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Product Images: Here’s Why They Can Make or Break Your Google Shopping Product Ads


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Don’t sell another day without optimizing your product pages for Google Shopping!

So, you’ve built your website. All preparations have been made to begin selling products listed in your catalog. The website is fully white hat optimized and all titles, descriptions, and alternative text entries have been checked for organic SEO optimization. You know what that means: it’s time to sell.

However, achieving a steady stream of organic traffic is a lofty goal for a new online store. This is because generating organic traffic takes a long time to produce profitable results. As such, eCommerce stores generally must rely on some form of paid online advertising to increase the reach of their influence and attract new customers.

According to a 2012 study by Fleishman Hillard, roughly 89% of all consumers relying on search engines to source and purchase products online, and nearly 50% of those consumers doing so from their mobile devices, so it’s important to find a mobile-friendly, search engine-based advertising platform. Amassing nearly 70% of the search market share and reporting around 18 billion searches performed per year, Google and its AdWords-fueled Google Shopping system should be your first pick.

In this article, we will explain how the quality of your product photography can make or break your Google Shopping product ads.

How It Works

The efficiency of product ads in Google Shopping heavily depends on optimized components of product pages, such as titles and descriptions, in retailer’s online stores. However, eCommerce businesses that sell the most actually owe their success to their high quality and web-friendly product images, which are crucial in driving sales. Here’s why:

Imagine that you are searching Google for a “red dress” and Google Shopping presents you with two product ads (photos shown above). These ads contain images, relatively similar prices, and a link to each product’s page on its respective seller’s website, but one image is clearly superior to the other. Which would you choose?

Google Shopping red dress

That’s because beautiful product images ignite the emotional part of the human brain, producing a chemical reaction that drives an individual to make a decision. At the same time, the logical portion of the brain judges image quality and sorts businesses into one of two categories: (1) businesses that are willing to go the extra mile for customers and (2) businesses that would rather cut corners.

Knowing this, Google Shopping enforces strict quality standard guidelines for advertising sellers, both to maintain a professional appearance as an online shopping platform and to encourage shoppers to return time and time again to the Google Shopping network. Here’s an excerpt from the Google Merchant Center Help page:

“In order to provide a high-quality experience to our users, the product data provided to Google needs to accurately describe your items and has to reflect the status of the products on your website at all times. If your product data doesn’t meet our quality standards, your products will be removed from Google shopping until the issues have been addressed.”

Google Shopping Ads guidelines and specifications might be a little long and complex. Take a look at the infographic below, and understand easily technical information that matters to have your products successfully listed.

Google Ads image guidelines

According to a recent study by Compete, 25% of consumers were dissatisfied with products they purchased online because the products were “not as described.”

There is no sense in risking precious sales and incurring negative feedback by not utilizing accurate, high quality product images.

By assuring that all product images meet SEO standards and Google Shopping guidelines, online store owners can better guarantee customer satisfaction, both in-store and online.

Since Google Shopping acts as a comparison engine, enhanced product data alongside competitive pricing and accurate imagery all work together to attract business. Google Shopping gives advertisers the ability to assign products a number of searchable attributes that customers may use to find relevant results. Stores who are able to provide every plausible search query for each of their products enjoy selling power well above stores who have not optimized for Google Shopping. Over time, organically optimizing product pages can influence natural sales as well.

Over 80 million US consumers per year, between the ages of 18 and 65, will search for a product on Google. Store owners owe it to themselves to be as optimized as possible to drive more sales and secure more return customers.

Saving time and resources by creating low quality product images could ultimately mean taking a loss at the end of the next quarter.

Are you willing to take that chance?