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Keep the Lights On - Google Shopping

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22% more mobile shoppers visited retailers via Google in the January after the holiday season, than in the October before. For certain categories, like Furniture or Home & Garden, January visits increased up to 39% over their October levels.

See which categories saw higher traffic in January 2016, and read best practices on our blog to help reach these shoppers in high traffic categories: https://goo.gl/VmuKrO





Posted By Alex Chen, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile




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Keep the Lights On - Google Shopping

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# 2
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Hi, We launched a website called thingstobuy.co.uk some six years ago and we currently are receiving 3,500-4,000 people per day to the site, can you help me monetise this traffic through Google shopping?


Re: Keep the Lights On - Google Shopping

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Hi @Gary P


Thanks for stopping by the Google Partners community and checking out some of the content here, including the above info regarding putting the power of Google Shopping to work. 


I have done a quick assessment of your website and find it would need a lot of work to bring it into alignment. 


1) Where is the content? Once I land on the website, I am hit with an unusual blocking of writing. Once I read that, it leaves me thinking it is a website designed to harvest my email, nothing more. Then I can click and subscribe or click close. Once I click close, I am left with a large black box with bright yellow border and the only word I can really see is the Google logo, which really should not be present. Using the Google logo like is not proper.


2) To use Google Shopping or the Google system to promote a website through paid advertising, the website needs to be mobile-responsive and fast loading. And it must offer content that is properly structured. You cannot simply bring people to a website to get them to subscribe to gain any value. If you were to keep the website as is, you would need to keep going the path you are going and not use Google AdWords/Shopping to promote. You could use social media to attempt to grow further, but your journey is going to be a long one, sadly.


In 2017, the name of the game for online shopping is going to be a high-quality website that is mobile-responsive, ultra-fast, and one that provides original content that is easy to follow and navigate. It will provide a unique value to the visitor and is completely accessible and safe for everyone of all ages. It will have a fluid checkout system that is completely encrypted for the safety of the user's submitted information (like emails, credit cards, etc), and the person will be able to check out as a guest (optional to register) and complete the checkout process in five steps or less.


I would not personally submit my info on your website because of my credibility instincts (not to say your site is not credible, but I am saying my personal thought process tells me I am not seeing things I should see:


  • No HTTPS with a full padlock in the browser bar (which tells me the site is encrypted for my safety).
  • The Google logo is only used by Google, those services registered with Google, or those trying to falsely present an alignment with Google. Google guidelines must be maintained.
  • Visible content so I can see what I get for subscribing.
  • FAQ with plenty of questions and answers about this service.   
  • Error pages when clicking navigation links.  
  • A contact us page with full name, address, phone number and more. 
  • A terms of service page with actual terms of the service.
  • Links to actual social media pages (not click to share/like).
  • A visible shopping cart.
  • Something from credible third-parties that validate you are who you say you are.  


Actually, all of these things would also be needed to gain strong organic listings in SERPs (search engine result pages) or to utilize Google Shopping to grow any online store... or for someone like me to use it. The user experience is non-existence and I am only greeted with a hostage demand to hand over my email.    


At the very least, I would expect to see a website's front page that looked something like this crude markup I did in 1.5 minutes:


example of shopping site.png



And these are the absolute requirements for the landing page (website) of any Google Shopping ad:


