For any e-commerce business, advertising through Google is a necessity. As the world’s largest search engine, Google offers a wealth of advertising opportunities for businesses. One of the most prominent is via Google’s shopping network.
So what is the Google Merchant Center exactly? Search Engline Land best describes it as “a tool and central dashboard where online retailers can upload and store product data and manage the appearance of their e-commerce products”. This means anytime shopping ads or products are displayed, they provide the most up to date information. Which also means businesses no longer have to rely purely on Google crawling a website for product information.
Setting Up Google Merchant Center
To be able to leverage this platform, the first step is to set up a Google Merchant Center account. Setting up a Google Merchant center account involves a few different steps. The first thing to note is that a business doesn’t necessarily need to run Google shoppings ads to setup a Google Merchant Center Account. The Google Merchant Center can also be highly beneficial in maximising organic exposure of products in the market. Last year, Google even introduced their free listings options which, although not hugely effective as a single use option, can be highly effective when used in tandem with paid options such as Google shopping ads.
To begin creating a Google Merchant center account, a business only needs a gmail account. It is then a simple step by step process to setup the account where Google will ask for specific information around the business such as website address and company name. Once this has been completed individuals will then be able to choose their objectives. The two most common are “Surfaces across Google” and “Shopping Ads”. Before these two options can be used, a merchant center account needs to be verified and claimed. This means that the user of the account proves that they have authorisation of the website (verification), and the business website is exclusively claimed by the Google Merchant Center account being created. Other areas such as Shipping and Tax can also be finalised and it is recommended to do so before moving onto the products themselves.
Products can be provided to Google Merchant Center through three methods:
- Through an ecommerce platform which will can be connected directly to Google Merchant Center
- Directly through Google Merchant Center
- Through the use of Google Sheets
The best method depends on the size of the product range and business resources. For instance, using the merchant centre directly can be highly effective for small product ranges but it can be time consuming for larger product ranges. The information around these products is highlighted by Google and includes multiple dimensions such as price, material, size and product description. All of this information is not only used to help exposure in the market, but to also provide as much information to potential customers as possible.
Leveraging Google Merchant Center
Apart from utilising free listings and updating of Google Shopping Ads, there are a range of other benefits ecommerce businesses can leverage Google Merchant Center for to maximise cut-through to potential customers.
Google Merchant Center can be connected to Google Analytics allowing for individual tracking of the performance of products. This helps to further influence future marketing strategies to improve overall performance.
Remarketing made easy
Businesses can utilise dynamic remarketing ads which pulls data from Google Merchant Center. This can aid in converting any customers who previously looked at products on the company’s website, giving them a second opportunity to purchase.
Direct product promotions
One way that companies look to secure potential customers is through the use of offers and discounts. In fact data has shown that ads running promotions leads to a 28% increase in conversion rate. Through Google Merchant Center businesses are able to set up promotional feeds and offer discounts, free shipping or even free gifts, to entice customers.
Encourage brick and mortar visits
Shown next to shopping ads, local inventory ads appear to users when they are in close proximity to a brick and mortar store. These ads also display delivery and inventory information,driving customers to visit the physical location and purchase the product.
Google Merchant Center is crucial for any business looking to promote products to potential customers online! For Google Merchant Center account set up and ongoing ad campaign management and growth, reach out to the expert team at Redline Digital today.