nfortunately, getting your products in Google Shopping is not that simple. This is because there are many requirements to match your products to the wishes of Google. In short, it is about four layers:
- Your webshop: here are all your products with all product specifications.
- A product feed: the ‘flattened’ version of your webshop. This can be done via:
- A feed manager
- A plugin on your website
- An XML export
- Google Merchant Center (GMC) or a CSS: the platform where you product feed is linked to Google’s shopping services
- Google Ads: here you create your Shopping campaign from the link with GMC or a CSS
1. Your webshop
Of course you already have all your products on your webshop. It is important that you place clear images and product information on this. That is of course good for your conversion, but also as a start for your placements in Google Shopping. For ultimately good search results in Google (organic and paid traffic), you already want to take SEO search terms into account here.
2. The product feed
The product feed is actually the interpreter from your website to Googl Shopping. This feed is a compiled XML file that is filled accorden communicate this to Google. Fill in as much product information as you can. In any case, all mandatory fields, but also as many optional fields as possible. You can create your product feed with three options.
A feed manager is a third party that translates the information from your website on a separate platform. You select the fields you need yourself and link them to the necessary fields from Google.
A second option is a direct plug-in in your website to Google Merchant Center. This replaces the option of a feed manager, but it is directly to Google.
Advantage : direct link with Google.
Disadvantage : extra scripts on your website often contain more functions than just the necessary export, making it slower.
You can also make the export yourself, by filling in the fields exactly as Google wants them. You can often arrange this with your website builder, if they understand XML exports. This is less advisable when you have a lot of changes (such as stock) in your products.
Advantage : direct lightweight coupling.
Disadvantage : requires customization from the website builder.
3. Google Merchant Center or CSSs
To link the product feed to Google’s Search Engine, you need a platform that turns your product feed into visible products again.
For this, Google has created its Merchant Center. This removes all products from the product feed, recognizes the errors, explains how you can fix them and makes the redirection to organic and paid search results within the shopping environment.
It is also possible to make this connection via a third-party platform, a Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) partner. These are a VP Financial Email List kind of comparison sites that also display their affiliated webshops within Shopping and do exactly the same as Google with Merchant Center.
Side note in between:
Pretty crazy right? A comparable service from third parties? This arose from ain which Google received a hefty fine of 2.4 billion euros from the European Commission for abuse of power. It was found that Google did not have the right to favor their Shopping ads, here they had to allow other comparison sites as well. This is how the CSS platforms were created.
And should you choose Google Merchant Center or a CSS? That’s a tough question, it has both pros and cons. With a CSS you get a 20% discount on your cost per click, that sounds very nice. However, you pay this CSS an extra separate rate. Google Merchant Center is from Google itself and it is just free to use. There are many CSS systems and they all work differently and have their advantages and disadvantages