Google’s obviously doing something right. It handles 3.5 billion searches daily and holds 92.71% of the search engine market share. Users love Google because of its robust search capabilities (after all, it indexes more than a trillion websites) and its special features — like time zones, movie showtimes and even earthquake files.
Merchants, however, have their own reasons for loving Google.
By uploading products through the Google Merchant Center, e-commerce retailers can see their products populate on Google’s search results, vastly increasing their reach. While the uploading process is easy, doing it effectively takes some finesse. But by implementing these five strategies, you can make your Google product feed a lucrative part of your sales strategy.
1. Organize Content
Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or a large enterprise retailer, one of the first things you should do to optimize your Google feed is organize your content. While this may sound intimidating if you have an extensive product catalog, organization takes just four straightforward steps.
- Centralize your product information.
- Format your product data (including basic data, pricing, availability and product categories) following Google’s specifications.
- Ensure other product information meets Google’s content requirements.
- Establish a process that will let your business keep content updated going forward.
While some merchants prefer to do this manually, others choose to use product information management software to handle the task.
2. Optimize Your Product Titles
When you’re creating product titles, don’t just make them click-worthy. Make them also search-friendly so your products show up on customers’ searches.
Think about what terms your customers will be using in their search and use those words to create a compelling title that will help increase impressions and conversion rates to grow your revenue.
To optimize your product title, make sure you’re following Google’s strict requirements, like:
- Length limits. While the maximum character length is 150 characters, only 70 characters will display. That means you’ll want to put the most compelling information at the beginning of the title.
- Capitalization. Use capitalization only when needed, to avoid the text looking like spam.
- Foreign words. Including words from foreign languages might negatively impact your product feed, so consider leaving them out.
3. Focus on Your Product Description
While product descriptions can currently be as long as 5,000 characters, consider placing key descriptors within the first 160-500 characters. Like they do with titles, browsers will see only the first part of your description unless they expand it. Do your best to make keywords flow naturally in your copy rather than turning your description into a clunky-sounding, keyword-stuffed advertisement.
In this description, include the product’s most relevant features and visual attributes, like size, material, shape, pattern, special features and intended age range.
Remember to describe only the product you’re selling — not its compatible products or accessories or a history of your business — and do so using professional, grammatically correct language. Don’t include links to either your store or any websites and leave out references to categorization systems.
And although this should go without saying, make sure you’re not duplicating another merchant’s copy when you’re writing your product description.
4. Implement Best Practices for Product Images
Merchants know browsers want to see detailed, high-quality pictures before they make a purchase. And when you add context around these images, they can improve the user experience, make search results more relevant and even increase traffic to your site. Here are some tips to do just that.
- Optimize placement by putting images near relevant text or even at the top of the page.
- Add structured data so Google Images can display images as rich results and drive more targeted traffic to your site.
- Optimize images for speed. Because images are generally the main contributor to page size, you’ll want to use optimized images to decrease page load time.
- Upload high-quality photos that are easy to view (especially as a result thumbnail) and that appeal to users.
- Follow minimum size requirements, which are 250 x 250 pixels for apparel products and 100 x 100 for non-apparel products. Images should have a 64-megapixel maximum and shouldn’t exceed 16 MB in size.
5. Add Trusted Merchant Reviews
Another easy way to improve your e-commerce store’s visibility on Google is by adding merchant reviews. Not only do they increase consumer confidence, but they also have the potential to bump you up in Google Shopping’s ranking algorithm.
These are just some of the U.S. review sites trusted by Google that you can use to collect reviews from customers:
- Google Checkout
Following these tips will help you optimize your product feed, potentially increasing sales and revenue, but it’s not the only way to grow your business.
To learn about the other technologies that will be important to e-commerce moving forward, download and read our popular E-Commerce Technology Trends white paper. Afterward, if you’re wondering how to safely implement these strategies into your sales efforts, just contact us. We’d be glad to help.