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The 3 Ways to Submit a Google Shopping Feed to Google Merchant Center

The 3 Ways to Submit a Google Shopping Feed to Google Merchant Center

10/25/19 UPDATE: Hello Facebook Agency Visitor Person!  We’re delighted to have you visit this awesome post. About a year ago, ZATO stopped offering Facebook Ads solutions so we could focus solely on what we do best: Google Ads. Because of this, we’re always interested in partnerships with great Social Advertising agencies (like yourself, wink wink!) and we offer referral fees for signed clients!  Anyway, back to it, and happy reading…

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Google Shopping Feed Submissions Video Transcript

Hey, LinkedIn friends. This is Kirk again with Zato. We're a paid search and paid social advertising agency based in Billings, Montana. And yes, spring has, hallelujah, finally come to Billings, Montana. You may be able to tell the amazing amount of light coming in. That is not studio lighting. We have not spent $100,000 in a studio at Zato. That is amazing Montana big sky sun. So we're basking in it. At some point, we'll actually be able to go outside and sit out there and enjoy it. It's still probably just a little bit chilly, but it works.So today I wanted to discuss some more Google Shopping stuff. Specifically, the feed side of it.

So if you want to do Google Shopping for your agency, for your clients, for your business, maybe you're in-house, then what you need to do is you actually need to set up a feed that will be pushed so that you can run ads through Google AdWords. Now in order to set up that feed, what you have to do is you have to get an account with Google Merchant Center.

So there's your product data, there's Google Merchant Center, and then there's Google AdWords. Google AdWords is how you place the ads, Google Merchant Center is how you submit all the product data and make sure that it's all in accordance with Google's policies and all of that. And so what you'll do is you'll go into Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center, you can just Google it. Create an account in Merchant Center and then you're going to have to submit a feed after you do some of the admin stuff like putting your name in, putting your business name and all that. Do that stuff. Tax, shipping, whatever.But the main thing I wanted to discuss was actually submitting a feed.So you got to get your product data somehow from on your website to be in accordance with Google's feed policies and how you do that is by submitting a feed that has all of the specific product specifications according to how Google wants it.Now there are three key ways that you can submit a feed.

First of all, if you're like a small shop maybe you don't have that many products. It's just you. You're trying to save a buck. Great. That's awesome. Entrepreneurs are great. You can actually just use Google Drive. I don't remember when it was. A couple years ago or that, Google actually integrated Merchant Center with Google Drive so it's super fantastic. You just have a Google Drive spreadsheet and as you update it, it automatically updates your feed in Merchant Center. So if you don't have a lot of products, then that can be a really great way of getting your products, just getting them up and getting them live and getting ready to go. If you do have a lot of products, then you're going to want to go one of the other two routes.

And the second route is going to be let's say you have a great dev team and you want to be able to submit products through that. Then what you can do is you can just have your developers upload a file to Merchant Center. You can use FTP, they can upload an XML file, however you best want to do it, however they want to do it. You can actually have them on your back end get everything according to the right specifications and then submit that directly to Merchant Center. And that's probably how you want to do it if you have that ability, you have the developers and that. The benefit of that can be that you have a lot more control over what is included in that product data feed.Now the third option that you can take, there's Google Spreadsheet, that was the first one, or just your dev team doing that. By the way, good luck with that, okay. I'm not trying to diss developers, but I might a little bit. To be fair, developers are very, very busy people so overall someone saying, "Hey, can you update the product titles in this Google Shopping feed," it's not typically going to be high on their list, so just kind of as a warning to you that that does happen a bit when you're using your dev team.

So the third option is let's say you don't have a lot of time, you want someone else to know so they're doing and you have a little bit of money, then you can actually pay a third party feed provider system and they're going to make sure that everything is good. They'll make sure that the product data that you send to them, you still do need to send your product data to them, but then they're going to make sure that it's good to go, it's set up how Google wants to receive it, and then they actually send the feed file to Google Merchant Center as it is.Some feed providers are going to be better than others. Maybe I shouldn't say better. Some are going to be a better fit for your needs than others. There might be something like let's say a GoDataFeed that is a very affordable, very cheap solution, but that's because really all it's doing is taking your product information, putting it in the format, and sending that file.Or you might look into someone like let's say Feedonomics where Feedonomics actually does quite a bit of work on their end like with their dev team and that to create different rules, to figure out which products as you communicate with them that they do and do not want up and all of that. So that's going to be a little bit more of a hands on scenario. So it kind of depends on what you're willing to pay and what your actual needs are as far as which feed provider's best for you. [But, which product feed provider is best? That's tricky but I walk through the pros and cons of each in the link previously shared, so check that out.]

So hopefully that's given you a quick run down on how you actually get your feed submitted. I'm going to go ahead and leave in the comments, I'm going to go ahead and leave the link to the Google Shopping feed requirement. There's a page that has all of the policies, all the requirements you can see each field and all of the little rules they have for each field. Memorize that, all right? That's your homework, okay? You don't have to memorize it. That's why you pay people like us. Because we help you make sure that that's good and that your products can actually get approved and get up. But that's how you submit a feed. Hopefully that's been helpful for you. And yeah. Have a good one.

Did you know: ZATO can manage just Shopping Ads for your Brand or company alongside your in-house/agency Paid Search team?  Learn more about this offering here: Google Shopping Agency.

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Kirk Williams
@PPCKirk - Owner & Chief Pondering Officer

Kirk is the owner of ZATO, his Paid Search & Social PPC micro-agency of experts, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. His personal motto (perhaps unhealthily so), is "let's overthink this some more."  He even wrote a book recently on philosophical PPC musings that you can check out here: Ponderings of a PPC Professional.

He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero 6 years in a row (2016-2021), has written articles for many industry publications (including Shopify, Moz, PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and Microsoft), and is a frequent guest on digital marketing podcasts and webinars.

Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, six children, books, Trek Bikes, Taylor guitar, and little sleep.

Kirk is an avid "discusser of marketing things" on Twitter, as well as an avid conference speaker, having traveled around the world to talk about Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads).  Kirk has booked speaking engagements in London, Dublin, Sydney, Milan, NYC, Dallas, OKC, Milwaukee, and more and has been recognized through reviews as one of the Top 10 conference presentations on more than one occasion.

You can connect with Kirk on Twitter or Linkedin.

In 2023, Kirk had the privilege of speaking at the TEDx Billings on one of his many passions, Stop the Scale: Redefining Business Success.

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