Google Shopping: tools and tips to optimize your shopping feed in 2021
Jeroen is the latest addition to the team, not even a month in and here he is to walk us through all the ins and outs of Google Shopping, and feed optimization. A performance marketer gone growth hacker, Jeroen is hands down our growth hacking agency’s eCommerce expert, and the person we love to bother when it comes to everything shopping related.
Before we start, tell us a bit more about what we are talking about today
Well, I’m all about product feed optimization to make sure products are being displayed to their full potential. Shopify or Woocommerce feeds are filled in in a way that makes them look at their very best on eCommerce websites. However, as soon as you start diversifying the platforms where your feed is showcased, you will notice that not everyone will feel the same way about it. The same feed, perfectly optimized for an eCom, could not work as well on Google, Facebook, Pinterest or other marketplaces. You will need to make small adjustments, insert better images, or create complete dynamic feeds that better suit your store.
Ready to dive in? Let’s talk best practices: tell us something that our readers should always know
Well, to kickstart things here are three easy ways to save you some precious time:
- Make sure all your products follow a certain ruleset
- You need to give the feeling that your products are all telling the same story-
- Exclude low margin products and bad looking images.
Something always worth mentioning is that you need to work on your Excel Sheet on a weekly basis to make sure your products always look bright and shiny. When done manually, optimizing feeds can easily turn into a full time job, and I highly suggest you start using Channable. It’s a low price, high value tool that will import your data every day (yay), where you can send all your products to different platforms (more testing, more Growth Hacking -yay 2.0). More importantly, you can send your products out to the world knowing they are optimised. The most common mistake in my opinion is to want to do the whole process manually. It takes a loads of hours optimising all product data by hand. Channable starts at 29$ and saves hours, not only by implementing, but also when optimising product data. It might seem like a lot, but wait until your shopping ads start delivering at high ROAS. That monthly investment is nothing compared to the power of optimised product data.
Here are a few things Channable can do for you: it will keep only the good images, excluding the others, together with stock photos and low stock products (or it will include them and add a sale price to sell them even more quickly), it will enhance the title of your product according to keyword research. It will even add different categories like low, mid, and high margin products, so that you can segment your campaigns depending on their return on ad spend.
Why would I need, or want, to use ROAS to segment my campaigns?
Segmenting your products based on different margin categories and adding them to different Ad Groups will result in a better targeting. It’s simple math. As a rule of thumb it’s usually okay to invest more money into high margin products. For instance if you sell a product at €10, and you get to keep €5, that means your margin it’s 50%, and it’s totally fine to have a lower ROAS (for example 5). In this case, if you spend €50, you earn €250, and your profit on ad spend (POAS) will be: €250 – €50 – €125 = €75. On the other hand, if your margin was only 40%, a 5 ROAS will only give you a profit on ad spend of €50. (POAS: €250 – €50 – €150 = €50 profit). In this case you will need your ROAS to be set at 10 in order to have the same POAS outcome of €75 from before.
Any do’s and don’ts when it comes to Shopping?
- Use rules to enhance all your data, don’t do this per product;
- Segment everything! Margin, availability, price, you name it.
- Boost your titles, insert popular keywords into your title to gain impressions.
- Give as many details as possible, think colour, size, material…
- Check all required fields and make sure you fill those in.
- Take a look at the recommended values as well, and fill in as many as possible. It’s particularly important when people use filters. For example, if you don’t add ‘colour’ as an additional field, when people filter on ‘white’, your product will be left out (you can check the list of values here ).
- Increase your performance score by including your brand name in the product title, like | Colour | Size | Your Brand.
- Don’t waste time on products that don’t work, or that don’t have nice visuals.
- Don’t waste time on lots of different Excel sheets, beside being terribly time consuming, it is the perfect environment for errors.
- Don’t use stock photos.
- Don’t use shopping if the competition is huge, and you can’t compete on price.
- Don’t put too many keywords in your title as it is an overkill. There is at least one search query or purpose your product fulfils. Pick that one!
What is something readers should always keep an eye on?
Always check how people would see your advertisement or when it gets triggered. Simply look up your Facebook ad or enter a search query that should fire your ad on Google and see how it looks. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and see how your ad looks next to competitors and think if you would click on it or not.
In shopping you can pick manual shopping and smart shopping campaigns. If you are on a low budget, or you are experiencing the world of shopping for the first time, I recommend starting with smart shopping. It will let Google list you on all queries that the algorithm will come up with. When the results are good enough, you can start to invest time in manual optimization via Standard shopping. It will give you way more control over your campaign, making sure you will appear for queries you want to show up for.
To wrap it up, share with us a last piece of advice!
Always do research, always keep testing, always keep exploring. Every product, industry, and buyer is different. Some products are for shopping, some are not, but to find out you will first need to test it. Set up an account and a shopping ad, set a low budget to start with (€5 a day will do) and see what will happen. Even if you only have 10 products.
We live in an era where people don’t often go directly to websites, it’s way more likely they start their journey on Facebook or Google, and to be noticed, you need to make sure you are there when their journey starts. If the initial results are disappointing, check the increase in direct/organic traffic. Because people saw your brand, only didn’t decide to click right away. But chances are they’ll consider you later in time and look you up directly. Free traffic through paid channels, sounds like a win win to me!