Google Ads are effective but they can be expensive, and if you’re on a tight budget (pssst you’re in the right place to score a very affordable ecommerce website) then this might be a great option to give your product inventory more exposure for free.
You may be familiar with Google Shopping, and Google Ads specifically for merchants. They include features you won’t see with other types of ads including product ratings, price, shipping cost and store location (where relevant). These ads can appear on both the main search page, as well as the Shopping tab in the Google search results.
What you might not have known is that you show your products in this space without needing to be running a paid ad campaign.
It’s the same as the regular search results. You can appear for free in the organic listings where Google feels your website is relevant to the searcher’s query. Of course, paid listings are generally shown above the free listings, and this is the same setup with Google Shopping.
How do you add your products to Google Shopping for free?
There are a few steps involved in getting set up for Google Shopping – if you need help at all just get in touch and we can assist.
1 – Set up an account in the Google Merchant Center
We recommend using the Google Account email address you use for other services (e.g Google Analytics) and head over to the Merchant Center, and register as a merchant.
2 – Create a product feed
It is possible to submit products to Google using structured data, but a product feed is the recommended option to make sure the information shown is the most up-to-date. Most of our clients use WordPress WooCommerce as their online ecommerce store. It’s relatively easy exporting your product listing from WooCommerce in the correct format (spreadsheet e.g. CSV) using a plugin.
Before you export, make sure all your product data is up-to-date (availability, prices, stock quantity etc.). Check the minimum data requirements required for a Google product data feed.
3 – Upload your product feed file to Google Drive
Upload the file you exported from WooCommerce and upload it to your Google Drive, and then update the file sharing to anyone with the link. Log in to your MC account and go to the Products tab. Create a new primary feed and choose the Google Sheets option.
4 – Link to your Google Account
You will need to provide the Merchant Center with permissions to fetch the data from your Google Sheets file, as it will need to do this any time the file is updated with new product data. Choose the existing spreadsheet file you uploaded in Step 3, and set an update schedule (how often you want the merchant center to check for new product data in the spreadsheet).
5 – Confirm your product feed
After checking your settings are correct, save your feed and it’s submitted to the merchant center for processing (Google will check the data is valid, complete and correct). You will be notified if the data has errors that need fixing (you can view details of any errors under the Products tab > Diagnostics).
In the future, if you want to submit updated product data (e.g. new products or changes to the pricing and availability of existing products) simply update the Google Sheet file you created in Step 3.
If you need any assistance with creating your export file or adding it to your Google Merchant Center account, just get in touch.
Additional help on creating a free Google product feed
To learn more about setting up your merchant center or creating product feeds you can check Google’s support article, or watch the