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How to Optimize Your Google Product Feed for Search Traffic

by Caitlin Fikac   |   Aug 13, 2020

Google Shopping has been key in various retailers’ digital marketing success. The ability to serve informative product ads to users with high purchase intent has improved online performance for a number of e-commerce brands.

Google Shopping ads and listings are powered by product feeds uploaded through Google Merchant Center. Now that Google has opened certain ad real estate on the Shopping tab for free listings, it’s important to know how to optimize your product feed for both paid and organic impressions and clicks.

Here's a quick guide on optimizing your Google Product Feed to attract more traffic.

1. Activate surfaces across Google for organic traffic.

First off, it’s important to make sure your Google Merchant Center Product feed is eligible to serve for free listings:

  • Log into your Google Merchant Center account, navigate to 'Settings' towards the upper right section of the navbar, go to 'Tools,' then click 'Surfaces across Google.'
  • Check your setting is “Active” or activate it.

Not only does this open the opportunity for incremental organic clicks and conversions, but it also helps to build up remarketing lists for paid digital ads—especially if you’re leveraging dynamic remarketing ads!

2. Ensure the relevant information is within product titles and descriptions.

Titles and descriptions are extremely important elements within the feed, since Google uses this information to match product listings to search queries. To ensure you’re serving the most relevant product for each search, add related keywords to your product’s title and description, which will also help increase the likelihood of consideration for your product.

  • Compile your top paid and organic keywords and incorporate these core terms in the title and/or description. If certain phrases are too long to include in your title, make sure to include in the description.
  • Use key terms first in your title, since this copy will likely get truncated, especially on mobile.
  • Append titles with your company’s brand name to improve branded search coverage.
  • Utilize feed rules for simple title and description changes. You can test changes before live, too!

3. Remember: Images are important.

While the text components of the feed are crucial for targeting and ad copy, the product image is equally important, since this will draw users’ attention to your listing. Google has a list of best practices for images, but it’s crucial to submit high-quality images to reflect the quality of the product and brand to purchasers while they’re online shopping and unable to see in person.

The exact product image to use may be hard to decide, so consider A/B testing images to uncover the best performers:

  • Test static product on plain background vs. product in-use; product-focused vs. lifestyle-focused image; large size vs. small size
  • Perform a few quick searches to see what product images your competitors are using—and consider choosing something different so you stand out.
  • If your tests aren’t giving you conclusive results, use the additional_image_link attribute to showcase all your product images.

4. Leverage the power of supplemental feeds.

Product feeds can get fairly technical, fairly fast. If your Google Merchant Center feed isn’t set up to make easy changes within the primary feed, use supplemental feeds as a way to add, set, or modify various attributes.

Use Feed Rules to coordinate which data to pull from which source to enhance your product listings.

  • Test new product images before rolling out across the full product feed.
  • Add custom labels for advanced campaign optimization and reporting
  • If feed errors are identified and products end up as disapproved in the primary feed, use a supplemental feed to troubleshoot

Why choose an ecommerce marketing agency?

Your Merchant Center feed acts as an information portal to Google on what products your business has to offer. Optimizing your product feed enhances your ability to serve Google Shopping listings for relevant search queries. This attracts prospects to your website—which, in turn, helps drive incremental conversions and improve conversion rates.

Workshop Digital helps ecommerce businesses optimize shopping and feed management in Google Merchant Center accounts. To learn more about making the most of your shopping and feed management in Google Merchant Center, contact Workshop Digital today.

portrait of Caitlin Fikac

Caitlin Fikac

After graduating from James Madison University in 2016 with a B.B.A in Marketing, Caitlin started her professional career at a digital marketing agency in Baltimore where she managed multimillion-dollar paid search accounts for various brands and retailers. She joined the Workshop Digital team in May 2019 to continue pursuing her passion in all things digital marketing, build personal relationships with clients, and drive success through integrated online marketing strategies.