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The ideal Google Shopping budget
Free product listings
Optimizing product titles and descriptions
Custom labels
Product imagery
Bounce rate
Using negative keywords
Star ratings on Shopping ads
Testing your Merchant Center product feed

What’s the ideal budget for Google Shopping ads?

An ideal budget is tricky to pin down because it’s highly dependent on your business size and your paid ad budget allocation. For smaller businesses, it’s a good rule of thumb to start off small and scale your budget as you grow.

Read more in our resource, What is the ideal Google Shopping budget?

Making the most of free product listings

First introduced in 2020, free product listings on Google are precisely what they sound like - a chance to show up on the Google network organically. Free product listings can appear on the Shopping tab, Images, Search, and YouTube

Whether or not your products appear for free product listings is based on the quality of your product feed, as well as the following conditions:

  • Your account adheres to free listing policies and Shopping ads policies;
  • Your return policy is on both your website and Merchant Center account;
  • You have a link to your shipping policy in your Merchant Center account.

Optimize product titles and descriptions

When it comes to your product feed on Merchant Center, your product titles and descriptions are arguably the most important attributes for two reasons. Firstly, this is what shoppers will see when they’re served your ad. But it’s also key in telling Google what your product is so it can be crawled accurately.

Your titles and descriptions are where you get to display what you’re selling. You want to use concise, simple language that accurately describes your product. Keep it as relevant as possible while providing as much detail as you think necessary, especially in your descriptions.

Using relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions will help Google crawl your product feed, identify what you’re selling, and match your ad to the most appropriate search queries being used.

Avoid keyword stuffing, however, as Google will penalize this. Avoid repetition, and don’t forget that you’re trying to show off your product(s) in a straightforward and clear manner.

When it comes to the length of your product descriptions, quality beats quantity. As we've mentioned, relevancy is the priority here as misclicks due to irrelevant information can be penalized by Google. Have a look at what people in your industry are doing: depending on which you're in, it may be better to include specific product specifications in your description.

Ensure your targeting is correct

When it comes to targeting options in your Google Shopping campaigns, you’re given a couple of options. One is the Networks and Devices option. It’s recommended to keep this as default. Otherwise, you’ll be limiting what your ads show up on.

Your other option is Location.

This allows you to exclude geographical locations. This is useful for businesses that don’t sell internationally, or want to target specific countries only. It’s important to get this right so you don’t end up with shoppers buying products that you can’t ship. Make sure your targeting is set up properly to avoid disappointment.

Use custom labels

Custom labels help users organize their Google shopping campaigns to help with optimization efforts. Read our full guide to using custom labels.

Elevate your product imagery

Your product imagery is one of the most prominent parts of your ad. For many shoppers, it’s what they’ll look at first. Therefore, you want your images to be as clear and high-quality as possible, highlighting exactly what you’re selling.

It’s possible that Google may disapprove of your images. This is usually because you’ve included a watermark, have cluttered images that don’t clearly display the product, or you’ve included a broken link to your image - this can negatively affect your brand reputation.

We recommend following Google’s image requirements when preparing your product images.

Try to achieve a good bounce rate

A lot of retailers experience a high bounce rate from their Shopping ads. This is mostly due to shoppers clicking on ads to learn more since Shopping ads on the carousel display limited information.

To tackle this, ensure your product titles and descriptions are optimized. You should also optimize the landing page, ensuring that there’s a seamless transition between landing on the page and making a purchase. Here you can also include more relevant information about the product.

Another option is to utilize negative keywords to remove search queries that lead to a low conversion rate. We’ll talk about negative keywords in the section below.

Still curious about bounce rates?
Discover why your hard-won traffic is bouncing

Utilize negative keywords

On Google Shopping, you can’t bid for specific search queries. Instead, you can use negative keywords to filter out what you don’t want your ads to show up for.

When you submit your product feed to Merchant Center, Google crawls this information to identify search queries. However, negative keywords give you greater control over which search queries your ads will show up for.

From your Search terms report in your Shopping campaigns, you can see which search queries are triggering your ad. From there, you can determine which search queries you’d rather not show up for. For example, you may be showing up for queries that are totally irrelevant to your ad, which will lead to a low CTR, or for which you may be spending money on clicks that don’t lead to sales.

How to add negative keywords to your Google Shopping campaigns

Follow these steps to start using negative keywords:

  1. From your Google Ads account, go to Keywords in the page menu and then click on the plus icon.
  2. You can add negative keywords to either your campaign or ad group from the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter a negative keyword on each line.
  4. To add broad-matched negative keywords: use synonyms, singular versions, plural versions, and other variations.
  5. To add negative phrase-matched keywords: put quotation marks around the keywords.
  6. To add negative exact-matched keywords: surround the keywords with square brackets.
  7. Click on Save when you’re finished.

Display your reviews and star rating to boost your brand authority and increase trust

You can display your Google star rating and reviews on Google Shopping. This can help you to catch the attention of shoppers and showcase the quality of your products.

To do this, learn how to add star ratings to your Shopping ads.

How to test your Merchant Center feed

After you’ve submitted your product feed to Google Merchant Center, it’s natural to wonder if you’ve done everything correctly. Luckily there’s a way for you to test it.

How to test your direct product feed upload

  1. From your Merchant Center account, navigate to Products and then Feeds.
  2. Click on the plus icon.
  3. Fill in the ‘basic information’ and ‘primary feed name and input methods’ field.
  4. After that, you’ll be in the ‘setup’ stage. Click on Upload a file now.
  5. Tick the box titled Upload as test and hit Continue.
  6. From the ‘processing’ tab you’ll be able to see any errors or warnings which you can then amend in your feed.
  7. Once your feed is live, you can go onto the ‘diagnostics’ page and see a full report of issues.

How to test a new feed file on a newly registered feed

  1. Go to the primary feed you'd like to test.
  2. From the ‘processing’ tab click on Upload file.
  3. Choose your file and tick the Upload as test box.
  4. As above, you can see errors and warnings in both the ‘processing’ and ‘diagnostics’ sections.

How to review your results

You’ll be shown your test results in the final steps of the instructions above.

You can also click on Show test and be shown a summary of your results. Tests of primary feeds will show you an expanded summary, which includes an item summary, attribute change summary, status summary, and issue summary.

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