In today’s world of e-commerce, Google Shopping plays an important role in the way people shop. It offers carefully curated lists of high-quality items, user-friendly shopping features, and a ranking system that combines paid and organic listings.
This article will dive deep into Google Shopping, explaining the factors that affect product rankings and sharing best practices for boosting visibility and sales.
For marketers and businesses, understanding how to rank in Google Shopping is the key to e-commerce success.
Table of contents
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a focused part of the results pages where users can browse, compare, and buy products that they’re looking for. The products you see on a Google Shopping featured list are considered to be of much higher quality than others. This listing space is quite competitive, so only the best brands and products make the cut.
So when a user browses through a Google Shopping list, they know that the products they’re seeing are of the highest quality. Such an inventory helps them save time and effort that would otherwise be wasted browsing through low-quality products that don’t meet their needs. Google Shopping aims to provide users with a seamless shopping experience by offering them a number of useful features. They can compare prices, go through user reviews, and assess the products through the detailed information listed. All of this can be done on one screen without having to switch between several product pages. This enhances and streamlines the customer-buyer journey.
It is backed by two distinct platforms: Google Adwords and Google Merchant Center. Google Adwords is an advertising platform by Google that allows brands to display their ads on the SERPs. The Google Merchant Center is a platform where brands can manage how their products show up on Google’s paid and organic channels.
Paid vs. Organic Listings
There are two types of listings for Google Shopping: paid and organic. Paid listings are those that have been sponsored and work just like PPC. Organic listings are those that compete on listing quality and don’t depend on bidding.
Paid listings always appear at the top of the SERPs. This position is quite prominent and is labeled Sponsored at the top right corner. With such great positioning, brands and advertisers get more visibility for their products and are able to score more clicks.
But there is a caveat. The position of a particular item is dependent on the advertiser’s budget and bidding strategy. There is a lot that goes into which ad gets displayed at which position. How advertisers spend their budget on PPC determines this.
On the other hand, organic listings are displayed below paid listings. The order of items appearing in this listing is largely dependent on the quality and relevance of the product information provided by the brand.
This is the information that brands and merchants provide in the Google Merchant Center. The more relevant and valuable the information is to customers, the better position the product will get in the Google Shopping section. This is determined by a set of Google algorithms that analyze each piece of information the merchant provides.
Although organic listings don’t get the same kind of visibility that paid listings do, they can be just as effective in getting clicks and making sales.
Google Shopping Ranking Factors
Where your listing appears on Google Shopping is a very important factor in determining how effective your campaign is, whether paid or organic. Google’s algorithms look at various ranking factors to determine this. Some of the important factors are:
If you want your listing to appear in the Google Shopping tab, you need to optimize your product feed. This means providing complete and accurate information about your products. Your product feed must include relevant details, such as titles, images, descriptions, and prices. You also need to update your feed regularly to ensure that all information is up-to-date.
There are certain best practices you should follow to meet Google’s rigorous requirements. Optimize your title to describe exactly what the product is. The title needs to be concise and clear, so there is no ambiguity. Don’t use any vague terms. Instead, include specific keywords that shoppers are likely to use in their search. You can find relevant keywords through tools like Ahrefs and Moz.
For the product description, add as much detail as you can. But make sure these details are actually relevant to the shopper. Think about the factors people consider when buying your products. These would include color, material, size, or any other unique selling point your product has. The more information you provide, the more informed decisions your buyers will make.
A product’s relevance to the shopper’s search term has a significant impact on its ranking in the Google Shopping tab. When you search for a product on Google, algorithms determine how closely your product matches the keywords used. It only makes sense that more relevant products will get a higher ranking.
Google’s algorithms are trained to provide user’s with the most accurate results. Hence, they will prioritize listings that match the user’s search terms the closest. This ensures that shoppers find exactly what they are looking for on the first try. In this way, Google improves the overall shopping experience and ensures brand conversions.
It’s important to understand how Google determines the relevance of a product listing. It does this by assessing the product titles, descriptions, keywords, and other accurate information that the merchant has provided.
There are many types of keywords that can help determine product relevance. Generic keywords don’t point toward a specific product, so don’t bid for them too much. Qualified keywords have more purchase intent than generic keywords, so you can bid a higher amount on them. Specific keywords are those that point to a product and show that the buyer knows what they want. Bid the most for these keywords.
Your bidding strategy is one of the most important factors that determines where a paid listing appears on Google Shopping. A well-crafted bidding strategy can be very advantageous by increasing your chances of appearing in the top spots. You have to set suitable bids for each of your listings based on their relevance, popularity, and market demand.
