Dot the i’s, Cross the t’s, and Fill in the Blanks

Gerard Tollefsen - February 4, 2010

With all of the advancement in search engine marketing, it is imperative for online retailers to maintain proper data in their inventory control system.  Depending on the e-commerce platform that you use, there could be ten to fifty attribute fields in your inventory system.  While you may think for the sake of speed to only complete a few “major” fields (attributes) like ID#, Title, Description, and Image, you are doing yourself a disservice by not completing all of the available fields.  The reason for this recommendation is simple; the more attributes your product has, the easier the search engines can classify your product.

A perfect example is the Google Base program.  It is an excellent way for online retailers to gain greater exposure for their products in Google’s shopping section, but its effectiveness is directly related to your product attributes.  The more attributes you can apply to a product the easier it will be for Google to classify your product, thus enhancing your chance for visibility.  The required attributes for the Google Base program are:

  • Condition (new, used, refurbished)
  • Description (describes the product)
  • ID (must be unique to each item)
  • Link (link to the page where the item is sold on your site)
  • Price (selling price on your site)
  • Title (name of the product)

Most companies complete these fields within their e-commerce platform because they are required for their internal system.  So, even the most basic retailers can use Google Base if they do the minimum required.  But let’s be realistic, doing just the minimum will get you just that — minimum results.  If you are looking to make serious advancements in selling product through Google Base, you need to do more than what is required.  You need to stand out from not only your competition, but also with Google’s system of classifying and listing your items.  You accomplish this by applying more attributes to your products to set yourself apart from your competition. 

Think about this the next time you are adding a new product line, or updating your e-commerce platform data.  Fill in all of the blanks, complete all of the fields, and the extra time you put into this can be rewarded by attracting new customers who would not have found you otherwise.

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