A Visual Guide to Setting Up Google Shopping

Google AdWords has many moving parts, and few AdWords products more so than Google Shopping. Below is an overview of the steps required to get Google Shopping up and running in your AdWords account.

Google Shopping Flow Chart

Step 1: Generate a Product Feed

At the heart of every Google Shopping campaign is a product feed. At it’s simplest, a product feed is just a table with product information, with each row in the table describing a single product:

Simple Product Feed

Depending on the size & sophistication of your e-commerce setup, a feed can be anything from a manually typed Excel file containing a handful of products, to an automatically generated XML or CSV file containing hundreds of thousands of products pulled from your CMS.

Step 2: Upload to Feed Management Tool (Optional)

Feed management tools, while not a requirement for creating Google Shopping campaigns, can be indispensable when it comes to generating, maintaining and optimizing product feeds. Having to manually create, update & delete products from a feed quickly become tedious. Feed tools automate this grunt work, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.

Another huge benefit of using a feed management tool is that it makes you less dependent on developers; as long as you have a few basic fields* in your source feed (step 1) you can use a feed management tool to enrich and customize your feed to your heart’s content.

*In theory you only need a single field (product URL) in your source feed as many, if not most, feed management tools include web scraping tools.

Step 3: Upload to Google Merchant Center (GMC) Account

Once you are happy with your product feed it’s time to upload it to your GMC account. There are currently 3 options to upload your feed:

  1. Link to Google Sheets
  2. Scheduled fetch from a URL you specify
  3. Manual upload.
Uploading your feed to GMC

Once uploaded, the file is processed by Google. In the example below we can see that all 2,018 items in the feed were successfully processed. We can also see any warnings or errors related to the feed. In this example we see that 57 items are missing a product type attribute.

Completed upload of a product feed

Step 4: Link GMC Account to AdWords

Now that your feed has been successfully uploaded to your GMC account it’s time to send the product information to your AdWords account. To do this, navigate to the Linked accounts menu in AdWords by clicking on the cog in the upper right corner of AdWords, select Merchant Center, and finally click the Link button.

Accessing Linked Accounts in AdWords
Linking GMC to AdWords

Step 5: Create a Shopping Campaign

Now that your feed has been uploaded to GMC and your accounts are linked, you can finally create a shopping campaign. Click on the +CAMPAIGN button in AdWords (or use the AdWords Editor) and select Shopping.

Creating a Google Shopping campaign

Once your campaign has been created you will be able to see which products have been uploaded to AdWords by navigating to the Products tab in your Shopping campaign. Happy shopping!

Viewing your products in a Shopping campaign

About the author

Lars C. L. Larsen is an Online Marketing Specialist & Partner at AdNudging.com. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.