If you are selling products online, Google Shopping is found by many merchants to be a cost effective method of gaining customers and sales, provided that it is managed correctly. Google Shopping ads are the pictures of products shown in search results.
In order to sell on Google Shopping, the first step is to integrate your product data to Google Merchant Center. This can be done manually on a periodic basis – loading products in a spreadsheet to Merchant Center – but ideally should be automated with software on a daily basis so that your data stays current (and you must list every 30 days minimum or you will be removed).
Once you have products loaded to Merchant Center, the products will be reviewed and you will likely have disapproved products – this can be for a number of reasons, often errors in data such as missing information. Product information should be updated and maintained so that it is accurate.
Once your products are listed successfully in Merchant Center, you can then link the account to your Google Adwords account. You will then be able to advertise on Google Shopping similar to other ad campaigns in Google Adwords.
After the Google Shopping ads are live the information should be managed carefully. There are several areas of optimisation that can significantly increase performance on Google Shopping. Some of the main areas to consider are:
- Feed enrichment – most product feeds do not include all the information relevant in the product titles, such as product attributes, colours, sizes and descriptive words. Adding this information to the feeds can help obtain more targeted traffic, resulting in higher returns and less wasted clicks that must be paid for
- Bid Management – prices, profit margins, and conversion rates on different products can vary greatly – and some products (such as very low priced items or replacement parts) may be excluded from the feed entirely as not economical to promote. Therefore bids should be monitored and adjusted to profitability as well as stock availability, rather than set as the same across all products.
- Competitor monitoring – the likelihood is that there are competitors selling the same or similar products to yours; keeping pricing efficient can make a significant difference in your sales volumes and profitability.
If you do not have a system to automate many of these optimisations necessary to run an efficient Google Shopping sales program, you may wish to explore Diginius Insight, which covers not only search engine optimisation, marketplace feeds and ppc advertising, but Google Shopping Management features such as:
- Integration to most eCommerce platforms (for example Magento)
- Automated daily updates of all product data
- Feed enrichment of product data
- Algorithmic bid management based on price, products, competitor price monitoring and stock availability
- Intelligent pricing engine to recommend or fully automate pricing based on market conditions
- Ability to feed to virtually any other shopping engine or marketplace globally in addition to Google Shopping
Written by Nate Burke
For additional resources on running successful campaigns, see the Google Shopping Training Course