If you have a Google Shopping campaign, you know how important the Google Shopping feed is to that campaign’s success. You may get caught up in your text and overall presentation. If you aren’t communicating that well through your Google Shopping feed, though, there’s a possibility your campaign won’t be seen.
In this article, we’ll take a good look at what a Google Shopping feed needs. We’ll also go over ways you can improve yours to get the “return on ad spend” (ROAS) you’ve been looking for.
Why Is a Google Shopping Feed Important?
The Google Shopping feed connects your campaign to search-engine searches. What this really means, is that your Google Shopping feed information helps determine whether your campaign’s returned during a search. Having insufficient or incorrect information on your shopping feed will lead to missed opportunities for reaching potential clients.
Obviously, you want your money to get you the most potential client reach possible. This gives you the best return on ad spend (ROAS). The better your ROAS, the more wisely you’re spending your advertising budget.
If you can spend less while getting more traffic to your campaign this helps free up money for other areas. It also increases the likelihood you’ll be getting those sales you need. Your ROAS can help you determine how well your advertising approach is working.
The Google Shopping Feed Fields—and How to Use Them
When putting together your Google Shopping feed you’ll get to choose from a selection of shopping feed fields. While some of the fields provided by Google are required, there are also some that are optional.
We’ll talk about some of the most relevant fields here. Remember, the more you’re able to fill out, the more accurate your shopping feed field will be. This can help give you the best ROAS possible.
Google Product Category
This is one of the most important fields when it comes to connecting your future consumer to your campaign. This product category is the larger overarching category your campaign falls into.
Google provides an array of options for you to choose from which is both a good and a bad thing. Your product will likely fit into multiple categories, so choose the category that represents your product the best. Remember, the more general the category you choose, the more potential search matches you’ll have.
Don’t leap to choose the most generic category possible though. Showing up on search returns when someone isn’t really looking for your product will cost you money—and not net you sales.
The more specific your category is, the more likely your campaign will be returned to someone who’s looking for your product. This can give you that better ROAS you’ve been wanting.
After determining relevance through the product category you’ve chosen, Google will return the title to your future consumer. This title is the first bit of information a client will receive about your campaign. The more coherent, relevant, and persuasive you are here, the more likely you’ll get that click-through you want.
Plan to spend some serious time crafting a compelling title. You will have 150 characters available to you while writing your title. It’s important to know that Google may return only the first 70 or so. Those early characters are crucial to capturing your future client’s attention and interest.
When choosing your title, you want to pack in the most information about your product possible. Stay away from promotional language—Google discourages that in the title and may elect not to return your results if that’s the focus. Instead, choose descriptive words about the item, including color and size.
Once you’ve gotten the search return and the click-through, you’re going to need to sell your product. You do that in the description field. Take your time and create a really compelling and persuasive piece here. You have 5,000 characters to work with and you want to use them to the best and fullest extent possible.
Just like with the title, Google won’t be returning all of your crafted description. While it should all be good, only a sentence or two will be returned. Put your energy—and the most important information—at the beginning of your description.
Don’t forget—this description is all about the product. It may be tempting to try and put in a good word about your company and the benefits of buying through you here. You’ll want to refrain, though as this is also discouraged by Google and should be avoided.
If you have a Google Ad campaign, you know you need links to direct your consumers. This is the field where you’ll pop in that link. Just make sure it links directly to your product page. Your homepage or general page should not be used in this link field.
When navigating your fields, you’ll also come across a mobile link option. If your product pages are different for mobile and non-mobile users, place the mobile-friendly URL in this field.
Consumers don’t like to buy what they can’t see, so a great image can really help your sales. You’re already at a disadvantage for consumers who prefer to see and handle products in person before buying. Supply a quality image here to up the chances of a sale and see a better ROAS.
When selecting your image, make sure to go with a high-quality image. People like to be able to zoom in and you don’t want to lose photo clarity. Choose a photo without logos on it and make sure it measures at least 800 pixels by 800 pixels. A larger picture may also be used.
For this field, Google gives you three choices—new, used, or refurbished. This field is required, so go ahead and choose the one that represents what you’re selling.
Availability is also a required field. It’s one you’ll need to update frequently to keep your products moving and to help avoid unhappy customers. For availability, you will be able to choose between in stock, out of stock, or preorder.
Like availability, this is one area you’ll need to check in on and potentially update frequently. If the price listed here doesn’t match the price on the product page, Google may choose not to show your advertisements.
The more inconsistencies Google picks up in your pages, the more likely it is your campaign will be penalised. When this happens, you’ll see less returns and your ROAS may be damaged.
When inputting the price of your product, just make sure you’re using the appropriate currency. The currency of your product should always be the preferred currency of the country you’re selling in.
Global Trade Item Numbers
The Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) are created by the manufacturer. These GTINs are an assigned number for identical products. This number will help ensure you are ending up with the product you’re looking for.
Your location will impact which GTIN you are using. Some of the most recognisable ones include the following: UPC (United States), EAN/UCC (outside of the United States), and JAN (Japan). If you are selling books, you will use the ISBN number.
Manufacturer Part Number
A manufacturer part number (MPN) is provided by the manufacturer for individual parts. These parts (and their corresponding numbers) are very specific. Their purpose is the same as the GTIN, though, and it helps ensure you’re receiving the exact part you’re looking for.
Not all products come with one of these identifying numbers. If you work in handmade goods, antiques, or one-of-a-kind items, you might not have a GTIN or MPN. This field allows you to sell your item anyway. Just set this field to “false” to help Google work around the fact that you don’t have a number associated with your product.
You recognise big-name brands when you see them. If there’s any confusion about what to put in this field, look to the manufacturer of the item you’re selling. It generally won’t be your business. If you are the manufacturer behind the product, though, go ahead and put your business name here.
Color, Gender, Age Group, Size
Choose any identifiers here that will help connect the exact product you have to the exact consumer you’re looking for. This will help improve your ROAS by returning your results to someone who’s in need of—and can actually use—the exact product you have in stock.
Unlike the other number fields discussed here, the ID number is all about your current inventory system. This is to help make navigating your own ordering and stock system a little easier.
Feel free to use whichever system makes the most sense for your business and current stock and ordering approach. A traditional SKU number used to cross-reference stock and spreadsheets can be a great choice.
Putting Together a Compelling Google Shopping Feed
The first step to a successful campaign is having a thorough and well-constructed shopping feed. It may take some time to input everything you need to, but the results—and the ROAS—will make it well worth your time.