In this article we will show the different ways available to advertise on Google using the Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is the online portal where you can send your items to Shopping Ads for Google.
In order to advertise on Shopping Ads you will need to follow these steps:
Send your products to Google Merchant Center through one of two ways
a. Create and set up a Google Shopping API
b. Create a Google Shopping feed in Channable and send your product feed to Google Merchant Center
- Connect your Google Merchant Center to Google Ads
- Create Shopping Campaigns
1a. Using the Google Shopping API to send your products to Google Merchant Center
The Google Shopping API is available from the Core standard - Medium Business plan on. Through the API, you create an immediate connection with your Google Merchant Center. This means that anytime you run the API your products will be immediately updated in Google Merchant Center. Please follow our Help Center article to setup a Google Shopping API. Once the Preview step of your API shows products in the “Successful” tab, you will also see products in your Google Merchant Center.
1b. Using the Google Shopping feed to send your products to Google Merchant Center
The Google Shopping feed is available from the Core standard - Small Business plan on. Using the feed creates a file that is updated every time it is run in Channable. This means that you need to manually link the URL file to your Google Merchant Account. From there, the feed is updated in Google Merchant Center at the scheduled fetch of the feed (please see below). In other words, the difference with the API is that when you use the Google Shopping feed in Channable, your products are not immediately updated in your Google Merchant Center. You can follow our Help Center article to setup your Google Shopping feed.
Upload your feed to Google Merchant Center
Once you are logged in, click on Products on the left side menu. Next: select: Add products.
Next, you will be taken to the Add data source page, here you will need to provide all the necessary information to set up your Google Shopping feed. Most of the setup for the feed is done on this page.
For the Google Shopping feed you made in Channable, you will need to use the option: Add products from a file.
The steps explained:
- Here you can paste the feed URL of the feed. (which you can retrieve in Channable under "Feeds > [Your Google Shopping feed] > Preview").
- Choose the frequency and time by clicking on the pencil icon. Google will download your product feed from Channable, on the filled-in settings.
- Set the target country and language.
Proceed to finish uploading the feed by clicking Continue.
Your Channable feed is now linked with your Google Merchant Center! You will be taken to a screen where you can see the settings you filled in.
By clicking the cross in the left corner of the screen, you will return to the Products page
Google will now start to process your feed and check if it contains all the necessary product information. Wait for a moment and refresh the page a few times until you see that your items have been processed.
Your items will now be validated by Google over the next couple of days. If you click on Products in the left side menu, you will see all your products and you can track the progress of this validation process.
The Visibility column indicates whether your product is shown on Google. You manage the visibility of your products yourself.
The Status column shows you whether your product has been approved for display on Google. There are 6 statuses: Under Review, Processing, Approved, Restricted, Expired and Not Approved. Google manages the approval status of products added to Merchant Center.
In short, this is what the statuses mean:
- Under Review: Google reviews the product for any issues. This usually happens when you add a new product to Merchant Center.
- Processing: Google is processing updates of the product. This takes a maximum of 15 minutes. This usually happens when you edit the product information.
- Approved: Google has reviewed the product and the product is now showing on Google.
- Restricted: The product is shown on Google, but only in certain cases. This means the product is eligible to display in some countries (but not others) or not in certain places on Google.
- Expired: Your product will expire in the next 3 days. After that, it will no longer be shown on Google If you don't update the product's details within 30 days, it will automatically expire (this does not apply to products added directly in Merchant Center).
- Not approved: The product cannot be displayed on Google. There may be one or more errors blocking the ad from being shown on Google.
You can resolve these errors by clicking on the icon (of the status) in the Visibility column and then on Review and fix or by going to the Requires attention tab in Google Merchant Center.
For more information about what the statuses mean and how to solve them, go to this Google helpcenter article.
2. Connect your Merchant Center to Google Ads
After you have sent your product feed to your Google Merchant Center and your products are live on Google, you can start using Google’s Shopping Campaigns. Shopping campaigns contain ads that are created using the product information you have submitted to your Google Merchant Center through the feed.
To start using shopping campaigns, you will need to connect your Merchant Center account to a Google Ads account. There are several situations that require different actions to connect the account. You can look up your situation and follow the steps needed in this Google Help Center article.
3. Creating Shopping Campaigns
After you have connected your Merchant Center and Google Ads accounts, you can start creating shopping campaigns. To do this, you can create shopping campaigns in your Google Ads account.
However, another option is to use Channable’s PPC tool. This way, you can manage both your Google Shopping feed and your shopping campaigns in one tool. You will need to add the PPC plan to your subscription. After that, you will need to create a Google Ads connection in Channable. You can now start to create your Shopping Campaigns in the Channable tool. Follow this guide to successfully set up shopping campaigns in our tool!