Product Feed Optimisation

The quick and easy way to take control of Product Feed Optimisation.

1 - Connect to Shoptimised

Connect your existing shopping feed to the Shoptimised platform and load all of your current product data.

2 - Optimise & Improve

Start optimising, editing and improving your product data in our easy and powerful product feed editor.

3 - Upload to Merchant Centers

Upload your new and improved product feed to your Merchant Centers as your primary product feed.

What is Product Feed Optimisation & why should it be part of your online marketing strategy?

The quality of your Product Feed has a major impact upon the performance of your Shopping campaigns and it’s responsible for every search term that your Shopping Ads appear for. Through the practise of Product Feed Optimisation, you can improve your reach such as clicks and impressions as well as improving your Return on Ad Spend whilst increasing your overall revenue.

Approximately 80% of all the search terms your Shopping Ads appear for are matched to words and phrases within your Product Titles. Ensuring Product Titles are well optimised, well structured and make use of the 150-character limit is essential. But whilst Product Title optimisation is a key element to Feed Optimisation, to maximise the potential of your Shopping Campaigns, there is so much more that you can do.

Leading PPC agencies and online retailers are widely adopting Product Feed Optimisation as a major focus of their ongoing online marketing strategies. Continue to read our Product Feed Optimisation guide to discover where to start and just how important it is to your Shopping Campaign performance.

How Shoptimised Works

What channels & marketplaces does Shoptimised integrate with?

& many more of the worlds leading channels, market places & affiliate networks. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Our users

What do our users think?

Will Chalk, Analytics & Paid Manager, End Clothing

Product Feeds are a hugely important part of our online marketing and we needed a tool that gave us the ability to make quick changes, manage and syndicate our feeds to all of our channels. Shoptimised has helped us to do this and more. The software has become an essential part of marketing and the support from the Shoptimised team is great.

Evie Davies, Associate Director, 360i

I have worked with Shoptimised in a feed solution/ CSS tech capacity. The team are really easy to work with and forthcoming with troubleshooting, as well as having the fastest turnaround times imaginable. The striking thing about this business, however, is their willingness for feedback on the product itself so they can continue to improve the product offering.

Also, this feels like a premium service but the prices are anything but- the service, in conjunction with the pricing, is a no-brainer for most businesses.

Enjoyable to work with and frustration free- rare in the tech industry and a product/service I wholly recommend!

Hannah Strong, Head of Paid Search, Silverbean

Great value, great tool, fast support whenever there are (very minimal) issues. Easy to use and has made a real different to our client revenue and ROI.

Neeraj Maisura, Head of Ecommerce, Push Group

Excellent service & support – Shoptimised are always willing to help and go the extra mile. Pleasure to work with the whole team & I 100% recommend them to anyone looking for a comprehensive and robust platform to manage their feed / data quality.

Matt Janaway, Marketing Labs, Managing Director

Super platform for enhancing, organising and optimising product feeds!

Christopher Hankinson, Acquiro, Director

A fantastic company to deal with. Always at the other end of the phone to offer assistance and help. Everyone I have dealt with has been very knowledgeable and efficient.

Colin Mackay, PPC Manager, Attacat

When we were looking for shopping feed software we came across this tool and it fits in so perfectly with what we do. The team is amazing, and it was built by people who were looking for workable solutions to shopping feed optimisation. Nothing to dislike about this tool, it has now grown to be a major point in what we do.

Our prices

In House

£99 per month

  • Up to 3 Product Feeds
  • Up to 3 AdWords Accounts
  • Automated Reporting
  • Intelligent Dashboards
  • Efficiency Audits

Small

£199 per month

  • Up to 10 Product Feeds
  • Up to 10 AdWords Accounts
  • Automated Reporting
  • Intelligent Dashboards
  • Efficiency Audits

Medium

£349 per month

  • Up to 30 Product Feeds
  • Up to 30 AdWords Accounts
  • Automated Reporting
  • Intelligent Dashboards
  • Efficiency Audits

Large

£499 per month

  • Up to 50 Product Feeds
  • Up to 50 AdWords Accounts
  • Automated Reporting
  • Intelligent Dashboards
  • Efficiency Audits

All prices exclude VAT.  Book an online demo of the Shoptimised platform or contact us to find out more information about our custom enterprise plans.

