Quick Tips for Good Google Shopping Titles

Bad product titles can confuse shoppers, raise costs, discourage clicks, and have many more adverse effects on your Google Shopping campaign. While optimizing titles SKU by SKU can be very tedious, eliminating bad titles from your product feed can have profound effects on impressions, clicks, and conversions. These quick tips will help you improve the quality and effectiveness of your product … read more »

Data Feed Basics for Comparison Shopping Engines

Getting Into Comparison Shopping: Step 1, The Data Feed Is your business ready expand into comparison shopping engines (CSEs)?  You’ll need to get your hands on a product data feed to start! Follow the Vertical Rail blog for our upcoming series of posts focused specifically on data feeds.  Today we begin with a basic introduction and in following weeks, will delve deep into each CSE’s data feed specs and unique requirements. What is a product data feed? In its simplest form, a data feed is a structured spreadsheet listing all of your products. In a data feed, each numbered row represents a single product and each letter column contains one characteristic of that particular product. A product data feed can be created in Excel or other spreadsheet software and then either uploaded directly to comparison shopping engines through their respective dashboards or through FTP. Comparison shopping engines use the data provided in your product feed to identify, classify and catalog your products. They then employ that information to match products to shoppers’ search queries and display the products when they are most … read more »

Optimized Product Data Feeds Are Better

Online merchants who know this secret make more money… Period. Data Feed Optimization (DFO) is simply the act of making the Product Data Feed that you submit to a Shopping Engine the best that it can possibly be. What does this actually mean? Higher ROI. DFO is guaranteed to help you spend less, make more, and increase your chances of success in today’s ultra-competitive Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs). Without DFO? Let’s just say that you’ll be limping out of the gate, and when it comes to your business limping can really hurt. As part of our “Optimized Product Data Feeds Are Better” series, the following are the top reasons why DFO is absolutely necessary to any successful CSE ecommerce marketing plan. Click each reason for more information as to why it made this … read more »

Shopping Engine Management & Product Data Feed Optimization Services

VIDEO: We Start Where Other Companies Stop You have to be relentless in pursuing results, going deeper, being tenacious in your efforts to be better than yesterday and better than you’re competition right now. If you’re ready to save time, increase profit, and get your business to the next level, let’s get you moving! Product data feed optimization is a huge part of comparison shopping engine management and what we do day to day at Vertical Rail. A lot of people have misconceptions about what data feed optimization really is. The average business thinks feed optimization is simply mapping and submission, but infact, at Vertical Rail we take it to new heights. We start where other companies stop. It starts with collecting active data so that we can create a holistic strategy. We gather data from conversion studies, Adwords, organic search, and comparison shopping search … read more »

A Hidden Opportunity to Optimize: Google Image Search

Virtually everyone involved in online marketing understands the importance of on-page image optimization. However, did you ever consider image optimization in Google Image Search as a potential source of traffic to your e-commerce store? On July 27, 2012, Google removed Product Search results from the One Box and isolated them in the new Google Shopping module in the upper right hand side of the results page. ChannelAdvisor estimates that after the shuffle, traffic to Google Product Search dropped by 80%. My theory is that the drop-off occurred because shopping results were moved from their traditional position between organic and paid ads and sent off to the periphery. So now, not only have shopping results lost center position, they’ve moved to a new area unfamiliar to users. Image search results, however, can still appear front-and-center on SERPs.  Below, I’ve highlighted the image results that show with a search query for “three diamond engagement rings.”  The ones that are circled lead directly to e-commerce … read more »

An Easier Way To Set Up Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) And Why You SHOULDN’T Do It

In an effort to get merchants into the swing of paid listings, Google has introduced a new, more streamlined way to set up Google Product Listing Ads.  It’s a quick three step process that Google hopes will draw in merchants who are not well-versed in AdWords, or who think that setting up a Product Listing Ad is too much trouble.  Before I get into the why-not’s, here’s the how-to for those who are interested. (Or, see our previous article on the better way to set up Google Product Listing Ads.) Setting Up Product Listing Ads… The Easy Way To get started, log into your Merchant Center, expand your settings, click on AdWords, and select Option 1 to create a Product Listing Ad Campaign within Merchant … read more »

Google Shopping Shipping and Tax

If you have been having issues with your shipping costs not showing properly in Google Product Search but are unable to figure out why, we may have an answer for you. Google Merchant Center says that you must specify shipping cost in either the data feed or in the Merchant Center, but not both. We have found this to not be the case. You must enter a shipping cost into the Merchant Center, which will apply the same cost across the board. If you want to specify differing costs for individual states, then you must enter shipping costs into the data feed as well. The information in the data feed serves as an override, so if you don’t have shipping costs added into Merchant Center then it has nothing to override and won’t … read more »

Google Analytics: A Closer Look

See how Google Analytics has changed and how it can affect eCommerce The new version of Google Analytics isn’t exactly new; it’s been available for months. However, many have avoided it for the sake of efficiency, especially those in eCommerce. While the old version runs fine and has become comfortable for many people, the new features and available data make switching over a logical decision. The decision to make the move might soon be made for you, as Google has begun making it the default version and gives me the impression that the old version may not be around for much longer. The most noticeable change is the new interface. A first glance, especially for those of you who have been using GA for a long time, will likely strike you with terror. You’ve probably thought, “I can’t find anything here,” as you move your cursor to click ‘Use Older Version.’ However, if you take some time to look around, you’ll find some things that might excite you. Everything has been streamlined and the interface is more intuitive. Google has crammed a ton of information into drop tabs that nicely organize into a few main categories. Here are some of the more noticeable changes: Site overlay is now known as In-Page Analytics. It’s also now listed under the content tab. It’s been around for about a year now in Beta testing on the old version and is fully operational in the new one. Mobile traffic tracking has been expanded to show manufacturer, model, interface type, OS and more while featuring all the same attributes as your standard traffic tracking. You can even see how many transactions came from these phones, which has great eCommerce potential. A Visitor Flow graph has been added to show how people are navigating a site and can be sorted by a variety of filters. Multi-channel funnels have been added, as well as assisted conversions, allowing you to see exactly how different channels are working together. Seeing how many conversions are coming from what campaigns is a powerful tool. A Social Media component has been integrated, allowing you to use Analytics to track the effectiveness of your Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media campaigns in conjunction with the rest of your marketing … read more »

Google Shopping Holiday Feed Restrictions

Ecommerce businesses that participate in Google’s comparison shopping engine, Google Shopping, should take notice of a few changes for the holiday season. According to this recent update from Google, new data feeds submitted after November 22, 2011 will be restricted to 500 products until further notice. It’s important to note, existing feeds will remain unaffected. This is most likely due to expected traffic increases during the holiday season and will likely only last a few weeks. Secondly, Google has placed a new restriction on the number of data feeds a store can register from one country.  Account holders may only have 3 feeds for each country. Is this an attempt to reduce the processing time of feeds on their servers? Could this be indicative of bigger changes within Google Shopping?  What do you … read more »

New Google Product Search Data Feed Requirements – United States

eCommerce companies who participate in Google’s comparison shopping engine, Google Product Search, could see a decline in referrals come September 22, 2011. Google has released a new version of required attributes, intended to make the comparison shopping experience better the for end user. Online retailers may find themselves in dire straights, mobilizing to address those new requirements. Google has slated attribute requirements will have a deadline of September 22, 2011. At that time, feeds with products that do not conform to the new attribute guidelines will “be suspended from Google Product Search until the issues have been addressed. In case of repeated violations of our quality standards, your products will be suspended for at least one week after the second violation, and for at least one month after the third violation.” – From Google Merchant Center Data Feed Policies. So what is new and how does it effect you? Previously, Google feeds required a few attributes and they were applicable to all products. Then they had recommended attributes that were specific to different industries or product … read more »