Want to advertise your products online without spending any money? You might not realize that Google’s “Shopping” tab is one of the best ways to drive organic traffic to your pages. By having product listings appear in this section of Google, you can increase the number of visits to your site from unpaid search results. Google Shopping optimization, therefore, can boost awareness about your e-commerce business and drive sales when you’re on a budget. Learn how to rank in Google Shopping results, optimize your ads, and generate organic traffic for your site below!

How Google Shopping Works

Google Shopping is a comparison shopping engine (CSE) that displays product listings from multiple retailers based on a search user’s query. For example, a consumer who types “work shoes” into Google and clicks on the “Shopping” tab will find formal footwear from different merchants in one place, improving their online shopping experience. When that consumer clicks on a product listing in Google Shopping, they’ll go straight to the retailer’s website and, if they choose to do so, can make a purchase. 

While paid ads for retailers still appear at the top and bottom of Google Shopping pages, all the product listings in between these sections are 100% organic, meaning they come from unpaid sources. That provides an incredible opportunity to advertise your products without spending any money on paid ads. Google Shopping wasn’t always like this — the service used to only display ads from paid sources. However, now that’s changed, you can advertise your products for free and drive more visitors to your online store.  

How Start Using Google Shopping

Using Google Shopping is pretty simple, especially if you’ve already optimized your website for Google’s regular search page. 

Sign Up for a Google Merchant Center Account

It all starts with creating an account at Google Merchant Center, which only takes a few minutes. Then you can sync product listings from your e-commerce solution — Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc. — to Merchant Center.

Set up a feed

Feeds in Merchant Center are data sources that let you add, edit, and remove product data. Once you create a feed, you can use it for different Merchant Center features. 

Opt-in for Surfaces 

“Surfaces” refers to all the places on Google where your product listings might show up — including the “Shopping” tab. Opting into Surfaces via Merchant Center means you can increase the visibility of your products across the Google platform. 

Improve your on-page optimizations 

To increase your chances of products appearing on Google Shopping, you’ll need to optimize the product listings on your website. That means adding relevant product images and descriptions to listings, filling in product IDs, and providing product availability information. When Google crawls your product listings, it uses the information on these pages to determine your position on the “Shopping” tab. 

Benefits of Using Google Shopping

Here are some of the advantages of Google Shopping optimization to increase organic traffic:

It’s free

Google Shopping is free to use, and you can drive traffic from organic product listings without spending cash on paid ads. 

You don’t have to do much work if you already use Google Shopping

If you have paid ads on Google Shopping, you can also improve your rankings for organic search. Doing so is easy because you’ll already be familiar with how Google Shopping optimization works. Using a combination of paid ads and free listings can result in even more traffic to your online store. 

Gain a competitive advantage

Many e-commerce retailers focus their efforts on Google Search rather than Google Shopping, so optimizing your pages for the latter can differentiate your brand from your rivals. By appearing in a prominent position on Google Shopping results, you can generate more traffic than your competitors and boost sales. 

How to Rank in Google Shopping

Here are some Google Shopping optimization strategies to improve your search rankings:

    • Optimize product titles and images on your online store and in Merchant Center to boost the chances of appearing in a prominent position on Google Shopping


    • Create accurate product descriptions for the product listings on your online store


    • Use high-quality images and write engaging product descriptions for your website’s product listings


    • Enhance your feed in Merchant Center with relevant product attributes such as a product’s unique identifiers, the URL of a product’s main image, and a product’s availability 


  • If you use paid ads in Google Shopping, monitor and adjust bidding strategies for better visibility


How to Optimize Google Shopping Ads

You might want to generate organic traffic from free Google Shopping listings and use paid ads on the service (sponsored content that appears on the top and bottom of Google Shopping pages) for even more effective results. Here are some techniques to optimize your Google Shopping Ads: 

Conduct keyword research for relevant product queries

Using the right keywords in paid ads can improve their relevancy and ensure you rank for popular search queries. Carry out keyword research with tools like Semrush and Moz to learn what consumers search for when looking for products online and include these terms in your ads. For example, you might want to use keywords such as “running shoes” or “cheap shores” if people are searching for footwear.

Create compelling ads 

You can’t place a call-to-action in a Google Shopping ad so make sure your ad copy is compelling. Describe your product as accurately as you can and include any buzz words that might attract the attention of search users, such as “cheap” or “brand new.” 

Implement negative keywords to refine targeting

You can specify negative keywords in Merchant Center you don’t want your Google Shopping Ad to rank for. For example, if you don’t want to target consumers looking for items made in the USA because you manufacture your products in China, you can use the negative keyword “made in the USA.”

