15 Ways To Optimize Google Shopping Feed For Google Ads - Bharat Mavens

15 Ways To Optimize Google Shopping Feed For Google Ads

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Google shopping feed 15 Optimizations in one place for ecommerce brands

2020 and 2021 accelerated the adoption of ecommerce to an extent greater than normal and it has become a norm due to the options and convenience offered. This has led to more and more searches on Google for products to buy and explore. A big reason why Google Shopping ads contribute the big share for Google’s revenue

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Online shopping during the pandemic has exploded – Source

That’s a massive change for a thing that has been there for over a decade and still growing in double-digit percentages. Google Shopping makes up 85% of all Google Ads clicks. These shopping ads (previously product listing ads) have witnessed massive changes in recent years as clicks and impressions keep increasing

With Google’s core focus to improve the shopping experience for users, now is the best time to jump on the Google shopping bandwagon and grow your business. An optimized Google shopping feed on Google has multiple benefits

  • Rank higher than competition
  • Higher CTR due to priority ad placement
  • Rank on more relevant terms where users are most likely to convert

So, today we cover how to best optimize Google Shopping feed

Google Shopping Ads Trends & Why to Use it?

Google shopping ads account for over 76.4% of total retail ad spend in the USA, that’s bigger than the search ad spend for retail. Today the shoppers search are more specific than ever. While researching and comparing products, people use more descriptive words known as “modifiers”. This helps them navigate information more easily and narrow down the most relevant results for their needs

Another trend picking up people leaning on visual & diverse media than just text ad to make a purchase. Generation Z, for example, has evolving needs that require businesses to be dynamic3 and embrace the diverse world Gen Zers live in

Topic trends are now also available in Google Merchant Center, where Google assigns scores up to 100 for all categories of products you sell

Visual Product Searches – Started as a trend in GenZ, this visual product search is now picking up in millennials and older generations, with higher uses of Google lens . The awareness to shopping cycle is getting shorter as the convenience offered to purchase quickly

Local Inventory Ads – Google has been pushing this for last several years now. The local inventory ads feature allows you to showcase your products and store information to nearby shoppers searching with Google. When shoppers click an ad that shows your local product they arrive on your local storefront

Why use Google Shopping ads?

Google is building its AI capabilities rapidly, with advancements in immersive shopping experiences for shoppers

Intent-driven targeting is the best use for Google Shopping Ads as it meets the buyer at the right place and right time of the buying journey but for this intent one must provide right signals to Google with an optimized Google shopping feed

Ease of Comparison Shopping for Users is one of the best add-on features compared to Meta ads which is another juggernaut in advertising

Local Integration: With features like Local Inventory Ads, Google Shopping Ads can drive both online and in-store traffic, offering a unique advantage for businesses with physical locations – something that many digital-only platforms can’t replicate.

Why use Google Shopping Ads over Google Search Ads?

An example of a shopping ad

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Example of search ad

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The biggest advantage of shopping ads over search is the former always occupies the top position in the search results page while the search ads are down below

Google Shopping ads have 600% higher CTR than standard text ads, due to two reasons

  • Many specific product attributes
    The inclusion of image, price, title, and offers all in one place with an ability to compare multiple products in one glance side by side is unparalleled in the ads landscape which provides massive value to customers looking for a product
  • Placement of ad
    Google Shopping ads have a higher position compared to search ads so it should be on a high-priority list for e-commerce brands

Shopping ads drive 76% of retail search ad spend, and generate 85% of all clicks on Google Ads or Google Shopping campaigns, which — especially for businesses not on Amazon

Speaking Of Amazon…
85% of all product searches start on Amazon or Google. In other words, more than four out of five people who (probably) want to buy something start looking for that something on one of these two platforms.

In recent years Google has prioritized more advancements in shopping ads than in search ads, from launching Performance max campaigns to AR/VR integrations in shopping. This clearly points to Google seeing clear results on shopping outperforming search ads and delivering better results for physical product brands

What Is A Google Shopping Feed?

It is a detailed list of products that an online retailer wants to advertise through Google Shopping. This feed is uploaded to the Google Merchant Center, a platform that allows businesses to manage how their products appear on Google.

Google shopping feed in a Google sheet example

The feed itself is structured as a file that contains important information about each product, such as its title, price, description, product URL, image URL, and more. This information is used by Google to create and display ads across its Shopping service and other Google services like Search.

