Setting-up your first Google Shopping product feed

By |2019-01-23T14:38:25+02:00December 24th, 2018|Categories: Google Shopping feed, Plugin settings|Tags: , , , |

You have installed our plugin (Product Feed Pro for WooCommerce) and are ready to start advertising your products on Google Shopping. We have written this tutorial to help you get started creating and uploading your feed into Google’s merchant center. Before we start are going to assume the following:

After installing and activating our plugin you navigate to the ‘Create feed’ section:

Create feed

1. The File name, format and channel page

screen1

When you have WPML enabled your first screen will look a bit different:

wpml screen1

Project name:

Make sure you create an unique project name, especially when you will create multiple feeds you should make sure your project is easily recognizable;

WPML Language:

Select the language you want the product feed to be set-up for. The plugin will than use the translated product title’s, descriptions and other translated attributes.

Country name:

Select the country for which you will be creating a product feed. Once you selected a country the channel drop-down will automatically populate with marketing channels that are active in the specific country and for which we have created a default template. As most of our plugin users want to create a product feed for Google Shopping it automatically puts the channel on Google Shopping.

Channel:

Select the channel for which you want to create a product feed. In our case the plugin has already automatically put it on Google Shopping.

Include product variations:

There are two types of products in WooCommerce: simple and variation products. Enable this option when you want both simple and variations products in your product feed.

File format:

You can create product feeds in multiple formats: CSV, TXT and XML. As XML is least prone to errors we strongly advise you to put the file format on XML when you are creating a product feed for Google Shopping.

Refresh interval:

You can tell the plugin to update your product feed for Google Shopping on a daily, twicedaily or hourly interval. The one you select all depends on how often your product data is changing. Are you selling lots of products and/or changing prices multiple times a day than we advise you to update the product feed on an hourly interval.

Hit the ‘Save & continue’ button when you have filled in all fields and are ready to move on to the field mapping page.

2. The field mapping page

On the field mapping page, you need to map Google’s fields to your WooCommerce attributes. By default, the plugin tries to pre-map as much fields as possible, that is why some of the mappings have already be done when you open the field mapping page. Mapping your attributes to Google’s fields is of upmost importance because when you make mistakes in mapping or leave required fields empty Google will disapprove your products in their merchant center.

The default fields shown on the mapping page are Google’s required fields or we strongly advise you to add them to your feed so please don’t delete any. You can add extra optional fields by hitting the “+ Add field mapping” button.

field mapping

Product ID (g:id)

Even though Google advises you to map this field to your SKU attribute we strongly advise you not to do so and leave the default mapping (to Product Id) in place. This field needs to remain the same for the entire lifetime of a product. Since the SKU field is not always filled by our plugin users we have chosen to map Google’s Product ID(id) to the static Product Id which will never change either. Some of the other functionality of our plugin actually depends on this mapping so we strongly advise you to leave this pre-filled mapping in place.

Product title (g:title)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s product title to your Product name. For simple products the plugin will just use the Product name, for variation products the plugin will combine the product name with the variable values to create an unique product title. We strongly advise you to leave this pre-filled mapping in place.

Product description (g:description)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s description field to your Product description. Please bear in mind that the pre-mapping has been made to the long description attribute. When you fill in your product description in WooCommerce short description field you need to change this mapping to the Product Short Description.

Product URL (g:link)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s link field to the link of your products. The plugin will automatically put in the correct link for simple and variation products. Should you decide to enable the Google Analytics tracking parameters during configuration of the product feed the plugin will also automatically concatenate these parameters to the URL.  We strongly advise you to leave this pre-filled mapping in place.

Main image URL (g:image_link)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s image link field to the main image of your products. Google will actually disapprove your products when there are no product images in your product feed so we strongly advise you to leave this pre-filled mapping in place.

Stock status (g:availability)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s availability field to the stock status of your products. Allowed values for Google are “in stock”, “out of stock” and “preorder”. The plugin will automatically determine if your product is in stock or out of stock so leave this pre-filled mapping in place.

