Implementing your Google Shopping feed in the Merchant Center for the first time can be a bit tricky. Here are some of the most common errors that occur and how you can fix or avoid them.
First things first, in order to avoid problems in your Merchant Center make sure that the feed:
- Is updated regularly (at least once a day is recommended)
- Does not include any restricted products (for more information on restricted products, have a look here)
- Is optimised where necessary: title, description, image, shipping cost…
Most common types of errors
There are three main types of errors that can occur:
- Critical errors: the most serious type which could result in your account being suspended or items being disapproved in your Merchant Center
- Warnings: these will not result in an account suspension but might negatively influence the performance of your campaigns
- Suggested optimisations: These are tips to improve the quality of your feed. They are not compulsory but recommended.
So what are the most common errors…
Website URL not claimed
To be able to upload your products on Google Shopping, Google first needs to verify you own the website whose products you are selling on Google Shopping. If you haven’t done this, here is what you need to do:
- Determine which website you want to claim
- Verify your website URL (in Merchant Center)
- Claim your website URL (in Merchant Center)
For more information, check out this link
If you are selling brands that are not your own (often the case with cosmetic products), you may get an error for trademark violation, as the title might contain a brand name that is trademarked and thus whose use is forbidden. There are two ways to resolve this error:
- Remove the trademark brand from the title.
- If the error still occurs after you have removed the word in the title, filter out products that include the word or brand.
Duplicate Group Ids
By having the same titles and descriptions for similar products you are telling Google that they are the same product, which may lead to an error. In order to avoid this use the product attributes in the feed to enhance your titles and descriptions, differentiating one from another.
Title too short
Google recommends having a title of at least 15 characters. When making titles longer think of adding keywords that your customers might use when searching for products like yours on Google. For example, brand, gender, title, size, colour and fabric might be good attributes to add to improve the title.
Title too long
An error will also occur if your title is too long (more than 70). Although this is not a critical error, it is recommended to fix it.
Not including valid unique identifiers
Valid unique identifiers are the following fields:
- MPN (the manufacturer number)
- GTIN (EAN, for example)
Ideally you should have all three of these fields. If you do not have at least brand and either MPN or GTIN your feed won’t be accepted in the Google Merchant Center. Therefore, the best thing to do is to add all these values in your source feed.
All of these errors can be corrected manually, however, Lengow allows you to simplify everything and automatically avoid these errors occurring. For more information on how to sell your products on Google Shopping via Lengow get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org