Google Merchant: Create and optimize your product feed

The product feed you provide to the Google Merchant is the basis of advertising in Google Shopping. In this blog, we’ll look at how to create a product feed and what areas to focus on.

The product feed is a list of your products, with their specific attributes (details), provided to the Google Merchant. Google Merchant thne passes the necessary information to Google Ads to create a Shopping ad. Of course, this process requires that you have your Google Merchant account linked to Google Ads. If you do not have it yet, read how to proceed here. 

You can create your product feed in two ways – either manually, by entering the necessary attributes into an Excel spreadsheet, or by using our unique BlueWinston tool, which helps you to create Google Merchant feed with  just a few clicks.

Creating product feed manually:

If you are creating a product feed manually, you will need to include mandatory attributes of the product details such as product ID, product name, brand, URL, price, description, image link, availability. There are others, but these are either optional or mandatory for some product types only. For a full list of details, you can use to define the products in your feed, click here.

Optimize your product feed

Since Google Merchant provides the Google Ads information you upload, it is important that your e-shop product feed is kept up-to-date and as specific as possible. We’ve outlined a few areas you should pay particular attention to when creating your product feed for Shopping ads, or optimize them when your ads aren’t producing the desired results:

  1. Proven Product Name Structure

Product name substitutes for keywords and ad title. It is therefore important to make it as clear as possible. Here are some of our recommendations for creating a good name for different product types:

Apparel: Brand + Gender + Product type + Attributes (color, size, material)

Consumables: Brand + Product Type + Attributes (Weight, Quantity)

Hard goods: Brand + Product + Attributes (size, weight, quantity)

Electronics: Brand + Attributes + Model Type + Model

Seasonal: Opportunity + Product Type + Attributes

Books: Title + Type + Format (hardcover, eBook) + Author

In addition to correctly formulating the name, it is also necessary to pay attention to the maximum number of characters that the product name can contain. Google set it to up to 150 characters. However, for different ad impressions, this length may vary, and in some cases only the first 70 characters followed by the three dots will be shown. Since you don’t know exactly where and in which format your ad will appear, try formulating your name so that it is clear what product you are offering from the first 70 characters. 

  1. Optimize images

Eligible images are the second most important component of the Google Merchant product feed after the ad title. Learn how to optimize images for Shopping ads in our older blog.

  1. Obey the advertising policies

Google’s advertising policies define what is allowed in ads on their networks, and what your ad is likely to be disapproved for. In addition to prohibiting the advertising of certain product types, the policies also define rules that can help you optimize your product feed for Google Merchant. These include, for example, restricting the use of certain characters in product names, exaggerated capitalization, and so on.

Get familiar with Google Ads Advertising Policies here.

  1. Update

The product feed needs to be constantly updated as the price of products or their availability changes. This activity is undoubtedly time consuming, but unless the feed and hence the Merchant Center contains up-to-date information, products that are not available will be unnecessarily advertised or the price in the e-shop will not match the price in the ad. This is one of the main reasons we don’t recommend creating an XML feed manually, but rather use one tool that does it for you. Read on…

I want to save time and use BlueWinston:

If you don’t have the time to create and optimize Google Merchant-compatible product feeds over time, we’re here to help. We bring you one very handy solution – a unique BlueWinston application that helps you process product information from the regular product feed for price comparators and updates and uploads data to your Google Merchant account directly through the Google Content API.

The main advantage is that data such as price and availability changes are updated in Google Merchant in seconds, not after longer time as it is when uploading a feed manually. In addition, if you use CMS ecommerce platforms like Shopify or Magneto, install the BlueWinston plugin and the application will automatically create a product XML feed for you. You don’t need programmers or other tools> to use BlueWinston and advertise through Google Shopping.

 

About the Author:

Lukáš Ťapušík