Price (g:price)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s price field to your price attribute. In most cases this will be the correct mapping, however in some instances you will have to change this default mapping.

When you have set a sale price:

Map Google’s price field to your “Regular Price” attribute. The plugin will put the normal (non sale price) price in the product feed. Make sure to also put in Google’s sale price in your feed.

When inserting prices ex. VAT in the back-end and showing them including VAT on your website:

Map Google’s price field to your the “Price incl. VAT front end” attribute. The plugin will add the VAT to your product price.

Google product category (g:google_product_category)

The plugin pre-mapped Google’s category field to your category attribute. In the next step of the configuration process you will be asked to map your categories to Google’s category taxonomy so make sure you leave this pre-defined mapping in place otherwise your product feed will not contain Google’s category ID’s, resulting in Google disapproving all of your products.

Brand (g:brand)

You will find that the plugin has not been able to pre-map Google’s brand field to one of your attributes. This is because WooCommerce doesn’t have a brand attribute out-of-the-box. Meaning you, most-likely, created your own brand (custom) attribute. You will need to map that custom brand attribute to Google’s brand field.

Alternatively, when you have enabled the extra fields option of this plugin you will need to map Google’s brand field to the ‘woosea brand’ attribute:

woosea brand

Gtin (g:gtin)

The GTIN field required by Google is actually one of the most-complex required fields you need to add. We strongly advise you to read Google’s help page on their GTIN field. In practice we find that, by far, most products are disapproved by Google due to incorrectly added GTIN values.

You will find that the plugin has not been able to pre-map Google’s GTIN field to one of your attributes. This is because WooCommerce doesn’t have a GTIN attribute out-of-the-box. Meaning you, most-likely, created your own GTIN (custom) attribute. You will need to map that custom GTIN attribute to Google’s GTIN field.

Alternatively, when you have enabled the extra fields option of this plugin you will need to map Google’s GTIN field to the ‘woosea gtin’ attribute:

woosea gtin

When your product has no GTIN than try filling at least the MPN field (see below). Do NOT map Google’s GTIN field to your SKU as the SKU does not meet Google’s GTIN requirements and it will disapprove your products because of it.

MPN (g:mpn)

When your products do not have a GTIN than make sure you provide Google with a MPN. Read more on Google’s g:mpn field.

You will find that the plugin has not been able to pre-map Google’s MPN field to one of your attributes. This is because WooCommerce doesn’t have a MPN attribute out-of-the-box. Meaning you, most-likely, created your own MPN (custom) attribute. You will need to map that custom MPN attribute to Google’s MPN field.

Alternatively, when you have enabled the extra fields option of this plugin you will need to map Google’s MPN field to the ‘woosea mpn’ attribute:

woosea mpn

Identifier exists (g:identifier_exists)

The identifier exists field informs Google if the products has a GTIN or a brand/mpn. When a product is new (condition), has no GTIN and no brand and MPN the identifier exists field needs to contain the value ‘no’. Typically handcrafted products or unique t-shirts meet this criteria.

You will find that the plugin pre-mapped the Identifier exists to ‘Plugin calculation’, meaning the plugin will automatically determine (for all products) if it needs to put ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the identifier exist field. We therefor strongly suggest you leave this pre-defined mapping in place.

Condition (g:condition)

You will find that the plugin has pre-mapped Google’s condition field to a condition attribute. However,  WooCommerce doesn’t have a condition attribute out-of-the-box so when you leave this pre-defined mapping in place all of your products will get the condition ‘New’ in your product feed.

Alternatively, when you have enabled the extra fields option of this plugin you will need to map Google’s condition field to the ‘woosea condition’ attribute:

woosea condition

Item group ID (g:item_group_id)

When you include product variations in your product feed the Item Group ID field is a required field. Read all about Google’s Item Group ID field on their help pages. The plugin pre-mapped this field, we strongly advise you to leave this mapping in place.

