15 Jan, 2021

Free Google Shopping Listings Now Available for Retailers

google shopping

As brick and mortar stores are closing their doors due to coronavirus fears, more and more people are relying on e-commerce for their essential needs. Because online shopping is safer as it minimises the need for human contact, its popularity has grown exponentially over the last few weeks. 

To help retailers that were struck hard by the global pandemic, Google has recently announced that it is opening up its Shopping search results for free. According to the search giant, the Google tab results will comprise “primarily of free product listings.” 

Bill Ready, Google’s President of Commerce, said the move is to help retailers connect with their customers, regardless of whether they advertise on the popular search engine or not. According to him, the free product listings will give merchants free exposure to millions of potential customers. At the same time, they will provide shoppers with access to more stores, thus, providing them with more buying options to choose from. 

Why Should You Care?

These days, retailing giant Amazon has a monopoly on online product searches. Data showed that 50% to 55% of product searches occur on Amazon websites rather than on Google. The biggest issue with this is that the items that show up on Amazon product search results are only those that the company sells. In contrast, Google will serve products that are published on any website. 

For retailers who are already running paid ads on Google, they can use these free Google Shopping listings to bolster their paid marketing campaign. As a result, they will have more flexibility in the way they advertise their offerings on the search engine. 

Once their products receive a stamp of approval from Google Merchant Centre, they can create a Google Shopping campaign using their Google Ads account. This enables them to promote specific products on the search engine and pay only when someone clicked on their ads. 

Despite the great news, there are concerns that Google’s latest move will benefit larger and more popular online retailers, such as Amazon and eBay, more than smaller merchants. Instead of providing them with much-needed help, some experts fear that the free product listings could put smaller retailers at a greater disadvantage. 

How Google’s Free Listing Works

As of now, the free Shopping listing is only open for retailers in the United States. Google has yet to announce if the free product listings will be made available to merchants in the UK and other parts of the world. 

To participate in the programme, retailers must create a Google Merchant Centre account and submit their product feed. They should also opt in to “surfaces across Google” to ensure that their product listings will appear organically on the search engine. 

Existing Google Shopping advertisers will continue to have their ads be displayed on the top and bottom parts of Google Shopping pages. On the other hand, the free listings will occupy the remaining space in the pages. 

For more details, Google is encouraging interested retailers to visit its Help Centre. 

How to List Your Products on Google Shopping

As mentioned earlier, you need to submit a product feed to list your products on Google Shopping for free. In a nutshell, a product feed is a spreadsheet that contains data about your goods. Google will use this spreadsheet to create your listing and match it to a shopper’s search query. 

When creating a product feed, you need to provide the following information: 

  • ID – a unique identification number for each product you offer.
  • Title – the name of your product. This will also serve as the primary link from your listing.
  • Description – the description of your product. You can use up to 5,000 characters to discuss the benefits and other selling points of your goods.
  • Link – the landing page for your product.
  • Image link – the URL of your product image.
  • Price – how much your product costs as indicated on your landing page.
  • Brand – the product’s brand name.
  • GTIN – the product’s Global Trade Item Number. Manufacturers utilise the GTIN to identify their goods that were being sold by merchants. If you don’t know an item’s GTIN, Google can help you find it. 

Optimising Your Google Shopping Listings

If you want to make the most of free Google Shopping listings, here’s how you can optimise them and ensure that you’ll get the best results possible. 

1. Create the best product title

Your product title is crucial to your listing’s performance because it is the most prominent text that will appear beside your product. What’s more, Google uses it as a critical factor when ranking your listing. Because your product can only have one name, see to it that you optimise it for your customers’ search queries. Meanwhile, if one of your products is not receiving the amount or quality of traffic you’re expecting, you should try changing its title. 

2. Choose the best images

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, make sure you give extra attention to your product photography and choose the best images for your listings. This will help your products stand out and attract the attention of your target customers. 

As much as possible, avoid using low-resolution or stock images for your listings. Otherwise, such images can make you look untrustworthy and unprofessional. 

3. Provide as much information as you can

It certainly helps to provide as much detail as possible in your listings as it enables Google to match your items accurately to a user’s search query. At the same time, it ensures that your listings will show up even in filtered product searches. While you only need to fill out a few attributes for your listings to show, you can include as many relevant feed attributes, such as product type, size, and colour. This will make your listings more accurate and relevant. 

Take Away

As a retailer, you shouldn’t let the global pandemic limit your capability to generate income. With organisations, such as Google, willing to extend a helping hand, it’s in your best interest to make the most of free marketing opportunities that come your way. 

Although the free listings for Google Shopping aren’t available for retailers in the UK yet, it is only a matter of time before the search giant extends the incentive to local merchants. For the meantime, there are other online marketing strategies that you can use to promote your business and help it grow amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Contact us at Springhill Marketing let our team of experts provide you with SEO services that can take your business to the next level.

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