Google Base: A Guide for Maximum Product Exposure
Google Base is a free service from Google that allows you to submit content, most notably product feeds. If Google finds the content that you have submitted relevant, it may appear on some of their other service offerings such as their Shopping search engine or Google Maps.
Google Base is an excellent way to advertise your products and if you own an internet based shop, there’s no excuse not to use it. First off – it’s free, and the results often appear on the first page of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) so uploading your feed can be a quick and easy way of winning new customers. The one snag is that just three shopping results tend to appear in the SERPs, although if users click through to the Google Base page they will be able to browse the full listings.
This means it is important to try and get each one of the products that you submit to Google Base into the top three listings to maximise your exposure. The Google Base algorithm is not as sophisticated as the full search algorithm and it relies far more heavily on the relevancy of the product feed than any other factor.
Firstly, you will need to consider your product keyword terms. Many people who are looking to buy online will know the manufacturer and/or product code of the item they would like to buy so try and incorporate not just the broad search term, but also the manufacturer and product code into both the title and description of the ad. Google themselves have said in the past that online shoppers tend to search for product characteristics rather than use generic searches. This means it is important to have not just broad search terms in your ad, but also more product-specific information.
The title should contain both the broad search and the product codes for the product, as well as any generic information you can put in. The description should also include as much relevant information as you can. Product searches are often truncated therefore try and load the front end of your description with as many keywords as possible. Take care not to ‘keyword-stuff’ as this may not only see you penalised by Google, but can also put off prospective purchasers. It is important to be truthful when creating your ad – in particular, prices should always reflect the actual price on your site. Don’t be tempted to put lower prices in as this can result in you being penalised or even banned.
Google Base product feeds can also contain custom attributes so make use of this feature. Adding product characteristics will help increase the relevancy of your listing and therefore hopefully push your product’s listing up the rankings.
The same can be said of taxonomies. Google provides a taxonomy for retailers to use however you can also add your own custom taxonomy into your feed. By picking a strong taxonomy with high relevance, this will again increase the relevance of your products and therefore give your products the best chance of ranking highly.
Images are also useful as there is strong evidence that users are more likely to click on a product listing if a relevant image is attached. Online shoppers like to have a good idea of what it is they are buying so ensure that your images are of the product and are clear and of good quality.
Freshness is also a factor when looking at Google Base feeds. It is advisable to upload your feed on a regular basis to ensure that it is always fresh with the latest prices and stock levels.
Lastly, Google uses seller rating. Although seller ratings won’t impact on your SEO they are a trust factor. If two sellers are offering the same product for the same price and one has a five star average from a large number of buyers whilst one has no history, the user is far more likely to choose to purchase from the first seller as they look trustworthy. Therefore it is important to cultivate as many ratings as reviews from purchasers as possible.
theMediaFlow blog is written by Nichola Stott, who you can follow on Twitter @NicholaStott