Product Feed Optimisation: Empowering Brands Across All eCommerce Channels

Tom Chandler

Tom Chandler

Head of Paid Search and Shopping

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We will be defining the role of a product feed, while identifying the key feed optimisation techniques through attribute optimization, connecting custom labels with business intelligence data and also looking at how tools such as Google trends can inform feed management and strategy.

The quality of your eCommerce advertising campaign is only as good as the information you provide to your potential customers.

At Mediaworks, we work in partnership with Data Feed Watch (DFW), which provides feed marketing solutions that are able to offer and combine best-in-class data transformation with support & advice that empowers merchants and agencies to succeed on all eCommerce channels.

Purpose & importance of a product feed

For advertisers looking to drive online sales through Performance Max, which is Google’s latest and biggest new campaign type and the upgrade to Smart Shopping, a product feed is fundamental because it is the method used to upload and begin listing your products across Google.

Data is uploaded into the Google Merchant Center (GMC) via a number of options such as SFTP/FTP, Content API, Scheduled Fetches, and Google Cloud Storage (GCS). This product data includes all of your product’s information and specifications such as the ID, title, size, GTIN,  availability, colour, material, and many other relevant attributes.

It is this information that Google uses to match what users are searching for to what you are selling. A common misconception is that Google Shopping uses keywords to target relevant user searches, but this is not the case. Instead, it is solely the data provided in the feed that is used to match relevant queries on the SERP.

If you are an advertiser looking to sell ‘Red Trainers’, but nowhere in your feed data does it contain titles, descriptions, or colour attributes matching this search query or product specification, then your product isn’t going to appear for it. This greatly limits the exposure your products have for key searches and higher-intent users, which clearly impacts the scalability of your online activity.

Optimising your product feed data can generate a number of really positive benefits that will boost performance, such as gained exposure for popular search queries and increased relevancy. This can lead to lower CPCs, higher ROAS, increased impressions and clicks on ads.

Marketplaces, eCommerce channels and integrations

At Mediaworks, we partnered with best-in-class feed management provider Data Feed Watch (DFW) to enable us to combine data transformation and feed optimisation to empower our clients to succeed across all eCommerce channels. We transform raw data to create engaging product-listed ads, boosting our clients online visibility and increasing conversion rates and ROI are just some of the key successes we have found through using the platform.

Many advertisers’ key focus is of course creating product feeds for large advertising channels/networks such as Google and Facebook. However, there are many other channels we need to consider to maximise the success of your online selling. DFW has the capability of creating feeds for +2,000 online channels based on their unique attribute/file specifications. This enables merchants to sell products on shopping channels, marketplaces, and through affiliate networks of their choosing, both globally and locally.

Boosting sales with better marketplace listings through seamless connections to top marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, Bol, Rakuten, as well as many others, enables our clients to easily integrate, sync orders, and optimise listings through powerful, rule-based workflows that create listings that convert.

One of the common challenges experienced by merchants is difficulty in extracting their product information from their websites. Using DFW, there is a range of turnkey integrations available through leading e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento, WooCommerce, and many others. If, however, you are a merchant that does not use one of these platforms, DFW allows us to simply import your feed file via Google Sheet, xml, txt, csv or json file.

Feed optimisation techniques

One of the most influential performance attributes within the feed is the product title, simply because your title helps users identify the product you’re selling as well as being used to accurately match to user queries. An accurate title gives you a greater chance of the right shoppers clicking on your product.

When optimising titles, ensure that key search terms relating to your product are included to allow your listings to be as targeted as possible. These can be specific modifiers such as colour, size, material, and product type – shoppers often use these words to refine their searches. Across various verticals, there are best practices to follow depending on what you’re selling, which means you need to adjust your attribute tactics.

When it comes to descriptions, this is where we should be looking to include as much relevant information as possible. Look to include keywords and info from your landing page to tell Google what this product is all about. This is where you can add “Wedding Dresses”, “Prom”, etc. all of these specifics that won’t fit anywhere else.

It is best practice to submit the most important details in the first 160–500 characters of the description, never leave your description blank (if required, you can set repeat attributes such as the product title to ensure it isn’t left blank, which would avoid a product warning) and avoid adding spam or promo texts. Optimising and having high-quality images is so important to ensure that your product listings clearly show the product that you are selling and align with best practices set by Google.  Key notes to keep in mind are:

  • Images should have the highest resolution of 800×800 pixels.
  • Up to 4MB size for more visibility and better shopping ads quality.
  • Quality images improve click-through rates which helps improve conversions, and ROI.
  • Avoid image errors and violations.

Adding additional attributes to your feed is also another key way in which we can be improving the quality of data and therefore performance potential. This includes geo-specific Google Product categories based on the relevant taxonomy – it is the key to matching search keywords. Include product types at least 3 levels deep to define granular structures and asset groups. Custom labels are also key as they will help enable you to optimise the campaign and personalise your strategy to more business-specific objectives.

Using business intelligence data

Being able to use your own product data to inform your performance marketing strategy gives retailers a significant advantage in being able to create a business focused and scalable strategy. If you are selling a variety of products, undoubtedly there will be a range of product level margins, price points, life-time value calculations and stock availability considerations, as well as various other factors that are key to your business. Therefore, adjusting your strategy with this information considered enables profit focused campaign management and success.

To give an example of this, if we take two retailers (A and B) who have spent £100 to drive £1,000 of revenue online, they have both achieved a 10:1 / 1,000% return on ad spend (ROAS). However, if retailer A has sold their products which have an average margin of 20%, they are left with only £200 of profit. Whereas in the case of retailer B, who has sold their products at an average margin of 60%, they clearly have achieved a stronger profit level, which makes their activity far more scalable and will better support long term success.

How retailers can effectively implement and manage this is with custom labels, which enables us to tag specific products with identifiers (such as a products margin) so we can filter to find them within the advertising platform, to then be able to allocate specific products into the correct campaign with the suitable bidding and budget set up.

At Mediaworks this is a strategic approach that we aim to work towards and achieve across all our retailers. To be able to implement and manage something as data driven as this approach however, we do firstly, require this product data to be readily available so it can be applied within the campaign set up, but equally as important is having the feed management capabilities to execute and apply the required custom labels to products. This is where Data Feed Watch can support in being able to transform raw data into required custom label segments for advertisers to use as part of their campaign strategy and work closer towards specific objectives and targets.

 

Product feed optimisation and management is one of the most fundamental components of driving success across online channels to sell your products. However, it is also one of the most overlooked components of an online marketing strategy and therefore often the biggest opportunity to drive success.

There is a clear performance impact through being able to capture lower CPCs, higher ROAS and greater exposure of impressions and quality of clicks through having a fully optimised product feed, but there is also an equally important component in that it enhances campaign management capabilities through the use of product types and data-driven custom labels.

If you need anymore information on product feed optimisation and would like to speak to a member of the team today, email info@mediaworks.co.uk or call +44 (0) 330 108 6522.

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