Choose and optimize Google Shopping attributes

Business benefits

Accurately describe and improve your product visibility.

Identify attributes you already have and ones that are missing from your feed.

If you have previously uploaded a feed to Google Shopping, some attributes will already be there. To avoid duplicates, note the ones you have and are missing on a spreadsheet.

You can create your own spreadsheet or use this Feed Analysis Spreadsheet to track the attributes in your feed.

Add all of the required attributes to any of your Google Shopping feeds, at all times.

These attributes are essential for the success of your Google Shopping campaign. Each of these attributes has only one option:

ID: This should be the permanent SKU you use internally.
Title: The product name.
Description: Often the short description used on product pages.
Link: The link to your product page.
Image linkemphasized text: The primary image used on the product page.
Price: The price of the product.
Availability: In stock, out of stock, preorder, or backorder.
Brand: The product brand.
GTIN: Also known as the EAN or MPN: Only if you don’t have a GTIN.
Condition: New or used.

Consider adding recommended attributes to your feed, like sale price, custom labels, and shipping.

These attributes are not required, but are highly recommended to improve the success of your feed:

  • Sale price: Instead of just updating the price attribute when you run a sale, you should send the before price in the price attribute and the new price in the sale price attribute.
  • Product type: This is equal to the categories on your site.
  • Item group ID: For products with variants like sizes and colors, you can have a joint ID for the core products and individual IDs for each variant.
  • Custom label: This can be anything, but it is often used for custom data needed to analyze performance or structure campaigns.
  • Google product category: This tells Google what category your product belongs to in the Google taxonomy.
  • Shipping (all): For major countries, shipping is a requirement, but it can be added at the Merchant Center level.
  • Additional image link: If you have several product images, you can add these.

Add additional recommended attributes, if they are relevant to your product, like color, size, and gender.

This includes attributes such as:

Identifier exists: Set to false if your product does not have a GTIN or MPN.
Age group: If your product is focused on a specific age group.
Gender: Self-explanatory.
Size: A requirement for apparel and select other industries.
Size type: If it’s, for example, a US or EU size type.
Color: Self-explanatory.
Material: Self-explanatory.
Adult: If it’s an adult-only product, should not be used for younger age groups.

Optimize your titles by adding related keywords either manually or using rules.

Using keywords related to your product will help Google to match it with search terms. Three main areas to focus on for your title include:

1: Add category and brand to the title.
2: Add specific keywords related to your industry.
3. Write manually if you have a small product collection.

Set up rules to automatically pull attributes into the title such as brand, model, gender, and category. If certain attributes already exist in the title, but some are missing, you can use your feed optimization tool to add the extra ones.

Optimize your product type and separate items into categories, being as specific as possible without overdoing it.

Optimizing your product type is how you categorize your products and is used to improve campaign structure and reporting. Separate your products into category levels based on the size of your site, for example, 1 Level for one product, 2-4 Levels for larger sites:

  • Level 1 > Level 2 > Level 3
  • Electronics > Cables > Lightning Cables

Ask yourself, can this be more specific? and does it need to be more specific?

Extra Tips
  • Add more levels: Add main categories to subcategories if you only have one level of product types.
  • Verify that products are in the right category: Some platforms are surprisingly bad at getting this data to you.
  • Clean up your product types: Avoid duplicates across plural/singular or very similar categories
  • Bonus tip (advanced): With less than 200 categories you can create more levels using your feed tool.

Use custom labels to tag products and segment performance in reports and structure campaigns better.

For example, if a product is converting better discounted at 20%, compared to one that is not, you might want to use that to structure your campaigns and show one product before the others. By understanding how different products perform, you can remove the ones that don’t work and increase your overall performance.

Custom Label Examples

Bestseller: Use the priority setting to tell Google that you want bestselling products to be prioritized.
Margin: Split your campaigns into rough margin buckets, and apply different ROAS targets.
Delivery time: Decrease bids for products once they go above a seven-day delivery window.
Pricing level: Split your products into separate campaigns based on how expensive the category is.
Seasonality: Identity products you want to follow as you move into separate seasonality periods.
Exclude: Use to identify products that need to be excluded completely.
New: Use to separate new products in the first month, so they get a more aggressive initial bid that
can generate data.

Make sure your products are in the correct Google Product Category.

For example, if you have a category for snacks for cats, these are cat treats. Then Google knows that it’s a cat treat, and all other products that are in the cat treats product category should show up for the same searches.

This is Google categorizing the same products so it can align performance and make sure that everybody’s shown for all relevant searches without the use of the title.

Example Categories

Use a feed optimization tool to optimize your feed.

Instead of sending the feed that comes out of your backend straight into the merchant center that stores your data from Google. You can use a tool as a middle man to optimize your feed.

For example, if you start out with Nike Running Shoes as your title, and want to add the Size, you can do this in your feed tool, then export it to the Merchant Center.