Product Feed Scrapes & creation have an additional annual cost, for more information, click here.

Free Product Feed AuditThe worlds only fully automated & free product feed audit

1 - Simply enter your feed URL, XML, CSV or TXT File.

2 - We will email you a detailed product feed audit.

3 - Start improving your product feeds and increasing sales.

Product Titles

Product Feed Optimisation is hugely important for creating and managing successful Google Shopping Campaigns. Product Titles alone are one of the most important factors in whether Google considers your product to be relevant to the user’s search term.

Approximately 80% of every Search Term your Shopping Ads appear for are matched to words and phrases within your Product Title.

Far too often, it’s said that PPC Managers can only control Shopping Search Terms by adding negatives. This isn’t true – you can control them by optimising your Product Titles. 99% of Product Feeds will pull the title from your websites meta title or H1, so it’s important to make sure you can change the title in your Product Feed without impacting your website. If you don’t have the ability to change one without the other, then make sure you consider the impact on your SEO and where your products rank organically.

Optimising your Product Titles can increase your impressions and reach within Google Shopping, which can ultimately increase your shopping impressions, conversions and revenues.

Word order is critical! Make sure you front load your most important information to the beginning of your product titles. Google weight the important of the words within your Product Titles from left to right. For instance, ‘Womens Nike Air Max 720 Trainers, Size 5 in Black’ would capture more relevant traffic for a woman’s trainer than ‘Nike Air Max 720 Shoes, Black, Size 5’.

Product Feed Optimisation Results

You can also optimise your Product Titles to narrow your reach and focus directly on lower volume and higher converting search terms. The point being, that by optimising Product Titles, you have much more control.

We have carried out numerous tests, and Google’s algorithm always favours the words at the beginning of your product title when it decides which ads and advertisers are most relevant for the search term.

Analyse your Search Term reports to discover which search terms and words feature more prominently within your converting search terms. You can also utilise the Shoptimised Converting Terms Report to make that analysis much easier.

Product Title Examples

High Level Title Best Practises:

1 – Avoid vague titles. Make sure it’s clear what the product is to improve search relevance. Utilise available characters.

2 – Include relevant attributes that are important to a user searching for that product (ex. Brand, Colour, Material, Size, etc). Improves offer quality and likelihood of showing for relevant searches.

3 – Front-load important attributes in the title. The number of characters that show will depend on the ad unit being shown and, in most cases, 70 or fewer characters will be displayed in Google Shopping dependent upon your device or screen size, but Google will read up to 150 characters within your Product Titles

But there is far more to Feed Optimisation than just optimising your Product Titles. The quality of your data and the way that your data is organised is also a hugely important factor for your success.

For a full list or Product Title specifications, click here.

Product Feed Optimisation Guide Video
Optimise Product Feed Titles Using Your Feed Attributes
Optimise your shopping feed product titles, quickly utilising your feed attributes.

Product Types

Product Types play a more important rule in your Google Shopping performance than most realise and the have two core benefits:

1 – You can use them to create your own campaign structure

2 – Google match approximately 5% of search terms to the information within your Product Types

Most Product Types that are automatically generated within a Product Feed marry the websites navigation structure, such as

Home > Mens > Trainers > Nike

However, this means that quite often the first level might state Home or Sale which are not relevant to the product itself. Also, Google consider any promotional phrases or overuse of keywords in Product Types as a violation of their spamming policy.

Google also recommend that your Product Types should have minimum depth of 3, such as

Mens > Trainers > Nike

We see better results where the Product Type has a minimum depth of 5 as this helps with matching of more relevant Search Terms and also enables you to be more granular in your Campaign structure such as:

Trainers > Nike > Mens > Black > Size 9

Benefits from optimising the ‘product type’ attribute:

  • Provides Google with critical information to match products with user searches.
  • Produce a good structure for Shopping campaigns
  • Improve search relevance for the product

Wrong: Home > Adidas

Right: Trainers > Adidas > Mens > Black > Originals > Size 9

Also make sure that you do not contain promotional sections within your Product Types or violate the Product Type policy by spamming Product Types.

