Five Ways to Optimize Your Google Shopping Product Feed

When Google makes a change or an update to one of its services it is often game changing. As an internet marketer, I am constantly tweaking and refining my SEO strategy to maintain an edge in the online marketing landscape. On October 17, Google made waves when it announced that the free Product Search had been replaced by a new paid service known as Google Shopping. For retailers who depended on Google Product Search for a large portion of their site traffic, they now face the prospect of either spending money to maintain their current position or losing out to competitors.

Although Google Shopping has been met with an expected collective groan from many online retailers, the fact remains that e-retailers must adapt to these new changes if they wish to continue to drive business online. The new platform will function very similarly to Google's AdWords paid search platform and the product feed rankings will be determined by both relevancy and bid amount. Despite the negative reception from some retailers, I believe that Google Shopping represents a new opportunity for retailers to achieve first mover advantage and increase their conversion rates. With that in mind, here are five ways to optimize your Google Shopping feed and maintain an early edge over slower adopters.

  1. Make Your Descriptions Unique:

    Many retailers will take the easy way out and copy product descriptions directly from the manufacturer. Resist that temptation! Creating unique, informative product descriptions will differentiate your product listings from your competitors and should help your products gain visibility in the search results.
  2. Use High Quality, Scalable Images:

    Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. Chances are you would be much more likely to buy a product with a clear, large image over one with a small, grainy image that is barely discernible. To ensure that you represent your product in the best way possible, make sure to only use high quality images that can be resized easily without compromising quality.
  3. Include Every Available Product Identifier for Comparisons:

    In Google Shopping, there are three differing product identifiers that can be included in the product feed: the manufacturer's part number, the brand, and the UPC code. When possible, it is a good idea to include all three as it will allow Google to feature your product in the comparison charts giving you another way to make your product stand out.
  4. Shipping Costs:

    Google Shopping lists shipping estimates in the product search results and allows customers to sort by shipping price. Including your shipping costs gives consumers more information and should result in a higher click through rate.
  5. Become Listed as a Google Trusted Store:

    Online merchants that enroll in the Google Trusted Stores program can display a special green check mark bag on their Google Shopping listing. To become a Trusted Store, retailers are required to follow a set of requirements set forth by Google and meet minimum performance standards. The Trusted Store badge often results in higher click through rates and conversions as it gives consumers more confidence that their online shopping experience will be a pleasant, efficient one.

Online retailers who have derived a great deal of traffic from Google Product Search in the past as well as those who have not should view the new Google Shopping as an opportunity rather than a threat. Google Shopping, while now a paid platform, provides consumers with a better, less cluttered shopping experience. This better shopping experience should drive more users to the service and in turn create more potential customers for online merchants. Through proper optimization and an adequate bid, you can put your site in the best position to attract customers and convert them.  Please contact us to learn more!