Welcome back to our comprehensive ten-part series on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) pricing strategies. In our previous articles (Part 1 and Part 2), we discussed the tooling required to set yourself up for pricing successes, and emphasised the importance of assessing your market position to give you a solid foundation for price optimisation. Today, in the third instalment of our series, we delve into a crucial aspect of BFCM success: improving product visibility on Google Shopping. If shoppers cannot find you over the promotional period, they cannot buy from you, meaning all your efforts in every part of your business will be wasted.
The Google Shopping Free Listing Program: A Game-Changer
In 2020, Google unveiled a ground-breaking initiative that revolutionized the landscape for e-commerce merchants. This program is the Google Shopping free listing program. It started by allowing merchants to list their products on Google Search and the Shopping tab without incurring any costs. Since then, it has expanded to include an even broader spectrum of platforms within Google's network.
In this article, we explore the intricacies of this program and introduce a powerful tool, within the BlackCurve Dashboard: The Google Shopping Visibility Score.
Where Google's Free Listings Appear
Google's free listings can be found in multiple places, including:
- Shopping Tab: This tab hosts free listings that appear organically, ranked based on their relevance to user searches.
- Google Images: Product listings can appear at the top of results when users search for products or brands in Google Images.
- Google Search: Free listings are displayed in rich results alongside standard search results, providing users with additional information such as pricing, availability, and ratings.
Why Google Provides Free Listings
Google's motivation behind the free listing program contributes to Google's goal of enhancing the shopping experience for consumers. This endeavor positions Google more competitively against market leaders like Amazon. A broader spectrum of merchants will feature their products on Google's expansive network, offering sellers access to a broader and more engaged audience.
Optimizing Google Shopping Free Listing Visibility
Participating in the program doesn't guarantee visibility. Success depends on the quality of your product data and its alignment with customer searches. To ensure optimal performance:
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date account information.
- Provide high-quality data in your product feeds.
- Ensure your product data aligns with what potential customers are searching for.
Introducing the Google Shopping Visibility Score
A vital pricing tool in your BFCM arsenal is The BlackCurve Google Shopping Visibility Score. It's a simple metric that gauges how effectively you're utilizing Google Shopping's free product listing feature.
What Is Google Shopping Visibility Score?
The Google Shopping Visibility Score, a BlackCurve metric, measures the percentage of your product inventory visible to users when they search for relevant keywords or products. It provides a score of between 0-100%. 0% means none of your products are visible. 100% means all of your products are visible on Google Shopping. Essentially, it answers the critical question: "Are your products showing up when and where they should?"
The Shocking Average Score
In August 2023, the average Google Shopping Visibility Score was 73% for new trial customers, and September did not fair much better. This means that, on average, typically 27% of an eCommerce companies product inventory is not getting the visibility it deserves.
Only 18% of companies achieved a Google Shopping Visibility Score of 80% or higher, highlighting the need for businesses to optimize their product listings.
Take Control of Your Visibility
To boost your Google Shopping Visibility Score, the BlackCurve platform will flag to you the following areas to check, edit, and improve, and then monitor how your visibility improves over time:
- Fix GTIN Issues: Ensure accurate and complete GTIN data. This is a product identifier that Google uses to categorise your data. If Google is not supplied with this code, your products won’t appear where they should, as you are giving Google one less data point.
- Optimize Product Listings: Craft detailed, keyword-rich listings, ensuring for example, all your brand meta data fields are populated in Google Merchant Account. Again, the more data you can supply Google, the easier it is for Google to assess what the product is, and whether it should be returned to a user when they make applicable searches.
- Monitor and Adapt: Continuously monitor your score and make adjustments.
In the highly competitive world of e-commerce, Google Shopping Visibility Scores offer a critical metric for success. By addressing GTIN issues, optimizing product listings, and staying vigilant about your score, you can significantly improve your online visibility, attract more customers, and drive sales.
Don't let your hard work in other areas of your e-commerce business go to waste. Take control of your product visibility, and watch your online sales soar. Stay tuned for more insights in the next article of our BFCM Pricing Strategies Series!