Optimize your images for better ad performance

Images are an important part of the ads, a key factor when a customer decides whether or not to buy your product. Bad and poor-quality images can discourage him or her, which will be reflected in the marketability of the product and related conversion rate. We have listed some recommendations for you to avoid such a situation.

Google (Smart) Shopping Ads is a unique way to advertise your products in an imaginary catalog with their images. The user can then decide based on the visual whether he or she is interested in your product or not. It is therefore very important what images you provide to create your ad.

An image is usually the first thing to hit the user’s eyes when searching for a particular product. Therefore, if you use an inadequate, low-quality, or unclear image, it may simply happen that your ad is bypassed, and the customer opts for your competitor instead.

Therefore, we’ve put together a few recommendations to help prevent your ad from being disapproved for using the wrong image. Some recommendations are already in the basic Google requirements, others are recommendations from practice.

image optimization example

  1. The image must be in the feed

Your data feed must contain a product image. If you don’t have an image of your product, don’t include it in your feed, as your ad will be disapproved unnecessarily.

We also recommend that you use multiple images of the same product. You can add links to up to several images in your product feed. Use this feature to present your product from different angles or highlight its details.

  1. The image shall be clear

It’s clear that the image must match the product you’re advertising. It must be clear what concrete product you are selling. It cannot be obscured by shadows, watermarks, text (unless included in the product) and so on.

Ideally, we recommend taking a picture with a white background and retouch it to make the product stand out as much as possible. You may know your product in detail, but the customer usually does not, and their decision is based on what they see. Therefore, they should see in the picture what exactly it is and what the details of the product are.

Avoid taking pictures of stills composed of multiple objects that could distract the customer’s attention.

  1. Allowed image formats and sizes

Supported image formats for Shopping Ads are: GIF (.gif) (not animated), JPEG (.jpg / .jpeg), PNG (.png), BMP (.bmp), and TIFF (.tif / .tiff).

Images should be square. Minimum resolution is 100x100px, for clothes 250x250px. However, we recommend using a larger one, such as 800x800px. They must fit up to 64MB in size, while the minimum image size of 16MB.

Image size determines whether an ad will be confirmed or disapproved – just as too small also a too large image can be the reason for disapproval.

If the product image appears cropped, it is most likely because you did not meet the conditions of this step and you should replace it with another.

  1. The correct URL for the images

In addition to the correct format of the image itself, you must also consider its URL address format. You list it in the product feed, and Google then uses the image to use to create your ad.

Therefore, it is important that he is able to read and crawl this address. If it cannot do it, your ad simply won’t show. URL must start with either http or https.

The [image_link] category in your product feed must direct to the first image you want to use in your ad.

Check continuously to see if the URL of your images has not changed, for example, whether they have been moved or deleted.

What if the ad gets disapproved anyways?

Images largely determine the performance of your (Smart) Shopping ad. Pay attention to how you want to present your product to the potential customers.

If your ad gets disapproved despite meeting the conditions, you can request a manual review, which may take up to several days. You will then receive an email that either approves your ad or describes in detail which areas need to be fixed to get your ad approved.

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About the Author:

Consultant for online business and marketing. Holder of every Google Ads certification. Account manager for BlueWinston and Shopping in EU. CSS Hero. Gamer.