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Common Google Shopping Feed Errors and Other SEO Tips

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List of Common Google Shopping Feed Errors

Sellers optimize listings for the marketplaces on which they sell. But since platforms also send feeds to Google Shopping automatically to help attract shoppers, it behooves sellers to give some thought to optimizing their marketplace listings for third-party search engines.

SEO (search engine optimization) is a full-time job, but there are some marketplace-specific guides that may be worth at least skimming for some tips.

In a post on Tuesday, Bonanza’s Shelly Breuer said one of the biggest frustrations for sellers are Google Shopping “disapprovals.” Bonanza sends a feed of sellers’ listings and updates it every time a seller makes a change to a listing or updates their booth. It notifies sellers when they have listings that Google has disapproved, but sellers can also check proactively at any time.

Breuer said Google constantly scans listings, “so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your ad feed using your Ad Troubleshooter page” – and she provided details on how to check their feeds.

She then listed some common Google Shopping feed errors in four categories: those related to GTIN (or UPC); errors related to images; policy violations; and shipping. (Did you know Google does not recognize first-class shipping options over 13oz? Breuer said for items over the weight limit, sellers should change the shipping method to Priority.)

She also referred sellers to Bonanza’s YouTube video offering SEO tips and tricks:

Etsy also recently offered sellers some search-engine optimization tips while noting it has an entire team at Etsy dedicated to SEO for search engines like Google and Bing. “That team is constantly working on improvements and new projects to help drive organic search traffic to sellers,” it said on the Etsy Seller Handbook article posted on November 7th.

The article makes clear it’s not just listings that should be optimized for search engines like Google – sellers can also optimize their Shop pages – including the Shop Description, about which it said:

“Google likes to see your expertise, authority in your niche, and trustworthiness as a seller. So when writing your shop description, tell your story. Talk about your creative process. Include information about your background and how you got into creating. Highlight your years of experience or any credentials. Not only is this important to Google, it’s also important information for potential buyers too.

“Also, fill out as much information as possible about your shop policies. This isn’t just an SEO thing; it’s also a better user experience. Shipping, returns, and exchanges in particular are critical information that a shopper will consider when looking to buy a product.”

Adding a video and multiple photos to the About section can also help sellers show up in Google search, Etsy said.

Etsy also pointed sellers to a Seller Handbook article on optimizing for Etsy’s own search engine.

For those who find it easier to watch videos for selling tips and tricks, just head over to YouTube. For example, the Etsy Success channel has done several videos on the topic of search engine optimization.

The eBay for Business channel on YouTube offers educational videos as well and on Tuesday, it released recordings of some of its eBay Seller Check-in webinars, including, “Holiday Seller Check-In — Perfect Listing Breakout” held on November 16 on the topic of optimizing listings for eBay’s Best Match search.

Amazon briefly mentioned optimization in a recent post about holiday-selling tips on Seller Central, advising sellers to include relevant, holiday-specific keywords – including alternate spellings, which is a useful tip. It’s also been offering frequent Seller University webinars on various topics.

If you have favorite SEO resources or tips of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.