Google Shopping

8 Essential To-Dos for Your Google Shopping Product Feed

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 9 June 2023

Hey there,

Did you know that 92.5% of online shoppers choose Google when looking for products? It means that if you want to increase your click-through rates and conversions, improving your product feed is a must-have to stay competitive in the digital marketplace.

This is why I’m here for you.

I’ll walk you through the 8 to-dos that will improve your product feed. And I promise, we’ll have some fun along the way!

Our to-dos list to improve your product feed:

  1. Write specific, detailed, and accurate product titles
  2. Use relevant keywords in your product titles
  3. Aim towards high resolution images
  4. Make your images stand out
  5. List relevant details in your product description
  6. Avoid unnecessary information
  7. Ensure price compliance, rounding, and guidelines
  8. Do correct product ID mapping

We’ll discuss all of them one by one, but first, let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Product Feed?

Simply put, a product feed is like a shopping list for your online store. It’s a file that contains all the important information about your products, like the product title, description, price, image, and other details (we call them attributes).

This file is used by advertising platforms and shopping websites (like Google Shopping) to display your products to potential customers in a way that makes it easy to compare them to other similar products. 

Think of it as a way to showcase your products online and get them in front of more people!

Product Title: It’s All About the Title

There is a reason why I choose the product title as the first thing to discuss when improving product feeds.

A well-optimized product title is essential for both Google algorithms and attracting customers. 

When your product title is not accurate for example, you’ll lose a lot of money in your campaigns on irrelevant clicks because Google will start to show your products to random people in search results to figure out what your products are.

As a result, your potential customers will have a difficult time finding your products when they’re searching for them. Even if your campaign is perfectly targeting the audience you want, a big share of this audience (future customers) won’t see you.

So, how can you optimize your product title?

  1. Write Specific, Detailed, and Accurate Product Titles

When you start with your product title, the first question you should answer is: What specific terms or phrases does my ideal customer use when searching for my product?

It might be the material, the color, the size, or anything specific in your product that your customer is looking for.

So for starters, your product titles should contain a specific word or phrase that accurately describes the item you sell. You can also add specific details that make it stand out from similar items, like its color. Here’s a good example: 

A product in Google Shopping that contains the specific color in its title

Here’s another example, but this time of a title that doesn’t have specific information on the product, making it difficult to understand what the product is about. 

A screenshot of a product in Google Shopping with a bad title

A screenshot of a product in Google Shopping with a bad title 

Also, don’t forget that less is more: you shouldn’t use overly complicated words, improper language, or slang.

Be very specific, avoid grammar inconsistencies or unprofessional language, and don’t stray away from your product’s main purpose: after all, the title’s purpose is to reach the right audience, so make sure it perfectly describes the product 

You should also use as many characters as you can, but be aware that the limit is 150 characters. And given that most users only read 70 (or even fewer!) characters, the most important and unique details about the product should be included in the beginning. 

  1. Use Relevant Keywords in Your Product Titles

Don’t be shy to use keywords. By adding the right keywords, it’ll be easier for your customers to find exactly what they’re looking for. 

In every niche market, you have so many keywords that you can target. So why not choose the perfect keywords for your product title to help potential customers find it?

You can do that by manually searching for similar products on Google, or hopping on a keyword search tool such as Semrush to give you the best insights about relevant keywords you can use in your titles. 

Use relevant and accurate keywords that describe the product you’re selling. Otherwise, you might lead on the wrong audience that’s interested in finding something else rather than your products. 

For example, if you want to target a specific audience, use long-tail keywords that reflect the search intent of your target audience. If you’d rather attract more website visitors, use keywords that reflect their interests and answer their questions.

I also wrote a post on how you can do the perfect keyword research for your Google Ads and you can read it here.

Product Image: The Game Changer

Images are the most prominent parts of your Google Shopping feed without competition. It takes up the most space and catches your customers eyes first.

When it comes to optimizing your image, it’s not just about swapping it out for a slightly better one.

You’ve got to go all in and make sure it’s the absolute perfect image. We’re talking about finding that image that captures the essence of your product, showcases its best features, and makes people go, “Wow, I need this!”

Don’t settle for anything less than perfection when it comes to your product image.

So how do you improve the results using your product images?

  1. Aim Towards High Resolution Images

The first rule when it comes to optimizing your product images is not to use low-resolution images. This will only make your customers wonder whether your business is actually legitimate and won’t show them the details that they’re interested in. 

Look at the difference between these 2 images for example:

Example of a low and a high resolution product image. Source

Example of a low and a high resolution product image. Source

Always opt for using high-quality photographs if you want to attract more customers and let them focus on specific product details. 

  1. Make Your Images Stand Out

If you spend some time on Google Shopping searching for similar products in your niche market, you’re going to find many examples of how your competitors are presenting them in their images.

Use your creativity to make your product image stand out, so your product is going to pop out and catch the attention of your potential customers.

