If you are running a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign with Google AdWords and you sell products through your website, incorporating Google Base in your marketing mix is a wise decision. For one thing, Google does not charge a fee to submit your products and the visitors you attract from your Google Base listings within the organic search results are not based on a PPC model, in other words, free traffic! When doing a search on Google, you can easily see the Google Base listings, also known as “Shopping Results”, within the organic search results in the middle of the page.
However, when you have active AdWords and Google Base accounts, the advantage of synching your accounts is that within the Sponsored Links section, you have the opportunity to have an image associated with your PPC ad (see screenshot below). This can provide an excellent competitive advantage by “pushing down” all other ads on the right hand side of the search results page to accommodate your product image. Unlike the Google Base “shopping results” within the natural listings, you do pay for clicks since it is technically your PPC ad, but your cost-per-click (CPC) rates are not any higher than a regular text ad. You get the benefit of added real estate on the page for your sponsored ad, providing more information about your product and showing an image, all without having to pay additional CPC rates.
It is important to set up an optimized feed within the Google Base account and provide as much detail as possible about your products. Simply supplying the minimum information needed to participate in the Google Base program will not ensure your PPC ads are accompanied by information from your Google Base feed. Google has a list of required “attributes” for the minimum information required for a data feed to be approved. In addition, there are “recommended” and “optional” attributes that can enhance and optimize your feed. To give your PPC ads the best chance to display your Google Base product information (specifically an image and price) you should create a data feed that incorporates all of the required and recommended attributes. Do not stop there, however, and also include as many of the optional product attributes as you can so your Google Base data feed is fully optimized.
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:
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.