Online shopping – let’s be honest, it’s where we do most of our buying these days. Even when we buy a product in-person, we often search for it online beforehand…particularly with Google Shopping. We price it up, see if we like it. But no one wants the hassle of sifting through dozens of websites for each brand and label. It’s a pretty clunky experience.
That’s where online marketplaces – like Amazon and Google Shopping – come in. They’re a one-stop-shop for everything you need… and pretty much anything else, to be honest.
In fact, 85 percent of product searches start on either Amazon or Google – search is 36 percent of product discovery. That’s why it’s critical to showcase your product with Google Shopping ads through the Google Merchant center.
Get Your Products in Google Shopping
What is Google Shopping?
Google Shopping is a service to search, compare, and shop for products from different retailers. Those retailers pay to advertise their products – it’s called a Comparison-Shopping Engine (CSE). And Google Shopping is one of the biggest. Unlike other forms of Google advertising, you’re not showing ads. Rather, merchants upload product data to display in Google Shopping ads.
The upsides are obvious.
Retailers benefit from Google Shopping because when shoppers click on a product link, they’re forwarded to the retailer’s site, ready to make a purchase. It’s the ultimate way to fast-track customers from search to buy. In fact, if you’re not advertising with Google shopping ads, you’re missing out on millions of potential searches.
Whatever you want is just a search away. Say you’re moving to a bigger house and you need a fridge. When you Google “fridge”, you’ll see a bunch of related links… and right next to it is the sponsored Google Shopping ads. You can even tailor your search to find the exact product you’re after.
And your customers can too.
How to Get Your Products into Google Shopping
Below you can find a quick bullet-point list of the steps involved. Need a little more guidance? Then read on below!
- Create a Google Merchant Center Account
- Refine Your Product Photos
- Add in Your Product Data
- Use Your Google Ads Account
- Setup a Google Shopping Ads Campaign
- Your Products are Now on Google!
Google Shopping is fantastic – so, how do you use it? To help you get started, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide walking you through everything you need to know to set up an account and begin uploading your products to Google Shopping ads.
1. Create a Google Merchant Center Account
To use Google Shopping ads, you’ll first need to create an account for Google Merchant Center.
Google Merchant Center is the online hub for all your Google Shopping campaigns. Here, you’ll set up your ads, optimize your product imagery, and control your ads progress.
2. Refine Your Product Photos
Like you’d edit a Google ad’s copy, you should also refine your product photos. Google Shopping is all about the visual experience. Not only should your product description capture the essence of the object – but the photos must also attract the shopper to click and buy.
Google will actually remove Google Shopping ads with low-quality images.
In fact, Google conducts routine quality checks and suspends poor quality Google Shopping accounts. So, you won’t be able to sell at all.
But the reverse is also true. Campaigns using high-quality images will catch shoppers’ eyes and keep them coming back. It’ll show off your product and help your shopper’s pick. All you need to do is stick to the standard rules (Google publishes image guidelines). Here’s what you want to do:
- The background should be blocked white, gray, or light-colored.
- The image should show the product as sold.
- The product lighting should be clear and even.
- You can add in rearview and close-up shots.
- The product should take up around 75 to 90% of the final image.
- There should be no blur, noise, or unusual image tweaks.
3. Add in Your Product Data
Next, you’ll want to collect together your product data and start inputting it into Google Merchant Center.
Click Products > Feeds in your Google Merchant Center account to start, then select the blue cross icon. You’ll need to fill out your details, as well as how you’ll input your product data.
Google accepts spreadsheets. They must include the correct index and info. Follow Google Merchant Center’s Product data specification instructions for further information.
Simply upload the document once you’ve got the info in the correct format. If you want to access your product feed in future, head into your Google Merchant Center account and select Products > Feeds > Primary feeds.
4. Use your Google Ads Account
Where Google Merchant Center stores your product info, Google Ads is how shoppers see your product.
To link your Google Ads account to your Google Shopping account, click on three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner of your Google Merchant Center account page. Next, select Account linking and enter your Google Ads customer ID. You should now be linked.
Otherwise, you’ll need to set up a Google Ads account – and complete the above steps.
5. Set up a Google Shopping Ads Campaign
In the Google Merchant Center, you should be able to click Create Shopping Campaign. From there, you’ll need to input all the info about your campaign. Then click Create.
Next, decide on your shopping campaign goal: Sales, Leads, or Website traffic. It will determine how and when your ad will be shown.
You can also place bids under Google Shopping settings. For example, your ad budget is $1,000 per month or approximately $33 per day. So, Google may often spend more than $33 a day buying ads but won’t spend over $1,000 in a month. The system will optimize the best time to show your ad for the money.
You can also tweak your ad’s targeting and scheduling. Under Location options, you can target your current location. Or you can set the start and end date of the campaign. So, your ad could only play during weekends, for instance.
6. Your Ads are Now on Google Shopping!
And voila! Your product is now being showcased on Google Shopping. Simply continue to manage the campaign through Google Merchant Center. Now you’re ready to get started.