In this article we will explain the process of how 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 Medium Business plan on. With the Shopping 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. Our Google Shopping API support article explains how to set up the API in your Channable account. 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 Small Business plan on. With a Shopping feed you create a file that is updated every time you run the feed in Channable. You will need to manually link the file to your Google Merchant Account after which the Google will periodically import the updated file. The difference with a Google Shopping API, is that when you run the Google Shopping feed, your products are not immediately updated in your Google Merchant Center.
If you don’t have a Google Merchant account yet, you can register an account on merchants.google.com and click on the green Sign up-button and log in with an existing Google Account. If you already have an account you can just click "Sign in" in the top right corner of the screen.
Once you are logged in to the Merchant Center, click on Products in the side menu to open your Feeds page. Next click on the blue plus button to create a new Google Shopping feed in your Merchant Center account.
Next, you will be guided through 3 screens where you will need to provide all the necessary information to set up your Google Shopping feed. The first screen looks like the one shown below and here you choose your target country and language.
After clicking Continue you will reach the second stage, in which you choose the feed name and the input method of your product feed. Here you choose the second option: Scheduled Fetch (as shown below).
After clicking continue you'll reach the last stage, in which you:
- Choose a name for the file (does not have to be the exact file name);
- Choose the frequency and time when Google will download your product feed from Channable;
- Paste the feed URL (which you can retrieve in Channable under Channels > Google Shopping feed > Preview);
- Click Save.
Entering a username and password is optional.
You have now added your feed to Google Merchant Center. Next, you can click on the name of the feed you've just created and click the three dots icon on the right-hand side and select Fetch now.
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.
- Product warnings are aspects of your product feed that can be improved but will not prevent your items from being displayed on Google.
- Product errors are aspects of your product feed that have to be improved in order for your items that have these errors to be displayed on Google. You can solve these errors by adding this information to your product feed in Channable.
Your items will now be validated by Google over the next couple of days. If you click on Products in the side menu you can track the progress of this validation process. If there is still an hourglass/timer icon displayed after your items it means that these items have not yet been validated by Google. After a few days the hourglasses/timer icons should turn into green check marks, which means your products are now live on Google!
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 SEA tool. This way you can manage both your Google Shopping feed and your shopping campaigns in one tool. You will need to include the SEA tool in 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!