Advanced Tips for Feed Optimization

The data feed is the foundation to any great eCommerce strategy if the data is bad it will end up costing you where it hurts the most…your pocket.


This article is for people who already know about feed optimization and would like some high-level tips on how to take their paid shopping campaigns to the next level.


GTIN: The benefits


The Global Trade Item Number or GTIN has become a significant part of the optimization process. The GTIN is required if you are a reseller of goods and is usually supplied by the manufacturer. Keep in mind products where you are the only seller, manufacturer parts, custom products, antiques, and some apparel products will not require a GTIN (Multipacks and bundles do not require a GTIN as well as long as you supply these attributes in the feed).


Google uses the GTIN to pull from the supplier’s catalog and place your ad into a lottery with the other resellers of the same product. The ads default to the attributes of the supplier’s catalog and will override optimizations made in the feed.


These specific ads are triggered for high funnel specific searches and only show one PLA. It’s like you have won the Jackpot! Once a user clicks on the ad, it takes him to a landing page with all the variations of that one product only for your online store.



How reviews impact your Google ad placement [1]

GTINs also get you placement with searches like “Best” and “Top”. These kinds of searches also reference customer reviews to determine the position of your ad. The better the reviews, the higher your chances are to show first position (note: Google uses third-party review companies i.e.: Trustpilot, Yotpo, Verified Reviews etc.).


Title Optimizations


Assuming you already know title optimizations are key to making your ads relevant to users searches. It’s one of the most important attributes in the feed and this is where you should spend a majority of our time. I like to save titles for last until all my other attributes are optimized because I use them to make the titles are as optimized as possible. The attributes you will want to include depend on which vertical you’re in. Below I have provided a chart with how to structure your titles based off of category:


Optimizing your titles for your shopping feed. [2]


PRO TIP: Create keyword testing in your feed to really hone in on what keywords are working for your store. Also, you should be mirroring product information from the website, so once a user clicks they will find once they click your ad. Place important information in the beginning of the titles, in case your title gets truncated on the results page the important information will show first.




It used to be best practice to flatten your colors in your feed into something a user would search for. An example of this is selling a product where the color was “Pomegranate” you would change the color to “light red” or just “red”. Now, you will get disapprovals for mismatching landing page information. Google crawls the micro data on landing pages and will match the color attribute in the feed to the color value on the landing page. If you used to do this as best practice, it’s time to switch back and let colors be what they are.

Colors need to be mentioned correctly in your data feed and on your and your landing page. [3]


Regular Expressions


Regex is a sequence of characters that define a search pattern, mainly for use in pattern matching with strings, or string matching, i.e. “find and replace”-like operations. This function is extremely helpful in data feed optimization because it allows you to match too many characters while only using one string. You can use it in many ways such as; finding and replacing duplicate words, fixing multiple sizes at once, or even just removing too many spaces in between words. An example of this is, if your title contains extra spaces in between words and not just at the beginning and end, a regex string could match to the extra spaces in between the words: replace_pattern( \s, ‘ ‘, [title] ). preprocess


Selecting The Right Image


Product Images are the first thing users see when your ad is shown, so you want to make sure these look great. Here are some key points to for making sure your image link is optimized:

Use High-Quality Pictures (For Mobile Responsive Devices) Make sure the variants match the picture (color, size, material etc.) Look out for text over the picture (watermarks, sales, manufacture parts numbers) Test product images vs lifestyle images (to find which works best for your brand)


Example of wrong image usage on google searches.[5]

some third-party tools offer an Image Selector tool, which enables you to select the best picture for each product in your data feed. Products in your feed are listed in a table with all images. Here you can decide which product is best suited for the ad. [6]


Customer Match for Google Shopping


Google has extended the reach of its customer match function to Shopping. Now you can put that email list to work by re-engaging key audiences who already enjoy your brand. This is a great way to regain lost customers or upsell to clients who have already purchased. When setting up customer match there are two things to keep in mind:

  • It only shows ads to customers who have Gmail accounts
  • They have to be logged in in order to be retargeted
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