The most popular of Product Feeds, a best practise and well optimised Google Product Feed can be the difference between an OK Google Shopping campaign and a great Google Shopping campaign.
Shoptimised can build a Google Product Feed for you or provide you with the platform to make thousands of product feed optimisations in seconds whilst ensuring you can manage your products simply and quickly.
We only generate best practise Google Product Feeds in the preferred XML format and we contain each of the following fields:
The title is a required field of the product feed and one of the most important elements. Google will use the product title to match against search terms and serve your Product Listing Ads. Like ‘old school’ SEO, the most important words or terms that you want to appear for should be placed toward the beginning of the of the product title. Your product titles should also be unique and use their unique attributes to define them, for example:
- Parent Product: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3 Trainers
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 7 Trainers in green & black
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 8 Trainers in green & black
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 9 Trainers in green & black
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 10 Trainers in green & black
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 7 Trainers in red & blue
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 8 Trainers in red & blue
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 9 Trainers in red & blue
- Variation: Mens Adidas Adipure 360.3, Size 10 Trainers in red & blue
The description is a required field of the product feed and whilst not as prominent as the product title, still important in how Google match your Product Listing Ads to user search terms. Whilst we don’t encourage ‘keyword stuffing’ it is important to make sure your Description contains the types and variations of search terms you would like your PLAs to appear for. Google prefer and will serve products with more detailed product descriptions ahead of others. Ideally you should be aiming for a minimum of 3,000 characters in each product description.
The image is a required field of the product feed and any old image won’t do. Poor quality images, or images with watermarks or logos can overlooked and, in some instances, disapproved. Make sure you provide large, high quality images of your products, ideally on a white background. Google will serve better quality images ahead of poorer images.
These are not a required field of the product feed, however we do recommend you include them as it improves the overall quality of your product feed and improve the position of your Product Listing Ads.
Item Group ID
These are not a required field of the product feed, however we strongly recommend that you include them. Utilising Item Group IDs will enable you to group product variants together as a group and serve them as a group in Google Shopping results. This can have a very positive impact upon your Click through Rate.
Google Product Category
Despite what some might think, the Google Product Category isn’t a required field for every type of product. However, should you leave this blank, Google may automatically assign a Google Product Category or depending on the type of product you’re selling, your products may become disapproved. We highly recommend you always include the Google Product Category and go as granular as you can as this increases the quality of your product feed. Google Product Categories are also quite often used to structure Google Shopping campaigns. Depending on what Google Product Categories are suitable for your categories will impact on what further attributes within your feed. For instance, if you choose Clothing & Accessories category then you also need to include the gender, size and ideally colour of your product within the feed.
Product Type (primary)
The product type is not a required field, however it is highly recommended that you include this field. The Product Type usually matches the structure of the websites navigation and URL structure, but you can create any structure that you prefer. In addition to product titles and descriptions, Google also use the Product Type to match user search terms to Product Listing Ads. Many AdWords managers also use Product Types to segment and build a Google Shopping campaign structure.
Additional Product Types
The Additional Product Types is not a required field and is very rarely used in any Product Feed. It serves to ‘double-structure’ your feed. Whilst your Product Type structure might mirror your website navigation, your Additional Product Type might be used to split by Gender, Price, Age Group or a different attribute within your feed.
This is a required field and one of the single most important fields within your Product Feed. Once a Product ID is set, Google records the performance and history of this Product ID within both the Merchant Center and AdWords. You should never overwrite or create a new Product ID for an existing item as it will lose of all it’s performance history and considered to be a brand-new product by Google. This poses an issue when migrating your website to a new platform as typically, your Product IDs are set by your ecommerce platform. Ideally, you should always try carry over your Product IDs to any new feed. A sensible way to set Product IDs would be to copy the GTIN of the product which will always be the unique and the same regardless of how you generate your product feed.
This a required field as it is the landing page in which visitors are directed too when they click your Product Listing Ad.
This is not a required field and is rarely utilised. However, we do recommend you use this option is you have a different mobile version of your website such as m.website.com or you utilise AMP for your current website as the increase website speed will improve the position of your Product Listing Ads.
