How to set up google shopping

Setting up a Google Shopping Campaign can be difficult. In this post, we’ll look to show you how to set up google shopping, merchant centre accounts and the requirements for product feeds.

Merchant Centre

What do I need to run a Google Shopping Campaign?

To run a Google Shopping Campaign you need a few things, the first thing you need is a Merchant Centre Account. Your Merchant centre account is where your business information and product feed live. This makes your product data available to Google Shopping and other Google Services.

The next thing you need is an AdWords account. AdWords is Google’s advertising system, where advertisers, like yourself bid on keywords and phrases for their ads to appear within Google’s search results. In reference to Google Shopping, this would be your product name, brands and even product categories.

Finally, you need a product feed. How you produce this varies depending upon the CMS you choose to build your site on. Your developer will be able to guide you when it comes to this. If you use something like Shopify or WordPress, this can be very simple indeed! Google has requirements for its product feeds that we’ll touch on. In short, you need to be compliant for your feed to be approved, or your ads won’t show.

How to set up your merchant centre account

  1. Add your business information. You’ll be required to fill our basic information such as;
    1. Business Name
    2. Website
    3. Address
    4. Users and contact email addresses
  2. Verify and claim your website URL. Much in the same way as you’d do so in Search Console
    1. Here’s a ‘how to guide
  3. Your website must have an SSL with your URL starting with https:// with no ports or IP addresses allowed

This information will all be requested when you set up your account and is pretty straight forward but worth having in mind.

Product feed requirements

When you come to set up Google Shopping, it is essential that your feed meet’s Google’s requirements.
If it does not, your feed will not Product Feedbe approved and as such, your products will not be found. There are multiple attributes that Google asks for, the full list can be found here, however as a minimum, these are the absolute required attributes.

  1.  ID – SKU or Product ID
  2. Title – Your Product’s Title
  3. Description – Your Product’s Description
  4. Link – Product Landing Page
  5. Image Link – The URL of your product’s main image
  6. Availability – Stock availability
  7. Price
  8. Google Product Category – Google’s defined product category for your product
  9. Brand – The brand name of the product
  10. GTIN – Global Trade Item Number
  11. MPN – Manufacturer Part Number – If product does not have a GTIN
  12. Condition – Whether the product is new, refurbished or used
  13. Adult – Indicated whether the product is sexually suggestive
  14. Shipping – Delivery cost for the item

There are many other variables that Google suggests using, particularly for Clothing, however, this is something your agency can advise you on.

Something worth noting, your product feed should be hosted as an XML with live or near live updates. The reason for this is for product availability and automatically adding new products to your feed. If you don’t have this as a file readily viewed by Google, you may be displaying out of stock items, incorrect prices or missing your latest items.

The great thing is, if you have a product feed optimised for Google, you can re-use this in Bing Ads and Facebook Adverts Manager which is a brilliant tool for product specific re-marketing campaigns.

How to set up Google Shopping Campaigns

It’s worth noting here that we’ll discuss the basics of how to set up Google Shopping Campaigns here as we’d struggle to finish writing this article! Creating a Google Shopping Campaign starts with Clicking on the “campaigns” tab and selecting “shopping”. You’ll need to select your linked Merchant Centre account and product feed which is why it’s essential to have this set up and approved first.


Here you’ll need to name your campaign, choose your country and set a campaign priority. The default priority is low, however if you have multiple campaigns you’ll need to change this. If the same product sits in multiple campaigns, with different bids and priorities, Google will show the higher priority campaign first.

By default, you will have been opted in to Search and Search Partners. This will display your ads across Google partner properties like YouTube, AOL and Google Maps. We’d recommend starting with search only to begin with before designating to partners. Start small and build up.

You should make sure to enter your target location and be specific. If you only ship to mainland UK, enter this as your location, otherwise your ads will show worldwide and you’ll have allocated spend that will never be able to convert on site.

Bidding, Budget and Delivery

We’ve made a subheading for this section as this is where you’ll be looking to refine your campaign. We’d suggest starting out with a fairly conservative bid  Keep an eye on performance, then manually optimising specified products based on data we gather. We would recommend starting with accelerated delivery rather than standard. Your products will begin to show faster for queries that Google determines relevant for your products. By doing so, we can gather data more quickly and refine. In terms of ongoing optimisation, the bidding and budget for a shopping campaign is where you’ll spend the majority of your time once a campaign has been set up. Always work from the data at hand.

Analytics and Conversion Tracking

Another extremely important element when setting up a Google Shopping Campaign is to ensure your adwords and analytics accounts are linked. You can do this as an admin on both accounts. You’ll most definitely want to do this to ensure you see data from adwords within analytics and vice versa. Here’s an overview of how to link adwords and analytics.

You can either pull in conversion data from Analytics back to adwords or set up conversion tracking via code generated in adwords. This is really at your discretion. However we would say that using Analytics data is generally easier and requires less dev work. You’ll want to optimise your campaigns based around conversions, by setting up conversion tracking you can see your spend vs return, conversions, conversion values and really look to drive as much revenue as possible through your campaign.

There you have it, our basic introductory guide of how to set up Google Shopping. For more information about Google Shopping take a look at our Google Shopping Page here. If you’d like to discuss Google Shopping with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, even if you just need some technical advice, we’re more than happy to help!

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