Google is rolling out updates to its product advertising tool, Google Merchant Center. Businesses can now list their products on Google’s shopping platform for free. Edward Coram James from Retailtouchpoint.com also states that companies who wish to advertise on top placement listings and want to create broader Google Ads campaigns will still be charged for that. Google’s free shopping listings is not only a welcomed addition for smaller businesses who may not have monetary resources for paid advertising, but also for shoppers. Customers will have a wider selection of products to choose from, and companies can get more visibility for their products. 

The global health pandemic forced businesses, big and small, to focus on cultivating their online presence to survive. And the free listing of products is a welcomed relief for most businesses who were financially impacted by the pandemic. Google shopping is an effective marketing tool for businesses to leverage product visuals and show up on Google search results.

How do you make the most of free Google Shopping Lists? 

Before your business can start showing up on Google Shopping lists, you have to create an account and add your products.

  1. Set up a Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Optimise your website images using Google’s image guidelines.
  3. Input your product data into your product feed. This information gives Google detailed information about your products. Log into your Google Merchant Center account and add your products following Google guidelines.
  4. Then, opt into ‘Surfaces Across Google’ on the left-hand menu under ‘Manage Programs’ and your products will start appearing on Google’s unpaid listings.

Once the above steps are complete, your products will start appearing on unpaid listings. But the work doesn’t stop there because there are thousands of other businesses vying for visibility on the platform, and that is where optimisation comes to play.

How do you optimise your Google Shopping Listing?  

There are a few best practices that can boost your product visibility.

Write detailed product descriptions: Include detailed attributes as well as relevant keywords to your product description. Conduct keyword research to gauge what terms potential customers search for and include them in your description.

Optimise your product titles: Product titles determine relevancy. Conduct keyword research and incorporate relevant keywords at the beginning of a title.

Leverage customer ratings: Ratings carry a lot of weight in e-commerce and if you have high ratings, consider including them. Read Google’s Seller Ratings to find out how to incorporate ratings to your products if they aren’t displaying.

Optimise product images: Use high-quality product images in-keeping with Google image guidelines. In addition to that, do AB testing to determine which images get a higher click-through rate.

Use promotions and sales: Discounts and sales work at getting people to click on your products.

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We hope the above tips and tricks help you get an edge on the competition and benefit from this tool. If you aren’t familiar with Google Merchant Center, we complied a few frequently asked questions about the tool to get you started.

What is Google Merchant Center? 

Google Merchant Center is a Google tool that allows e-commerce businesses to upload your products to Google for shopping ads and other services.

Does Google Merchant Center cost anything? 

A Google Merchant Center account is free, and once you have uploaded your products, you have to opt-in by clicking “Surfaces across Google” within the left-hand menu, under “Manage Programs.” And your products will start to display across the platform.

How do I get a Google Merchant Center account? 

Firstly, like most Google products, you’ll need a Google account (Gmail). Then, go to the Merchant Center and sign in with your Google Account.

  1. Enter your business info: add where your business is registered as the ‘Business Address’.
  2. Choose where you want your customers to check out; either on Google, your website or at your store.
  3. Choose your management platforms: let Google know about the tools you utilise.
  4. Choose your email preferences: let Google know if you want to get notified about best practices or tips via your email.
  5. Accept the terms and conditions – and you’re all set to add your products. Follow the steps at the beginning of this post.