Google Shopping is a Google service that was created to enable customers to find products faster directly in the search and compare prices in a convenient visual block. The service was received ambiguously. On the one hand, it helped users get the lowest price for the product, and on the other hand, it suffered small companies that could not budget for advertising in GS and thus could not compete with larger brands. Google Shopping has become more accessible to every entrepreneur today. The service was launched back in 2002, but Ukraine got acquainted with GS in March 2018 (all the better, since it came to us already adapted to modern eCommerce conditions).
Google Shopping is a visual block in search results that can be located immediately below the search bar or in the upper right corner near the search results. Looks like a preview of product cards with a product image, name, price, online store name and rating.
You can also access GS from the special "Purchase" tab, located right behind the "Pictures" tab. Here you can use filters to sort ads by more specific criteria. When you click on a product, you go to the product card in the seller's online store. The CPC in the "Shopping" section is lower than on the search results page.
Today, a block with Google Shopping has appeared on YouTube video hosting, on the home page and as a result of a search (in the web version of the site).
With this service:
1. Your products appear at the top of the search page.
2. You can advertise the product with a beautiful photo.
3. You save on advertising (in Google Shopping, the cost per click is much lower than in contextual advertising). In addition, “clicks” are excluded and, as a result, the budget is drained, since the user receives all the necessary information already in the preview.
4. You can immediately receive orders and increase conversion.
5. You are ahead of the competition due to the lower price of the product.
In addition, synchronizing Google Shopping with your online store allows you to advertise only those products that are in stock. The data is automatically updated, so if a product is out of stock in the IM, then it is automatically deleted from the GS block.
To set up displaying ads in Google Shopping, you need to:
• create an account with Google Merchant Center;
• make settings in Google Merchant Center;
• create an account in Google Adwords;
• fill in the data feed correctly.
Data Feed or Google Feed is a file that contains all the information about the products. Visually, the feed looks like a table in which you need to enter data. Information is presented in the form of attributes. Attributes are divided into mandatory, optional, and mandatory under certain conditions. A completed feed allows you to participate in all Google advertising programs.
Google Feed can be added in two ways: manually and automatically. You can manually add a feed, if there are only a few dozen products in the online store, then it will not be difficult. But what if there are several hundred and thousands of goods? Then you will need to add the feed in auto mode. Let's consider each of these methods.
Manual download of the feed is possible in several formats:
• In the form of Google Sheets;
• In CSV or TXT file format.
Google tables are convenient because you can correct data in real time. It is faster and more convenient to do it than in other editors. It will be convenient to upload a file in CSV format when goods are unloaded from an online store in the same format.
Autoloading is carried out using an XML file that can be generated by your programmers or through special third-party plugins. It is relevant for an online store with a large number of products, when the assortment must be updated quickly.
As a rule, difficulties for online store owners arise at the stage of filling in the attributes. If any of the attributes of the main feed are filled in incorrectly, the products do not go through the so-called moderation (which, by the way, takes quite a long time) and do not get into Google Shopping.
Interesting! Google recently developed automated and multi-country feeds. Automatic feeds collect information about products directly from the site (the site must have Schema.org semantic markup), multi-country feeds will show products in countries with the same language.
1. In the Administrative Panel of your online store, go to the "Products → Catalog" tab. In the "Status" column, press the button that is smaller (the indicator will be green).
2. In your Google Merchant Center account, go to the "Products" tab and open the "Feeds" section.
3. Fill in all required attributes.
Some products may belong to several categories at once, such as kits or gift sets. In this case, the "Category" attribute can be left blank. If the rest of the products have a category, the feed will still be moderated.
To understand which category is better to classify a product, look at this information from competitors. It is enough to enter the name into the search and after the result select the "Purchases" tab right below the search bar. Possible product categories will be listed on the left side page.
Many users have difficulties at the stage of filling in the GTIN attribute. GTIN is an international identifier that is indicated next to the product barcode. If the product does not have a GTIN or it cannot be viewed, the MPN attribute is filled in. If there is no GTIN or MPN (for example, not every retailer has access to goods, or sells on a dropshipping basis, where all goods are in the supplier's warehouse), then in the identifier_exists attribute field, specify "no" or "false"
The rest of the attributes, as a rule, do not raise questions; you only need to spend time on them, which depends on the number of goods. You can always order the service of advertising goods in Google Shopping from our specialists, who will create an xml file for uploading goods to Google Feed and will do it as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Important! If you sell products in different countries, you need to prepare a separate feed for each country indicating the delivery method and the currency that is used in that country.
If you make a mistake when filling out the feed, at best you will not get through the moderation, at worst - the account will be blocked in the Merchant Center. To fix the first, you will need to edit the feed data, but in the second case, fix the error on the site itself, make a request to Google support to unblock your account.
What mistakes can lead to these two situations:
1. Delivery details, countries to which delivery is carried out, delivery costs in the Merchant Center do not match the information on the delivery service website.
2. Incorrectly filled in or not filled in the required attributes of goods.
3. Information about the delivery and return of goods should be placed on separate pages of the online store and placed in the main menu. If this information is on a separate page, but the page itself is hidden (say in the footer of the site), this may cause rejection of Shopping ads.
4. Contact information in MC (Merchant Center) must match the data on the site. Also, 2 of 3 communication methods must be indicated. Otherwise, the account may be blocked.
5. The first moderation of the feed takes about 3 days on average, this should be taken into account when you set the frequency of the feed update. Before the first moderation, set the value to 1 week, after passing this parameter can be changed.
6. Employees from the Google support service will make a test purchase to check if the information is correct, whether it is possible to immediately pay for the product, delivery information and other parameters.
7. If the product images are of low quality or have watermarks, the feed will not pass moderation. Also amateur photographs will not work. For Google Shopping, it is better to take photos of products on a white background (read our article "How to take photos of products to sell them")
What parameters can positively affect the passage of moderation:
• the site is open for indexing (robots.txt is open);
• your online store loads quickly from desktop and mobile devices (check the page loading speed using special services);
• the site has micro-markup;
• the optimal number of redirects.
In Google Ads reports, you can see detailed information about what day and time users shop the most. This way you can adjust the rate by increasing it during peak hours and decreasing it when user activity drops. By adding geo-targeting filters, you can also track which regions, cities, districts are interested in your products. For these locations, you can also increase bids and set up ad serving. The data will also be useful for setting up targeted ads.
In the product ID tab, you can track which positions had the most clicks, reactions, CTR, etc. You can sort products by clicks, this will make it possible to understand which positions are most in demand among users.
Having selected a group of the most popular products and knowing at what time users buy them, you can develop strategies for each individual group of products.
The Title attribute is the name of the product, it is also a search query.
Attribute Decsription - a description of the product in which you can also use a search query, thereby expanding the delivery of your product ad for several keywords.
You can find keywords in Google Adwords. Some tips for finding keywords:
• make a list of keywords;
• exclude negative words;
• use Google Trends to find trending queries.
For each online store, you need to develop its own personal strategy for promoting products through Google Shopping. For small sites with an assortment of up to 20 products, the strategy will be one, and for large online markets with several hundred or thousands of positions, another. Choosing a strategy allows you to optimize advertising costs and get the most out of your advertising campaign.
A specialist should constantly work on editing an advertising campaign, adjusting bids according to the analysis. The data is constantly changing due to a number of factors such as seasonality, time of year and even political and economic situations in the country. Flexibility and the constant involvement of a PPC specialist are needed to keep the business from crashing.