Google set introduce ‘pay to display’ shopping this New Year

Google merchants centre is used to upload a list of products from an ecommerce website so that the products appear in the Google search results allowing SMEs to benefit from product related search queries however Google have since announced that it is no longer going to be a free service.

The merchants centre will soon be rebranded Google Shopping which has already been launched in the US. Google have said that the shopping ranking model will be similar to the current pay per click model and be based on relevancy and bid price. We have listed 4 tips to help SMEs get the most from the new Google Shopping:

Be creative

To avoid being penalised for duplicate content, be creative when writing product descriptions so that they are unique. This can be a time consuming task for business owners who have wide variety of products however when done properly can result in gaining the edge over competitors.

Stay competitive

Shopping results are completely transparent so users can easily compare your prices directly with competitors so it is important for business owners to review pricing structure and ensure they are offering their best price possible.

Refresh content

Google are making it more challenging for merchants with ads expiring every 30 days. This may seem a little harsh but refreshing your content will help keep you on top of the search results.

Make the most of local search

SMEs should remember to get themselves listed on Google places if they are already using the merchants centre as the two features can be linked together so that when a user is searching for products, Google will display the local stores which stock the searched item. It is important to note that this feature is only available if the business has a retail outlet.

These new charges are going to stretch marketing spends even further for most small business owners however Google are claiming that “having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date” which “should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants”

Agree or not, the commercial model will be launched this year across the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland.