If you are an online retailer, you may already be investing in paid advertising for your products across the various Google platforms. But did you know that in October 2020, Google announced that product listings will also be eligible to display in unpaid product listings on Google surfaces for FREE?
By signing up to Google Surfaces through your Google Merchant Centre Account, you can increase the visibility of your products in Google Search, Google Shopping and Google Images- and yes, it is completely FREE! What are you waiting for?!
Getting your products set up on Google Surfaces
A product feed is required to set up your products to appear on Google Surfaces. Google will interpret the product information given on this feed to determine relevance to user search queries.
Here is a list of steps to take to get set up
- If you don’t already have a Google Merchant account, you will need to set one up. Follow the step by step instructions here https://merchants.google.com/. Top Tip: It is always best to keep all your Google profiles in the same Google account. Have one account for Google Ads, Google Merchant, Google Analytics, Google My Business, Google Search Console as you can then sync your data across all profiles.
- With your Google Merchant Account set up, you have 2 options – Advertise your products through shopping ads, or List your online products for free through surfaces across Google. You need to choose this option if you only want free listings.
- You will need to configure your account before you import a product feed for the first time otherwise the import may fail if you haven’t set up your shipping and tax information.
- Next step is to get your Product Feed set up. If you have WordPress WooCommerce, then you can find the product feed url in WooCommerce>Settings>Product Feeds. If you use Shopify, products can be synced to the Google Merchant Centre using Shopify’s Google channel.
- Once you have your feed url you can create your feed in Google Merchant Centre. Choose ‘Products’ from the left hand menu and then ‘Feeds’. Click on the + button to add a feed. You will see a form that requires some further information to be added, and once completed you can schedule Google to fetch the feed at a convenient time, or you can request an immediate fetch.
Help Google understand the products you are selling
The more attributes you can add to your product feed, the more likely it will be that Google will match your product data with user search queries.
Strong product identifiers like Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPCs) and brand names help to increase Google’s understanding of products in your feed. If you don’t supply these attributes, it’s less likely that Google will be able to match your products to the user search queries, and your products are less likely to be shown for relevant queries.
Adding the ‘Availability’ attribute is also highly recommended, as well as adding a Canonical_Link Attribute, and Price attribute to include specific prices or offers.
Google looks for signals that listings will be helpful and valid for users on Google Surfaces. Opting in to a Third Party Product Review platform, or the Google Customer Reviews programme will help build merchant trust and will send quality signals to Google that your product listings are relevant and trusted.
Sometimes there may be issues that are preventing the products from displaying on Google Surfaces. There is a Diagnostics tab in your Google Merchant Centre account which identifies any issues with products, the feed or the account.
If Google experiences crawl issues whilst fetching the feed, then these will be flagged in the Diagnostics Tab. It could be an Error 404 Page Not Found on the feed url if you have submitted an incorrect url, or a directive in the robots.txt file on your website may be preventing crawl access.
Missing attributes such as shipping information or GTINs will also be flagged and although the products may show to be active, they may have limited visibility.
If you need some support in getting your products listed on Google, either though Google Surfaces or via paid advertising, then please get in touch. Whizz Marketing is a Google Partner Agency and Louise is a certified Google Advertising Specialist. Please call 01252 622129 or visit whizzmarketing.co.uk for further information on the SEO & Marketing services offered by Whizz.