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Optimising Ecommerce Product Feeds

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If you have an ecommerce site and you run shopping ads for your products, then this one’s for you.

Recently, we brought you some information on product feeds and how they are important for ecommerce businesses. This is a great starting point for anybody just getting started in paid-ads and has some useful information that you can make use of to build some knowledge on the subject.

This week, let’s put product feeds under the microscope and take a look at them in even more detail. Read on for advice on keeping your product feeds optimised and how it’ll benefit you in the long run!

A quick recap on product feeds

First, it makes sense to quickly go over what product feeds are for one last time before we go any further.

A product feed is a file that communicates data from your online store to your chosen sales channels. This is any data that is needed to accurately display your products as adverts and describe them. Think of things like product images, product name, product description, size, colour, in or out of stock…

And while you can input this data manually, it can be incredibly finnicky and time consuming if you have tons of products that you want to advertise. That’s why advertisers have well curated, up to date product feeds that they upload to their content API to communicate this data automatically.

For example, in Shopify you can fill in Google Field identifiers. This then connects to your API and allows Google to identify your products, accurately categorise them, and then display them as ads for any relevant searches. How relevant? Well, this depends on how optimised your product feed is.


What does product feed optimisation actually mean?

Similar to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it involves curating your product feed in a way that expresses the most value to Google so that they can show your products when Google users make relevant search queries.

Google can’t just take a look at one of your products and know exactly what it is and what terms it should be advertising for (not yet anyway!). Google works with data. This data is what you will have to provide, and if you provide the best and most accurate data then you have the best chance to reap the rewards from Google.

Let’s hear what our Paid Media Manager, JP, has to say on product feed optimisation:

‘When running search ads, you can control what search terms you appear for. Whereas with shopping ads, Google optimises these terms for you with data from your product feed.

The more optimised your product feed is, the higher the chance that your products have of appearing for more relevant searches. This makes it much more likely that you’ll make conversions and sales.’

JP – Paid Media Manager

How to optimise your ecommerce product feed

There are many methods you should use to optimise your product feed. This includes resolving all errors affecting performance, using relevant keywords in product titles and descriptions, and more.

As a minimum, you should resolve any errors that may affect your performance. When viewing your Merchant Centre account, you can use the diagnostic tool to address any issues that are currently plaguing your product feed. Some of these issues may be due to missing identifiers, or perhaps you have used too many values for certain categories.

Merchant Centre even provide data on what countries your products are being affected in and the percentage of products affected, so you can see how important it is for you fix your product feed up ASAP.

Google product feed optimisation also relies on including keywords and key details within your product titles and descriptions. This signals to Google that you should be appearing for certain relevant searches, and can greatly improve performance.

You should also take care to include your keywords at the start of product titles, because Google shorten long titles when they appear as ads (and Google don’t show any ads if the title is over 150 characters). This also helps users know that your advert is appropriate for their search.

There are so many more ways you can optimise your product feed for shopping ads. Here are some quickfire ideas:

  • Use high-quality product images (with alt-text)
  • Make sure all values required by your sales channel have been completed
  • Using the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) for your products
  • Keep your product feed up to date with your latest product information, price, and stock levels
  • Run A/B experiments if you think you have ideas that can improve ad performance

Optimising your product feed? Leave it to the experts

Sometimes, the little steps and hidden details can actually be quite high stakes in terms of your long-term ad performance.

If you want to reliably choose a way to advertise your products with the best chance at success, then seeking the help of a paid media agency is a no-brainer.

At Blaze, we know how to run the best paid ads like the back of our hand. If you’re interested and want to know more about how we can help you then don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

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