How to Optimize Your Google Shopping Feed for Ecommerce Success


You’ve heard the statistics. 47% of American internet users start their product searches on Amazon. 35% start on Google. Google used to be online shoppers’ favorite place to look for stuff, but Amazon has emerged as the dominant ecommerce search engine.

Now, I get it—this is compelling stuff. We’re witnessing a shift in the ways your prospects search for products online. You may feel tempted to do away with your Google Shopping campaigns and give all your money to Jeff Bezos.

[Awesome, juvenile joke regarding Mr. Bezos’ personal life redacted in the name of professionalism or whatever.]  

Don’t do that. Nearly 300 million Americans use the internet. That means roughly 100 million of them turn to Google when they want to search for products like yours. Neglecting to run Shopping ads is akin to owning a brick-and-mortar store that’s open from 11 pm until 7 am.

Plus, according to that Jumpshot study I referenced earlier, Shopping listings turn prospects into buyers faster than do Amazon listings.

Whereas 35% of Google product searches turn into transactions within five days, only 20% of Amazon product searches do the same. The average amount of time between a Google product search and a purchase is 20 days. It’s 26 days on Amazon.

So, not only do Shopping ads work—they work fast. However, effectiveness isn’t a given. If you want to drive returns, you have to optimize your Google Shopping feed.

What is a Google Shopping Feed?

Shopping campaigns work differently than do Search campaigns.

Whereas Search advertisers bid on keywords—and, thus, determine which search queries trigger their text ads—Shopping advertisers don’t have direct control over which search queries trigger their Shopping ads.

Instead, Google crawls Shopping advertisers’ websites and feeds to determine which ads are relevant for a given search query. The relevance of your ads, then, depends on the robustness of your Google Shopping feed.

What is a shopping feed? Your Google Shopping feed is a spreadsheet that describes and organizes your product catalog in a such a way that Google can easily crawl it and index the information it needs.

This should sound familiar: Feed optimization works similarly to SEO. In both cases, you’re providing relevant information with the intent of appearing when people Google search particular queries.

Shopping advertisers who sell only a handful of products should feel free to create their feeds manually in Google Sheets. Those who sell hundreds or thousands of products need to use an app or service (e.g., GoDataFeed) that can crawl their websites and auto-generate their feeds in a Google-friendly manner.

How to Optimize Your Google Shopping Feed

For this section, we’ll walk through the main elements of your Google Shopping feed and provide basic optimization tips. To make sure these tips are as reliable as possible, I spoke with Kelly McGee and Sam Drane—two experts on our Managed Services team who consistently drive returns for their ecommerce clients.

But first, let’s address the theme you’re about to observe: When creating your feed, there’s no such thing as too much information. Describing your products in greater detail will only increase the relevance of your ads. Conversely, the less information you provide, the less precisely Google can match your ads with search queries.

More info at Wordstream

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