How To Optimize Your Shopify Product Feed for Google Shopping
It’s hard to find time to manually optimize your Google Shopping Shopify feed.
This means that your feed gets neglected and your ROAS gets hurt.
So what is the best way to keep your product feed up to date and optimised when selling via Shopify?
What is a Shopify product feed?
A product feed is a common type of data feed which uploads all your products information to a selected platform, in this case to Shopify. In most cases, this information is regularly updated (automatically) at set time intervals, to ensure information stays up to date when it is shown on a shopping channel, such as Google Shopping.
What are the options to create a feed on Shopify
You can create a Shopify product feed for numerous eCommerce channels, including Google Shopping. There are three methods to generate your Shopify product feed. They are:
Direct API connection – Shopify is directly integrated with Google Merchant Centre. This means any data listed for your products will be automatically uploaded to Google Merchant Centre, and updated on a consistent and regular basis. This method is probably the most simple. However, it does mean you are uploading a feed that is not optimised in any way, which can cause you to miss out on vital sales.
Export – Exporting data is a limited option for creating a feed, as your date will not automatically update. Data exports are primarily used for reviewing bulk product data, and do not tend to be ideal for advertising.
Data feed services – This is the most complete of the options available, due to the scalability and flexibility on offer. There are various services available that allow you to generate and optimise your product data feed for multiple eCommerce channels, including Google Shopping. Each different service will have different price schemes, features, and limitations, so make sure to do thorough research if you decide to use a data feed service.
Why should I optimise my Shopify product feed?
Product feeds are incredibly useful tools when selling online, especially if you have a large catalogue of products. This is because they allow you to complete a mass upload of all your many products, and all their information.
However, it is highly likely that you will have some competition when looking to offer your products to customers online, so standing out from the crowd becomes essential. This is where optimization comes in.
Whilst anyone can use a product data feed to upload their products to Google Shopping, not everyone bothers to optimise their feed. This gives you an opportunity to get ahead of the competition, and make your products more noticeable.
Optimising your feed is in essence, the process of streamlining all your product data, and focusing on the most important pieces to draw in the ideal customers. This could be the perfect title, the ideal description, or attractive images. By optimising your feed, you give yourself a better chance of being the merchant people buy from, on a consistent basis.
How to optimise my product feed for Google Shopping
Optimising your product feed could be the key to generating the all important sales to keep your business competitive. So what are the best ways to optimise your product data feed for Google Shopping?
Conduct keyword research
Keyword research is always an essential part of creating a listing for a shopping channel. This is because keywords are what match up a search with your listing. Therefore, the wrong keywords mean you will have the wrong people seeing your ad.
You can conduct keyword research in a number of ways. One option is to use the abundance of keyword research tools out there, including Ahrefs, Keywordtool.io, and even Google itself, via Keyword Planner and Search Console. An alternative option is to search your articles main topic in Google. From there, you can look at the related searches at the bottom of the page. This may help to give you inspiration for further related terms, which you can also put into the aforementioned keyword research tools. Last but not least, you can directly check competitor articles yourself. Perhaps you can pick up on some recurring keywords that the keyword tools failed to recognise, or were only used by top competitors.
Create the ideal title and description
Creating a title and description seem like a relatively straightforward task. However, there is a little more to it than simply adding the essentials.
With titles you have to consider whether you have all the necessary keywords included to draw in your audience. You should also consider the order of your title, and whether you should include things such as product brand, colour, and size. This is very much dependent on the item. However, the graphic below offers a very useful guide to get you well on your way.
The other important factor to consider when writing both your titles and descriptions is their length. Google Shopping only shows a certain amount of characters per listing. On mobile devices, it shows even less. Therefore, you should aim to have the most vital details at the beginning of your titles and descriptions.
Add the perfect set of images
Images are a great way to optimise your data feed and create listings that really catch the eye. This is no different when creating listings for Google Shopping.
Initially, you need to ensure that all your images are within Google Shopping’s image requirement parameters. Once you have made sure that you have met the minimum requirements, you can start to focus on what will get your listing the attention you desire. A good place to start is by making your products the clear focal point of the image. That way, customers know exactly what they are purchasing. After that, you should try to showcase all your products from various angles, as this helps to give the customer perspective.
You can also try different types of image. For clothing products, a popular choice is the lifestyle image, where you show the item in action by using a model. This helps to give the customer an understanding of how the product would look on them/in use. The alternate choice is the standard product image, which may not show the product in action, but it does clearly highlight exactly what is being offered. As Google Shopping allows you to add numerous images, you can even try combining the two image types, for maximum effect.
Do not exclude out of stock products
Without optimising your feed, you essentially list every item, and all their details. On many shopping channels, this isn’t profitable. One way to ensure you increase your profitability on those is to exclude out of stock products. However, this is not the case with Google Shopping, as Google automatically adjusts stock for you via the availability field.
By excluding out of stock products on Google Shopping, you risk a situation where products take a while to reprocess when they are back in stock. This can negatively impact the performance of your ads.
Focus on your best selling items
Another way to narrow down what you are advertising on Google Shopping, is to focus entirely on your best selling items (or alternatively your most profitable items). These items will bring more value to your advertising, ensuring you improve your cost per click.
You can focus on your best sellers, as well as seasonal best sellers by introducing custom labels to your feed via a data feed service. Custom labels allow you to create the perfect differentiator between standard items and popular items, so that you can increase your profitability.
Refine your colours to the basics
In many product data feeds, there are an abundance of highly descriptive colours listed. And despite the fact these colours may be perceived as providing more detail, they are not ideal for search purposes. This is because the average buyer will search for green, rather than olive, or blue as opposed to cyan. For this reason, it is useful to change all your colours back to basics, so buyers can find your items with ease.
Here are some examples of colours you should use:
The following are colours that should be avoided/changed to basic colours:
- Bottle green
Google Shopping Shopify Feed
When listing your products on Google Shopping, it is always important to ensure you can put yourself in the mindset of your customers. Try to create and optimise your feed based on how they would search, and how they would expect to find items. By doing this, you should end up with a fluid Shopify product feed that draws in your ideal target market. This will keep your business competitive, amongst the many online merchants hoping to attract Google Shopping customers to their products and stores.