How to use the Google Merchant Center
Google Merchant Center It is a digital platform that you can use as an online retailer to upload product listings for Google Shopping ads.
All the products you see while browsing the Google Shopping tab have been uploaded via the Google Merchant Center feed. But only a portion of these listings are paid ads – they take up a large portion of the screen Free listings you can take advantage of.
This article explains how to use the Google Merchant Center and how you can start listing your products in Google Shopping for free using the Google Merchant Center. I’ll also share some best practices so you can get the most out of the free product listings feature on Google and boost your organic traffic.
Which Websites Should Use Google Merchant Center?
Google Merchant Center is all about products. Therefore, you must have products to sell if you want to benefit from using the platform.
Hence the types of websites you should consider using Google Merchant Center include:
- E-commerce stores Google Merchant Center can make it easier for users to find your products since they will see it directly in the search results before they decide to visit your website. Moreover, if the website owner uses the Buy in Google feature, products can even be purchased directly from Google search results!
- local stores that do not offer online purchases. This may come as a surprise, however With the Google Merchant Center, you can also list Products available at your local store (not an online store) in your local market. These products may also be featured in SERPs.
How can your website benefit from the Google Merchant Center?
While the Google Merchant Center targets advertisers, you can still use its features to improve your organic rankings.
The main benefits of using Google Merchant Center include:
- the ability to display products on free listings on Google,
- The option to purchase products offered directly on Google (“Buy in Google”).
As a result, your products can be more visible in search results, giving users easier access to them, which can positively affect your sales.
Where is the Google Merchant Center available?
The features of the Google Merchant Center are currently available to users from the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Types of free product listings in Google Merchant Center
Products submitted to the Google Merchant Center can appear as free product listings on Google Search.
Free product listings can be divided into three types:
Shopping tab listings
The Shopping tab in Google Search was created specifically to display products submitted through the Google Merchant Center.
In other words, you need to sign up with a Google Merchant Center account to have your products displayed in this section of Google search results.
The Shopping tab consists of slots dedicated to ads (paid listings), while free listings appear under the ads carousel:
Listings can display product attributes including price, availability, ratings, and brand annotations directly in search results.
If you’re using the Google Merchant Center, your in-store products from a local store may also appear as free listings on the Shopping tab.
Additionally, your list can include store hours, directions, phone number, product price, product availability, and even the approximate distance from the user.
Google Search (google.com)
In general, product attributes in Google search results (the All tab of the Google search results page) help make product pages eligible to appear as rich results. These results can then display useful details about a specific product as part of a search listing.
Google can enrich search results using data from the Google Merchant Center feed and structured data markup located on the website.
as it states Google Documents :
Products in the Apparel & Accessories category may be eligible to be displayed in More visual menus and browser Which includes images, titles, brands, reviews, and more product information. Users can explore products offered by many brands and retailers, with links to the retailers’ and brands’ websites to learn more. This is available on mobile in the US only as a standard listing type.
Results of searches on specific products may include a panel of product information containing product details, lists of retailers that sell that product, and product reviews. This is available on mobile and desktop in the United States, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and Argentina as the standard listing type.
Google Images (images.google.com)
Data submitted via the Google Merchant Center feed can also appear in search tab images.
Furthermore, product attributes, including price, availability, ratings, and brand can be shown directly through images in SERPs, as well as on an expanded image view.
Mobile visitors can also use it Google Lens feature To display similar products. These products can leverage data provided via Google Merchant Center data to display additional product attributes.
How do I appear in Google Merchant Center’s free product listings?
The first step to listing your products as free listings is to set up a Google Merchant Center account.
Then, on the homepage of the platform, you will find the free local products list section.
Click Continue to start setting up your products. You can also find this feature in the navigation menu by going to Programs and selecting Show your products in Google’s free product listings.
You will have to complete several mandatory steps to finish the setup process.
Let’s go through them one by one.
1. Add your business information and verify your phone number
You need to add more information about the business, including a full address and phone number.
2. Choose your customers’ check-out settings
In this step, you will configure the withdrawal options for your customers.
You can select more than one option, and you’ll be able to change this setting later in Merchant Center account configuration if needed.
Below are the available options.
on your website
In this case, users who will see your products directly in Google will have to go to your website to purchase them.
This feature enables users to purchase the product directly in the search results without visiting the site. But, of course, users can still continue to the website if they prefer.
at your local store
This option is suitable for local stores that do not sell their products online. In this case, Google users will see your product on Google but will have to go directly to your local store to purchase it.
3. Create and register a product feed
Next, you need to submit your product data to Google using the Google Merchant Center product feed – This is a mandatory step. Feeds can be found in the Products section of the Google Merchant Center.
Each new feed must be registered first. Once registered, it can be updated without having to register again.
Basic bottom line
It is the central data source that Google Merchant Center uses to access and display your product data. You can use it for:
add or remove product data,
- set language and country targeting,
- Set feed rules for your product data.
Google recommends submitting all of your products in one basic feed. If you need to exclude products, use the excluded_destination attribute.
You can also create
Supplementary summary Provides additional product data to your primary feed or feeds. However, supplemental feed cannot be used as a stand-alone feed, nor can it be used to add or remove products. Since a properly constructed feed is essential to the performance of your organic product listing, in the article I will outline important best practices that apply to your feed data.
I also encourage you to visit
Google Merchant Center documentation on product feeds. Check your website
Additional considerations for creating your Google Merchant Center product feed
A properly created feed is the most important part of the entire setup process.
Products not listed in your Google Merchant Center feed will not be eligible to appear as free shopping lists on Google.
To help you avoid any mistakes in featuring your products on free listings, I’ve put together a brief overview of best practices for creating a feed. Some of these steps can also help you improve your product’s visibility in SERPs.
To create your feed, you must use one of the following file formats:
It’s easy to create a delimited text file (CSV/TSV) but has to be re-uploaded each time. Content changes. This option is suitable for small sites that do not have a large product base.
- An XML file can be generated automatically if it is connected to a product database, which makes it suitable for huge e-commerce stores with hundreds of products. Also, your website may already be using a database to generate XML product sitemaps, so a feed implementation in this format might be the best option.
Download product feed
When you upload your data feed to Merchant Center, you have the following upload options:
- direct download
- FTP upload
- Download SFTP
- Scheduled fetch operations
- Upload via Google Cloud Storage
- Content API (advanced)
- Once your data feed is uploaded, you can also create a schedule to automatically update the feed.
Also, remember that if you are sending a zip file, it must be less than 4 GB. If a file is larger than 4 GB, it must be split into several smaller files before uploading.
You can review your feed in the Products > Feeds section of the Google Merchant Center.
Register a product brief
Follow the following steps:
- Sign in to your account
- at Merchant Center .Select “Products” in the main navigation menu on the left.
- Click on Feeds to see the settings for your different feeds.
- In the “Destination” column, you should see “Free Product Listings”.
- If you are not a subscriber, select “Growth” and manage programs in the left navigation menu. Then, click on the feature card, and follow the instructions.
Setting up your Google Merchant Center product listings takes quite a bit of extra work to get things started. However, free product listings can be tab
I hope my article gave you a better understanding of these features of Google Merchant Center and now you will be able to make the most of them to increase sales for your business.