What Is Google Merchant Center?

Last Updated on May 24, 2022

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A Google Merchant Center account is the cornerstone of all successful Google Shopping campaigns.

It’s an essential tool that bridges the gap between your website and your Google Ads account.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what Google Merchant Center is, what it has to offer and how your ecommerce business can benefit from it!

Table of Contents

What is Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center (GMC) is a tool from Google that lets you upload and manage your product data. This will then allow you to use that product information in your Google Ads campaigns.

Think of it as an online dashboard or control panel for all your product information. You can use it to see if your product information matches Google’s data requirements or make tweaks to the products to increase their visibility.

In short, GMC is the place where you connect your ecommerce platform with Google.

Does Google Merchant Center Cost Anything?

Google Merchant Center is free to use. All you need to start using the platform is a Google account.

You then use GMC to upload products, manage your product feed, and integrate with other Google products.

Only when you start advertising your products through something like a Google Shopping campaign you’ll need to pay on a cost-per-click basis.

Note: Cost-per-click is a type of bidding strategy where you’ll pay a certain amount to Google every time someone clicks your ads.

Why Should You Use Google Merchant Center?

If you want to advertise your products through things like Google Shopping, you need to get your product data over to Google Ads.

Benefits of Google Merchant Center

Just because you have to use Google Merchant Center does not mean that there aren’t any advantages to it.

Monitor product status

The Diagnostics report in Google Merchant Center gives you a good overview of your products. You can see many of them are approved and ready to show in Shopping Ads, and how many are disapproved.

google merchant center diagnostics google merchant center diagnostics

You can also see why certain products have been disapproved. This allows you to troubleshoot and fix these issues.

Performance overview

GMC also gives you a good overview of your products’ performance across all of the different programs like Shopping Ads, Free listings, or Buy on Google.

google merchant center overview google merchant center overview

Editing and updating existing product data

Apart from importing your product data, Google Merchant Center makes it easy to edit your product information.

Through features like supplemental feeds or feed rules, you’re able to make bulk changes to your product feed.

Manage Google Merchant Center programs

Once you have your products in Google Merchant Center, you’re not limited to just showing them in Shopping Ads.

Through something called Google Merchant Center programs you’re able to leverage your product data in other places:

  • Dynamic Remarketing
  • Free product listings
  • Seller ratings
  • Product ratings
  • Buy on Google
  • Free local product listings
  • Customer reviews
  • Local inventory ads
  • Merchant promotions

Creating a Google Merchant Center Account

If you haven’t set up your GMC account yet, here are the different steps:

  1. Verify your domain
  2. Link your GMC account to Google Ads
  3. Add business information
  4. Configure shipping settings
  5. Configure tax settings
  6. Add products

We’ll take a closer look at #6, adding products, in the next section. But if you want a more detailed step-by-step walkthrough, check out our Google Merchant Center guide.

Adding products to Google Merchant Center

There are a few ways to get your products into GMC:

  • Option 1: Connect your ecommerce platform
  • Option 2: Upload a product feed
  • Option 3: Add products directly to Google Merchant Center

The most common method is to connect your ecommerce platform like Shopify straight to Google Merchant Center. Depending on which platform you use, you’ll find all sorts of plugins, apps, or extensions to help you do this.

The other 2 options are also definitely useful, but it depends on your specific situation on which one is best.

To see the benefits and drawbacks of each method, take a look at our Google Merchant Center guide.

Getting started with Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center is an essential tool to get your Google Shopping campaigns going.

It gives you insights into the quality of your product information and the ability to make changes.

So when you’re done setting up your account, I’d encourage you to explore the other possibilities that GMC has to offer!