There are two ways to set a bidding strategy: manual and automatic bidding. With manual bidding, you have more control over the bid. You can set bids that meet your budget and goals. In automatic bidding, Google’s algorithms do all the work for you. All you have to do is set your parameters. And the algorithm will optimize your strategy and bid accordingly.
Another important point to consider here is segmentation. You can’t bid with the same strategy on all your products. You have to segment your products according to your goals and the product’s position in the market. This way, you can push products with more demand or profitability with a higher margin. And keep expenses for less popular products low while still maintaining the minimum sales needed.
Customer reviews are very dear to Google’s algorithms. Google is very much focused on providing users with a seamless shopping experience and knows that reviews matter a lot. Hence, reviews can have a significant impact on your Google Shopping listings. The more positive reviews your products have, the higher they will rank.
The ranking of listings is based on several factors, including the relevance and quality of the reviews. How many positive reviews a product gets also plays a major role in the final ranking.
It’s important for businesses to encourage their customers, both online and in-store, to leave reviews and provide accurate feedback so they can improve their Google Shopping rankings.
An excellent way for businesses to encourage their customers to leave positive reviews is to incentivize them. Offering discounts and rewards works best for incentivizing customers to do anything.
Another great technique is gamification. This involves breaking down your customer review process into small steps and tracking progress. This is just like completing levels in a game to get to the end. Gamifying your reviews helps you collect more and better reviews.
You can also reach out to your customers to ask them to leave a review. This adds a personal touch to their shopping experience, which always results in a positive customer review.
On top of product reviews, Google also considers seller ratings in order to determine rankings. Google rates all merchants on a five-point scale. You’ll see seller ratings on Google Shopping listings and on individual product pages.
Listings that have a seller rating tend to stand out more than ones without one. And the higher your rating, the more customers tend to trust your brand. This means more clicks on your ads and, eventually, more conversions.
But seller ratings work much differently than product reviews. Google determines these itself, so there isn’t a direct way to increase your rating. Google uses its own sources and other third-party sources to collect information about your brand and then determine a final score. These sources include Google Trusted Stores, Google Customer Reviews, StellaService, and others like PriceGrabber and TrustPilot.
These are all sources that collect information about your brand and products in their own way. So you can impact their evaluations directly. But what you can do is improve your services so the information they collect is only positive.
Ask your customers to leave a good review for your brand and products. Ship your products without delay. Don’t charge your customers any extra fees. Provide a great customer service experience.
Google Shopping: Best Practices
By following certain practices, you can gradually improve your ranking in the Google Shopping tab. These are tried-and-tested practices that can help you increase the visibility and sales of your products.
Optimize Your Product Feed
This may just be the most important step in improving your Google Shopping ranking. It’s an ongoing process that requires attention to detail and continuous updates. Start by creating concise and accurate product titles
Don’t use any promotional language. Avoid excessive capitalization. The product description should be clear and informative. Bullet points to highlight key features make the description easier to read.
Don’t forget to provide attributes as accurately as possible. These include the size, color, and material of your products. Attributes and variants differ by product category, so pay special attention to these. Include high-quality images showing your products from several angles.
Optimize Product Landing Pages
Product landing pages can also indirectly impact your Google Shopping ranking. Better landing pages lead to more conversions and more positive reviews. Optimizing your landing pages to offer your customers a seamless experience can improve your ranking.
The information you provide on your landing page must be consistent with your product feed. This will help build trust. There must be a clear Call-to-Action on your landing page. Consider adding a button that says “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart”.
Many customers shop on their phones. So make sure your landing pages are mobile-responsive and the loading speed is fast. Include SSL to signal to customers that your website is secure.
Segmenting your campaigns can also help improve your rankings. This allows you to group your audience or products together to target them in the most efficient way possible. You can spend more of your ad budget on keywords that perform well for certain groups.
You should start by collecting your keywords. Assess which keywords perform best for which products. You should also know which search terms are more profitable for your brand.
Adjust your budget and bid strategy for these segments. You should be bidding more for segments that are considered high-value and less for those that don’t generate enough conversions and sales.
Navigating Success in Google Shopping
Google Shopping is a crucial platform for ecommerce businesses. By following the proven methods we just discussed, you can improve your ranking on Google Shopping. These best practices not only enhance visibility but also build trust with your audience. Your product feed, landing pages, and campaign bidding strategies can land you the top spots on Google Shopping results.
Have you tried any of these strategies before? Let us know in the comments below!