Whether you’re new to the world of e-commerce or you’ve been in the game for a while, the phrase product categories is one that you’ve probably encountered time and time again. But what exactly does it mean? And how can you leverage Google’s product categories to give your business a boost?
When you upload an item to your online store, it will be assigned a product category – essentially a piece of code that tells Google how to categorise the item. If done right, this categorisation can help your listing appear at the top of search rankings, outperforming your competitors and driving impressive sales.
In the past, assigning a Google product category was something that was done manually. But now, the search engine has begun automatically categorising products as soon as they are uploaded. And for many merchants, this has come as something of a relief – particularly those who are not well versed in web design. With this feature, there’s no need for individuals to scroll through 6,000 categories to find the one that best suits their product, so it saves plenty of time. But there are a few issues with automating this process that you’ll need to be aware of.
For starters, Google is not infallible, and sometimes mistakes can be made when it comes to categorising your products. And ending up in the wrong category doesn’t just mean decreased visibility. In fact, it could lead to all sorts of problems, from miscalculated tax to unnecessary additional fields. What’s more, what do you do when Google’s automatically assigned categories are not in line with your marketing campaign.
Thankfully, the option to override Google’s automatic product categories remains. And there are still plenty of benefits to taking this approach. By inputting categories manually, for example, you’ll have more control over how your products are classified by Google, allowing for more accurate search results – and, in turn, increased sales. With improved visibility, you’ll find that your Click-Through Rate improves and the cost of your Product Listing Ads decreases – not bad for a job which, while somewhat tedious, most people with time and patience can learn to execute.
What’s more, you don’t actually have to do the work yourself. If you’ve decided to go down the manual product categories route, companies such as Add to Cart can take care of all the details on your behalf. By signing up to our online marketplace, you’ll automatically benefit from our expert SEO and marketing techniques – including bespoke product category settings and more.