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As Google Shopping moves to a paid platform, it’s more important than ever to invest time in developing the best product feed you can in order to stay competitive and to ensure your ad spend is driving as much return as possible. We blogged about this a couple years ago but it’s about time for an update! While your PPC Account Manager will be able to look after the optimisation of the feed, the advertiser is going to have to make sure the feed is the best it can be. Please be aware that all of these specifications are for UK feeds only. A full list of specifications for different countries can be found here.headmassagers

 First step

The first thing to spend time on is the first thing users will see – your title, description and images. Optimising these will help the user understand your product quicker, and quickly reassure them of it’s quality. Below are some quick ways you can improve your feed without having to get into the nitty-gritty parts of it.

Images

  • Use high quality images
  • Minimum 250×250 pixels, recommended 400×400 pixels

Titles and Descriptions

  • Limited to 70 characters for title, and suggest around 500-1000 for the description
  • Include the important information upfront
  • Mirror the product information provided on the website for a consistent shopper experience
  • Avoid using too many characters for your brand name
  • No promo text such as “Free shipping” in descriptions – this can be saved for the Product Listing Ad in AdWords.
  • Don’t use block capitals
  • Don’t include a description of your store

 

Optimising your feed

Detailed information for putting together your product feed can be found in the Google Merchant Center Help centre, but below is a brief breakdown:

Basic

Chances are your product feed already includes some or all of these attributes. If not, that’s bad luck because these are due to become mandatory for UK feeds pretty soon. In short, all of these attributes are required in your feed.

  • id – separates unique products from ones with variations.
  • title – the name of your item.
  • description – include only relevant information but be comprehensive.
  • link – the URL the user will be sent to once they click.
  • image_link – the URL of the image. When using multiple images, use the additional_image_link attribute also.
  • condition – only ‘new’, ‘used’ or ‘refurbished’
  • price – include VAT and the GBP ISO code. When on sale, use the sale_price attribute.
  • availability – only ‘in stock’, ‘available to order’, ‘out of stock’ or ‘preorder’

Click on the example image below to zoom in:

product_feeds_basic

Unique Product Identifiers

You’ll need to add at least two of these product identifiers.

  • brand – required for all items in the UK except books, media and custom made goods.
  • mpn - the Manufacturer Part Number. Required for all items in the UK except books, media and custom made goods.
  • gtin - the Global Trade Item Number. Required for all items in the UK except books, media and custom made goods.

Categorisation

  • google_product_category – this helps Google understand your products and must follow the Google product taxonomy.
  • product_type – this helps advertisers segment their bids. We recommend following your site’s breadcrumbs.

Click on the example image below to zoom in:

product_feeds_2nd

Apparel Products

All products that fall under the ‘Apparel & Accessories’ (including sub-categories) in the Google product taxonomy require the first 3 attributes. ‘Size’ is only required for shoes, but is recommended for all.

  • gender – only ‘male’, ‘female’ or ‘unisex’
  • age_group - only ‘adult’ or ‘kids’
  • color - combine colours together using a / for example ‘Black / Green’
  • size - example of sizing values can be found here.

Click on the example image below to zoom in:

product_feeds_3rd

Hopefully this is enough to kick-start your product feed into action, but please be aware that there’s still a lot of other attributes that are recommended. For a more in-depth guide on the required attributes visit the Google Merchant Center Products Feed Specifications here.

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