Extra fields

Ofcourse there are lots of optional fields you can to your product feeds. All you need to do is hit the ‘+ Add field mapping’ button to start adding those fields to your feeds:

extra fields

extra fields dropdown

Adding static values to your feed:

You would like to add a product specification to your product feed that is the same for all products. In those cases you can add a ‘static value’ field to you feed. Let’s imagine all our products are ‘blue velvet’ coloured and we would like to add that colour to our product feed.

All you need to do is select the Google field (color) and select ‘static value’ from the drop-down.

Static value

You will find that the drop-down changes into an input field where you can put in ‘blue velvet’.

Static value input

When you are done mapping all of your attributes to Google’s fields you hit the save button to continue to the category mapping feature.

3. Category mapping page

You will need to inform Google in what product categories your products belong. As your categorisation most likely is not identical to Google’s taxonomy you need to map your categories to Google’s.

On the left side of this screen you will find a list of your categories. On the right side of the screen you can map those to Google’s categories. All you have to do is start typing and the plugin will auto-suggest to what Google category you need to map your category:

Google category mapping

Although not required by Google we strongly advise you to map all your categories as it will increase changes of your products being shown to the right type of consumer. Increasing your sales and decreasing the CPC you’ll have to pay to Google. Please note: the plugin will put in Google’s category taxonomy ID in your product feed and not the entire category name.

Read all about Google’s categories on their help pages.

When you are done mapping hit the “Save mappings” button to continue to the feed filter and rules section.

4. Feed filters and rules

There might be very good reasons for you not to want all products in your product feed or to manipulate data in it. For this you can set filters and rules. We have written separate blogs about how to create those:

  1. How to create filters for your product feeds.
  2. How to create product feed rules.

Hit the “Continue” button when you are done creating filters and rules. You will be taken to the last step of your feed configuration, adding the AdTribes and Google Analytics tracking codes.

5. Conversion tracking and Google Analytics settings

This is the last step of your product feed configuration. You have set-up a product feed and your campaign is almost up-and-running. However you would also like to track results of your campaign and make adjustments to make them more profitable. For this our plugin offers you the option to add an AdTribes conversion tracking parameter and Google Analytics parameters to your product URL’s (which are in your product feed).

Conversion and GA tracking

Enable conversion tracking

When this option is enabled the plugin will track sales coming from your different marketing channels. The plugin will save what sale can be attributes to what products/channel and product feed. Although not active yet this will allow you to create filters on products that perform well or bad.

Enable Google Analytics tracking

When this option is enabled the plugin will add so-called Google Analytics UTM parameters to your product URL’s. The values for these UTM parameters can be determined in the extra Google Analytics fields (utm_source, utm_medium, utm_campaign, utm_content and utm_term). You will find that the utm_term parameter cannot be changed. Our plugin puts in your product ID’s so you can run Google Analytics reports to see how individual products are performing.

Hit the ‘Generate Product feed’ when you are ready.

6. The Product Feed is ready to go

The plugin will take you to the ‘Manage Feeds’ section of the plugin and immediately start processing your product feed.

Product feed ready

When the feed generation is done the status will change to ‘ready’.

By selecting the ‘radar’ icon you can change all previous configurations you made and find the URL of your product feed:

Manage your feed

7. Upload your feed to Google’s Merchant Center

Finally, you need to tell Google where it can find your product feed. Copy/past your feed URL location and head over to your Google Merchant Center and login. Select ‘Products > Feeds’ and add a primary feed.

merchant center

Select your country of sale and language:

Select the ‘scheduled fetch’ option:

Scheduled feed

Indicate at what time and how often you want your product feed to be fetched by Google. Now, past the URL of your product URL in the File URL field:

feed URL

And done! Congratulations, you have just created your first Google Shopping product feed and told Google where to get your products from.

All done

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us on the WordPress forum of our plugin whenever you have questions or need help with configuring your product feeds for Google Shopping.

The AdTribes support-team.