How to set up Google Shopping for Magento

More than half of retail marketers' paid search budgets were spent on Google shopping ads in 2016, this marks the first year that Google shopping spend has outweighed spend on traditional text ads.*

Google shopping is now the major channel for retailers in the search engine marketing arena, and linking it with your ecommerce site is a no brainer when wanting to start running shopping campaigns.

Before 2015, when Google was running API v1 for Google Product Feed, retailers could use built-in functionality in Magento to be able to upload a product data feed straight to Google Merchant Centre. Since then, v2 of the API has been released, and because Magento still uses v1, it has meant that the built-in functionality no longer exists.

However, it's not all bad. Magento extensions have since been created to solved this problem - our favourite being Wyomind Simple Google Shopping.

Simple Google Shopping

In this blog, we will show you exactly how to set up Google Shopping for Magento 1 using this extension.

What You Will Need

  • Wyomind Simple Google Shopping
  • Google Merchant Centre account
  • Google AdWords account
  • Magento 1 Community Edition

Step 1. Purchase Extension

You'll need to purchase the extension from the Magento' Marketplace for $70 or direct from Wyomind for €50. Once you've purchased the extension, you'll need to provide them with your demo and live URLs for licensing and download the files.

Step 2. Installing Extension for Magento 1

The first thing you need to do when installing a Magento extension is unzip the folder where the extension is stored. After this, copy the unzipped App folder into your store root directory.

Next, you need to clear your cache. To do this, go to the Admin panel and click on System - Cache Management. Once it has been cleared, logout and then log back into your admin panel.

magento cache management

The extension is now installed.

To complete the initial setup you will need to activate the extension by entering your license key; this would have been provided by Wyomind when you purchased. After inputting the license key, press 'Save Config' and a message will pop up saying that your extension has been successfully installed.

Step 3. Configuring Product Feed

After you have completed installation, you will need to configure the extension and create your XML feed.

Configuration

The first tab you'll be faced with is Configuration, this is where you create your XML template.

 

The 'include disabled products' setting should be set to no. This means that any products in Magento that are not available to purchase on your website will not be included in the product feed and therefore synced to Merchant Centre. If they aren't available to purchase on your website then there is no need to serve ads for them.

Now onto configuring your feed. Wyomind provides a pre-built Google Shopping template which makes it easy for your to create your initial feed and convert your product data into an XML feed that meets Google's requirements.

To start. Duplicate their feed template and update with your business information. You will need to configure the basic attributes that are mandatory for a Google product feed including information for: ID, image, link, description and price. More information on the Google Feed Specification can be found here.

The feed template provided by Wyomind will be in USD.

{G:PRICE,[USD],[0]}

To change to GBP including 20% VAT;

{G:PRICE,[GBP],[20.0]}

Depending on what products are in your feed, you may need to add additional attributes. Try to be as detailed a possible. Remember, Google shopping campaigns use attributes instead of keywords. Providing as many attributes as possible helps to target, and ultimately serve your ads to more customers.

Once you're complete with the template configuration, hit data preview to confirm all your product information is pulling through correctly.

Categories

The second tab you will see is Categories, where you can edit what category labels you use within your feed.

Simple Google Shopping Categories

Wyomind provides you with a category-mapping tool, to enable you to assign Google's Product Categories to your store categories. Full details of the Google Taxonomy can be found here. Whilst not a compulsory step, it's a highly recommended optimisation that will help with ad performance.

Filters

The Filters tab is where you can restrict products from being included in your data feed.

Simple Google Shopping Filters

Wyomind is extremely flexible in allowing you to define what products you want to include. On a basic level, for example, you can filter by product type; whether the product is a simple product, configurable or a bundle (among others). Or, you could filter by the attributes you created previously, choosing only to include a certain brand of products for a promotional campaign.

Any of Magento's product attributes can be used to define advanced filters. For example, you can set a filter to only include a product if it is over a certain price. Setting a filter like this helps to submit a feed with only products with a high enough margin to warrant the cost of displaying shopping ads for them.

If you're only sending simple products with a stock quantity, we'd highly recommend setting an advanced filter for stock as this will reduce the number of disapproved items in your Merchant Centre.

Schedule task

Finally, you will find the scheduled task tab. Setting how often, and at what time, you create a product feed ready to be synced into Google Merchant Centre.

Simple Google Shopping Scheduled Task

Best practice for this is to set feed creation to the early hours of the morning, around 1am-2am, scheduling your feed to be fetched from the Merchant Centre an hour later. Avoid scheduling the cron for your feed at peak times incase this impacts the performance of your website.

Step 4. Google Merchant Centre

After you have configured your feed, it is now time to create it in the Merchant Centre. To create a feed, simply click to '+' symbol in the product section under 'feed'.

Once created, you can upload your product feed from Magento into the Merchant Centre. Manually doing this is fine for the test feed. However, when the feed eventually goes live bare in mind that you will have to schedule the upload.

If the test feed has any upload issues, these will show in the diagnostics panel. Google will also offer resolutions to these issues in this view.

Keep using a test feed to upload updated versions of your product data, until it uploads without any errors or issues. When this is the case, you can set the feed to live and schedule it.

Step 5. AdWords

Before you start to use the product data within AdWords to create and run your shopping campaigns, you will need to link your Merchant Centre account to your AdWords account. There are two ways to link your accounts;.

Link from Merchant Centre

In your Merchant Centre account, go to the 3-dot icon dropdown menu, click account linking and click AdWords.

Under 'your AdWords account', enter the AdWords customer ID of your account, which you can find at the top of any AdWords page when you're signed in. Then click link.

Link for AdWords

In your Merchant Centre account, go to the 3-dot icon dropdown menu, click account linking and click AdWords.

Under 'other AdWords accounts', enter the AdWords customer ID of the account you want to link to, which you can find at the top of any AdWords page when you're signed in. Then click add.

Approving link requests

Either of these methods will then send a link request email to the email address of the owner of the AdWords account.

To approve a link request, sign into the AdWords account and click on the tool icon. Under 'Setup' click linked accounts. Then, under 'Google Merchant Centre', click details and find the account you want to link to.

It's status column will say 'Pending' - to approve the link, click approve.

More info on the process can be found here.

After this is done, you are free to start running shopping ads. But don't just rush into starting a campaign. Factors to think about such as, optimisation, structure and bidding strategy are all key to reaching your specific goals.

Need help with your website maintenance? Why not talk to our team today on 01344 266 844 or visit our website and discover how we can transform your business online

*Retaildive.com

Katy Smith

Katy Smith

Digital Marketing Executive

Katy is a Digital Marketing Executive at Netmatter with a degree in Marketing. She has so far gained experience in various areas of marketing including email, copywriting, social media and SEO.

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