is displayed with the products in our Merchant Center account on a search results page.
- Start using them: When we create a Shopping campaign, a product group called “All products” is automatically generated using the default maximum cost-per-click (CPC max) bid that we set when we created the ad group.
- Subdividing product groups: We can publish the Shopping campaign, and use the product group “All products” or subdivide it into as many groups as we want by product attributes, such as category, product type, brand, condition, product ID custom element, and labels. We can also remove as many product groups as necessary.
- Bids: Set and review bids for each product group as often as necessary or exclude a group of products from the campaign.
- Products and filtering: Each product can be displayed in a single product group that can be bid on. We can also use inventory filters to exclude a product from being displayed in a group of products.
Our Synapse Ads blog contains more information regarding this and other related subjects. We also have the amazing Keyword Mixer, which helps to find the right keywords to drive traffic to your website.