Google Shopping is Google’s online shopping platform which allows users to find and compare products from different shops around the world.
Think of Google Shopping like an online directory for products and shops.
In order to join Google Shopping, you MUST join Google Merchant Center. In this article we talk about both Google Shopping and Merchant Center interchangeably.
History of Google Shopping
Google Shopping was launched in 2002, under the name Froogle. Since then it has been rebranded a few times, and now it’s called Google Shopping, which seems like a much better name.
As an online tool that has been active for 19 years, it’s relatively unknown and under utilised in the digital marketing space.
There are several benefits of joining Google Shopping, with the first being obvious.
Generate more online sales!
Joining Google Merchant Center is the easiest way you will ever increase your number of sales. Instantly your products will receive more online traffic from being on Google Shopping.
Have a look at the first results you receive when you search “Black Shirt”.
Google loves to show off products in Google Shopping, so you need to make sure your products have the chance to feature. Google always prefers to show it’s own content, before it shows your website. This is because Google wants to keep people on it’s own platform, versus losing people when they visit your website.
Increased foot traffic to your physical store.
Despite being online advertising, Google has devised a clever strategy to encourage people to visit physical stores.
If your store has the item in stock, then your listing is eligible to receive a little extension that says “In store”.
This little piece of text might not say much, but it encourages the audience to visit your store in person to buy the product. This is great, because lots of people feel more comfortable buying products in store.
This is a great free advertising method for driving foot traffic to your retail store. It’s worth making sure that Google Shopping knows that you have products available in store.
Boost your SEO
Google is the king of deciding your SEO ranking, so you should be doing everything you can to tell Google to rank you higher. A great place to start is by understanding keywords, and how to do keyword research.
By joining Google Merchant Center and being on Google Shopping, you’re essentially currying favour with Google. This is the easiest strategy for increasing your SEO.
When setting up your Google Merchant Center account, you need to make sure you completely fill out all the information. This includes, verifying your phone number, uploading your logos, selecting your primary colour, adding your physical address and provide an email for support. An important part of SEO is making sure that all your contact details are consistent. This is sometimes referred to as NAP, name, address and phone number.
Better Customer Journey
Google Shopping makes shopping so much easier. There’s no other way to say it.
Without Google Shopping, your customers will have to visit individual online stores to compare pricing and features to find the best deal. In comparison Google Shopping lets customer compare products instantly, on one neat page.
And when customers go to buy, they don’t have to search extensively through your website. Instead they are taken straight to your product page, where they can checkout and pay.
Google Shopping only enhances the customers experience when purchasing from your store.
These are some great benefits for joining Google Shopping.
But how do you join Google Merchant Center?
Joining Google Merchant Center
Signing up with Google Merchant Center is super easy, all you need is a Google account.
From there, you will need to link and verify your website, this process can be tricky. A little trick to make it easier, is to make sure you have Google Analytics or Search Console installed on your website. This way Google will be able to automatically verify your website.
Once you’ve verified your website, then you will be able to upload your products into Google Merchant Center.
Thankfully Google makes this easy for you and Google can scan your website to discover your products, which saves you time manually uploading them.
There is no downside for joining Google Shopping and Merchant Center (unless you don’t want more sales).
Undoubtably the best benefit of joining Google Shopping is that Google will drive more traffic to your products for free. To get started, try exploring Google Shopping to see how it works. This will give you an idea of how products appear, and how you can benefit from the platform.
Don’t be afraid of signing up to Google Shopping yourself and having a crack at setting it up. It’s a very user friendly platform and you can’t do any damage to your brand.