Product feed and Google Merchant Center revision –

Before we jump into setting up a Product Feed in Google Merchant Center, lets quickly brush up on what product feed and Google merchant center are.

Google merchant center is where an advertiser stores product feed and product feed is information of an advertisers products that contains details like product name, image, unique id, description and attributes in a format that is easily readable by Google.


Setting up Product Feed

Considering the size of the inventory, manual and automated product feed setup options are available for advertisers. The size of the inventory is the number of products an advertiser is selling. For smaller inventories or I would rather say for advertisers who dont already have a website listing their products, a manual setup using Google Spreadsheet template is a good practice. And for larger inventories or advertisers with a website, automated tools or extensions can come in handy.

Why is an already existing website an advantage?

It is relatively easier to set up a product feed from an already existing website because automated tools and extensions can scrape/import data from the website. This saves a lot of time and effort of manually entering each product into a spreadsheet.

Moving along, it is very important to note that automated tools or extensions can only scrape/import the existing data, they arent responsible for optimization of product feed. However, for the best of the results, product feed needs to be of a top quality too.

I once again want to highlight that an optimized product feed helps your products to show up for relevant search queries, thereby earning quality clicks. A structured product feed makes management, data collection and diagnostics easier.

How to optimize a product feed in Google merchant center?

As mentioned earlier, there are key elements of product feed that help in the optimization of the same. Each of these elements, regardless of how tiny they may seem, hold an unceasing importance in pushing your product feed a tier higher. Let’s learn how.


Product Title –

A descriptive product title is appreciated by users as well as Google. It helps them understand the product spot-on.

  • Use keywords you want your products to be shown for in the title. Yes, Google shopping isnt keyword-centric, but still, a user searches for products using keywords.
  • Try to place your keyword in the beginning of the title. Nike Vapor Power Black and Neon Green Unisex Backpack – 53×30 cms, 27 ltrs, 100% Polyester would better engage a user than 53×30 cms, 27 ltrs, 100% Polyester Back and Neon Green Unisex Nike Vapor Power Backpack.
  • To take advantage of product-specific searches, set a title that includes the name, brand, color, size, gender etc. Product-specific search such as Nike Air Jordan XXXI Red For Men is more likely to convert into a purchase than a generic search like Nike Men.
  • Mentioning the model number, manufacturing year and other specifications also help, especially for electronics, automobiles, and consumables.
  • Dont use multiple keywords or a single keyword multiple times in the title of a product.
  • Also, avoid including promotional text in the title. Nike Air Jordan – 25% off is not a genuine title for a product. Promotional offers can be included in the product description, but not in the title space.
  • Google might disapprove your products/feed if CAPITAL LETTERS are used inappropriately.

Product Description –

When deciding what keywords to trigger your ads for, Google validates your product description. Also, a good description after a pious title would make the user stick.

  • Instead of rambling on about vague derivatives, stick to the actual details and articulate your description keeping your buyers interests in mind.
  • Try to place your keyword in the initial sentences as they are vital to hold the attention of buyers and Google.
  • Stuffing keywords in the description is also not appreciated by Google, please dont.

Google Product Category –

From a list of over 6000 categories, your product would surely fall under one. Google Product Category is a must for all shopping ad user, keep a copy of it downloaded for reference.

  • As each product can only fall under one category, I suggest you pick it very carefully. For Nike shoes Google Product Category: Apparel & Accessories > Shoes would be apt and for shoelaces for the same, Product Category: Apparel & Accessories > Shoe Accessories > Shoelaces is what you pick.
  • Never add the same type of product under different categories, this might be a conflict resulting in neither of the products performing well.

Product Type –

By now you must have realized that Product Category and Type are solely for Google to under the product better. If you arent satisfied with Googles Taxonomy, use the type wisely that describes your product the best.

Product Image –

Yes, your product image is what your customers are going to scrutinize the moment they look at your product listing ad. A few tips may come in handy to host the best pictures.

  • The images are thumbnails, hence make sure your images are clear even in that small a size.
  • A white background for all your images is a must, Google likes it that way.
  • No text, watermarks or logo can appear on these images.

Product Price –

There isnt much optimization that can be done on the price front in the product feed. All that is to be said is keep your target buyers in mind. If you are targeting no-bargain buyers, a steep price quote offering the best product is no problem. But if your buyer pool is otherwise, maximum products for a minimum price would compel them to make a purchase.

Brand –

Brand speaks for itself, just dont mix it up with wrong products.

Apparel Category –

Their details are must when you are advertising for apparels. If possible use images that show models similar to your buyers donning the apparels.

  • Gender – Male, Female or Unisex
  • Color – Product Color
  • Size – Product Size
  • Fit Type – Regular, Petite, Plus or Maternity
  • Sizing System – UK, US or others
  • Age Group – infants, kids, teenagers, adults etc

Manufacturer’s Product Number (MPN) and Google Trade Identification Number (GTIN) –

MPN (Manufacturer Product Number) usually is SKU (Stock keeping Unit) and GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) can be UPC (Universal Product Code) or ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for books and printed resources.

Google asks for MPN, GTIN, and Brand for each of your products. You have to provide at least 2 of these but there is no harm in providing all 3.

These above-listed elements hold the key to a well-set product feed in Google Merchant Center. They all help in a fairly successful product listing ads campaign.

With regular checks and balances, a consistent and optimized product feed is not difficult to achieve. And for your product listing ads campaign to be a triumph, bidding right on the right products also is vital. One as to change the bids in Google AdWords. Changing bids also require strategy and proper planning. You can find more about it in our following blogs.



CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing