Put simply, to add your products to Google Shopping, you need a Google Shopping feed. A Google Shopping feed is a collection of your website’s products and relevant product information. It organises your website’s product data in a readable format ready to connect with Google Ads.
What needs to be in a Google Shopping Feed?
The product data must include a title, description, link to your product landing pages, a link to the product’s image, availability, price and for most products, brand and GTINs. For a full list of what can be included read our blog on feed requirements. Your feed must always stay up to date with your website’s information to avoid ad disapprovals for inconsistencies.
Google Shopping feeds can be created in two formats, .txt or .xml.
- You could create a feed in Google Sheets using a Google Merchant Center template and manually enter and update the required product information.
- You could populate your feed in Google Sheets using Structured Data markups through your website’s HTML, however there are imitations around adjustable landing pages.
- Or you could use the Dynamic Creative Google Shopping Feed tool to easily create an optimised feed, that automatically updates, through API integration.
Once you’ve created your Google Shopping Feed, you must upload and register your feed in Google Merchant Centre.
What is Google Merchant Centre?
Google Merchant Center is a tool that allows retailers to connect their product data to Google Ads to create Shopping Ads. Without uploading your product feed to Google Merchant Center, you cannot advertise your products in Google Shopping.
Google Merchant Center is where you can see product ad disapprovals and other feed issues. Merchant Center rules can also be applied here to optimize the quality of your feeds or even add promotions.
You need to make a few considerations when you set up your Google Shopping Feed.
Optimise your product titles
Make sure your ads contain the words people use when searching for the products you sell. This step is very important, if you fail to do it, your products may not show up in Google. Conduct keyword research for popular terms and consider conversion data for what terms result in sales.
Research feed attributes relevant to your country of sale
Many countries now require gender and age in the feed among others. Make sure you have the necessary data in your feed to accommodate for all requirements or your ads will not show.
Keep all of your products in sync and make sure you optimise your feed when new products are added
The products on your website need to match the products in your feed for attributes like availability and price. Failing to do so will create a mismatch when Google crawls your website and your ads will be disapproved. You can set your feed to update in Merchant Centre on a regular schedule.
Also make sure all new products are added to your feed so you’re advertising every product. Remember to apply all optimizations to titles etc. to the newly added products.
Although it’s not mandatory, it’s best practice to map each of the products in your feed to the most relevant Google category. This helps Google identify where to show your products.
Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) allow Google to easily identify your products and improve the performance of your Google Shopping ads. If your product has an assigned GTIN, you must include it in your Google Shopping feed. Failing to do so will result in your ads being disapproved.
Make sure your shipping tables are accurate and up to date
Once again, this is one of the main reasons Google Shopping ads fail to show. You need to ensure you have correct shipping rules for every product, whether it be by weight or price.
Choose the right image
As mentioned above, you need to include a link to a product’s image in your feed. The image in your Shopping Ad must clearly show the product you’re advertising within Google’s Specifications. As well as displaying the product clearly, make sure every colour and variant in your feed has an accurate image.
How We Can Help
With our Google Shopping Feed Management Plan, you will get a feed, optimized and ready for you to run your own Google Shopping Ads. You’ll also get our help with Google Merchant Center disapprovals. In other words, we help get your products showing in Google.
If your products are missing GTINs we can help with a supplemental feed. We also help solve other Google policy issues like shipping rate tables and more.
We do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on Google Shopping ad management, bids, budgets and strategy.