What is a product feed?
Google allows you to point it to a feed of your products. You can tell it all sorts about what you sell – and we recommend that you do! ID, title, description, price, availability, Google product category, your category, link, image link, additional image link(s), condition of the item and so on. Some of these are optional, some are required. Again, we highly recommend you use as many as are relevant to your business as it’s a core SEO tactic in making the most of this free service.
How do I let Google see my product feed?
If you’re lucky your e-commerce software may support this as an option. In this case you simply follow its instructions and plug the result into Google in the merchant centre. You’re likely to find good support from the user manual and associated forums in case you get stuck.
However, if you’re unlucky and this option isn’t supported you’ll most likely need the help of a developer in creating your product feed xml. Though, unfortunately, setting it up yourself is beyond the scope of this article, it is something we can help with – just get in touch.
There’s also plenty of help directly from Google across the merchant centre.
Why should I let Google see my product feed?
Well, you can use it to appear in yet another Google search area: shopping. If you follow the instructions and set the feed up properly your products can appear to people going to the shopping tab. That’s another bite of the cherry, so to speak! These people are already looking to buy what you’re selling too; never a bad thing.
If you’re very luck you might also get into the shopping breakdowns that are sometimes inserted into natural results.
The bottom line: you may sell more.
So how do I optimise my product feed?
Data, data, data.
Give Google as much information about what you sell as you possibly can. Make sure it’s as accurate as you can possibly make it. Look at the update settings and get it to fetch your feed an optimal amount – about as often as products change (including any change to product specifications; such as price, colour, availability, technical details etc) or as new products are added.
A couple of words of warning – get your developers to double check their work! You need to know that changes to products are reflected in the feed. You also want to check in from time to time to make sure Google has grabbed a recent copy of your feed and not suffered from any problems. With any luck you can set this up and continue to reap the rewards, with nothing more than the occasional cursory check. However, sometimes Google will change their minds about what the feed needs and it may need re-tooling. They will let you know though!
One last word of warning – check the policies to avoid having your feed suspended.
If you need help with this, or other e-commerce issues it’s worth calling us on 0871 976 9999 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org