Merchant Center

Before you can display shopping ads, you first need to create your Google Merchant Center Account, verify it, link it to your Ads account, and then upload your product feed.

After you’ve created your Merchant Center account, you can verify it by clicking on business information inside Merchant Center and then website. Here you will find several options for completing your verification. The recommended method is to download a file that you can upload to the root folder of your website. By demonstrating to Google that you have the ability to upload files to your website, you are indicating that you have the authority needed to link a shopping account to it.

Setting up Your Data Feed

Once your account has been verified, you can upload your products to the Google Merchant Center. The Google Merchant Center doesn’t give you an interface to add products individually. Instead, you need to upload your products in a “data feed.” A data feed is essentially a table that contains your product information in a format that Google is able to read. To create a new data feed, log into Merchant Center and click on the plus button. In order to create a new feed, you are required to fill out the requested information, such as the language and location you are selling to. You will be asked to choose one of three methods for adding your data feed; Google Sheets, a scheduled “fetch” of a file off of your web server, or manually uploading a CSV file from your computer. Google Sheets is the simplest input method since it only involves updating your table of products. Google allows you to set a schedule in the merchant center to check your sheet in order to update in the data feed. With each method, products will be entered on its own row in a table. Google sheets provide a template with the right column headers for the table so that Merchant Center can read your feed properly. The columns in green are required. We will review some of them together, highlighting relevant requirements. this will give you a working knowledge of how this campaign type works. It is best practice to get familiar with all of Google’s requirements before creating your data feed.

Highlighted Requirements:

  • Product Id which has “Id” as its header. It is your product’s unique identifier. Use the product’s SKU number when possible.
  • Your product’s name will use “Title” as its column header; this is just the name of the product. It needs to match the site title from your product’s landing page.
  • “Description” is used as the column header for your product’s description. This needs to match the description from the landing page and cannot include any primatial data such as “Free Shipping.”
  • The image used in your ad to display the product needs to be accessible with a URL. Enter it in a column with “Link” as the header.
  • Enter your product availability with one of three values under a column called “Availability”. The three supported values are “In Stock,” “Out of Stock” and “Preorder.”
  • Price is required and listed under a column titled “Price.” This price needs to be the same as the price of the product on the landing page.
  • The selected product category helps Google properly match search queries to your ad. The categories that are pre- set by Google. You’ll need to visit Google’s Product Taxonomy page to choose the most relevant category. Then enter the best fit in the “Category” row.

Please read this link to learn whether your product or country have special fields you need to complete.

Linking Merchant Center to Google Ads

Next you’ll need to link your Merchant Center account to your Google Ads account.

  • Log into your Merchant Center.
  • Click on the settings dots in the upper right corner.
  • Select account linking from the drop-down menu.

From there, you can either create a Google Ads Account or link your existing one.

Launching Your Shopping Campaign

Now that the accounts and data feed are set up, launching your shopping campaign will take only a few more steps. Once linked, you can launch your shopping campaign with a few steps. A new campaign can be created in Google Ads as well as from within Merchant Center.

Now that you’ve setup your Merchant Center account and linked it to Google Ads, the exciting moment has arrived; you can launch your shopping campaign.

  1. Click on the link to create a new campaign and select Shopping. (Google preselects options based on the goal for your campaign.) For this example, select “Create a campaign with a Goal.”
  2. Select the Merchant Center account with your product data feed for this campaign and your target country.

Google gives you the option to choose ”Standard Settings” or ”Goal Optimized” settings. Select “Standard Settings”’ and continue.

Goal Optimized Settings allow you to take control of your campaign’s bidding and targeting. A goal optimized campaign will use automatic targeting to show your shopping ads on the display network. Eligibility for this option requires significant conversion sales data in your account directly related to the products you’re selling. Additionally, you’ll need a special tag, called the global site tag, on every page of your site as well as a certain number of users added to a remarketing list.

  1. After clicking “Standard Settings”, you are taken to the campaign creation page. You will see some of the same settings as the Google search campaign.
  2. Choose the appropriate settings, click save, and continue. You will be taken to the page to create your ad group.
  3. On the Ad group creation page you’ll be given the option to choose two different ad group types, “Product Shopping” or “Showcase Shopping.” Showcase shopping is a new format that lets you showcase many products inside a display ad. When you setup your product group it will create one ad group with all of the items in your inventory listed under one group. You will have the option to set only one bid for all of the items in your group. You will need to divide your products into other product groups in order to give them the separate bids that they deserve based on their value per click.

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