How to optimize your Google Shopping product feeds for Black Friday
Posted on November 12, 2018 (Last Updated: August 18, 2021)
Friday 26th November is fast approaching, so we've prepared this guide on how to fully optimize your Google product feed in preparation for Black Friday - and the following Cyber Monday.
1. Check how often you are updating your Shopping feed
Check how frequent your feed is currently updating in your feed marketing platform, and consider scheduling more frequent updates during the busy days surrounding the Black Friday period.
For multi-channel sellers, it's vital that updated stock levels, pricing and promotions figures are sent out at regular intervals - to avoid penalties for displaying incorrect listings on shopping channels.
See how to set up more frequent scheduling in our platform right here.
2. Focus on your images
First things first, check the sizes of your images. Google recommends at least 800 x 800.
- If you have access to multiple additional images - send the URLs to Google within the feed.
- Ensure you send the highest quality image as your main image.
Watch out for watermarks or promotional text on your images - if you have thousands of products in your feed these can be hard to spot.
N.B. Any text left within an image can be flagged by Google as 'promotional text' and get rejected. Check out our post about optimizing Google Shopping product images for more info.
To make your products stand out in Facebook product listings you can add logo, savings and/or campaign branding to your images.
3. Check product page URLs
Test that the URLs of your best selling item's are working correctly.
You want them to all be correct and working as these will be crucial to get the best results for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Exporting a feed which has broken URLs will obviously be detrimental to your sales and could see you miss out.
4. Ensure you have unique IDs
Are your IDs unique? This includes SKUs, ISBNs and EANs.
- SKUs are typically unique to each merchant. (Stock Keeping Unit)
- MPNs should be unique to each product, similar across all merchants. (Manufacturer Part Number)
- UPCs will be unique to each product (Universal Product Code).
For your feed to be approved you'll need to check all Unique IDs to ensure there aren't any duplicates.
Consider running a Data Feed Audit on your feed to check if all your IDs are unique.
5. Check your Black Friday Pricing
As with your URLs, check your best sellers first - consider using filters from within Google Analytics to search for miss-priced items valued at 0.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is recommended to include variations of your top performing products - in order to gain greater dominance of the search impression share.
But beware, many users get rejected by quoting a higher price on their landing pages than displayed in their ad so check that this isn't the case for you.
If you want to take it up a step, you can introduce price monitoring to your product feeds. WakeupData has recently launched a product that will allow you to monitor your competitor's prices and use that information in your product feeds. Check out WakeupData Actions for more.
6. Optimize your Product Titles
For Google ads, these should almost always contain the brand at the front of titles.
Think about attributes like color, size, gender - as well as research popular keywords used by your customers.
Rather than: "red waterproof jacket North Face men's"
More efficient on Google: "North Face men's red waterproof jacket medium"
Make sure the title reads well though! It should make sense and not just be keyword soup! Check out our detailed blog post dedicated to optimizing your titles specifically for Google Shopping.
- When working on your titles, avoid using EXCessivE CAPItaliZation - which can easily go unnoticed but can be detrimental to your sales.
- Similarly, watch out for HTML and other encoding artifacts which can get left over in your feed. These are common when commas, apostrophes and ampersands have been used but not decoded properly.
Luckily, a few simple expressions can be set up to quickly clean up factors like this across your entire data feed - saving you a lot of time, hassle and stress!
7. Consider adding Google Custom labels
Even if you don't actually plan to build out your Google Shopping campaign, it's just a good idea to collect data on as many points as possible.
Product attributes can be effective for empty custom label columns on Google. Collecting data on 'material' 'size' or 'color' might not bring you immediate benefits but means you can run some interesting reports.
Find out more about Custom labels here.
The complete solution
If this checklist feels somewhat overwhelming, or you just want a simple and effective way to get a visual overview of your feed for Google Shopping - check out our product feed audit.
It is a free tool that offers a complete analysis and feedback of your entire data feed. Get an overview of IDs, titles, images, GTINs and pricing and take a few simple steps to ensure your data is fully optimized and ready for Black Friday.
Click the link below to get started, or read more if you want to know how our Customer Success Team help hundreds of clients to effectively Sell on Google Shopping.