The shopping feed converted to a Google shopping ad

Shopping feed has it’s importance in 3 specific areas

  1. Visibility: By providing Google with detailed and structured product information, retailers can significantly increase their products’ visibility to potential customers actively searching for related items.
  2. Targeting: The detailed information in the feed helps Google match products with relevant search queries, improving the chances that the right customers will see the ads.
  3. Performance Tracking: Retailers can use the data in the Google Merchant Center to analyze how their products are performing, identify trends, and make informed decisions to optimize their ads and improve ROI.

Google Merchant Center

This is a platform by Google that allows businesses to upload and manage their store and product data in one place. This data is then made available across various Google services, including Google Shopping, Google Search, and Google Ads.

The Merchant Center is essentially the bridge between your eCommerce website and the shoppers who are searching for the products you sell on Google.

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The way to create this Google Merchant feed is a topic for another post

But if you are a brand on Shopify then there is a native integration from Google via an app on Shopify store that can be installed, and within a few clicks you can connect Google Merchant Center to your product feed with inventory details and everything happens smoothly

Let’s Get Started on Optimizing Your Google Shopping Feed

1. Use High-Quality Product Images

Which one would you click?

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The 2nd one right? because before reading the text the image in the ad has already formed an opinion in your mind, shoppers see the image first thing in a shopping ad.

These images are fetched from Google shopping feed which mostly is the first image on the website, so make sure your first image of product is unique and worthy of a click

The image attribute in shopping feed is image_link

So, what makes a good quality image in a shopping ad?

Images must be in a white background or a pastel color background that clearly contrasts with the product color and the product is clearly visible. A white background helps the product stand out and minimizes distractions, making the ad more effective.

Google recommends using images that are at least 800 x 800 pixels to ensure they look good on all devices.

Dos of good image in a shopping ad

  • Good Lighting – Ensure the product is well-lit, with balanced lighting that highlights its features without creating harsh shadows or overexposure. Good lighting makes the product more appealing and easier to evaluate.
  • Comprehensive View: Whenever possible, include images from multiple angles and show different variations (colors, sizes) of the product. This gives shoppers a better understanding of what they’re considering purchasing.
  • No Overlay Text – Avoid using watermarks, logos, text, or other overlays on your images. Google prefers clean images that focus solely on the product.
  • Use of Additional Images – While the main image should be straightforward and product-focused, upload additional images via additional_image_link attribute in Google to show the product in use or context.

Don’t of Images

  • Avoid Clutter: Do not clutter the image with multiple products or unnecessary props. Keep the focus on the main product to avoid confusion.
  • Beware of Busy Backgrounds: For lifestyle images, avoid overly busy or distracting backgrounds that can take attention away from the product.
  • Don’t Ignore Composition: Poorly composed images can detract from the product’s appeal. Avoid awkward angles or framing that cuts off part of the product.
  • Avoid Low Contrast: Ensure there is sufficient contrast between the product and the background. Low contrast can make the ad look washed out and less engaging.

2. Adding Specific Information in Product Title

Key product attributes available in Google

  • Product ID
  • Title
  • Description
  • Product Category
  • Product Type
  • Link
  • Image Link
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Brand
  • GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
  • MPN (Manufacturer Part Number)
  • Condition

Your product title must try to provide most important information about product from brand name to color to product


An example of a optimized title in a shopping ad

How to find keywords to optimize product titles in Google Shopping Ads?

  • Use the search terms report and sort by impressions to find the best keywords to include in product title
  • Use Google Keyword Planner tools to find additional keywords with low competition and high intent to use in product title
  • Analyze competitor listings and ads to identify commonly used keywords in your niche
  • Pay special attention to long-tail keywords, which are more specific and often indicate a higher intent to purchase.

We were facing challenges optimizing this campaign for a men’s grooming brand and understanding the target keywords we optimized the product title and the campaign has been delivering consistent ROAS of 2 for weeks now


Get expert help to optimize Google Shopping Feed and avoid wasting budget on testing and making mistakes

3. Follow This Structure To Optimize Product Titles

This is the template we follow to optimize product titles
Brand Name (or sometimes Product Name) Gender | Color | Size & Material | Additional info
Example – Paaduks Mens Casual Shoes Black | Size 9 | Vegan Leather | 1 Year Warranty

4. Other Important Attributes About Product

Apart from id, title and description other attributes helps educate algorithm about your product, don’t neglect it

  • Product Category – Accurately categorized products are more likely to be shown to interested buyers, increasing the chances of your ads being clicked.
  • GTIN – GTINs identify your product globally and are essential for distinguishing it from similar items. Providing GTINs can significantly improve the visibility of your products on Google Shopping.
  • Brand – Including the brand name helps leverage brand recognition, attracting customers who are loyal to or prefer specific brands.
  • It ensures that your products are shown to the most relevant audiences, improves the user experience by providing comprehensive and accurate product information, and ultimately, boosts the performance of your Google Shopping campaigns. Prioritizing these attributes can lead to higher visibility, better click-through rates, and increased sales.

