Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be working on improved integration of ecommerce platforms into its Google Merchant Center, which allows users and companies to advertise and sell products via Google Search and the Google Shopping tab, and manage the way their inventory appears on Google.
On July 13th, it extended that integration to GoDaddy merchants selling products in the US. Other ecommerce platforms that Google has been working with include Square, WooCommerce, and Shopify. Google’s Merchant Center also allows products to show up on Google Image Search and YouTube.
What Does This Mean?
GoDaddy is a domain registrar and web hosting service company. However, the company also offers several different web design and web builder services. One of its services is called the GoDaddy Online Store, through which you can build an ecommerce website for your company via GoDaddy’s own proprietary ecommerce builder and backend. In other words, GoDaddy lets you set up your own online shop, with features including:
- Up to 5,000 different product listings.
- Up to 10 images per product.
- Dozens of store templates organized by category.
- Secure payment via major credit cards, Apple Pay, and PayPal.
- Facebook integration.
- Email marketing campaigns.
- Mobile-friendly design.
- Google integration.
That last one is the company’s most recent offering. Through their cooperation, GoDaddy now allows you to log into your Google Merchant Center account while remaining onsite, syncing your GoDaddy Online Store catalog with Google, creating free listings, and configure your Google Smart Shopping ad campaigns to determine what products will show up across Google, including Google Search, Maps, Shopping, YouTube, and even Gmail.
Where free listings simply allow Google to pull from your catalog whenever results seem relevant to users, Smart Shopping allows users to manage how and where to focus their advertising budget on Google, while receiving clear performance metrics to better inform their advertising decisions in the future.
Commenting on the topic, Greg Goldfarb, the GoDaddy Vice President Commerce Products, explains: “Our customers’ success is our core motivation, we know that providing powerful ways to engage large buyer audiences is a key driver.
“Expanding our work with Google simplifies creating an ecommerce presence across Google surfaces and jumpstarts sales momentum by leveraging their best-in-class automated advertising solutions.”
Google has also announced that eligible GoDaddy users will receive up to $150 in ads credit when starting their first Google Smart Shopping ad campaign via GoDaddy.
What is the Google Merchant Center?
Google’s new Merchant Center allows you to manage how products that appear on your website will show up in free listings via Google Search, as well as paid Google ad campaigns.
It’s no secret that Google is by far the most popular search engine on the planet, and that hundreds of millions of people (by the company’s own metrics) use the website to specifically search for products to buy on a daily basis.
Google’s Merchant Center allows users to manage what products appear on Google, how they appear on Google, how to boost their appearance on Google, and how your advertising investments on Google are paying off for you. In short, the Merchant Center offers three basic features:
- Free listings.
- Paid ad campaigns.
So far, Google has worked with Shopify, WooCommerce, and GoDaddy to bring the Merchant Center to each of these companies’ respective ecommerce platforms, so their users can start and manage Google ad campaigns for their own products via their respective ecommerce platform.
Like a lot of other Google products, you only really need your own Google Account to get started. You probably already have one if you’ve ever logged onto YouTube, have a Gmail, or use Google Analytics (which you definitely should).
Premium ad campaigns utilize your detailed product listings as uploaded to Google Merchant Center, and require a Google Ad account, where you can begin and manage your very own ad campaign.
How Do Listings Work?
Google requires different levels of information for products to show up on the Shopping tab, Image tab, or general Search. Signing up with the Google Merchant Center isn’t required for Google to automatically construct free listings if your website has structured data markup, and you haven’t opted out via your indexing and crawl controls. If your products haven’t been crawled, you can manually submit a feed via google Merchant Center. Some of the attributes Google uses to index, sort, and recommend your products includes:
- Product ID.
- Product title.
- Product link.
- Image link.
- Product price.
- Product description.
- Product availability.
- Product condition (for refurbished products).
- Product brand.
- Product GTIN.
- And much more.
Among these data points, Google particularly recommends that you provide information on shipping info and shipping policies, return policies (via the Merchant Center), the correct product URL (via the canonical_link attribute), and product availability.
For more information on making the most out of your Google ad campaigns, SEO campaigns, and product listings, get in touch.
Why Does This Matter?
This partnership between Google and GoDaddy is going to prove particularly beneficial for small-to-medium businesses, and small retailers. It’s a smart move for tech and IT companies to invest heavily in creating intuitive and easy-to-use ecommerce tools, as thousands and thousands of business owners are looking to move inventory over the internet after the pandemic forced countless brick-and-mortar stores to close.
But with the influx of new platforms to buy from comes a natural oversaturation of the market. Even niche industries are beginning to see multiple online storefronts fighting for the same or similar customer bases, to the point that differentiation and marketing savvy are becoming more and more important.
GoDaddy’s Google (and Facebook) integration, alongside a robust search engine optimization strategy, can help smaller retailers looking to reach broader audiences (locally, nationally, or worldwide) and ship their inventory out to the world.
While larger online retailers like Amazon took the biggest slice of the ecommerce revenue pie by far in 2020 and the first half of 2021, online shopping in general has experienced a massive boom as a result of the COVID pandemic, and we are likely to continue to see that trend grow even after this pandemic has finally come to an end.