Table of Contents
- Festive Season Checklist
- Best Practices for GMC Setup
- Best Practices for Product Feed Optimization
- Best Practices for Shopping Campaign Structure
The festive season is just around the corner, and it’s time to start preparing your GMC account to make the most of this prime shopping period. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you optimize your GMC setup and shopping campaigns for the upcoming holiday season.
Let us start with the Google Merchant Center
Google Merchant Center (GMC) is a free platform that allows merchants to showcase their products across Google’s vast network of search, shopping, and other partner sites. With GMC, merchants can feed product data into Google, making items eligible to appear in valuable shopping ads and product listings.
However, GMC setup and optimization can be complex given Google’s stringent requirements and constant algorithm updates. Simple mistakes in your feed or campaign setup can lead to disapproval, limited visibility, or poor performance.
In this comprehensive guide, we will cover all the key best practices for GMC in 2023 across three main areas:
- Initial setup steps to get your GMC account ready
- Optimizing your product data feed content
- Configuring shopping campaigns for optimal performance
By following these tips, you can avoid common pitfalls, maintain compliance, and ensure your products shine across Google to reach more of the right shoppers.
Important Festive Season Checklist
In addition to the general best practices, here are some specific tips for optimizing your GMC account for the holiday season:
- Start preparing early: The earlier you start preparing your GMC account, the more time you will have to identify and resolve any issues. This is especially important during the busy holiday season.
- Create festive-themed product titles and descriptions: Use festive keywords and phrases to make your products more discoverable during the holidays.
- Highlight special promotions: If you are running any special promotions during the festive season, make sure to highlight them in your product titles and descriptions.
- Use high-quality images: Make sure your product images are high-quality and festive. This will help you attract more attention from shoppers.
- Track your performance: It is important to track your GMC performance during the festive season so you can see what is working and what is not. This will help you make adjustments to your campaigns as needed.
Step 1: Check Product Feed Setup [Merchant Center]
Early Testing and Feed Timing
It is important to test your product feed early and upload it at least five business days before major sales events to identify and resolve any processing issues in advance. Additionally, consider using feed labels to better organize your feed.
Include Product variables
To ensure that all your products are eligible for display, include all product variants in your feed, even unsupported ones. You can use the item group ID attribute to group related variants together.
Avoid Promotional Text
Google prohibits promotional text in product titles, descriptions, and images. Avoid using words like “sale,” “discount,” and “free” to comply with these guidelines.
Provide Accurate GTINs
If you have GTINs for your products, provide them in your product feed. This will help Google better categorize your products and improve their discoverability.
Maintain consistency across your landing pages and feeds in terms of product pricing, currency, and language. This will provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
Ensure that your landing page content is consistent across all locations. Avoid altering site content based on IP, browsers, or devices. Consider using a stable landing page for shopping ads to avoid affecting other traffic sources.
Site Outage Preparation
Plan for site outages effectively by following the recommendations provided by Google. This will help ensure that your products are still eligible for display even if your website is unavailable.
Tax and Shipping
Confirm that your tax and shipping settings are appropriately configured at the account or item level. This will help ensure that your customers receive accurate quotes for tax and shipping costs.
Feed Crawling Time
Be aware that it may take up to 72 hours for Google to crawl your product feed after an initial review. During this time, your products may not be visible in search results.
If you need to update your logo, ensure it complies with Google’s logo policies. Also, allow 2-3 days for the newly uploaded logo to be reviewed before your event.
Merchant promotions are typically reviewed within the same day after uploading. However, for peak periods, it is wise to submit them up to 72 hours in advance. Testing promotions ahead of peak weeks is recommended, as expedited reviews are not guaranteed.
Merchant Center Next
If you are using Merchant Center Next, explore additional resources for feed setup best practices.
Step 2: Optimize Product Feed Content [Merchant Center]
The title of your product listing plays a crucial role in ensuring its discoverability and appeal to potential customers. Here are some tips for writing effective product titles:
- Avoid vagueness and include relevant keywords that shoppers are likely to use when searching for your product.
- Front-load key attributes, such as brand, model, and size, to ensure they are prominently displayed in search results.
- Avoid promotional text, such as prices or sale dates.
- Keep in mind that Google may automatically modify your product titles to enhance the user experience.
For more detailed instructions on setting up your product feed, refer to this comprehensive guide from Conversios >>> Why Conversios is the best for product feed to Google Merchant Center?
Product Type Significance
The product type accurately classifies your product and provides detailed information to Google. This helps Google better categorize your products in search results.
- Be specific when defining the product type.
- Include granular information in the product type field to provide shoppers with a deeper understanding of the product’s category.
- Consider using Google Product Categories or letting Google assign one automatically to further enhance the classification of your products.
Ensure that Googlebot can crawl your website to access your landing pages and images. This is essential for your products to be eligible for display in search results.
- Inspect your website’s robots.txt file to verify that it does not block Googlebot’s access.
- Use the Rich Results test to identify and rectify any potential issues on your website that might affect your product visibility.
Step 3: Review Shopping Campaign Structure [Ads]
When creating your shopping campaigns, be sure to use the following settings:
- Target the right audience: Use Google’s targeting tools to reach the shoppers who are most likely to be interested in your products.
- Set a competitive budget. Your budget will determine how often your ads are shown.
- Choose the right bidding strategy: Google offers a variety of bidding strategies, so choose one that aligns with your goals.
- Use ad extensions: Ad extensions can provide additional information about your products and services, which can improve your click-through rate.
Activating Campaigns for Timely Service
Remember to set your campaigns as ‘Active’ and specify the relevant start date in advance to ensure that your campaigns start serving without delay on launch day. This proactive approach will guarantee that your ads are up and running when you need them most.
Priority Settings for Controlled Overlap
Utilize the priority settings to manage campaign overlap effectively. This feature allows you to determine the precedence of your campaigns. Note that priority settings are not available for Performance Max campaigns. However, if you have a Performance Max campaign linked with your Google Merchant Center (GMC) account, it will naturally take precedence over other shopping campaigns targeting the same products. This feature helps streamline your advertising strategy and prevent unintended overlap.
Monitoring and Optimization with Google Ads Shopping Column
Make the most of the Google Ads Shopping column to monitor and optimize your campaign activity. This column provides valuable insights into the performance of your shopping campaigns, enabling you to fine-tune your strategies for better results. Regularly reviewing and analyzing this data will help you make informed decisions and improve the efficiency of your advertising efforts.
Common GMC Mistakes to Avoid this Festive Season
- Incorrect shipping setup
- Blocking Googlebot in robots.txt
- Duplicate products
- Wrong image sizes
- Inaccurate product categories
- Mismatched landing page content
For more information on common GMC errors and how to avoid them, please see this helpful guide from Conversios >>>> Common Google Merchant Center Errors and Ways To Fix It
Ready to optimize your GMC account for the holiday season?
By following the best practices outlined in this guide, you can optimize your GMC account and shopping campaigns for better results during the holiday season. Proper setup, optimized content, and structured campaigns will help you increase product visibility and click across Google. Be sure to monitor performance regularly and tap into available data to identify areas for refinement. With the right GMC optimization, you can showcase your products beautifully to potential customers and make the most of the festive shopping season.
If you want to optimize your GMC account for the festive season and throughout the year, please check out the Conversios Products Section.