  • The key elements of the landing page (title, description, image, price, currency, availability, buy button) must be visible (e.g. not obstructed by any pop-up). For example, mobile app downloads should be offered without obstructing the key offer elements by using the corresponding phone operating system APIs.
  • Your product offer must be prominent on your landing page, particularly when there are multiple items displayed, e.g. variants, similar items or related items.
  • The price of the product has to be prominent on the landing page. The price on the landing page must match the price you submitted to Google in your product data. If multiple items are on the same page with multiple prices, it has to be straightforward for the user to find the correct item and corresponding price.
  • Your landing page must list the price in the appropriate currency of the target country. The appropriate currency has to be shown by default if multiple currencies are available. Products must be displayed in and sold in the currency of the target country. Any pricing information submitted or displayed (e.g. total price or entering 0 as the item price) must comply with local regulations.
  • Any user in the target country must be able to buy the item at the same price as submitted in your product data without paying for a membership or additional products. If you want to advertise regional prices you might want to consider using local Shopping.
  • Your landing page can't be under construction or link to an error page.
  • Your landing page can’t display an error status code beginning with a 4 or a 5 (such as a 404 error).
  • Your landing page must render an actual web page properly. The user can’t be led to an email address or a file. This includes image, audio, video, or document files that require an additional application to open or run (such as PDF files). Your mobile landing page shouldn't include Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX or other design elements that may not render properly on a mobile or tablet device.
  • After reaching your landing page, users must be able to return to the previous page where they clicked your product listing by clicking their browser’s back button once.
  • If a product is sold in bulk quantities, the landing page can list the minimum quantity and the price per unit instead of the total price for the minimum number of items sold.
  • If your product is a software subscription, follow these additional requirements:
    • Show each software subscription variant on a separate landing page. For example, if your software has three versions (basic, premium, and enterprise), then make sure each version has it’s own landing page. 
    • Prominently display and pre-select the price for the full length of the software subscription, with a minimum of 1 year. If the prepaid 12-month subscription comes with any subsidized or free periods, then include those in the displayed price. 
    • Clearly state in your terms of renewal and cancellation whether the product is for a fixed term or whether it is automatically renewed. Also explain the cancellation options, and explain under which conditions the auto-renewal occurs at end of prepaid duration.
  • If your website features microdata, the above requirements apply to that data as well. Additionally, unique product identifiers (GTIN, brand, MPN) if provided in your microdata, have to match with the information submitted in your product data. See more details here.
  • Your landing page must show a product offer that is essentially identical to the product listing you submitted to Google in your product data, regardless of the user’s device, browser, location, cookies, your ad targeting choices, or any other consideration. We understand that landing page design and URL can vary (e.g. mobile optimized page for mobile users), and our requirements are focused on the content and user experience. By essentially identical, we mean:
    • The offer must be for the same item; no substitutions are allowed.
    • Title, description, and images can be slightly different but they have to refer to the same item. Generic pages or search results pages are not allowed.


Once a small business creates a website, they must work on making that website a great user experience for visitors. How do they do that? They provide a well-structured website with relevant content presented on a fast-loading and mobile-responsive, modern website. It also must not have errors or issues that harm a visitor or that prevents Google from crawling your website 24/7 from any location. 


You should also be using Google Analytics and Google Search Console to better understand what is happening with your website. 


Once Google Search Console is reviewed, let's check up on your site speed, mobile-friendliness and some SEO (search engine optimization) stuff. Search Console will also show you error pages, which need to be fixed. You should check all of this as often as needed to correct the website.  These are your action items:


1) Visit Google Search Console and fix issues, submit a XML sitemap, and learn more about the user experience.

2) Use the Google Developers Speed Test and work on fixing any issues so that your score is 89 or higher for both mobile & desktop.

3) Run the Think with Google Speed Test and make sure you have a mobile score of 100.

4) Run your site through this SEO score checker.

5) Visit Google Analytics and dig into your website actions and learn more about the user experience.


Utilize the steps as they are outlined. Visit #1 and dig into your website actions with Google. Use #2 to bring your score up and get any optimized content to download & use. Complete everything and then go to #3. Complete everything and go to step #4. Now go to step #5 and dig into what is actually happening with visitors and your website.

From here, you need to have a strong and consistent social presence that is updated with content related to your products & services. And you need to utilize a local online presence by being listed on local directories like YP, BBB, etc. In the UK (Ministry of Superior Commerce, Trading Standards, etc.). All of your online information (name, contact, owner, etc.) needs to be consistent and correct everywhere.

All of this will be a continual process of repeating the above steps 2-3 times per month (at the very least) for the life of your business.  


Please let us know what you discover and enjoy the process.


King Regards,



Google AdWords Top Contributor | Google Partner | GYBO | Local Guide | My Profile