Before you work on testing and implementing the following optimisations, it is first necessary to address all of the errors and warnings in Google Merchant Center.
There is no such thing as too much product information in Google Shopping, so make sure to provide information for every possible product attribute, including the optional ones. This sets your listing up for the highest chance of success as each bit helps Google to display your listing in the best way possible.
With very little information displayed in a Google Shopping product listing, while being placed alongside numerous competitors selling the same or very similar products, every detail of your listing is crucial to driving conversions. Arguably the most important part is the image, which takes up a large chunk of the listing space in Google's highly visual experience.
It is not only important to provide high quality images that meet Google's requirements, as they will not hesitate to suspend Google Shopping accounts with images that don’t meet the standards. But also to stand out from the crowd while staying within the tight guidelines.
Google Shopping uses uploaded product feeds to index search results, but it pulls the featured images from the respective retail sites. Because of that, it’s important to optimize your product imagery and listings on your own website before you market them on Google Shopping.
With certain exceptions, your image must only show an accurate photo of a single unit of the actual product (or products if selling a bundle) with minimal or no product staging, and no additional elements like borders, overlays, calls to action, logos, text, promotions etc.
Additionally, best practices suggest framing your product to take up no less than 75%, but not more than 90%, of the full image. Using a solid white or transparent background, and ensuring the image matches any distinguishing details of the variant listed such as colour. You can read more about the requirement here.
This leaves little room to stand out from your competitors but does mean those who creatively work within these rules you can easily stand out from the sea of almost identical images.
You can see in the image below how one listing immediately stands out simply by putting the shoe at an angle, you will also notice that it is facing the other direction which further aids in disrupting the pattern and drawing attention from the other identical listings. Simple changes like this can easily be achieved with some light photo editing so doesn’t necessarily require a new product shoot.
Another example is using ‘lifestyle’ type product images as you can see below. It is worth A/B testing a few image types to see which drives better conversions for your products and audience.
Try searching for keywords related to your product and think about what style of image will stand out from the other results. If you are struggling for ideas, take inspiration from the results of similar products that draw your eye.
Don't forget to test or at least choose between plain white or subtly coloured backgrounds to find which works best for you.
A great title is essential to a good click through rate. The structure of your title is more important than you might think, and tests have found that changing the order of keywords has a massive impact on clicks.
When searching in Google Shopping for “Epoxy glue” there are a variety of product titles that come up “Araldite Standard Tubes (2 x 15ml)” doesn't say what it is at all and purely relies on shoppers knowing the Araldite brand. Whereas, “Gorilla 25ml Epoxy Glue” uses the same wording as the search term alongside a ubiquitous brand name this could lead to a higher CTR.
A third example, “RS Pro Epoxy Adhesive, 24 ml, Transparent” again prioritises the brand name, it also opts to use ‘Adhesive’ instead of ‘Glue’, for interchangeable words it is worth identifying which are most commonly searched. Also worth noting is the use of the characteristic ‘Transparent’ which could be an important factor to someone choosing between listings. Other titles included words like ‘Rapid’, ‘Strong’ or listed the materials that the product is compatible with.
Analysing keywords and search terms related to your products will help to identify key terms and help to structure your titles for the highest CTR. The order becomes even more important for longer titles that can be cut short when displayed on some devices, so make sure the key details are at the front. It’s worth trying to keep titles as short as possible and testing different orders and lengths.
The image below shows a Google Shopping result for “Smart Watch”. The first product is made by a brand you are unlikely to have heard of and they have chosen to start their title with “Smart Watch” and put the brand name later in the title. In comparison the second product, which is basically unbranded, opts to use the meaningless product name “HS300” at the start of the title which could negatively impact CTR. The third product does not even mention that it is a smartwatch which could also result in a lower CTR.
If your product has an obscure name or your brand is less well known, try highlighting relevant product attributes before mentioning the brand or product name.
Google Shopping often displays a few additional details that can be crucial to optimising your listing.
Firstly the promotion tag can immediately draw a shoppers eye to any offers, so if you are able to offer price reductions this could be a strong tactic for standing out.
Another key detail is the product rating, not every product will have a rating below it, as there are a few steps necessary to get one. This makes it a great way to stand out as online shoppers rely on ratings when choosing products and are much more likely to check out those that have reviews.
Product Ratings requires that you have a minimum of 50 reviews across all of your products. They can be submitted to Google by a supported reviews aggregator, or you can sign up for Product Ratings and submit reviews through the Merchant Center. Read more about Product Ratings here.
Delivery cost is also commonly displayed, if shoppers are comparing two product listings they are likely to favour the one with free delivery. Bezos.ai can help you with your order fulfilment so that you can offer your customers fast and free shipping.
Some sellers try to use the product description to write lengthy paragraphs with unnecessary information and overly stuffed with keywords. This can make them unreadable and generally hurt conversions. While Google does scrape your description for keywords and it is an important place to include secondary keywords that didn’t make the title, overdoing this will look spammy.
If you follow these four steps you should be well on the way to getting more sales from your free Google Shopping listings.