All links from your Google Shopping have to land directly on the destination page of your product, meaning the page itself must have an ordering function available. Google’s Policy mentions that linking to a page that does not contain the ordering button of that particular product will not be a valid submission. So, if you think about it, it’s very logical, place yourself in the shoes of your customer. When searching for products inside Google Shopping, you most likely already know what you want and are pretty much committed to buying the product.
The policy requirement means that you want to see the order button without having to search for it.
Order button placement
Placing the ordering button is best located above the fold or very close to the fold. When we talk about the fold, it means that whatever you need to focus on needs to be within the first 500 pixels of your page or visible on the page without scrolling. The 500 pixels recommendation is based on Google’s research gathered from its users, calculated by the average screen size.
This figure will eventually be much smaller. The reason being is that now on average, 40% of internet traffic is mobile. Mobile devices don’t have much space to enable the same pixel rule as desktop devices. When developing your site, my advice is to make sure that the button is as high as possible and if you’re working with floating objects. ie left and right, to place your add to basket button to the left. So that when you disable floating objects on mobile devices, the button is above the rest of the content.
Below are some examples of sites that use good placements. I have darkened the area that is below the 500 pixels fold.
Any ordering mechanism that requires the customer to log in or register is not allowed.
When you have multiple prices such as tax, excluding tax, markdowns, etc., you will need to ensure the following are done.
- The final price that the customer is paying must be the first price visible. Meaning above all other prices.
- Ensure that the font size of the price is at least equal to or larger than the other prices.
Here is an example of how to do it correctly.
A page with multiple products.
If you have multiple products listed on one page, you need to make it evident to the customer to select. One way to direct your customers to the right section of the page is to use a hashtag reference #mysecondproduct at the end of the URL. For example, using a hashtag such as http://www.mywebsite.com/product/#mysecondproduct will force the browser to locate an id element on that page that has mysecondproduct as the ID selector.
Alternatively, rebuild the site so that each product has its page. This is not always possible for each merchant.
A page with multiple drop down options (variants)
Suppose you have a landing page with variants that can be selected via a drop-down menu. Then the best practice for having variants on one page is to submit a query string URL to Google Merchant that can pre-select the option when the link was clicked on.
The link above will need to change the drop-down menu option, the price, and the availability of the product.
This is done server-side. You will need to talk to your developer to integrate a query detection script to allow the automated change.
Why would you do this?
Imagine being the customer yourself. You search for a product on Google Shopping, for example, Hand Cream 160z. When you click on the ad, and you are brought to the merchant’s website, and if you did not do the above, the customer would have to click on the size again, which could reduce the conversion rate. So the best tactic is always to shorten the distance between the initial click and the checkout.
Pre-selecting the product that the customer has chosen in Google Shopping will increase the chances of a sale.
When creating your script
Shipping and Returns Policy
Google requires you to have a shipping and returns policy on your website that is easily found at the site’s footer.
You can not have your landing page filled with advertising. However, you are allowed to have advertising if it’s a secondary part of your site. Meaning that if you have quality content, then advertising can be a secondary part of your page.
Borrowed or Copied Text
Google advises that you do not copy other people’s text from Google Shopping. Avoid using copied content in your data feed and your product landing page. What you can do is if your manufacturer forces you to have their wording on the page. Is to add added value.
Added value is a text that you have written to add to existing content. Google will not penalize you for this as it will be viewed as adding added value. There is a great article covering adding value at moz.com
Framing or mirroring
Framing content from other websites to yours is against the policy, mirroring any multiple contents from other sites.
Add structured data where the price, availability, barcode, brand, and SKU match the data in your data feed.
A list of things you should avoid
- Do not block countries
- Google requires a page to be 100% the same no matter where you are located.
- Do not redirect URLs to external links
- Use only https links
- Replace all URL characters with URL encoded entities (URL friendly characters)
- Recommended but not required, if a customer selects a blue shirt, the pre-selected color must be blue.
- If multiple products are on one page, make it logical for the customer to select the right one—hashtags.
- Framing or mirroring
- Copy text without any added value
- Excessive advertising
- No shipping or returns policy
- No parked domains
How do you know the quality score of your landing page?
First, we need to know what keywords are being used. We can find the searched keywords by going inside the dimensions of your product listing. Then select from the view drop-down menu Search terms.
Google Shopping Campaign > Dimensions > View: Search Terms
Copy the keywords that you know belong to one landing page.
Create a paused Campaign and a text ad with the URL landing page that you are targeting.
Then, simply paste these keywords inside the paused campaign
You can now hover over the speech box and can see the landing page experience quality score.