SEO for Google Shopping

Some links to study for tuning listings and setting prices for Google Shopping.

Reading material:

3 Overlooked Data Tips to Rank Higher on Google Shopping (2014)

Summary: you need to set your product attributes.

Advanced Optimization Of Google Shopping Campaigns (2015)

Summary: attributes and category and title don’t matter as much as a photo, but a title that matches searcher intent can drive up traffic.

Crafting Advanced Google Shopping Strategies to Rank Higher in 2017

Summary: use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads to cultivate customers for the long term.

What is Google Shopping?

It’s Google’s shopping search engine. All listings are paid for by vendors. The main feature is that GS search results show up alongside regular Google search results.

Secondarily, shoppers who learn to use Google Shopping can comparison shop across multiple vendors.

Listings are paid like Google search ads: advertisers make bids, and then pay on the click. They buy ads via merchants.google.com.

Merchants need to provide a “feed” of all the products they are selling.  Then, they create ads for the products.

Ebay and Google Shopping

I was looking for my products on Google Shopping, and often didn’t find them.  I typed the exact title of my item, and then progressively chopped out words, but nothing came up. What was going on?

I suspect my listings weren’t being picked up by Ebay, possibly for unstated quality reasons, and thus, weren’t being sent to Google Shopping.

Additionally, I think some of my prices were too low.  A quick perusal of each product showed that some categories had listings for low priced items, but other ones didn’t.  Ebay may drop products if there’s no profit margin in buying ads for my product.

Here’s what I mean: if it takes 9 clicks to sell an item, and it’s 10 cents per click, then the ad costs are 90 cents.  If I price the item at $10 shipped, Ebay fees are $1, and Ebay’s margin is 10 cents.

If I raised the price to $15 shipped, then, their margin would be 60 cents.  It’s a big difference.

Ebay pays for each ad click, so the ad needs to convert sales, and be good enough for Ebay to consider pushing it on Google Shopping.

PS – don’t click on your own product ads.  That will probably cause Google to rank the ad higher, but should also lead to worse conversion on Ebay.

Ebay Listing Quality

I don’t know what changes will cause more of my listings to show up on Google Shopping, but I’ll try some experiments.

My guess is that there’s a requirement to have product attributes that are meaningful to Google.

Additionally, the product itself must be a quality item, with enough profit margin for all the intermediaries, to be pushed into the pipeline.

I will probably just need to accept that only a portion of my inventory will be promoted by Ebay.

Other Platforms: Mercari, Poshmark, Etsy

A quick look through Google Shopping shows listings by other websites.  This means that these sites are using some of their investor money to buy ads in Google Shopping.  That’s probably why Mercari and Posh show up right at the top.

Let’s see how much private money is being invested in these companies. Data sources linked on the name:

Mercari – $116.6M

Poshmark – $153M

Etsy – $97.3M

Ebay is publicly traded, so they don’t have money like a startup with private investors.  They have profits and losses.

The only mobile app I’ve really liked was Depop, and they have $43.6M in funding. They aren’t really advertising on Google Shopping, though. So I should consider Mercari and Posh.

RLSA

Ebay is definitely using RLSA: you know because, once you view a listings, the listing shows up in Ebay ads on other websites. I don’t know the impact on sales.

One part of RLSA is tracking conversions, so, I’m going to assume that Google ads track conversions, and I need to get a higher conversion rate to get a higher overall rank in search results, and in RLSA campaigns.

Author: John

I can be reached at johnk@riceball.com.

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