Digital marketers should start to think of the first page of Google as a coveted billboard in Times Square. The major commercial real estate intersection in Midtown Manhattan is one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections. If you have a compelling billboard in this ideal New York City neighborhood, it will be seen by a lot of people and raise awareness for your brand.
When it comes to Google, there are several ways to obtain page one positioning. There are the paid advertisements on the top of the page and along the right hand side (pay-per-click). There are the organic listings, which if you earn one of these placements, can result in a great return on investment for your company since you will not have to pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
A component that is often overlooked are the images that populate for Google Shopping. If you are searching for an e-commerce product, imagery will populate if you set-up a Google Merchant Center account and tie this to your Adwords.
The process is relatively straightforward to setting-up a Google shopping campaign. Yet since Google Merchant Center is outside of the Adwords interface, online advertisers and business owners can be intimidated by the set-up process.
In four easy steps, I will be teaching you how to setup a Google Shopping Campaign.
This will ensure that your e-commerce products stand out versus the competition on Google. The prime real estate and bright imagery will represent a bright billboard for people looking for your product on Google. The only difference is that the cost per click on your shopping campaign ill be a lot cheaper.
1. Create and a Google Data Feed Through Google Merchant Center
What is a Google Shopping Data Feed?
According to Moz, Your Google Product Listing Ads (PLA) product data feed at its simplest is a detailed spreadsheet. This file has all of your products information: everything you sell and all of the product information specific to those products (eg. size, color, URL).
The image below shows how easy it is to fill out this excel document. Once you have all of the correct information in-place, it is as simple as submitting the data feed through Google Merchant Center.
2. Make Sure to Obtain the Key Information
The product ID, condition, price, shipping, availability, MPN and brand are just a few of the different category information that you will need to get in order to successfully launch a Google shopping campaign.
There is nothing worse than paying for a click over the course of a month if the product was out of stock the entire time.
When creating a Google Shopping campaign, it makes sense to have a point of contact within the company that has a grasp on all of the product and inventory information. Depending on your role, it is recommended to meet with this point of contact either on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
datafeed.com put together a great list on “The 10 most common errors in your Google Merchant Center.” Make sure you are staying away from these errors so your data feed is properly optimized!
3. Upload the Data Feed to Google Merchant Center
According to Google Merchant Center, you can either conduct a direct upload, FTP upload, SFTP upload or schedule fetches to upload your data feed.
You will want to make sure the file sizes are under Google’s recommendations so the process works seamlessly. Once you create a Merchant Center account, you will be able to verify that you data feed has been properly uploaded. If there are issues, Google will point them out to you through your dashboard so you can make simple adjustments.
It can take up-to 3-business days for your items to be reviewed so make sure to be patient!
4. Link Google Adwords account with your Merchant Center Account
You will need to make sure you link your Adwords account with your Google Merchant Center account. Once the accounts are linked, you can take advantage of retail-centric AdWords campaign tools to improve your presence on the web.
The linking between the two accounts will allow for you to create shopping campaigns to advertise your products. The information is shared between the two accounts and you can start to gauge performance for each product and make adjustments accordingly.
Follow this simple two-step process to get your accounts linked today!
Let Your Customers Start Shopping For Your Product!
Don’t be intimidated by Google’s Merchant Center. If you are proficient in Excel and have an understanding of your product information along with its inventory, you will be able to grasp this platform.
If you follow the aforementioned steps, within 72-hours, you can have your products populate on the top of Google in the form of images. This will make your products stand out from your competitors who have not yet started with Google Merchant Center.