Promotional: mens > trainers > sale > 40% off section

Spam: mens trainers > cheap trainers > cheap Adidas trainers > black trainers> Adidas Originals on sale

Product Descriptions

Approximately 15% of all the Search Terms your Shopping Ads are shown for are matched to words and phrase within your Product Descriptions. Optimising the Product Descriptions within your Product Feed is great opportunity to show your Shopping Ads for more relevant Search Terms.

Google recommend having a minimum of 3,000 characters to a maximum of 5,000 characters within your Product Descriptions. However, in our experience this just increases the volume of Negative Keywords that you’re forced to build. Instead we recommend a minimum of 500 characters to a maximum of 1,500. Increasing the character count in your Product Descriptions with relevant Search Terms and Product Attributes to our recommend limit increases your impressions on average by 30%.

Make sure you avoid using any promotional test, repetitive content and delivery information within your Product Descriptions. Also avoid using special characters, emojis and too much capitalisation.

By default, Google crop your Product Descriptions and show a ‘More’ function. After your first well written and descriptive paragraph, try to include more relevant product attributes and converting search terms.

This is a poor example from Ralph Lauren and they are wasting the opportunity to gain more relevant search terms within their Product Description.

Product Feed Optimisation for Descriptions

This example from House of Fraser, whilst not well written, is optimised for Google Shopping Search Terms. Selecting the ‘More’ option reveals that they have also opted to include their in-depth Product Type attributes into their Product Description.

Product Feed Optimisation for Descriptions
Product Feed Optimisation for Descriptions

This example from Xile Clothing is well written but it doesn’t include any product specific attributes such as Colour, Size or Size Type. It does mention cotton as the material and menswear, but not men’s specifically.

Product Feed Optimisation for Descriptions

We would recommend that this product be optimised to show the following

Current Title:

Polo Ralph Lauren Plain Pima Short Sleeve Polo Shirt Blue

Optimised Title:

Mens Polo Ralph Lauren Plain Pima Short Sleeve Polo Shirt in Blue, Size XXL

Current Description:

An iconic symbol of the preppy American lifestyle, Ralph Lauren has decades of menswear experience and a one-of-a-kind vision of creating clothing that transcends generations with their enduring designs. This short-sleeve polo shirt is cut to a regular fit and is styled with a three-button placket, finished with the authentic RL pony embroidery on the chest. Polo Ralph Lauren have selected a pure cotton fabrication for a soft and breathable handle – For a more casual look, try pairing with distressed denim and crisp white trainers.

Optimised Description

The Men’s Polo Ralph Lauren Plain Pima Short Sleeve Polo Shirt in Blue, Size XXL is an iconic symbol of the preppy American lifestyle. Our men’s blue Ralph Lauren short-sleeve polo shirt in XXL is cut to a regular fit and is styled with a three-button placket, finished with the authentic RL pony embroidery on the chest. Polo Ralph Lauren have selected a pure cotton fabrication for a soft and breathable handle for this men’s blue Polo Shirt.

An iconic symbol of the preppy American lifestyle, Ralph Lauren has decades of menswear experience and a one-of-a-kind vision of creating clothing that transcends generations with their enduring designs.

About the Product: Men’s > Ralph Lauren > Polo Shirt > Short Sleeved > Blue > Cotton > Size: XXL

Remove Merchandising Content from Product Descriptions

“For a more casual look, try pairing with distressed denim and crisp white trainers.”

Whilst merchandising content is great way to cross sell your products within your website, when including it within your product feed you increase the risk of your Polo Shirt being shown for Denim or trainer related search terms.

Google Product Categories

Google Product Categories inform Google which auctions they should be serving your products in whilst helping them to understand what your products are.

There are many options within the Google Product Taxonomy to choose from, but you should always aim to select the most granular and relevant category that best suits your products. Being as specific as possible helps to reduce the irrelevant Search Terms that Shopping Ads appear for. Over time, this increases your Click through Rate which helps to lower your Cost per Click and this will ultimately lead to an improved Return on Ad Spend.

