Compared to most directories and online retail sites, Google Shopping’s foray into the world of eCommerce is still regarded as pretty archaic by most marketeers. Difficult to work with, hard to navigate, and now a paid-for service, there will be many who have turned their backs on the search giant in lieu of their own marketing techniques.
Sure, it doesn’t offer the autonomy of Google Adwords, but the conversion rate is considerably higher, with some studies showing that Google Shopping Campaigns can increase conversion by 16%. The question is how can you achieve this increase? In this blog read some of our top tips from around the world of internet marketing to leverage Google Shopping for your eCommerce website!
Whilst some of these tips and tricks for Google Merchants accounts can be achieved through the average eCommerce CMS, a few of these will require the rewriting of code and an intermediate knowledge of the item feed your eCommerce site produces, so be prepared because this gets a little advanced…
Using Product Titles To Target User Relevant User Searches
If you have had anything to do with Google Shopping, you already know that the product title is one of the most important facets of how you mark up your items. However, the way that the product is titled on your site may often differ from the way in which the user will search for your item.
This is particularly pertinent with branded items, which, on the manufacturer’s website, won’t necessarily be labelled with the brand name, but will be known by the brand name on retailers’ websites. In this scenario, the manufacturer will not turn up in Google Shopping results for their desired search term, but their retailers will.
So what can you do?
You have two options:
Manually Coding The Product Numbers
By manually coding the product with two product names: one for Google and one for the user, you can have control over what you show to your user and how you get them to click on your link.
Use or create Plugin
There aren’t a great deal of options available out there, so we created a plugin for PrestaShop ourselves which makes this job a whole lot easier.
Focusing On Keyword Search Terms
Whilst it is not possible to focus on keyword search terms much as it is for SEO and website marketing, there’s a little trick you can employ in order to leverage synonymous keywords and search terms. Please bear in mind that this is infeasible for eCommerce websites which sell thousands of products, and much more applicable to those with a few hundred items.
So what do you do?
Users tend to search for items in a variety of fashions, often using more colloquial terms than those that you will list your item as. Rather than creating multiple products on your website in order to catch all possible iterations, instead you can create multiple unique product numbers (SKUs) for the same product but with different titles.
i.e. Product 1234 SKU=PRO1234 have 3 possible KW variations for colour “RED”
- PRO1234a – Red
- PRO1234b – Ruby
- PRO1234c – Burgundy
This might sound like nefarious activity or manipulation, but the way we see it, you are offering clients the products that they want in the way that they want to search for them. As we all know, Google favour usability – and this couldn’t be more user friendly!
Redirecting From Product Pages To A Category Page
By default, a link clicked on Google’s shopping page will land a customer directly on the product page for the item on your website. Nine times out of ten this is precisely where you want them, but what if it isn’t? Sometimes you have a whole range of items in a similar category that you want your users to see – a range of t-shirt sizes, or different sized desktop monitors.
In this case it might be far more advantageous to show your users the range of what you have to offer, upselling more expensive items or larger purchases. This can be achieved in one of two ways.
You can either create pages on your website which are product specific, but which contain the list of items in the similar category, or redirect your user to the category page instead.
In the first example you will have to redesign your website and this can lead to poor functionality or incongruity in design. The second won’t, but requires you to code in the Adwords redirect to your product.
With this trick you are treading the fine line that is Google’s landing pages policy, though if executed smartly and conscientiously, you will come away unscathed and drawing in larger sales.
Just remember: do what works best for your user and Google will love you, everything else is secondary. But remember to do it smart.
One of the big boys that are using this really effectively is eBay as you can see from the way their search results are displayed below:
Changing SKU Numbers Of Underperforming Products – Not Recommended
Now this technique requires a little disclaimer: reports on this trick have had a 30%-40% success rate, and will only work in certain circumstances.
As with all of your Google products, you ought to be regularly checking your product reports in order to evaluate which are performing best. With all of our clients we have often noticed that there are often a few products which gain a high exposure through Google Shopping, but which struggle to convert.
With this technique what you do is take the ID of the product with a high impression count and implement it under another product that is converting well. Obviously this can only be done with products which share a great deal of similarities otherwise you won’t be getting very far.
However, this is a technique that we do not suggest using as we find it to be in violation with Google Merchant’s terms of service, which state that:
“Once an item has been submitted, the ID must not be changed when you update your data feed or be used for a different product at a later point in time.”