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HOW TO: Google Shopping Results

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This post explores an additional traffic source that’s working well for our clients, courtesy of our Google Shopping Experts.

Why List on Google Shopping Results?

  • Listing and clicks are currently free – although we suspect that this might change at some point in the future. (Update, these are now paid only)
  • A high ranking would get you on the front page of Google for some search terms.
  • You can connect a good quality feed with your AdWords account and show products in your Google AdWords ads.
  • Once you have a feed that works well, there’s more traffic available from other shopping engines using similar methods.

What you need for a Google Shopping Feed

  • Either a dynamic feed output from your eCommerce store or a CSV file in the correct format. A dynamic feed works best as this should update the shopping feed with any price or product changes on your site rather than changing a file and manually uploading each time.
  • Suitable access to your site to add validation tags.
  • A Google Merchant Centre account.
  • Preferably a Seller Rating from previous transactions on Google Checkout – although there’s a lot of conjecture about this improving ranking in the results, most of the top results do show a Seller Rating (draw your own conclusions).

How to Set Up a Google Shopping Feed

  1. Open an account. There’s a site validation process that’s a little cumbersome, but bear with it.
  2. Check the feed formats you can use and select the one that suits you best
  3. Download a sample file if you’re not a techie.
  4. If you’re automating the process, have your site output your products to your server and enter the file location in to Merchant Centre. If you’re doing it manually, upload the file.
  5. Wait for Google to validate the format and products you’re listing. This might take up to 24hrs.
  6. For manual uploads, remember to upload a new file at least once per month – it will expire and your products will stop showing.

As with any online medium, there are techniques and strategies for improving just where your products rank in Google Shopping results based on a relevance algorithm. More on shopping optimisation techniques in another post, but suffice to say, make sure your main search terms feature in the Titles and Descriptions of your feed.