Look at this for example, if I search for “sneakers for men” on Google Shopping, I see this:

Screenshot showing the search results on Google Shopping for "sneakers for men" query

As soon as I glance at the second feed, it immediately grabs my attention and effortlessly entices me to click on it. It’s like an automatic invitation that piques my curiosity and compels me to explore the product further.

Product Description: Take Advantage 

This is another important attribute that should be populated for all your products, otherwise Google Merchant Center will send you a warning. 

Similarly to the title, always use polite and professional language and avoid grammar mistakes. Also, never use all caps or random words from different languages – unless it’s a foreign word that’s commonly used worldwide, like “sushi,” “pizza,” or  “burrito.” 

Don’t forget to be very specific and accurate, and include all the essential visual attributes since that’s a major way to target the right audience. 

  1. List Relevant Details in Your Product Description

Make sure you list the most relevant details first. Although you can add 5000 characters, the most distinguishable things about the product should be added in the first 500 characters. Most customers won’t read the entire description, so that’s why this tip really matters. 

A screenshot of the first 50 characters of the product details under a product in Google Ads

When you’re writing the description, you can add the following product details:

  1. Avoid Unnecessary Information

There are some things you should avoid, starting with unnecessary information that’s not related to the product. You should also avoid adding promotional text since that’s not part of the product description.

So, simply avoid adding discount prices or discount dates, delivery and dispatch dates, or similar information related to a specific timeframe. You can provide this type of information when writing the [sale_price] and [shipping] attributes, so there’s no need to repeat things twice. 

Alternative Techniques for Refining Product Pricing

When it comes to product pricing, the first thing to focus on is keeping your prices up-to-date. If you leave old prices, there’s a high chance that you receive complaints and possibly end up with dissatisfied customers, so let this be another priority. 

  1. Ensure Price Compliance, Rounding, and Guidelines.

Make sure your price is in compliance with ISO 4217 and in the target country’s currency. 

On top of that, round up your prices so you don’t end with many decimals. If you don’t do that, Google Merchant Center will round the prices to a unique value. 

Another thing worth mentioning is that merchants should never include shipping costs in their prices. There’s another attribute for that, known as [shipping]. 

There’s no need to repeat things twice and confuse customers. It’s best if you keep things accurate and stick to Google Merchant Center’s attribute guidelines

Product Promotion Optimization: It Does the Trick 

In addition to its many benefits, Google Merchant Center lets merchants create promotions and discounts to attract more customers. 

Whenever you feel like promoting a specific product or a brand, you can set up a promotion in Google Merchant Center and apply the product filter attributes

  1. Do Correct Product ID Mapping

Another thing you should make sure of is to map out the ID of your product promotions. When you submit a specific value for the attribute known as [promotion ID], Google will recognize the promoted products and map them out as eligible items in your Google product feed. You can also create promotion groups whenever you want to promote unique articles. 

Whenever you apply product filters and assign promotion IDs to specific products in your feed, the promotion will only apply to the items that meet both the filter criteria and have a matching promotion ID.

Best Practices for Product Data Feed Enhancement

In addition to the to-dos list above, you shouldn’t forget to continually update and modify your Google Merchant Center product feed and check whether the submitted data is accurate.

Here are a few additional practices to help you become a real Google Merchant Center pro:

Adding Custom Labels for Optimal Performance

Adding the custom label attribute for pMax and Standard Shopping campaigns can help you subcategorize your products and make them more accessible. 

Whenever you want to separate specific products from the rest, you can use the custom label attribute and add a value that shows that specific products are on sale, best sellers, have a shelf life, etc. For example, here’s a product that has a shelf life: 

An image of a product that has a shelf life and is available in Google Shopping

The values can help you assess, monitor and bid your Performance Max and Shopping Campaigns through your Google Merchant Center account. Google Merchant Center lets you add up to five different custom labels, starting from 0 to 4. 

All you have to do is assign each value a unique definition and add specific values. Once you do that, you can edit them and add values to your products that will align with the unique definition of the custom label. 

Remember that each custom label shouldn’t have more than one value for a single product. When you configure the custom labels and add values, they’re ready to use, so you can start placing various product groups in different categories. 

Improving Product Categories 

When it comes to optimizing product categories, the first thing you need to remember is always to use specific and accurate categories that describe your products accurately. According to Google Merchant Center, merchants should include detailed values for the [google_product_category] attribute, which should be around two to three degrees deep.

Start by classifying different products by type with a more general group and then add a more specific and detailed group. Also, you shouldn’t add any search query phrases, synonyms, or promotional terms. 

Here’s a brief example: Fashion & Accessories > Apparel > Outerwear > Jackets & Coats > Leather Jackets.

Maximizing Your Google Shopping Success with Product Feed Optimization

Any merchant who wants to have a successful online business should use all the benefits of Google Merchant Center. 

Without a doubt, product feed enhancement is one of the most significant advantages this platform offers. Once you know all the essential tips and tricks, the optimization process is easy to learn. 

The most important thing you must remember is that providing specific product data really does the trick. By adding precise data about your products, you increase the chances of the right audience coming across your free listings and ads. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Merchant Center, browse our large article selection on our blog

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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