10 tips to improve your Google Shopping feed with Lengow

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If you have never worked with a Google Shopping feed before, there are a few things to think about before getting started. Here are a few tips on how you can use Lengow to improve the feed you place in the Merchant Center.

1. Matching your fields correctly

Field Matching is one of the most important things to do in Lengow, so take some time to create your optimised feeds correctly. Lengow also allows you to match your fields as best possible before sending them to the Merchant Center. You can do this through clicking Feed Management > Field Matching and filling out the necessary fields.

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2. Category Mapping

In order for your optimised feed to be accepted in Merchant Center, you will need to map your categories according to the Google Shopping categories. With Lengow you can quickly and easily map categories in the Product Management tab by clicking on the little icon with the green plus sign and then selecting the corresponding category.

In order for you to take advantage of all of the features Lengow is offering, please make sure set your CPC cost in the Product Management part. This will help you create accurate rules and filters based on profitability in order to improve the performance of the products.

3. Mandatory Info

For a feed to be accepted by Google, it must contain 2 of the folowing fields:

  • MPN (manufacturer product number)
  • GTIN (eg: an EAN code)
  • Brand name

Some product categories may require more information, such as books or clothing, for example, where specific attributes are requested. You can find out more about these products in Google Shopping’s Help Center.

4. Create a virtual field

If you do not have at least 2 out of 3 fields for all your products in the feed, use the Identifier_exists field with a false value, otherwise your account might be suspended.

If you do not have this field, you can easily add it in Lengow by creating a virtual field in your product flow via the “Manage Feeds” tab and “RSS Source” section at the bottom of the page.

You can also create automatic rules to fill empty fields. For missing information you can create up to 4 automatic rules. We advise you to start by creating a rule stating that Identifier Exists is FALSE for all products.

After, depending on your situation, create exceptions by indicating:

IF my fields EAN + Brand are not empty, THEN my field Identifier Exists becomes TRUE.

Remember that a product in Merchant Center that has an identifer_exists value of FALSE has chances to be seen in the search, whereas products with the identifier_exists field empty and with only 1 out of the 3 fields will be removed from the listing.

5. Adwords and Custom Labels

With Lengow you will have the possibility to create personalised labels in your feed that you will be able to use to create specific AdGroups in your Adwords account. For example, you will be able to create a specific group for your products with an ROI < a certain percentage, or why not a group for your promotional products? You can create up to 5 different groups using the specific custom label fields in the Field Matching tab. You may also need to create a virtual field, if you want to make automatic rules.

The Custom Labels are specific to the new Shopping campaigns and will become mandatory from August 2014.

6. Filter products

Another way to improve your feeds is to filter products by different criteria. For example, filtering your feed so that you only send products that you actually have in stock can help you remove unnecessary clicks to your website. Filtering on profitability criterias will help you increase your conversion rate.

7. Improving the title of your products

The title of your products can be critical to the performance of your online product catalogue; the title is the first thing seen by users on the web. Lengow strongly recommends including the following in your product titles:

  • Brand
  • Name of product
  • Characteristics that differentiate the product from other products

Product titles containing a series or article number tend to be less clicked, simply because they do not incite the visitor and are difficult to find via the search motor.

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In Lengow you can use dynamic values in the Field Matching tab (Feed Management > Field Matching) in order to add content and make titles more effective.

8. Make sure you have an image

Google does not accept a product without an image. Therefore, if some of your products do not have an image, they will be automatically rejected. If you have products without images, make sure to create a filter under Feed Segmentation that will only send the products including an image.

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For info: To ensure that your image is of a good quality, it should be at least 400*400 pixels.

9. Pricing

Having the same pricing in your source feed as well as on your website is mandatory, otherwise your account will be suspended.

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Make sure that you update your source feed regularly and make sure that the indexations in between your source feed and Lengow, as well as Lengow and Google Merchant Center are synchronised.

10. Shipping cost

Google requires the shipping cost field that you send in your feed to have a specific structure, if you have not already established your total shipping costs in the Merchant Center. Often this field is already completed by Lengow when your feed was created, however, it is important to check this. Google requests that the shipping cost of each product is indicated with the ISO country code followed by 3 criteria below:

  • Delivery region (optional)
  • Delivery service (optional)
  • Shipping cost (required)

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Kathryn Bird