Google Product Categories are one of the most used attributes within a Product Feed for segmenting and creating campaign structures. Whilst there are many better ways to structure your campaigns when you’re in control of the Product Feed. If you have utilised Google Product Categories for you campaign structure, please be aware that by changing them in your Product Feed you could affect your current campaign structure.

GTINs (Global Trade Item Number)

GTINs of Global Trade Item Numbers are essentially the UAN or barcodes of your products. If your product has a GTIN, then it is essential that you include that within your Product Feed. Google understand which products should have GTINs based on the brand and Google Product Category. Whilst they used to disapprove products which were missing the GTIN, they are now more lenient. However, products that should have a GTIN but do not include them in the feed will either be at worst disapproved or at best, restricted to limited impressions.

Images

Your Product Images are going to be front and centre in your Shopping Ads so make sure your images are of a good quality, especially when considering how much traffic comes from mobile devices. Don’t include text over your images or watermarks which make the image unclear as Google will also disapprove these products. Make sure that your product variants all have the correct picture and do not just use the parent picture for each variant.

100×100 is the minimum resolution allowed across all verticals, except apparel where the minimum is 250×250. You cannot submit an image larger than 64 Megapixels are an image file larger than 16 MB.

Images with an 800×800 resolution can lead to higher impressions/clicks due to their higher quality score.

Also make sure that you’re not blocking Google from crawling your images within your robots.txt file.

When you submit a product to Google via your Product Feed, Google will index and cache your images to they can serve them quicker in the future. It takes Google 48 to 72 hours to complete their indexing of your images. If you add a new Primary Product Image into your feed, that can cause your product to stop showing in Shopping results until it is indexed. We therefore recommend that you add the new image as an Alterative Product Image until it is indexed at which point you can then change that to the Primary Image.

If you update the image to same image path, Google will not change the image as they will not recognise that this has changed. This is important when selling products where the look pf the product may change but not the actual product, such as a magazine.

Whilst you cannot use a generic image, graphic or illustration, there are exceptions to this rule for products such as:

Hardware (632)

Vehicles & Parts (888)

Software > Computer Software (313)

Product Images

Product Attributes

Google has 8 standard product attributes that you should always include within your Product Feed where relevant. Utilising the correct Product Attributes improves the overall quality of your Product Feed, but it also improves the performance of your products within the Google Shopping Tab.

The Google Shopping utilised Product Attributes within their filtering. If you do not utilise the correct Product Attributes, when a user filters your products will disappear from results. Whilst the Shopping Tab receives an overall smaller percentage of Shopping traffic than the Shopping Ads in the Google Search page, conversion rates in the Shopping Tab are higher. This is because visitors van filter products further to find the right products at the right price before entering the advertiser’s website to purchase.

Brand

The brand should be the brand of the product not the brand of the retailer. For instance, if you’re retailer names Ecommerce Superstore selling Nike trainers. Make sure the brand of the product is Nike and not Ecommerce Superstore unless you’re selling your own branded products.

Colour

If your product has a colour or multiple colours, ensure you list them within the Colour Attribute

Products with more than one colour input will receive warnings within the Google Merchant Center. If your product is multi-coloured, you can still to specify more than one colour value using slashes and hyphens, but you may not separate values with commas.

Right: Red/Green/Brown

Wrong: Red, Green, Brown

Gender

If your product is Gender specific, make sure you include this attribute. The gender attribute is a choice of the following options:

Male

Female

Unisex

Age Group

If your product is Age Group specific, make sure you include this attribute. The Age Group attribute is a choice of the following options:

Newborn

Infant

Toddler

Kids

Adult

Material

You should include the material attribute if your product has a specific material such a leather, cotton, gold, plastic, steal etc. The material attribute isn’t just for clothing products.

Pattern

You should include the pattern attribute if your product is an important and distinguishing feature. You can also utilise the Pattern attribute where products include printed graphics. Here are some examples of when the pattern attributed should be used.

Title: Womens Polka Dot Dress Size 9

Pattern: Polka Dot

Title: Mens England Football World Cup 66 Printed Graphic T Shirt, White, Lage

Pattern: England

Size

Use the Size attribute to describe the size of each product. Make sure you use a standard size format that is consistent. For instance, do not use a mix of L, Large and Lrg, use either L. You can still opt to use Large within the Product Title.

