4 Ways to Fast Forward a Shopping Feeds Campaign

Optimizing your shopping feeds campaign takes time and intense analysis, but a few simple changes can help lead to better click-through rates and a better ROI.


Fast Forward Shopping Feeds

Optimization of your Google Shopping campaign is a continuous and time consuming process; you need to analyze data, adjust bids and keep track of the consequences of the changes that you make. So isn’t there a way to improve your results immediately? Let me show you the low-hanging fruits–easy changes that can boost your ROI immediately.

1. Add impressive images

People will not click your ads when they do not like what they see. The product image is the most visible part of your ad, so adding impressive high-quality photos will do a lot for you. Google recommends images of at least 800 x 800 pixels, with solid white or gray background and no borders. Your product should not take less than 75% and not more than 90% of the photograph.

Volusion enables you to add multiple images for your products; however, the first one will be used as a featured product image in your store and will be shown as a part of your ad.

Here are the steps that you need to take in order to add your photos:

  • Edit your product and go to the ‘Image Management’ section
  • Click the “Add” button and upload an image from your local drive

1 Click add button and upload image

  • To rearrange the order of your images just drag and drop them

2 Rearrange order of images

2. Optimize your product feed

Google algorithms use your product feed to decide how and when to show your ads, so the better and more specific your feed is, the more clicks and transactions you can attract. Here are several easy ways to improve your product feed:

Update product availability

The availability field indicates whether your product is in stock. If it is set to “out of stock,” Google does not show an ad for that particular item. If product availability is not up to date, there are two ways to go wrong:

  • Availability is set to “in stock,” but your product is not available. In this case you pay for clicks that will not bring you transactions, since people are not able to buy this item.
  • Availability is set to “out of stock,” but product is available. In this case Google does not show your item so you are losing sales, and it may take a while before you notice. It is even worse if this product is on sale or it is your bestseller.

The good news is that Volusion can automatically map the “Availability” field. The only thing you need to do is edit your product, go to ‘Advanced Info -> 3rd party integration and make sure that you have a default value selected for the “Google Availability” field. If so, this attribute is dependent on your Stock Status.

3 Google availability

Optimize titles

Your product titles play two important roles. First of all, they attract customers and give them information about your items. Secondly, the Google algorithms use your titles to decide how and when to show your ads. Your titles should be not only understandable and compelling, but should also contain as many details as possible.

Please note that titles included in your Google product feed are simply copied from your Product Name, so consider Google’s requirements when you add or modify your Product names:

  • You are not allowed to exceed the character limit (150)
  • Google does not like excessive capitalization and promotional texts in your names
  • It is recommended to include colors, brands and sizes in your titles

Adding brand, size or color to all your product names may require a lot of effort. You need to edit each product, go to ‘Product Name’ field and change your values manually:

4 Edit Product Name

So it may be a lot easier to use data feed optimization software like our own DataFeedWatch: Just combine your ‘Product Names’ with fields that include details concerning manufacturer, color or size in order to create Google’s ‘Title’ attribute.

5 Combine DFW

Add Google categories

Google requires you to categorize your products according to its taxonomy. But each generic Google category is divided into more detailed sub-categories. So if you sell shirts, “Apparel & Accessories > Clothing” may be a good choice, but “Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Shirts & Tops > Shirts & Blouses” is a much better one.

In order to map your Google Product Category in Volusion, you need to edit your product and go to Advanced Info -> 3rdParty Integrations. Here you can find more information concerning Google’s taxonomy.

6 Google Product Category

If you did not enter the right category when you got started, this may be too much work. A data feed tool will let you categorize your products based on Product type or Title or Description in just a couple of minutes.

3. Add product types

Google Product Categories are often used to set bids in Shopping Campaigns, but in most cases they are too generic. If you sell rings, you probably have silver, gold and diamond rings in your store. Separate bids for each of these three ring-types is not possible if your bids are based on Google categories, because there is only one suitable category: Apparel & Accessories > Jewelry > Rings.

That is why you should consider mapping “Google Product Type”.

You can use Product type to make your own unique categorization and set bids for them in your Shopping campaign. The field “Product type” is not required, but it is undoubtedly worth using.

Just copy your Volusion category in the Google Product Type field and you’re done:

7 Google Product type

Alternatively, if you do not want to edit your products one by one, you can use DataFeedWatch or another tool to create “Google Product Type” from your Volusion Category:

8 Product type DFW

4. Exclude unprofitable products

If you sell 100 products, only 20 of them are making you money. The other 80 are useless or they actually cost you money: either they get a lot of clicks but nobody is buying them or they do get sold but at an incredibly high CPA.

If you are able to identify these unprofitable products, you can stop advertising for them and save a boatload of money.

Google AdWords enables you to track the performance of every single product in an easy way. All you need to do is go to the Dimensions tab and then to View -> Shopping -> Item ID. It is a good idea to use filters, like “Clicks >100 (or any other number)” and “Conversions = 0” or “CPA > $50” to identify your losers.

9 Adwords Dimensions

Once it is done, you should create new product groups for these items. Just go back to the ‘Product groups’ tab and subdivide your existing group by Item ID. That will enable you to decrease the bids for your losers or exclude them altogether.

10 Adwords subdivide

11 Adwords change bids exclude

If this is too much work, you can use a tool like DataFeedWatch Analytics. This tool enables you to identify your winners and losers in an easy way and pause unprofitable products with a single click. They will be excluded from your data feed, so Google will not show them in the search results. In addition to this, DataFeedWatch Analytics enables you to aggregate the data for all options of the same product. As a result, you can track the performance on parent level, fast-tracking your campaign even further.

About 

Jacques van der Wilt is an eCommerce industry leader specialized in online marketing. He has worked in online media since the early 90’s. He has held leadership positions in the US and several European countries. In the past 10 years he has worked as an entrepreneur and founded several tech start-ups. He is also a mentor at accelerator Startupboothcamp. In 2012 he created DataFeedWatch, a venture-backed start up with offices in Silicon Valley (US), Amsterdam (NL) and Krakow (PL). DataFeedWatch enables web shops to optimize their product data feed and their campaign performance for 500+ shopping channels in 30+ countries.

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