ecommerce

This blog post discusses how you can use Google shopping feeds to increase sales and traffic to your ecommerce website.  We’ll first discuss Google shopping, then get to how to set up and optimize your product feeds.

With universal search well underway you may have noticed that Google has integrated its product feed into the search engine results pages (SERPS) with the goal of improving usability and user experience.  These shopping results feature images of the products listed, then direct users to an “overview” of the product, comparing sellers, prices, ratings and reviews, as well as local stores.  Once potential customers have searched for a product, compared prices and other attributes, they’re able to click through to your site to make the final purchase.  If you haven’t submitted a product feed for your online store, Google Universal shopping results is one reason why you should.  Google is displaying more images and results (usually four or five) instead of the previous three, allowing additional sites to benefit from a first page ranking.  This layout is meant to catch the eye of shoppers and increase the CTR (Click Through Rate) of products, benefiting your company.

Submitting product feeds to Google Shopping is a worthwhile addition to your SEO campaign, as submitting a wide product range to e-commerce shopping sites can increase your sales.  In fact, for many online businesses, Google Shopping feeds represent about a third of their traffic.  Why should you use it?  It’s a great way to direct traffic and sales to your website, and you’ll be reaching out to a huge potential source of customers, as well as rank high in Google’s organic rankings.  You’ll be visible in Google’s integrated Universal Search results of news, images, videos, and products.  The beauty of Google product search is that it’s free—however you’ll have to take the time to set up and update your product feed.

Here’s How to Create Your Data Feed:

Google currently supports data feeds in two general formats, text and XML.  It’s good to note that they don’t accept Microsoft Excel files, but it’s easy to convert your excel file into text before uploading.  Take the time to consider which format would be easiest and best suited for products.  Once you’ve completed the feed in your chosen format, you can then register.  Google explains how to create text (spreadsheet) or XML data feeds.

Text or spreadsheets are easy to create, and make it easy for you to view multiple items, however, it’s easier to make a data entry mistake.  XML data feeds are easy as your site may already have XML files of your content, and you’ll find that it’s easy to include multiple values for one attribute.  However, XML data feeds require tech-savvy.

Optimizing For Google Base Product Search:  Here are some tips to remember when creating your product feed.

  1. Title: Use appropriate keywords in the “Product Title” to match shopper queries.  Google product search engines will give your product priority.  Keep in mind people search by brand, product type, model, and other product attributes, so match your title to the shopper search queries.  Product search engines also highlight the searched part of the user query, and matches do influence shopper decisions to click your listing.
  2. Description: Just like the title, description also helps in product search engine results.  Keep in mind your product description must have a good keyword density, meaning you’ll want to use query terms more then once.  This’ll increase your ranking position.  The search query term will also appear highlighted in bold, and can influence shoppers to click your listing.
  3. Price: Product search engines also sort products by price, so consider pricing your product affordably and competitively.
  4. Specification: There are many fields to upload information for Google product search.  Try to upload information to as many of these fields as possible for product specification, including all attributes and features.  This’ll have a positive effect on your rank.
  5. Images and Logos: These are incredibly important.  Use high quality and appropriately sized images whenever possible, as this’ll positively affect your click-through rate.  Because CTR is a factor in product search ranking, this is important.
  6. UPC Codes: UPC codes aren’t mandatory… but they’re useful.  Sometimes individuals search by UPC code, or sometimes certain items that lack UPC code don’t show up in a search.
  7. Positive Reviews: Try to get as many positive reviews from customers as possible, not only do they increase trust between shoppers and your products, Google ranks merchants with positive responses more highly.  The following websites are taken into account by Google: BizRate.com, Epinions, Mouthshut.com, Mr. Rebates, PriceGrabber.com, PriceSpider.com, ResellerRatings.com, ReviewStream.com, and Yahoo.com.  One excellent way to encourage customer feedback is to start a promotional program encouraging buyers to write reviews.  You can do this by offering a 5% discount off next purchase.

Learn more about designing or redesigning an ecommerce website and how we can help you set up and manage Google Shopping product feeds.

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