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The ultimate guide to product feed optimization

December 9, 2021

Feed management

To sell or advertise online, one of the most important factors is ensuring you work with high-quality product feeds. Optimized product feeds will guarantee more visibility for your products and equal more conversions. If you want to have your feed perfectly optimized, all you need to do is follow the tips we collected for you in this blog. And the good news is that these tips are really easy to implement using a product feed generator. Learn how!

The ultimate guide to product feed optimization

What is product feed optimization?

You probably already know that a feed is needed if you want to advertize or sell your products on marketplaces, comparison websites, affiliate networks, or social media. Sounds easy, right? Well, in theory it is, but in practice it can get complicated. Every channel has different requirements and specifications about what format your feed should have and the data it should contain. Google Shopping for instance has different requirements than Amazon, complicating the integration of your catalog with each channel. Some of these mandatory specifications are for example: title, description, URL, price, product ID, and image description.

Creating a new product feed taking into account these mandatory specifications is the basic best practices if you want to start advertising or selling your products. Having a basic product feed is enough to pass the platform's first “exam” but it will not be enough to make your products excel. If you want your products to get the best results, then you need to focus on product feed optimization.

Why do you need product feed optimization?

While sources disagree on exactly how many sellers currently compete on Amazon, most estimate between 1.9 and 2.5 million active sellers. And the competition on other platforms such as Google Shopping or Facebook (just to mention a few) has not stopped growing. Meaning that you need to work hard in improving the visibility of your products on each of these channels. How can you do that? There are many things to consider, for instance, your bids or account history, but here we want to talk about the most important one: Optimizing your product feed.

With an optimized product feed, your chosen channels will have a better understanding of your catalog and will be able to match your products with the search queries of the users. The more relevant your product is to a user’s search the more likely the platform will show your product. If the information provided in your feed is quite poor, then other competitors with more complete data will have more chances of reaching these users.

Optimizing product feeds will not only help the user to find your products but will also make the product more appealing to click on the ad or to finish the purchase, improving your conversion rate. And we bet this is one of your main goals right?

6 Tips to optimize your product feed

The first step to take into account with your data feed optimization is to make sure the feed accomplishes all the requirements stipulated by the channel. Once this is done, there are dozens of ways to optimize the data feed, adding value to your product information. Fortunately, we have collected some easy to implement tips to help you with the creation of a high-quality product feed.

Usually, platforms distinguish between mandatory, recommended, and optional product attributes. These attributes are ordered in different fields of a product feed. Google Shopping for example makes it mandatory for all products to have a title.

It is very important to make sure all the mandatory fields are included. Additionally, platforms offer more fields that are not required, but these recommended fields help to have a better understanding of the product, like product type, sale price, size, or shipping information. It is even possible to complement the feed with even more optional fields or custom fields (e.g. information on shipping service). We recommend using as many fields as possible. Remember! The more information you provide, the more likely you are to convince your audience about purchasing your products.
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Categorize your products correctly

Assigning the correct categories in your product feed is vital for your ads to appear in the most relevant searches. Even if it is not compulsory to assign categories to your products on all the platforms (for example the categorization is not mandatory in Google Shopping anymore), we still recommend doing a correct categorization of your products. It will give more clarity about what your products are about and also, it will help your products to appear when users do broad searches for categories, rather than for specific products.

Optimize your titles and descriptions

Sometimes your titles are the cause of your poor performance. The main problem is that most of the time titles are vague, which makes it hard for the platform to know which search queries to match their products with. Additionally, titles can help your products to be more attractive to users. That's why titles are a key attribute to check and improve in product feed optimization.

A good way to highlight your titles is to add relevant attributes to them. Including data like the brand, color, size, material, or gender in the title can help to increase the success of your sales. Another good choice is to include high-performing keywords. But remember that each platform has different rules on the length and layout of the text. For example, this is what you should consider when optimizing your titles for Google Shopping (obviously this may vary per channel):

  • Max length: Max 150 characters
  • Distinguish between variants: Add the distinguishing details of each variant to the title.
  • Don’t include promotional text (things like “buy one get one free”)
  • Don’t use capital letters for emphasis.
  • Put the most important details first: Users will usually see only the first 70 or fewer characters of your title
  • Don’t use extra white spaces

If you are really interested in creating the perfect Google Shopping feed, you can check our blog about how to successfully advertise on Google Shopping.

Update your product data and keep it clean

In product feed optimization, it is really important to use up-to-date data to publish your products online. Advertising items that are out of stock or incorrectly priced will lead to unhappy customers. Additionally, your products can be temporarily banned on the platforms.

Also, if you want to make your product information understandable for the user, it is important to remove the unwanted HTML code. We know this HTML code is vital for your online shop, but we are sure you do not want it to appear on Google Shopping or Facebook Ads.

Use performance data to exclude products and set up custom labels

It is obvious that not all your products perform the same way. The popularity, margins, profit, and seasonality vary a lot. So why should you treat all your items the same way? Data such as conversion rate, CTR, revenue/cost, or ROAS can be extremely useful in deciding which products to publish. For instance, you can decide to exclude products with a low profit because you want to allocate your advertising budget accordingly.
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Also, depending on these metrics, we can assign a specific value for each product in a custom field. For example, top performance, medium performance, and low performance. Once each product has associated a value, we can change different things. For example, we can increase or decrease the bids to get the best possible ROI depending on the performance.

Considering these examples as inspiration, use your imagination to find hundreds of applications about how you can use performance data in product feed optimization.

Filter products you do not want to sell

There are a bunch of reasons why you would want to exclude some products from being listed on a particular channel. As we just mentioned, one of these reasons may be to lower your listing costs (considering the commissions applied by some marketplaces, this margin can be drastically reduced). Whatever the reason, you should be flexible when filtering products from the feed.

Channable, the solution to optimize your product feed

There are thousands of channels to get your products listed, each of them with unique rules and requirements. That's why it makes sense to automate this process using a product feed generator like Channable. Apart from providing templates with all the fields required on each channel (more than 2.500 feed templates included), optimizing your product feed is very easy thanks to the “magic” rules you can find in the tool.

With the help of these rules, you can keep your product feed updated, exclude products, modify prices, improve titles and descriptions, apply discounts, remove HTML text, use performance data to create custom fields, etc. And these are just some examples, but the list of possible product feed optimizations made with rules is almost endless. You need to take into account that the effort depends on the quality and completeness of your ‘raw’ product data as exported from your online shop. The rules will let you get the best high-quality product feed possible in just a few clicks!

Data feed optimization sounds complicated to you? With the help of a product feed generator like Channable, it won’t be. If you don’t believe us, try a free trial account and check things out for yourself and see how easy it is to implement all these tips in your product feed!

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Judit Escudero PerezMarketing Spain

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