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10 tips to improve your Google Shopping feed with Lengow

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.

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.

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Improve your Shopping PLA campaign with Lengow

Since their introduction in October 2012, Google Product Listing Ads have seen their popularity continually grow. PLAs expenditures have increased by 300% and this new visual advertising format displayed directly on the side of the Google search engine can generate a click through rate of over 20%.

Lengow has been working on Google Shopping since 2010 and has been continuously enhancing opportunities for merchants to monitor and manage their campaigns with more perspective and efficiency. The result: more than 50% of our clients found on price comparison sites have a Google Shopping flow before importing in the Merchant Center.
This extensive use has led us to work more closely with the teams at Google and keep up to date with new ad formats such as Product Listing Ads.

Since October 2013, Shopping Campaigns have been gradually replacing PLAs. This is an evolution that should be adopted by all the merchants by August 2014. Lengow has worked on this since its introduction in order to offer the most efficient tools.

PLA’s potential :

PLA represents only 15-20% of Adwords budgets for e-tailers, but this share is bound to grow rapidly during this year and the future. The PLA ad format is rapidly growing since its introduction because it gives retailers the opportunity to stay competitive on bids and gain a good click-through rate thanks to attractive product images.

3 Shopping campaign advantages :

Optimised management interface :

Shopping campaigns allow you to visualise the content of your flow directly on Adwords  in order to segment your products by ad groups. This enables you to define the max CTR depending on the type of products you sell.
These groups can be made thanks to the products attributes created in your flow, as well as the category, the brand…
You can also use the Customs Labels to organise and structure your groups of products in your flow as soon as it has been imported correctly in the Google interface. This also allows you to distinguish between products that have a strong and weak margin.

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Google Shopping, the free comparison shopping engine of Google is about to evolve and to become a paid-for service from February 2013 in several countries including the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland.  Already effective in the USA since last October, the new commercial model of Google Shopping will entail some adjustments for UK merchants.

This major change involves some adjustments for retailers who want to sell on Google Shopping. This change will begin on February 13th and the transition will be completely effective by the end of Q2 2013. Even if it is progressive for retailers, it is important to get ready now to be operational on D-Day to offer the best experience possible to shoppers.

File layout

Like every CSE, Google asks for a specific layout for the integration of a merchant’s products within its engine. Even if this layout won’t change much, some changes remain (http://support.google.com/merchants/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&hlrm=en-GB&answer=2886491#FR). That’s why Lengow’s teams will ensure these modifications are integrated in the solution to make each feed adapted to Google’s expectations.

From a free model to a CPC model

The free model will be over from February 13th. Google is becoming a paid-for service. Based on CPC bidding, merchants will manage their CPC campaigns product by product. The CPC will be directly controlled from the merchant center account and, in the short run, directly from Lengow via Google APIs.

This CPC will determine the indexing of retailer’s offers. It is therefore necessary to efficiently create campaigns and index bids.

Change of the management interface

With the new format, merchants will be able to manage their ads in AdWords (creating an AdWords account is necessary) while controlling information about their products via a Google Merchant Center account.  On the one hand, the management of campaigns and CPC will be done via the merchants’ Google Adwords account, as well as SEM campaigns. On the other hand, the product catalogue will be indexed via a Google Merchant Center account.

A new ads interface

Google wants to make the products results more obvious within its engine. The new commercial model of Google Shopping will consequently be based on Product Listing Ads.

With this PLA format, merchants will be charged on a Cost Per Action basis, they only pay for conversions. This means that e-retailers are therefore charged only if a shopper clicks on their ad and lands on their website: they only pay when Google directs a customer to their store*.

A thorough monitoring of campaigns will be necessary

Google makes its products search service change into a CPC model managed via Google Adwords. The search engine has demonstrated its ability to generate a lot of traffic for merchants. But from now on, it is necessary to efficiently control product indexing and campaigns to avoid high costs.

The consequences of such a change imply an increased workload for merchants who will have to spend time optimising their feeds. They have to make sure that their products feeds are working efficiently and are up-to-date. Indeed, the PLA format requires the most complete and relevant product information possible. But feed optimisations might quickly become a tedious and time-consuming task. That’s why Lengow supports online merchants in the Google Shopping transition thanks to the optimisation of their feeds and the indexing of their product catalogues on the CSE. Lengow provides merchants with highly optimised feeds and helps them provide shoppers with the most relevant offers on Google Shopping.

If you want to sell on Google Shopping and benefit from an efficient solution that optimises your ads and allows you to target the right audience and convert, then contact the Lengow UK team at for further information.


*Source: Google



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