Whilst you can use One Size or OS, do not submit values such as n/a, none or multi-size. If your product has no size attribute, leave the attribute blank.

Condense multiple size dimensions such as 16 Inch Neck and 34 Inch Sleeves to 16/34. If your product has other size dimensions such 8 Wide, condense to 8 W.

The size attribute is a requirement for products with the following Google Product Categories:

Clothing & Accessories > Clothing  (1604)

Clothing & Accessories > Shoes (187)

To make sure you use the correct sizing within your Size attributes, refer to the size guide from Google.

Size Type

The Size Type attribute helps you to describe the cut of your product with 5 options to choose from:

Regular

Petite

Plus

Big and Tall

Maternity

Size System

The Size System attribute lets you define which countries size system you are using and you can select from the following list:

AU – Australia

BR – Brazil

CN – China

EU – Europe

FR – France

IT – Italy

JP – Japan

Mex – Mexico

UK – United Kingdom

GB – Great Britain

Cost of Goods Sold (COGs)

The Cost of Goods Sold or COGs attribute is intended to be used in conjunction with conversion tracking to improve your reporting to include Gross Profit. However, we also use this attribute to create unique Margin data within your Custom Labels so you can create Campaigns & Ad Groups based on your products margin. This enables a far more powerful and strategic campaign structure that ultimately lets you push more budget to products with a greater margin to maximise your Return on Ad Spend within your Google Shopping Campaigns.

The data within the Cost of Goods Sold attribute should be formatted in the same way your price data is, such as:

Price 15.99 GBP

COGs 4.99 GBP

Item Group IDs

Whilst a lot of ecommerce websites struggle to take advantage of Item Group IDs, they can have a such a positive impact on your revenue when you do include them. You can group products together that differ by one or more of the following attributes:

  • color [colour]
  • size [size]
  • pattern [pattern]
  • material [material]
  • age_​group [age_​group]
  • gender [gender]

This will deliver those options directly within the Search Results. This further qualifies the intent of the user before they click into your website, which has the desired impact on your conversion rate and sales.

Adding Item Group ID’s can increase the position of your products within the Shopping Tab or the Google Shopping CSS Website as it is now know. This helps to improve the Click through Rate and Conversion Rate of your products. It’s a simple change, but it can have a big impact on performance.

Item Group IDs
Create Item Group IDs with Shoptimised and deliver more products into Google Shopping results to increase your sales.

Custom Labels

OK, so Custom Labels don’t really enhance your feed in terms of you being found. But utilising Custom Labels can have such profound impact on your ability to structure your Shopping Campaigns and get the most out of your performance. Here are a few of our top tips:

1 – New Products

You need to give new products a fair crack of the whip when it comes to Google Shopping campaigns. You will always have consistent performers and you’ll find the budget and clicks is skewed in their direction. Make sure you can split out your new products, so you can fully test whether they are going to become your next top sellers!

2 – Sale Items or Price Drops

Having the ability to split out sale items into their own Campaigns helps you to have great control over your budgets. Either limit or take advantage of these items by driving more traffic to products that will have bigger discounts.

3 – Top Sellers

Ensuring your top selling products are always visible and have enough budget is essential to any Google Shopping effort and the ability to grow your sales further.

4 – Price Bands

Most retailers have a variety of price bands, and by creating price band custom labels such as £0.00 to £5.00 or £29.99 to £49.99 helps you to create an intelligent bid strategy that will ensure you don’t pay too much for clicks that will eat into your profits.

5 – Margin Bands

Like price bands, margin bands are an even better way to go, if you know the margin you have in each product. However, should you decide to have a sale, offer discounts or reduce your prices, you will need to make sure you update your custom labels to make sure your bidding strategy doesn’t start to hinder your performance.

Google Merchant Center

Within your search campaigns, you can see a quality score for keywords, but Google Shopping campaigns, you don’t get a numerical score which you can simply improve within the Google Ads interface. This makes the Google Merchant Center incredibly important to the success of your Google Shopping campaigns.