5. Detailed Product Descriptions

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Google allows up to 5,000 characters for the product description attribute in a Google Shopping feed. This character limit includes spaces, providing ample room to craft detailed and informative descriptions.

These product descriptions are not visible on any Google Shopping ad, they just serve as a way for Google to know more about the product.

This product description varies from the one on product pages as this feed description is optimized according to keywords you want to rank for. If nothing is provided in specific than Google just picks the one from product page, but we recommend you do provide

Best Practices for Writing Shopping Feed Product Descriptions

  • Start with Key Information: Begin with the most important details about the product, such as what it is, what it does, and any unique features or benefits.
  • Use Keywords Strategically: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally throughout the description. Avoid keyword stuffing, as this can negatively impact readability and user experience.
  • Highlight Unique Selling Points: Mention anything that sets your product apart from competitors, such as eco-friendly materials, innovative design, or special awards.
  • Be Clear and Concise: While you have 5,000 characters, clarity and conciseness are crucial. Avoid unnecessary jargon or overly complex language.
  • Include Technical Specifications: For technical products, include specifications like dimensions, weight, materials, and compatibility information.
  • Use Bullet Points for Easy Reading: Break down key features and benefits into bullet points for easier scanning.

6. Check Google Product Category

The Google Product Category (GPC) is a classification system used by Google to organize products within its shopping platform, Google Shopping. This taxonomy helps Google match products with the appropriate search queries, enhancing the relevance and visibility of your ads.

Meta ads (formerly Facebook) also uses this same categorization system for its marketplace and advertising platforms

You can find the full list of Google Product Category taxonomy here

7. Go Granular On Product Category

For each product, choose the most specific category available
For example, instead of categorizing a product as “Apparel & Accessories,” narrow it down to
Apparel & Accessories > Clothing > Outerwear > Coats & Jackets.”

Consider product attributes such as brand, material, intended use, and demographic when selecting your category to ensure accuracy.

By selecting the most specific category possible, you help Google’s algorithms understand exactly what you’re selling. This increases the chances that your ads will appear in relevant searches, improving click-through and conversion rates.

Customers are more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for if your products are accurately categorized. This leads to a better shopping experience and higher satisfaction.

8. Accurate Product Categorization

The product_type attribute in Google Shopping feeds plays a crucial role in accurately categorizing products, which directly impacts the performance of your Google Shopping ads.

Unlike the Google Product Category attribute that requires you to choose from Google’s predefined taxonomy, the product_type attribute offers you the flexibility to define your own product categorization based on how you’ve organized them on your website or in your store.

By providing detailed categorization through the product_type attribute, you help Google’s algorithm to better understand your product offerings and display your ads to the most relevant audiences, based on their search queries.

9. Get Right Image & Website Links

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Double check product images and website links (URLs) are correct and functional. Errors in these links can negatively impact your ad performance, leading to disapproved ads or a poor user experience.

10. Accessing Diagnostics in Google Merchant Center

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  1. Log in to your Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Navigate to the “Diagnostics” tab on the dashboard. This section provides an overview of issues across your account, feeds, and items

In the Diagnostics section, look for errors related to:

  1. Image Link Errors: These may include issues like broken URLs, images that cannot be crawled by Google, images that do not meet Google’s quality guidelines, or images that are too small.
  2. Website Link Errors: These could involve broken landing page URLs, pages that return 404 errors, non-secure pages (not HTTPS), or pages that don’t match the product advertised.

11. Enhance Data with GTINs

GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) are unique and internationally recognized identifiers for products. Platforms like Google Shopping and Amazon use GTINs to organize product information and present accurate listings to users.

With GTIN’s one can fully track the cycle of product development which helps Google understand better

Google uses GTINs to match products with user searches more accurately, increasing the likelihood of your ads being shown to interested buyers.

Rich Product Content: Products with GTINs can be eligible for richer product content in online listings, such as detailed product information, images, and reviews, enhancing the shopping experience.

12. Regularly Update Your Feed

Regularly updating your product feed is crucial for maintaining data freshness and relevance of feed

If Google values freshness in search results then it isn’t wrong to say it values freshness even in Shopping feed.

