Prospective e-commerce startups know how important it is to get visitors to your store and get people to pay attention to your products. Doing so successfully is not easy, but Google Shopping is a great tool that has a huge reach – anybody who searches for products on Google will come across product listings through Google Shopping. Having your products listed there can generate a huge amount of traffic and, potentially, sales.
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is Google search applied to products. When you search for products on Google, you will get the typical list of search results with links to websites selling that product, but you will also get a bar across the top of the search results displaying listings for that product from different shops.
Google Shopping results are more attention grabbing than regular search results, as they include a picture of the product and the price. You can also see search results by using the ‘Shopping’ category when searching on Google. Not only do these results link directly to the product, but they also show a feedback score if your shop has enough ratings on Google Shopping. It’s a very good way to capture potential customers, in addition to the traditional text-based search results.
How does it work?
Google Shopping requires a Google Business account and requires payment to have your products listed, but is separate from Google Adwords.
Google Shopping requires that you send your data across in a very specific format. This can either be done in the form of a single bulk file that sits on your website and lists all your products, or if your site is well-indexed, you can include that information on each individual product page and Google will extract it from there.
What’s required to get products listed?
The data format required is highly technical, but if you’re using a mature e-commerce solution, chances are it’s probably already supported. If you’re running bespoke software, then you’ll need to contact a web developer to get help presenting your product information in a way Google Shopping understands.
Google Shopping will have certain information that is required for all products and certain information that is required for specific categories. It is very important that your product data is correct. For example, Google Shopping requires products that are physically shipped to list height and weight dimensions, plus state whether you are using imperial or metric measurements. Some categories require age rating, colour, materials used, country of origin etc.
Google Shopping provides a data validation tool for your listings. It will alert you to any listings which are invalid and not showing, plus help point you to what is wrong and what must be changed to get the product listed.
Is it worth it for my shop?
Whether Google Shopping is worth it for your shop is very dependent on what sort of products your shop sells and the audience you market to. Google Shopping works particularly well for branded products. It’s based on search results, so when people search for a product on Google, there is a chance for your product listing to be shown to them on the front page of search results.
It’s less useful for people selling services, or for those that sell bespoke products and products that are difficult to search for. If you don’t know the sort of search terms people use to find your products, then you will struggle to target the right audience and find success with Google Shopping.
Your site’s SEO should be very well optimised to achieve the best results with Google Shopping. It’s best run in parallel with other marketing tools, like Google Adwords, to help drive in more traffic and get more people to view your product listings. How well you do with Google Shopping will depend on how searchable your products are and how good you are at targeting the right keywords.