Similar to search campaigns, historical data such as Clicks, Impressions, Click through Rate, Conversions, Revenue and ROAS are a big factor in the ongoing performance and quality score of your Google Shopping campaigns. This data is all held by the Merchant Center and assigned to the unique Product ID of your products.

It’s very important that you do not change the Product IDs of a product or this data will be lost, and a once good performing product will be reset and suffer a period of underperformance whilst the data builds back up.

It is important to consider your Product Feed when in the process of a website migration. A lot of consideration is given to the 301 Redirects during a website migration but most overlook the importance of maintaining the same Product IDs which is essential to continue the performance of the existing products.

The Merchant Center also informs you about, warnings, disapprovals and suspensions at a product, account and product feed level. There are many different types of warnings, disapprovals and suspensions, but you should always aim to correct these regardless of their state. Take your time to read the information provided by Google when addressing these actions, especially suspensions. Google can give you anywhere from 7 to 30 days to correct any issues which has prompted an account suspension. Before you ask Google to review your feed to have a suspension or suspension reviewed, make sure you have correctly addressed the issue. If you failed to do so and have requested that Google review, you will have to wait a further 5 working days before you’re able to request another review.

You can contact the Google Merchant Center help team online here.

Delivery & Shipping

You can add your Delivery & Shipping costs directly into your product feed or within the Shipping & Returns area of the Google Merchant Center. Any Delivery & Shipping information that you add into your Product Feed will take priority over the information you have in your Merchant Center.

Make sure the Delivery & Shipping information is accurate, on one hand you don’t want to disappoint customers by delivering slower than promised. However, having a long delivery time can adversely impact upon your conversion rate. So if you’re adding your delivery information into the Shipping & Returns section of the Merchant Center, make sure your collective handling and shipping times (which are added together to give the potential customer your total time) accurately reflect how quickly products can bought and received.

Promotion IDs

Utilising Promotion IDs is a great way to stand out within Google Shopping results during key trading times and within sale periods. Whilst many advertisers choose to blanket their promotion IDs, you will have greater control and a better bottom line by creating more granular promotions that you can apply on a brand, product or category level within your feed.

Adding Promotion IDs to your Shopping Feeds can be slow and frustrating. Use Shoptimised to add and manage multiple Promotion IDs in minutes.
Promotion IDs

Google Shopping Ads & The Two Sides of Google Shopping

Google Shopping Ads

Your products appear in Google Shopping Ads when a user Search Term is matched to information within your Product Title and/or Product Description and/or Product Type. The position of your Shopping Ad is based on your bidding strategy, campaign structure and the quality score which is tied to your Google Merchant Center.

Product Feed Optimsation & Google Shopping Results

Google Shopping CSS Website

Believe it or not, Google Shopping like ourselves is a Google CSS Partner and the ‘Google Shopping Tab’ is their Google CSS Website. Whilst a much smaller percentage of Google Shopping traffic goes through their Shopping Portal and whilst the user’s initial search term is matched to information within your Product Title and/or Product Description and/or Product Type, your Product Feeds needs to be of a much higher standard to benefit from the traffic on this website.

In the USA, many of the product listings in the Google Shopping Tab are now free. This is expected to follow in the UK and Europe sometime later this year.

The first thing to understand about the Google Shopping CSS Website is that although there is less traffic, the eCommerce conversion rate of traffic sent from this site to your site is higher than standard Google Shopping Ads. The Cost per Click is also lower on the Google Shopping CSS Website than the Shopping Ads which ultimately results in a higher Return on Ad Spend from the traffic you can win here.

The Google Shopping CSS Website provides far better results and lets users filter these results to narrow their choice. The more filters your products can appear in, the greater your conversion chances become. The filters are primarily based on information that Google can find in your Merchant Center and the Product Attributes and Product Types in your Product Feed.

Product Feed Optimsation & Google Shopping Results

Whilst your bidding strategy is also a factor in the Google Shopping CSS Website, nine out of ten times, Google favour products in the top positions that have Item Group IDs as display a bigger range of options.