If you use a tool or a partner platform then make sure to set the frequency of update to daily for best data freshness

For Google Shopping, data freshness directly impacts the quality and competitiveness of your listings. Google uses the information from your product feed to match your products with user search queries. Fresh, accurate data ensures that your products are correctly categorized, priced, and described, enhancing their visibility and appeal to potential buyers.

13. Implement Effective Promotions

Google shopping promotions example

Promotions in Google Merchant Center refer to special offers or discounts that merchants can attach to their product listings to incentivize purchases. These promotions can appear across Google Shopping, Google Search, and other Google services where product listings are shown.

Common types of promotions include percentage discounts, buy-one-get-one-free offers, or free shipping. Merchants submit these offers through GMC, and once approved, they are displayed to potential buyers as special tags or annotations on the product listings.

How Promotions Help

  • Increased Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Enhanced Visibility
  • Improved Conversion Rates
  • Better Customer Acquisition
  • Inventory Management
  • Competitive Edge

14. Monitor and Resolve Feed Errors

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The “Diagnostics” section in Merchant Center provides insights into issues with your product feed that can affect ad performance.

Common Types of Feed Errors

  • Missing Required Attributes: Errors occur when essential information (e.g., id, title, description, link, image_link, price, availability) is missing from your product feed.
  • Invalid Values: This includes incorrect formatting or use of unsupported values in attributes (e.g., incorrect currency format in price, invalid URLs in link or image_link).
  • Broken Links: Errors are flagged when product or image URLs do not work, leading to a dead page (404 error) or when images cannot be accessed by Google.
  • Image Quality Issues: Google has strict guidelines on image quality. Errors arise from low-resolution images, watermarked images, or images that don’t accurately represent the product.

15. Using the Google Shopping Feed Effectively in Structuring Campaigns

Utilizing your Google Shopping feed, especially through strategic use of custom labels, allows for sophisticated segmentation and targeting.

You can segment by

  • Using Custom labels
  • Best-sellers
  • Product margins
  • Category
  • Per Product
  • Average Order Value
  • Bundles
  • Seasonality

No single one is best as all are helpful in each of individual situation

BONUS – Tip to Optimize Google Shopping Feed

Leverage Custom Labels for Segmentation

Custom labels in Google Merchant Center are a powerful tool for segmenting your product feed into more manageable groups.

These labels provide additional information to Google, allowing you to categorize products based on criteria that are not covered by standard product attributes.

Google Merchant Center allows you to use up to 5 custom labels (Custom label 0 through Custom label 4) for each product in your feed.

You can include details like

  • Seasonality
  • Promotional
  • Product Margins
  • Best Sellers label

Advanced Optimization Techniques Using Tools

While platforms like Shopify offer native integrations to streamline the process of creating and managing Shopping feeds, third-party tools and services provide additional layers of optimization that go beyond what’s natively available.

Some prominent tools are

Use cases of these tools can be

  • Dynamic Attribute Customization
  • Automated Bidding Strategies
  • Feed Error Identification and Resolution
  • A/B Testing for Product Attributes
  • Enhanced Reporting and Analytics
  • Cross-Channel Feed Syndication
  • Custom Label Management

Measuring Success and Iterating

Key performance indicators (KPIs) like impressions, conversions, return on ad spend (ROAS), conversion value, click-through rate (CTR), and the relationship between products clicked and products ordered provide valuable insights.

Prominent metrics to look in Google Shoppin Ads

  • Impressions
  • CTR
  • Conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Conv. value/Cost
  • Conv. value

Benefits of Having a Shopping Feed on Excel

Managing a shopping feed in Excel offers several benefits, especially for businesses looking to streamline their e-commerce operations across multiple platforms, including Google Shopping and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) ads.

Centralized Data Management

  • Unified Platform: Excel allows you to manage your product data for multiple advertising platforms in one place, facilitating a cohesive approach to online retail.
  • Flexibility and Customization
    Tailored Data Processing: With Excel, you can customize your shopping feed to meet the specific requirements of different platforms. This includes creating custom labels or attributes that are relevant to your advertising strategy on Google Shopping and Meta ads.
  • Easy Updates and Edits
    Quick Modifications: Excel makes it easy to update product information, prices, availability, and other key details. Quick changes can be particularly beneficial during promotions or when adjusting pricing strategies.


A shopping ads feed allows your products to be displayed precisely when potential customers are searching for them. This accuracy ensures your marketing efforts are focused and efficient, driving higher quality traffic to your site.

Embrace the sophistication of shopping ads feeds to propel your e-commerce success to new heights