You’ve done it. You’ve successfully created your feed, and you’re good to go, right?
Not quite. Whilst creating a feed is a great start to getting your shopping campaign moving, you need more than the feed alone to get the greatest possible impact. That is where feed optimisation comes in.
Put simply, adding feed optimisation to your marketing plan allows you to increase the visibility of your products and target them to a more specific audience. This can be managed with the use of several techniques, including the use of negative keywords, creating ad groups, or even ad scheduling. To better understand, or explore these techniques, have a look at the tips below.
Optimizing your Google Shopping feed ensures you get more from your advertising. But where do you start?
To optimise your feed, you can start with the following:
Structuring your campaign helps Google Shopping adverts reach their full potential. This can be done in a few ways, such as segmenting price ranges, using location-based strategies, or even focusing advertisements on sectors that are currently popular (eg sunglasses in Summer). In addition to that, you can also segment your campaign by adding product type, category details or other custom labels. This would help ensure your campaign is aimed at the perfect market. For example, you could sell a refrigerator under kitchen appliances.
It should be noted that when you change your feed’s attributes, those changes will not automatically be applied to your product groups. You should update your product groups within the ad group to enforce the change.
If you have any bestsellers, or ‘winners’, make sure to get the most out of them. Ensure that there is sufficient budget for them to be advertised, at the right time, in the right place. Don’t waste your budget on products that are worth less than you will spend. You can sell your best-selling products by giving them a best-seller tag and exclude products from your feed that aren’t bestsellers.
By including and excluding products from your Google Shopping advertisements, you can refine your focus. This means you do not have to advertise products that currently are low in stock. Instead, you could only advertise the winter range, during the winter months. Excluding certain products also allows you to leave lower-priced products out of your feed. This is useful as their CPA is usually higher than your margin.
Negative keywords allow you to rule out phrases, so your advertisements only show with relevant searches. If you are unsure which searches are relevant to your product, check your Google Ad’s statistics. If a phrase has a lot of impressions but very few clicks, it is probably not related to your product. Yet, your product is still showing for that search term. For example, if you are coming up in searches for ‘free Nike trainers’ and getting nothing from it, you should probably add ‘free’ to your list of negative keywords. Doing so makes your ads more personalized and it saves you a lot of unwanted clicks (money).
Ad scheduling is very useful when optimizing your Google Shopping feed. It allows you to tailor your advertising campaigns to certain times of the day. This is very useful if you have multiple campaigns in different regions. If you believe your advertising will peak at a certain time of the day, you can allocate more budget for that time. You may even choose to not show your ads at all during certain times or days. Ad scheduling can be set up at campaign level on the ad scheduling tab.
Use a price monitoring tool to ensure you stay with competitors. Be careful you are not being priced out of the market. Keep track of all changes you make to both your price and advertising strategy. Some changes will be notable in the data you get back (for example a lower CPC, higher impressions, etc.)
Whilst creating your feed is a great start, it is important to get the most out of it. By using the optimisation tips above, your Google shopping feed will begin to thrive. However, getting the most from your Google Shopping feed is also down to your own ability to utilise data or understand people's purchasing process.
Here are our top tips on how to superpower your feed:
Once you have managed to create the perfect feed and optimised it, your advert will start appearing to your desired audience. But you also need an eye-catching image to help seal the deal.
The first image for a product on Google Shopping should always be clear. Google has strict guidelines for Google Shopping images which ensure product pictures are all of a good standard. However, that doesn’t mean your image will not stand out, as there is still manoeuvrability in terms of angles.
When choosing your image, you should consider both product images and lifestyle images. For clothing products, lifestyle images tend to have more success. However, in other areas that is not the case. Therefore, you should choose your images thoughtfully based on the type of product you are selling.
It is also important that your product has more than one image. Many potential buyers will want to see a product from more than one perspective before buying. And whilst they may be able to do this on your website already, they may be unaware of that and not click further. Besides, the advertisement costs nothing until a customer clicks on your link, so why not have more images! Try to get images from various perspectives to give potential buyers a full understanding of the product - that may include images from all sides, above and below.
In addition to using an array of images, it should be noted that the pictures should not contain any watermarks or text. Google will likely reject these images. And even if they are not immediately rejected, they will impair the quality of the image and deter potential customers. Furthermore, product images must match the variant that is being sold. Should your images not meet the minimum requirements, Google has now added a feature that automatically improves your images.
Remember with online shopping, people cannot actually touch and move the product around. So along with your descriptions, the images are often all potential buyers have to go on. They are one of the deciding factors at the end of the purchasing process.
Whenever you want to have the greatest impact on something, you must focus on areas where you are strong. Feed optimisation is no different. If you have a product that is popular and has a higher profit margin, you should utilise it as much as you can. That is organising your feed comes into play.
By organising your feed well, you can make sure you advertise products in the most specific way possible. You can organise your feed by:
A fully optimised data feed can seem very fluid. However, it is also vital to take into account how it looks for a potential buyer and even Google itself. This includes the aesthetic appearance of what appears in the advertisement.
Optimising your product data feed for Google Shopping may seem like a tough task. But it is one that is worth the time and effort spent on it.
Without product feed optimisation, you can miss out on numerous opportunities and sales. However, if you do spend a little time tweaking your feed then you will start to reap the rewards, such as:
If you want to go the extra mile, check out Charlotte's article for more actionable tips to optimise your marketing! Plus, while you develop your PPC campaigns, it might be worth looking at SEO too. Your SEO is much more likely to convert at a higher rate so it's worth investing in sooner rather than later... If you're unsure, just get in touch with us on 0115 939 7572 or use our contact form.
- Olga Wojas is the Country Manager UK for DataFeedWatch.