Product Feed Optimsation & Google Shopping Results

Google also use the GTIN to combine products and compare the live pricing of these products within their results. This also means that they your Product Title and Primary Image within their results, they may use the Product Description from another advertiser and the images from other advertisers to provide more imagery. You have no control over that, although they will favour the Product Image and Product Title with the strongest Click through Rate.

Product Feed Optimsation & Google Shopping Results

Whilst there is far more to consider within the Google Shopping CSS Website and a smaller portion of traffic, the overall uplift from the improvements you can make can still have a hugely positive impact on your overall Shopping Revenue and Return on Ad Spend.

Google Shopping Experts & Their Top Tips

Google Shopping Ads is one of the most profitable channels in Pay per Click. But, it can also one of the most inefficient if not managed correctly.  So we asked some leading Google Shopping Experts what their biggest Google Shopping Pain Points are, along with their top tips and whether they focus more on campaign optimisation or product feed optimisations.

Kole Ogundipe, Associate Director, Croud

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

The separation between Google AdWords and Google Merchant Center is far from ideal. Google does not link campaign performance, held in AdWords, with the details of the feed, held in Merchant Center.

Therefore, it is challenging to tie back feed changes to campaign performance.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Segmentation is key. Often advertisers run just one or two Shopping campaigns, instead of creating multiple campaigns based on category and/or performance.

Advertisers often have a wide array of products with varying levels of popularity, competition and revenue margins. Running fewer campaigns and ad groups makes it much more difficult to ensure that advertisers are investing more in their top performing products to maximise ROI.

Advertisers tend to follow these rules to maximize their Search returns, but forget these effective optimisation tactics on Google Shopping.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

At Croud, in most instances, we focus on Campaign optimisations first; capitalising on quick-wins and addressing poor performing areas.

From analysing campaign performance, we build up a picture of the key opportunities for the advertiser on Google Shopping.

With those insights, we then turn our attention to the feed and tailor the feed to maximise ROI of our campaign performance.

Matt Bullas, CEO & Founder, Click Consult

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

Clients’ websites not having bespoke landing pages for the exact product clicked (ie images or GTINs), which means the feed doesn’t conform to Google’s conditions and best practices. This reduces performance and could potentially result in suspension.

Even though we have a system, creating complex search term based structures using priorities and negatives.

Splitting out large accounts (time-consuming).

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Product Feed Optimisation. First you need to make sure all attributes are assigned to your products all the way down to the finest detail. This will enhance the quality of your product and provide the basis for strong Title optimisation. Title optimisation is the most important factor of Feed Optimisation due to the contextual matching system Google uses to show your products.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

Shopping Campaign Optimisations are fairly static, aside from bid changes and negative keywords, once your initial structure is set up. Shopping Feed Optimisations never end as your search query report constantly provides new research for information that could be added to titles to increase volume.

Neeraj Maisuria, Head of E-commerce, Push Group

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

Typically it tends to be shaping a product feed. Some of the issues we face are working with feeds that have missing information (GTINs, brand and similar), poor feed structures (that makes structuring shopping campaigns difficult) and working with disapproval’s due to mismatch data in the feed versus the website.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Really focus on your product titles because this is the main way Google Shopping works out which keywords to show your item for. Check the structure, content and ensure they reflect the sort of searches you want to be appearing against. Also, I advise using automation/AI to get the most back from your campaigns – especially those with 1000’s of products to control against a ROAS or CPA target.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

Both are as important as each other and neither should be dismissed. The quality of a product feed has a correlation to the performance of a campaign. Once we have the feed in a good state, the focus naturally switches to Shopping campaign optimisation to grow performance, however, we always keep an eye on the feed because this is the core. Without the feed, there is no Shopping campaign to optimise.

Matt Janaway, CEO & Founder, Marketing Labs

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

Lots of businesses don’t have the data required to correctly run a Google Shopping campaign. For example, unless they have a physical store (or have previously set up some Google Shopping campaigns), EAN’s often tend to be missing. It can be time-consuming organising and optimising this data correctly.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

4 top tips…

Ensure that images are high quality and show off the product for searchers.

Optimise the product name in the feed for the chosen keywords to increase visibility.

Look for times of the day where the clicks are cheaper and ensure you have good visibility during those times.

