Optimising Google Shopping For Your Business.


Google Shopping has always been a crucial channel for retailers, but since Google changed this to a paid service the importance of getting it right has increased. In order to ensure retailers are getting the most from Google Shopping and prevent budget wastage there are 3 key areas which need to be optimised.

  • Product Feed Structure

Google have strict product feed specifications which must be followed to prevent the listings, sometimes even the account, being suspended. Depending on the product category unique product identifiers have to be added along with basic product information, availability and price.

–          Apparel retailers require ‘brand’ and either ‘GTIN’ or ‘MPN’ data

–          Media only require ‘GTIN’

–          All other categories require 2 of the 3 attributes: ‘Brand’, ‘GTIN’ or ‘MPN’

If you are a fashion retailers you wouldn’t just list each style of dress; each product variant has to be listed separately showing every size and colour combination.

A common mistake advertisers make is to export the data from the CRM directly into the data feed without first optimising any of the information. The titles and descriptions are truncated so the strongest product data needs to be included first. If a product has a weak brand then remove the brand from the title; if the colour is not a standard name change to a more common one.

We recommend uploading a feed daily which will help keep on top on stock availability and price changes. If stock levels and prices fluctuate frequently a feed can be updated several times a day using the Google Content API for Shopping.

Bid Efficiently

Google recommend having an ‘all products’ ad group for coverage on all items. This is a good as a catch all but it is important to split out the high value and best-selling products/brands into their own ad groups and use the auto targets filtering based on specific product id, brand or custom labelling:

auto targets

Structuring product listing campaigns this way allows advertisers to bid up on high ROAS products as you would with the traditional PPC search campaigns. Remove very poor performing products from the product feed altogether.

While Product Listing Ads (PLA) don’t bid directly on keywords, advertisers can still review which search phrases are triggering the ads by running a search query report (SQR) and then negative match any high spending low conversion terms from the campaign.


There have been many reports on user purchase behaviour across multiple devices. It is necessary for PLA to have visibility on desktop, tablet and mobile in order to maximise revenue. With the introduction of enhanced campaigns it is now easier to implement a mobile bidding strategy across PLA campaign and ad groups.

For traditional retailers combining mobile strategy with local targeting can help drive sales to stores by using Google’s Local Store Front which displays the nearest store address and allows the user to browse relevant products and stock levels.

Google have recently announced that they will be launching Google Shopping Campaigns, a new campaign type for product listing ads. We will have more info on this next month.

If you would like to set up a product listings campaign or would like Banc to help manage the PLA campaign for your company please call us on 0845 459 0558

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James Smith