Tidbits on Creating Your Google Shopping Data Feed

I’ve recently been at a seminar for Google Shopping and wanted to share some great tidbits that I have gleaned from the seminar.

First it is important to know that the pictures of products that can appear in the organic search results on Google.com are driven by a data feed you create and install in the Google Merchant Center. Previously this service was free, but by October 1, 2012 only only those data feeds that are tied to Google AdWords will be shown.

  1. You create and install your data feed as an .xml or .csv file in the Google Merchant Center to get started.
  2. The settings area in the Google Merchant Center is where you will link your Google AdWords account. Once you have set up an account, you very simply just input your AdWords 10 digit account number to link your feed to AdWords for payment.
  3. The most typical errors are image URL errors. Make sure that you have a link to a 400 pixel by 400 pixel image and a 250 by 250 pixel image in your data feed.
  4. You MUST list either the GTIN or MPN for your feed to go live.
  5. Know that your description in your data feed will be used for your ad text. So make it descriptive yet selling.
  6. Your title for each product can have a maximum of 69 characters. Your description can have a maximum of 500 to 1,000 characters. Remember this includes spaces.
  7. Do not put promotional verbiage in your product description like free shipping. You will be adding promotional text in Google AdWords for your specific feed’s promotional message.
  8. Do not use all capitals in any words such as THIS as AdWords does not allow block capitals.
  9. Make sure to add the new AdWords attributes to your feed to allow more targeting of your promotional needs now that your program must be tied to AdWords.
  10. Carefully review the required Google category attributes as there are as many as 32 or so that are required now.

Check back Wednesday for more great tidbits. You can watch the full seminar on YouTube for additional information.