By Mike Rowe

Discover the benefits of using Google Spreadsheets with the Google Merchant Center to power your Product Listing Ads.

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Google Product Listing Ads have fast become a much-used feature for advertisers looking to promote their product inventory in the SERPs, with the added benefit of product images and updated pricing. Within the Google Merchant Center advertisers are able to supply their inventory info by either manually uploading a feed or alternatively by supplying their data within a Google Spreadsheet that is linked to their Merchant Center account.

Google Merchant Center Feed Setup

As you’d expect, the data must follow the same convention and format laid out by the Google Product Feed Specifications and, as above, there is the option for a template to be generated for you. Using a template will help to further simplify the process of setting up your feed. Overall, there are some key benefits to be enjoyed by using this method for supplying a feed:

No Software Required

  • Google Spreadsheets allow you to very quickly add, remove or edit products in your feed without the need for additional software, essentially meaning you can update your product feed from anywhere with an internet connection.

Easy Collaboration

  • With Google Spreadsheets, collaboration is quick and simple. Access to your feed can be easily shared amongst fellow members of your organisation and any suppliers that require access simply by using the share button and setting up any additional users.

Dynamic Ad Parameters via API Access

  • By using the Google Spreadsheets API to query the data held in the same spreadsheet, you are also then able to access, from a single location, information on the products that can also be used to dynamically update your search campaigns. This means that by using ad parameters you are able to, from the same feed as your PLAs, dynamically insert pricing and other information directly into your ad copy. In addition to this, the availability of items can be regularly checked and, as a result, ad groups can be either paused or activated to reflect whether items are in stock. Again, this approach is dictated by the use of a single feed, making for an efficient process.

Therefore, from a practicality perspective, we are able to dynamically power both Product Listing and traditional text ads using a single data source, minimising coding requirements. For workload, this will mitigate the need for separate feeds and means that all the information on your products is stored securely and can easily be accessed by both advertisers and business owners alike, much to the benefit of your AdWords campaigns.

We have taken this approach with a number of clients and it has provided a simple and effective way of launching Product Listing Ads, without the need for setting up any complex systems. Being able to set up PLAs so easily, as well enjoying the flexibility of the Google Spreadsheets API to update ad copy, means that this solution is relevant to most ecommerce campaigns, be they simple or complex in nature.

If you’d like to know any more about getting this set up, feel free to get in touch.

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