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Tools, apps and e-commerce websites

Beginner’s Guide to Google Merchant Center

If you’re an eCommerce store, there’s no doubt that you either use Google Merchant Center or have heard of it. If you’re one of the many who use GMC, then you’ll know just how much of a great asset it is when it comes to advertising your products. We’ve put together a Beginner’s Guide to Google Merchant Center, to give you a scope into exactly what it is, what the benefits are and how to get started.

What is Google Merchant Center?

In simple terms, Google Merchant Center is a platform that allows your eCommerce store to integrate your products with Google, to showcase your them to Google shoppers. This ultimately enables your products to appear in Google, when people search for your product category.

When you sign up to Google Merchant Center you will be required to fill in some general information about your store, such as shipping and taxes. Importantly, you will also need to provide Google with all of your product data. This can be done through importing a XML. or txt. feed or a Google spreadsheet with your entire product catalogue.

Once you complete the necessary steps, you’ll hopefully be on your way to dealing with an influx of orders as a result of successful shopping ads!

Pros & Cons

Pros vs Cons of Google Merchant Center

As with anything, it’s important to consider the Pros and Cons! Let’s take a closer look at GMC’s main advantage and disadvantage…

The main advantage of using Google Merchant Center is the ability to submit precise and thorough ads for your products on Google Shopping. With Google being the most popular search engine on the planet, millions of potential people browsing may increase the traffic on your site, and thus conversions.

On the other hand, the main disadvantage of using GMC actually stems from the advantage. This being that GMC often requires very technical specifications regarding your product data. It is also important to keep in mind that in order to submit your feed, you need to prepare your catalogue in a specific format. These include XML, CSV or TXT formats.

How to get started with Google Merchant Center

Get started with Google Merchant Center
  1. First you will need an ordinary Google account to set up GMC. If you have a Gmail account, this will also work.

2. Next, you will be asked to provide Google with your online store information. This includes things like your business name, address and your shop domain.

3. You will then need to provide Google with your product information. Ensure that you include the required specifications. Attributes that are essential include:

  • Title
  • A unique product ID
  • A link to the product on your website
  • A link to an image of the product
  • Description

Once your feed is set up, you can then submit it to Google Merchant Center. If you have issues fulfilling this step, ShoppingFeeder will gladly assist you. Lastly, you will be required to submit your feed every 30 days to maintain an “Active” status. If this sounds tedious, integrate with ShoppingFeeder, and we’ll seamlessly update your feed for you.

4. Finally, to run Shopping Ads, you will need to connect your Google Merchant Center account to your Google Ads account.

If you don’t have a Google Ads account, use our guide to assist you in setting up an account.

This process needs to be performed from your Google Merchant Center account and involves 2 steps:

  • 1. Request connection to Google Ads from your Google Merchant Centre account
    • Follow these steps:
      • Settings -> Linked Accounts -> Your Google Ads account -> Select the right Customer ID -> Click ‘Link’
  • 2. Accept the connection request on your Google Ads account
    • Follow these steps:
    • Tools icon -> Setup -> Linked accounts -> Google Merchant Center -> Details -> Approve

For more information on Google Shopping, visit our resource ‘Using a Shopping Feed with Google’.

Conclusion

We hope this Beginner’s Guide to Google Merchant Center will prove to be useful! If you would like to join ShoppingFeeder to integrate with Google Merchant Center and make the process easier, get in touch or sign up for a free 14 day trial.

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