Optimize bidding and budget allocation for maximum ROI

You can control your budget for Google Shopping Ads and maximize return on investment by selecting the right bidding strategy. These strategies include manual Cost Per Click (CPC), target Cost Per Action (CPA), and target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). If you like, Google can automate the bidding process for you, which might save you money in the long run.

Google Shopping Product Title Optimization

Along with your product image, your product title is the most important element of Google Shopping optimization. A good title tells your audience about your offering and encourages them to visit your page and learn more about your brand. Here are some ways to optimize product titles to boost visibility on Google Shopping pages. 

    • Use relevant keywords in titles based on popular search queries


    • Ensure clarity, accuracy, and uniqueness in titles for Google Shopping optimization


    • Follow Google’s guidelines for character limits — currently, 150 characters


    • Test your titles to improve performance — a simple A/B test can help you decide which one of two titles results in the most click-throughs to your site


    • Use grammatically correct language in titles 


  • Avoid using emojis, symbols, or all caps in titles, which can make your brand look unprofessional


Tracking and Analyzing Google Shopping Performance

After creating product listings in Merchant Center, it’s time to track the performance of those listings and learn how they perform with your target audience. Here’s how to do it:

Utilize Google Merchant Center’s performance dashboard

Google Merchant Center generates a wide range of metrics and key performance indicators, allowing you to view information about how consumers interact with your product listings. You can segment data by country, category, and other metrics and compare organic listings with paid ads. You’ll also be able to view how many people click on your listings after searching for different terms, helping you further improve Google Shopping optimization. Before you can analyze product listing performance data on Merchant Center, you’ll need to link your Google Ads account to your Merchant Center account or add selected attributes to your feed. 

Add tracking parameters to URLs for granular analysis

Adding specific parameters to the URLs of your product pages will generate insights about how consumers interact with your on-site product listings. For example, you can learn what actions a customer takes when landing on your online store after clicking on a link on Google Shopping. Find out whether they make a purchase, hit the back button on their browser, or visit another page on your site. 

Leverage third-party analytics tools for even more in-depth insights

Google isn’t the only platform that generates insights about Google Shopping. You can use third-party platforms, such as SEMRush and Ahrefs, for a more holistic overview of product listing performance and discover how your Google Shopping optimization campaigns resonate with shoppers. 

Implications of Google Shopping for eCommerce Businesses

Google Shopping can help e-commerce marketers like you advertise products and services for free on the world’s most-used search engine. By appearing on Google Shopping pages, you can drive organic traffic to your site and increase brand awareness and sales. As Google Shopping becomes more popular, this service has the power to revolutionize the future of e-commerce and connect more shoppers with online retailers. 

That said, Google Shopping will only prove successful for your e-commerce business if you know how to utilize this service. You’ll need to create unique and original product listings that resonate with consumers to improve your organic rankings. That means selecting a high-quality image for your listing and describing your product accurately in the title. E-commerce retailers that don’t optimize their Google Shopping listings might generate less organic traffic than their competitors, resulting in a slump in sales. 

It’s also essential to optimize your online store pages to keep Google search users on your site for longer. Creating compelling product descriptions and choosing the right high-quality images can increase sales and help you capitalize on organic traffic from Google. Time on page and conversion metrics provide insights into how people engage with your website after clicking on a Google Shopping listing.

Leveraging the Best Opportunities Within Google Shopping

Google Shopping presents lucrative SEO opportunities, allowing you to drive organic traffic to your online store for free. To best leverage these opportunities, consider working with a digital marketing agency like Symphonic Digital, which can optimize your product listings on Google Shopping and other Google services. 

Symphonic Digital adopts the latest SEO practices and understands the latest Google updates, requirements, and trends, helping you rank higher for the most popular keywords in your specific industry. The company uses competitor analysis to see which keywords provide the most value for your campaigns and can work with you to create product listings that resonate with your target audience. 

Some of the benefits of working with a full-service digital marketing agency like Symphonic Digital for Google Shopping SEO include:

    • Tracking visibility: Get deeper insights into product listing performance and find out whether your listings generate the results you need


    • Enriched product feeds: A digital marketing company can optimize feeds in Merchant Center for more successful SEO results in Google Shopping


    • More effective product titles/images: An expert will help you choose the best titles and images for product listings and improve click-throughs to your website


  • Google Shopping Ads: Combine free Google Shopping listings with paid ads to attract even more people to your online store


What You Need to Know About Mastering Google Shopping Optimization

Google Shopping is a CSE that lets consumers find the best product listings based on their search queries. Utilizing this service from Google won’t cost you anything, but it’s important to optimize your listings to increase organic traffic to your website. Implementing the strategies above will help you learn how to rank in Google Shopping. However, seeking support from an experienced digital marketing agency will take your campaigns to the next level and ensure more people see and interact with your listings.