In our last meeting with Google and our client, Highstreet.io got an inside look at Google Shopping campaign structure and maintenance including essential techniques on how to optimize product marketing feeds for Google Merchant Center.  The following tips are key for optimizing your Google Merchant Center feed to boost product visibility and improve Google Shopping Campaign performance:

Google Merchant Centre Optimization Tips

  1. Optimize Titles
  2. Optimize product descriptions
  3. List all variant items separately
  4. Optimize categorization
  5. Improve data quality
    • Color
    • Size
    • Other attributes
  6. Implement the changes to Google’s Taxonomy

1. Optimize Titles

Titles are an extremely important to Google when matching search queries to ads. So make sure all product titles are unique and differentiate every product in your catalog. Optimizing titles will improve impressions and rankings. A title can have up to 150 characters, of which up to 70 will show in the Product Listing Ad (PLA). Google recommends using different formulae based on what type of product you are selling.

2. Optimize product descriptions

Make sure you have rich and meaningful descriptions for each product.  Titles and Descriptions are a key factor Google uses to match ads to search queries.  They affect the overall quality of PLA’s.  Good descriptions can lead to improvements in:

  • Product Listing Ad (PLA) ranking
  • Ad visibility
  • Click through rates (CTR)

3. List all variant items separately

This is especially useful for apparel retailers and although related to the product feed, it refers to building separate pages with distinct URLs for each product variant. This is obviously a little more work for the merchant, but if implemented it means that customers are taken straight to the product they have chosen and can add to the basket in one click (don’t have to reselect the size/color they want). Listing variant items separately improves the customer experience and can result in increased conversion rates.

4. Optimize Google Categories

To improve performance and avoid product disapproval you need to categorize your products appropriately. Ideally, you want to drill down to as many product categories as possible.  To ensure good performance you need to categorize your products to the third level of Google’s taxonomy.

5. Improve data quality

Here we are talking about giving Google all the information required to help them match your product listing ads to a customer’s search query. The more relevant attributes that you include in your feed, the more likely your products will be discovered by motivated customers.

  • Color
    • Make sure you standardize colors (no-one searches for a violet/bone/aquamarine dress, change the color to purple/brown/blue).
    • Only one color column per feed
    • You can specify up to 3 colors in the multicolor field e.g. blue/green/red or black/white
  • Size
    • Make sure you have a separate size system attribute. Don’t put a value for your system and the size in the same field.
    • Not necessary to convert the size to the local market. If there is no size system attribute then Google will assume the size system is US.
  • Add relevant attributes
    • Material attribute – leather, silk, cotton
    • Pattern attribute – stripes, spots, animal print

6. Changes to Google Taxonomy

Don’t forget the changes Google is making to their taxonomy. Retailers need to make the required changes by September 2015. Details of all changes can be found here.


Learn More about Google Merchant Centre Integration
Download Highstreet.io’s Data Feed Merchandising, International Markets and Massive Scalability Whitepaper
Contact Us for a Product Marketing Feed Demo.