This is a required field in your feed and should either state Yes or No. Ideally, it should always be set to Yes and therefore you must also display two of the following three attributes; GTIN, MPN & Brand. If you can display two of those, then setting Identifier Exists as No will still enable your products to be served. But, they will not receive as many impressions, clicks or sales.
The GTIN isn’t a required field, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to have the Global Trade Item Number set for every product in your feed. The GTIN is a 14-digit number usually found within the barcode that is recognised globally. It is also the biggest cause of product disapprovals in product feeds. If you have been unable to get the GTIN from the barcodes of your products try searching GS1.
The MPN or Manufacturers Part Number isn’t a required field, but where relevant we suggest you include the MPN for all your products.
This is a required field in your feed and you should make sure that the price in your feed matches the price on your product landing page always. Price mismatches are common reasons for product and feed disapprovals. Therefore, we recommend you use the Price Microdata Schema on your landing pages. In doing so, Google will always ignore the feed and take the price from the landing page and ignore the price within your feed.
This isn’t a required field, however we do recommend that you use the Sale Price whilst in sale rather than overwriting the Price within the feed.
The Effective Date is only used in conjunction with the Sale Price so you can determine what date your Sale Prices ends on.
There are 3 different types of availability that you can set your products too and this is a required field within your feed. The 3 different types of Availability are In Stock, Out of Stock and Preorder. We do not recommend removing products from your feed that are no longer in stock.
You can still take orders for products that have their availability set to Pre order. However, you should also use the Availability Date to inform when that product will become In Stock.
There are 3 different types of Condition that you can assign against your Products. These are New, Refurbished or Used. The main difference between Refurbished and Used is that Refurbished products must have been professionally restored and comes with a warranty.
You should always include your Brand in your product feed where applicable at it is one of the 3 required product attributes. Whilst not every product will have a brand, including the brand does increase the feed performance.
Unit Pricing Measure
This is not a required feed attribute, however we do recommend that you include the Unit Pricing Measure. Google uses this attribute to assess the measure and dimensions of any product. Your Unit Pricing Measure should be displayed as a positive number plus the supported weight unit; oz, lb, mg, g, kg, floz, pt, qt, gal, ml, cl, l, cbm, sqft, sqm, or ct.
Unit Pricing Base Measure
The unit_pricing_base_measure [unit_pricing_base_measure] attribute lets you include the denominator for your unit price. For example, you might be selling 150 ml of perfume, but users are interested in seeing the price per 100 ml. It is rarely seen in Product Feeds or within Google Shopping results. However, it can lead to a positive impact upon your conversion rate.
The Shipping attribute lets you set the delivery cost for a product. The Shipping attribute within your product feed will overwrite the delivery setting within your Merchant Center. You need to either have one or the other or your products will not be served within Shopping results.
You can use the Shipping Label to create specific groups such as Oversized or Perishable for a selection of products. You can then configure different delivery costs for these products using the Merchant Center account settings.
The Shipping Weight attribute lets you add the weight of each product to the feed so you can calculate shipping costs with the delivery settings in the Merchant Center.
Shipping Height, Shipping Length & Shipping Width
Using these 3 attributes will help you to determine the shipping costs if you’re using a carrier calculated shipping setting in your Google Merchant center.
You should use the colour attribute to describe your product colour which helps Google Shopping to create accurate filters. Google does prefer that you use standard colours such a Pink as opposed to Hot Lipstick Fuchsia.
Gender is a required attribute for all products that are set to Clothing & Accessories within the Google Product Category. You can set 3 different types of gender; male, female or unisex.
The Age Group is a required attribute for all products that vary by age and for all Clothing & Accessories. There are 5 Age Groups to select from:
- Newborn – Up to 3 months old
- Infant – 3 to 12 months old
- Toddler – 1 to 5 years old
- Kids – 5 to 13 years old
- Adult – Typically teens or older
The Material is a required attribute for any product that varies by material. Whilst there is no definitive list of materials that Google recognise, the most commonly used are:
- 100% Cotton
The Pattern attribute is required for any products that vary by pattern. Whilst there is no definitive list of patterns, Google do accept most commonly used patterns such as:
The Size Type is an optional attribute that be provided with the size and not instead of it. The supported values for Size Type are; regular, petite, plus, big and tall, maternity.
