Product advertising is one of the most effective promotion methods for e-commerce that supports positioning. To run a Google Shopping campaign at all, you need to create and configure a Google Merchant Center account. What is Google Merchant Center, why do you need to have it and how to configure and optimize it to achieve the best sales results? Get tips from Paraphrase.Online‘s Google Ads experts!
Google Merchant Center – what is it?
Google Merchant Center is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to create Shopping campaigns on the Search Network, Shopping tab, and Display Network. Through the Google Merchant Center, you send Google information about products available in the assortment, and Google displays them in the form of Shopping ads. With Google Merchant Center, you can run dynamic remarketing and show your customers exactly the products they previously viewed in your store.
How to create a Google Merchant Center account?
You only need a Google Account to create a Google Merchant Center account. You can create a Google Merchant Center account at the following link: https://www.google.com/retail/solutions/merchant-center/. On the screen that appears, click the “Get Started” button and log in to your Google Account using your email address and password. It is worth using the same email address for all Google services, such as Google Analytics, Google Merchant Center and Google Ads, so that all the necessary information and messages are in one place. After logging in, Merchant Center will guide you through all the steps and tell you exactly what to do to complete your account creation.
How do I create a Google Merchant Center account?
One of the first steps in creating a Google Merchant Center account is completing your business information, such as:
– company name,
– country of operation,
– time zone,
– the place where customers are expected to pay for their purchases (local brick-and-mortar store or your website),
– other informatin (tools you use, consent to messages, etc.).
After filling in all the fields, click the “Create Account” button. Your account is created, but you need to set up to use it.
How to set up a Google Merchant Center account?
To take full advantage of Google Merchant Center features, you need to set up your account. The system will guide you through the setup step by step. The setup steps involve several components.
Supplementing contact details about the company
To take full advantage of the Google Merchant Center account, you must complete contact details, such as address, telephone number (for verification purposes), contact to customer service.
Verification of the website address and claiming rights to it
To set up a Google Merchant Center account, you need to verify your website address and claim rights to it. You can do this through Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager or adding HTML in the source code of the page. Google recommends the last method.
Set up delivery
Inform users directly in Google results about the time and cost of delivery. All you have to do is complete the information in the Google Merchant Center system. Inform:
– to which countries you send orders,
– is there a free shipping, and if so, for which products, from what value of the order, from what weight / number of products, for which delivery methods.
Optionally, in the same section, you can also configure the terms and conditions for returning products by buyers. You will determine if returns are possible or the customer pays the return costs, you will add a link to the returns policy on the website.
Linking your Google Merchant Center account with Google Ads
To create a Shopping ad, you’ll need to link your Google Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts. To do this, add your Google Ads account ID in GMC. You can find your account ID in Google Ads. Go to help (question mark at the top right of the page). Copy it and put it in Google Merchant Center, then send an account linking request.
To complete the linking of accounts, go to Google Ads to the section: Tools and settings (wrench icon) -> Google Ads account setup -> Linked accounts. Find Google Merchant Center and go to the details. There you will find the account you want to link – click “view request” and “Approve”. To verify that the accounts have been properly linked, go back to the Google Merchant Center tool and check that the “Linked Accounts” tab has an active link and your Google Ads account ID.
Adding products to Google Merchant Center
You still need products to create a Shopping campaign. You need to add them to Google Merchant Center. You can do this individually or in bulk via the product feed.
Enable Shopping ads
Shopping ads in your Google Merchant Center account aren’t turned on by default – you’ll need to turn them on yourself. You can do it in your account – on the left side of the GMC administration panel you will find the “Development” section. Go to it and then to the “Manage programs” tab. In the Shopping ads section, click the “Join” button. Then you will be able to set up your first Shopping ad in Google Ads.
How to optimize Google Merchant Center and increase sales?
Want to get the most out of your Shopping ad? This is possible, as long as you decide to go ahead with comprehensive optimization of your Google Merchant Center account. Below, we’ll share some tips with you to help you maximize your profits from the Google Shopping advertising channel.
1. Make your ads stand out
Google Merchant Center offers the ability to highlight your ads through the “Customer Reviews” program, which you can join in the “Program Management” section, then your store reviews will appear in text ads in the search results and in the Google Shopping tab. Reviews can come from different sources, such as price comparison websites or the Google consumer feedback program, but it is a program for online stores with high recognition – reviews about your store will be displayed only if you have at least 150 reviews and a rating of at least 3.5 stars.
2. Add your brand logo in Google Merchant Center
Do you want to strengthen your image by advertising products on the Display Network? Use your brand logo for this purpose. You can add them in Google Merchant Center in two shapes – rectangular and square, as well as complement the background color. To do this, go to the settings, select “About the company” and the “Branding” tab.
3. Optimize the title of your ad
To improve the performance of your ads, include any important attributes in your title that may make your ad more relevant to your query and convey important information to the user. Add attributes such as:
– color, size, intended use of the product (female / male),
– pattern, material from which the product is made.
However, keep in mind that the ad title can be up to 150 characters long – if you go over the limit, your ad will not be approved. Therefore, try your best to optimize your title. Key information, especially information that is not visible in your product photo, should be placed at the very beginning of your title.
4. Take care of high-quality images
Want to improve the performance of your Shopping ads? Make sure your product feed includes high-quality images. Include:
– White background,
– the highest possible resolution of photos so that the customer can enlarge the photo without losing quality,
– view of the product from different perspectives,
– contextual photos.
Avoid product photos that contain watermarks, promotional messages or sales slogans. Create your own photos, instead of using product photos from manufacturers. This way, your ad will stand out from competing offers and possibly generate more clicks and conversions.
5. Add as much product data as possible
Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your Shopping ad with Google Merchant Center? Complete the product with as much detailed information as possible, such as the current price, product availability, inventory, ID and EAN (GTIN) numbers, if they have been assigned to the products you sell. Detailed data will allow customers to make better and more informed purchasing decisions.
Google Merchant Center is a tool necessary for product advertising on Google, which is one of the most effective forms of paid promotion for online stores. Creating a GMC account and its configuration will not be difficult even for people with no experience, because the system will guide you through the next steps, step by step. The tool contains many additional functions that should be tested already at the stage of running product campaigns.