The Google Merchant Centre is a tool for managing your product inventory so that your products can appear as Product Listing Ads on Google, and on Google Shopping and Google Commerce Search.
The product ads that appear on Google results pages will include information such as images, product descriptions, and pricing. Google Shopping is a product from Google that allows users to search for specific products that they want to buy, online.
Google Merchant Accounts
In order for these products to show up on Google, you need a Google Merchant Centre account. This account will ask for information such as your location, business information, customer service information and contact information.
You can then provide a data feed with all your products, pricing, brands, and other relevant product information. Providing this information allows users to find your products easily. The data feed can be uploaded with a simple Text (.txt), Microsoft Excel, or Google Spreadsheets document.
It’s a good idea to update your data feed often with any product inventory changes. This will ensure that your data is always current. Another key to getting the best from Google Shopping is to upload high quality images that will become product photos which appear with your ads. Good product images will vastly improve the chances of users clicking through, so make sure they are appealing photos.
Once your inventory is uploaded to your Google Merchant Centre account you can start advertising your products, in conjunction with your Google Ads account. Your products will then appear on Google results pages as Product Listing Ads (or PLA’s). You can change your ad messages and track the impact of your ads with the sophisticated reporting and performance tools from both the Merchant Centre and your Google Ads account.
Product Listing Ads use the information from your Merchant Centre product list in order to decide where your ads will appear. Rather than rely on keywords, Product Listing Ads rely on product types. So, if you sell bicycles: rather than use the keyword ‘bicycle’, Google will use the product type for ‘bicycle’. This is another reason why it’s essential that you keep your product data up-to-date.
Benefits of Product Listing Ads
Product Listing Ads tend to have higher clickthrough rates than text ads. This is most likely due to the fact that they include pictures with the ad.
Shoppers are also more likely to complete purchases from Product Listing Ads. As a merchant you have the opportunity to feature good product information in your ads to help shoppers make informed decisions. Simply put better Product information will mean better leads.
Listings are easy to manage. Rather than focus on keywords, Product Listing Ads make use of the product data (location, product type, price) provided in your Merchant Centre to show ads on results pages.
Your reach will be broader, and you’re not limited to one Product Listing Ad per results page; more than one ad can appear for any user search. Along with this, a text ad may also appear on the same results page. Effectively, your reach with shoppers could double.
Product Listing Ads will appear in their own section next to text ads on search results pages. They will also appear on the Google Shopping page, available only in selected countries for now.
So When Can We Open A Merchant Account?
Google Merchant Centre is an exciting new way to advertise your products. Though it isn’t available in South Africa just yet, we are already planning how to use this new Google feature to broaden your reach.