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How to optimize your data for standard Free Listings and enhanced Free Listings
Free Listings on Google? Absolutely! Use these best practices to list your products on Google free of charge, while attracting high-quality customers in a targeted way.
Free Listing options
Standard Free Product Listings can be shown on various Surfaces across Google. With standard Free Listings, your products can appear on Google Images, Google Search, the Google Shopping tab, Youtube, Display network and Google Lens (please check the Surface availability for your country).
Enhanced Listings are also free, and they show your products in a content-rich listing on the Shopping tab. You need to meet the requirements for both standard Free Listings and Shopping ads to be eligible. Eligibility for enhanced Listings also depends on your account status and data quality.
Let’s walk through the requirements and best practices to ensure your eligibility for standard and enhanced Free Listings, resulting in extra free traffic to your webshop. (Here is the Google page describing this process).
Free Listing policies
Google wants consumers to have a positive experience and be well informed. That’s why they’ve established Free Listing policies that merchants must follow to qualify for Free Listings. Merchants must also adhere to Google’s structured data guidelines.
Shopping ad policies
Google’s Shopping ads policy page shows the requirements for advertising on the Google Shopping platform. This page discusses policies (such as editorial and technical quality standards), prohibited content and practices, and restricted content.
If you want your products to appear in the Free Listings, you can select this option when you sign up for the Merchant Center. If you already have a Merchant Center, you can enable “Free Product Listings” in Manage programs under Growth in the left navigation menu.
You’ll need to use certain attributes to participate in the Free Listings. You’ll find the full lists of required attributes for both standard and enhanced Listings under “Product data requirements” at this Google page. (Also see the note in that section about shipping information for enhanced Listings.)
Enhance your Listings further
You have ensured that your feed has opted for Free Listings, and you’ve covered the minimum requirements. What’s next?
Here are some other ways to enrich your product feed to help your products appear in the standard and enhanced Free Listings:
1. Describe the products you are selling.
By using strong product identifiers, you can help Google better understand the products in your feed. This will increase your chances of getting offers matched to products and having your products shown in relevant queries. Some good examples are Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs / EAN), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names — include at least one of these attributes in your product data.
2. Include apparel-specific information.
If you sell apparel and accessories, use Merchant Center product attributes in your product feed to increase your product’s eligibility for Free Listings:
- Specify the product variants (color, pattern, size, etc.) using Merchant Center product data attributes.
- Submit multiple high-quality images to show different views of your product and engage your customers.
- Specify demographic attributes and additional optional attributes, such as gender, age group, size, type, and condition.
3. Use additional product data attributes.
By adding attributes, such as, canonical_ link, and offers, you can help Google match user queries with your product data.
4. Provide return policy information in your Free Product Listings.
Add shipping configuration and shipping policy links to show shipping rates and times. Customers find this information very helpful. (You must include a shipping policy for enhanced Listings, and it’s also recommended for standard Listings.)
5. Two more ways to enhance listing quality and customer trust:
If you want to increase your chances to appear on Google Surfaces and offer an improved user experience, try linking your account with a third-party platform and opting in to Google Customer Reviews.
See this Google article for more details about enhancing your Listings.
Optimize your product data
Maintaining high-quality product data will maximize the success of your Shopping ads, Listings. The product data you provide determines the way your ads and Free Listings perform on Google. To create a stronger data set for even better campaign results, read our upcoming article about customer journey.
If you would like to know how Shoparize can help you grow your business by improving the performance of your Google Shopping ads, send us an email today at firstname.lastname@example.org.