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Maximize Your Froogling for the Holidays

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Are you familiar with Froogle? If you are an online merchant, you certainly should be.

Froogle is Google’s product search engine and was launched as a “beta product” in December 2002. Froogle’s significance is in its ability to generate free “qualified” visitor traffic for online merchant productsassuming they gain “maximum exposure”.

What can “maximum exposure” in Froogle produce for online merchants? Merchants who have pursued Froogle maximization for their products have reported significant traffic and associated sales increases. One merchant generated over $19,000 in less than 20 days. Examples like this suggest that Froogle maximization is a worth-while strategy.

There are multiple ways to access Froogle, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Involuntarily methods include Google spidering your product web pages and adding them to their Froogle product index, or if you have a Yahoo or eBay store, your products may be automatically indexed. However, the most effective way to access Froogle comes through voluntarily actions on your part through submitting a data feed (txt file) directly to Froogle.

Yet rather than going into details about Froogle data feed submission techniques and requirements, the focus of this article is on highlighting the most important strategies for gaining “maximum exposure.”

Froogle maximization involves focusing your efforts on two, interdependent parts: your Froogle data feed and your product web page (i.e. Froogle landing page).

Maximizing Your Data Feed

The first part of Froogle maximization focuses on setting up your data feed. Unfortunately, many data feed submission programs including shopping carts build feeds that are not maximized for Froogle. Therefore, always review your data feed and implement these maximization strategies:

Include all relevant product information in your data feed. If you have information for optional data fields like brand or ISBN, include it. Keep in mind that the information in your data feed must match the information on your product web page.

Write a product name that uses a general product name, the brand name, model name, manufacturer and product type. Think about how potential buyers will search for your product and use these identifiers.

Keep the description around 40 – 60 characters. Recent research studies are showing that a shorter description leads to a better position – possibly a factor of a keyword relevancy factor.

Enter the product category path for YOUR website into the data feed; not the Froogle category. Unfortunately. Google states that many merchants enter the Froogle categories where they believe their product should be listed.

Use the Froogle merchant center for identifying any errors with your data feed. Although the Froogle merchant center is simple – it does provide excellent information to assist in correcting data feed issues.

Be careful, Google has reported problems with merchant’s website image files having a robots.txt file. The result is a Froogle listing with a missing image – a situation that can decrease visitor click-through.

When naming your image files, the name you give it is very important. Similar to alt tags for conventional search engine optimization, the image should use the primary product keyword such as mp3player.gif or plasmatv.gif in its naming convention.

Froogle does not accept images that are 90×90 or smaller. So if you do not have a larger image, then simply do not submit one. The best thing to do is send Froogle the same full-size image on your web page and they will re-size it to fit their interface.

Maximizing Your Product Web Page

The second part of Froogle maximization involves your product web page. This is the most overlooked aspect to Froogle maximization and potentially the most important. Although Froogle requires a data feed, it works very similar to a traditional search engine by crawling a web page for relevant factors. So your product web page plays an essential role in gaining maximum exposure in Froogle.

In general, your product web page should be laid out in a manner that can be easily crawled by Froogle which means using HTML.

If you are using tables on your product web page, put your product image, title, description and price into one cell or as few cells as possible.

Include your “add to cart” button (or other purchase indicator) within the same table as your price and product image.

The “$” sign (dollar sign) should appear and may be of greater value if it is BOLD and of a larger font.

Keep the title and description listed on your product web page identical to the one listed in your Froogle data feed.

Add an uninterrupted 25 – 28 word sentence for your description that includes your keyword and is meaningful to visitors.

Place the product description directly underneath the product title and, if possible, within the same cell as the title, price, and image.

Froogle pays attention to the product title tag on your web page. Add a unique title tag for each product web page.

Research has shown that a higher PageRank does not guarantee a higher position in Froogle. In addition, a product listing in Froogle will not transfer any PageRank to your website.

Are You Taking Advantage of Froogle’s New customer satisfaction Rankings?

Recently Froogle introduced a “customer satisfaction ranking” feature for their merchants’ product listings. The rankings are actually pulled from shopping comparison websites like BizRate.com, Shopping.com and others. As a merchant and if you have not done so already, it is highly recommended to setup your products on at least one of the shopping comparison websites to gain a customer satisfaction ranking on Froogle.

Froogle users searching for a product will connect greater credibility with a merchant sporting the rankings versus ones without. If you are competing against a category-killer or large retailer like Target, Staples, Amazon or others, this may be essential since all of these merchants will certainly have customer satisfaction rankings.

As an added bonus, shopping comparison websites have shown to generate a higher sales conversion rate than other marketing channels. Therefore, not only will you help maximize your Froogle strategy; you may also drastically improve your sales conversion rate by adding your products to a shopping comparison website.

By following, these data feed AND product web page strategies, you will gain tremendous advantage over your competition and strive towards generating “maximum exposure” for your Froogle product listings during the Holidays.

Kevin Gold is CEO of Enhanced Concepts, specializing in turning website visitors into leads or sales, co-editor of WebSalesability.com and published writer. Get a free report, “12 Sure-fire Ways to Increase Your Website Sales” and an exclusive 5-day website conversion email course by visiting www.enhancedconcepts.com.

Maximize Your Froogling for the Holidays
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