Analyse data to determine which devices work the best and therefore should have a higher proportion of your budget.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

We try to split this 50/50 or at least encourage our clients to improve the data in the feed. Both are equally important, and optimisations can yield great results.

Darren Taylor, Marketing Manager, The Big Marketer

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

The biggest Google Shopping pain point for me is identifying and rectifying disapproved products within the feed. It’s a time killer and some of the issues like dynamic pricing and the use of some special characters on a can be a nightmare to rectify.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping? Like anything PPC, focus heavily on optimising the product titles and descriptions. It may sound simple but you will be surprised at the number of campaigns I’ve seen promoting a product that isn’t even mentioned in the title or description!

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

It’s hard to pick one, they are both so crucial. The I think for me, feed optimisation comes first, as no matter how well your campaign is optimised, if the feed isn’t up to scratch, then your optimisations won’t have the best impact.

Jeff Whitfield, Freelance Paid Search Expert

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

The clicks generated from Google Shopping has increased significantly over the last couple of years, especially from mobile devices. Ensuring correct products are displayed for high volume generic searches on mobile devices is key to the success of your campaigns.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Ensure your target keywords are in your product title & product type fields, these two fields carry the most weight to help increase specific visibility for your best performing search queries.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

There are plenty of tasks to focus on in both areas but I would suggest that product feed optimisation will generate the best return over the long term, helping you to target your best keywords.

Eugene Henry, Freelance PPC Manager

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

A badly optimised feed can really hinder campaign performance as it doesn’t allow for granular segmentation, or ensure products are shown for the most relevant terms.

A well-optimised product feed puts a shopping campaign on the front foot, ensuring no disapproval’s and more effective optimisation within AdWords.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Work with developers/feed managers to create the feed in the correct format

Include an ‘all products’ campaign to capture any searches which might fall through the net. Then build new ad groups around these and also exclude any underperforming products.

Run search query reports for shopping activity as they will help identify new terms for search activity and help with optimization This will pull back on bidding on search keywords which perform better for shopping activity. Therefore, aiding better apportion budget.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

Both. It is important to ensure the feed is set up in a manner that can be easily replicated and optimised within AdWords. For a shopping campaign to be successful, both areas must be looked at and it is worth frequently reviewing the merchant centre to ensure there are no errors or issues impacting campaign performance.

Kieran Giles, Digital Marketing Manager, WBECS

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

The biggest pain points are not having full information from the manufacturers, no SKUs or MPNs, incomplete information.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Treat Google Shopping like SEO, ensure your fields are filled out, imagine you are the customer and you’re trying to find your product. Is it easy?

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

Both the Campaign Optimisation and Shopping Feed Optimisations are important. Do not neglect either. We try to ensure both are as accurate as possible.

Sarah Beeson, Founder, Beeson Media

What are your biggest Google Shopping pain points?

Shopping promotions can be incredibly effective and using these are a must if you want to compete with the big players. But with so many different website setups out there, it can be really difficult to keep up with all of the different ways feeds are sent through to Google Merchant Centre. Shopify, WordPress, Woocommerce, Magneto, etc, they all have their little quirks and some are great, some are not so great. Implementing Shopping promotions with some of these integrations can be next to impossible (without something like Shoptimised!) and that can mean things even tougher for the little guys.

What is your top tip for improving Google Shopping?

Creating a strong structure for Shopping campaigns is always the first thing I do when taking on Shopping campaigns. It’s crucial to get the basics right, having a low priority catch all campaign with low bids as a foundation, medium priority campaigns for segments that work well, as well as high priority campaigns for best sellers and worst sellers (with bids of 1p to stop wastage). Following this, I can’t recommend Brainlabs 24 hour bidding script enough to reduce wastage at low converting times. If you don’t have enough conversion data from AdWords to implement this, try starting with data from Google Analytics and adapting it.

Do you focus more on Shopping Campaign Optimisations or Shopping Feed Optimisations?

There has to be an element of both here. Optimising campaigns in AdWords is great but you will get to a point where you max out your spend. That’s where optimising the feed comes in. It’ll help you improve your click through rate through various testing but also massively increase your reach to make sure you’re getting in front of as many eyeballs as possible!