Friday, May 15, 2015

Shopping Campaigns: A Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Your Product Feed

For those of you in the retail space, if you are not participating in Google’s Merchant Center for Google Shopping, your customers are not finding you!

Google Merchant Center is a tool that allows you to integrate your business’ inventory through a product feed and into Google’s search results, by using Google’s Shopping feature. You may ask, “What is this ‘Google Shopping’ you speak of Brittni?” – Google Shopping is a feature in the SERPs that will give consumers a selection of products they could be looking for, based on the relativity of their search query.

The benefit to advertising on the Google Shopping Network is it allows your ads to attract more potential customers. If a consumer is using the Google search bar for “best running shoes”, Product Listing Ads - often referred to as PLAs - are the fastest and best way of showing your product to the right consumer. PLAs link your inventory’s product feed to the search results and show the most relevant items to the searcher.

After you have opened a merchant account, it is important to link your Google AdWords account and Google Merchant Center, so that your products are shown as PLAs. Once you have completed these preliminary steps, it is important to ensure that your product feed is optimized to enhance its performance. This can be done by taking the raw feed from your website’s catalog and optimizing it before creating the feed.

Some ways you can enrich your data feed is by:

1.       Seizing all opportunities to include information. Opportunities become limited when you do not complete all of the feature options. All feature options should be filled out for every product.
2.       Avoid vague titles. All titles for products should be in the following order of importance:
a.       Brand/Age/Gender/SKU/Size/Color
b.      Example: John Hardy Men’s Classic Chain 10.5mm Silver Bracelet
3.       Use/include GTIN numbers when possible.

You can also use search query reports, trends, and keyword research to help optimize your product feed even further. If your product is a pair of blue sneakers with white dots, the term ‘white dots’ may not be what your audience is looking for. Try performing tests to optimize your products, with keywords that your audience would use to describe your product; such as: ‘Polka Dots’, as opposed to ‘White Dots’.

It is important to know that your product feed title does NOT need to match the landing page title for the product. This is a common misconception and could result in less sales and less overall traffic.

If you are new to Google Shopping campaigns and would like to learn more about PLAs, contact Tandem Interactive for assistance.

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