The Size System is an optional attribute that dictates the country that the sizes are based upon. Whilst it is an optional attribute, it is recommended you use this for Clothing & Apparel products. The list of countries that the Size System supports are; UK, US, EU, DE, FR, JP, CN, IT, BR, MEX, AU.
The Multi Pack is an optional attribute that should be used when you have created or grouped several identical products together. Within the Multi Pack attribute simply state how many products you have grouped together such as <multipack>12</multipack>.
The ‘Is Bundle’ attribute is required when you have created a bundle of products containing a main product. For example, you may be selling an Playstation with 2 games, the Playstation would be the main product and therefore require the ‘Is Bundle’ attribute should be set to yes.
The AdWords Redirect is not a required field and is very rarely used. This attribute enables you to send users to a tracking page before you redirect them to your landing page. Therefore, the AdWords Redirect will overwrite the link attribute and you will need to make sure that page within your AdWords Redirect redirects the user to the correct product page.
Energy Efficiency Class
The Energy Efficiency Class is an optional attribute that you would assign for any of the following products:
- Washing machines
- Tumble dryers
- Combined washer dryers
- Wine-storage appliances
- Water heaters
- Hot water storage appliances
- Air conditioners
- Electrical lamps
You would simply add the class rating such as <energy_efficiency_class>A+</energy_efficiency_class> using one of the following:
The Excluded Destinations attribute is optional that should be used when you want to exclude your products from a certain type of ad:
Shopping. You can choose to prevent your products from showing in Shopping ads. This option would be used if you wanted to use two different feeds for both Shopping and Dynamic Remarketing Ads.
Shopping Actions: Shopping Actions is a shopping program that allows retailers to share their products across different Google platforms. This program helps enable a smooth shopping experience with a universal shopping cart, and instant checkout with saved payment credentials should they utilise a Google Wallet.
Display Ads. You can choose to prevent your products from showing in Display ads. This option would be used if you wanted to use two different feeds for both Shopping and Dynamic Remarketing Ads.
The Expiration Date is an optional attribute that can be used to set an expiry date for individual products. It’s not to be confused as an expiration date for consumables and the date and time must be ISO 8601 compliant.
The Tax attribute is a required in the United States when you wish to override the tax setting within your Merchant Center. Do not use this attribute for other taxes such as VAT or Import Tax.
If you want to add promotion codes to specific products in your product feed, this can be done using the Promotion ID attribute. The Promotion ID must be made up of alphanumeric, underscores and dashes and not exceed 60 characters. For the Promotion ID to work, you must add the Promotion ID to you the Promotions section of your Google Merchant Center. If you are not whitelisted for Google Merchant Center promotions, you can apply for that here.
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Our platform provides agencies with the ability to create a new source of revenue by offering Feed Optimisation as a standalone service.
Controlling, optimising and creating product feeds provides agencies with the control they need to improve Shopping campaigns in ways that a standalone PPC management service cannot provide.
Agencies who sell our platform benefits within their own pitches are winning more pitches against agencies who cannot offer Product Feed Optimisation.
As Google move AdWords into a more automated state, agencies will have to add more value to their services. Our platform massively increases the value you can provide.
As you can white label our feed URLs, you can also increase client retention.
Product feed optimisation is proven to increase impressions, clicks and conversions. Ultimately, it unlocks growth in a way pure PPC campaign management cannot achieve.
You are no longer reliant upon your developers or development agency to create and improve your product feeds which can often be slow and expensive. networks.
All of our product feeds are built to be best practise XML product feeds. We can convert any type of feed into a better performing product feed.
Shoptimised can unlock other ecommerce channels such as Facebook, Amazon, ebay, Fruugo and all leading affiliate networks.
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.