Google’s Product Listing – How it works

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If you sell products online, you may have submitted them to:

Froogle (the first name Google had for its shopping platform)
Google Base (the second name)
Merchant Center (the third name)
and now, ta-da, Product Listing.

Over the years it has gradually become more and more complicated (read: tedious) to set up the feeds (read: spreadsheet with your products, their URLs, their image URLs, etc.)  and get everything approved once you submitted the feed.

On the bright side, it’s always been free.  And some of my clients had a decent amount of sales from those listings, which appear when you search for a product under Google’s Shopping tab.

All good things must end.  And there is no more free ride on Google Shopping.  If you want your products to show up there, you must have an Adwords account with Google and do at least some minimum amount of advertising.  And when I say minimum, that’s what I mean.

You can get away with spending $35/month for your Adwords advertising, including having your products listed in Google’s Shopping results.

You can get away with it, but you probably won’t make any sales.   For a part-time, home-based business with net income around $5,000/year, I think $50 to $80/month would be a reasonable investment.

The greater your revenues, the more you should spend.

And no matter how much you spend, you should check your account at least 4 times a week to see how it’s doing.  If your ads or product listings aren’t converting to actual sales, then change your ads, change your keywords, change your approach, but change something!

Use Google’s analysis tools to see what’s working.  Do some tests for a day or 3 to see what happens when you try a new ad.   Learn from experience.

Do not keep spending money on keywords or ads that aren’t converting to sales.

I don’t know why, but I have clients who will advertise in a magazine and if they don’t make a sale from that ad, they will never advertise in it again.  Yet these same people will keep spending money, month after month, on ads or keywords that don’t produce sales.

If you don’t know how or don’t have the time to analyze the results of your ad campaigns, hire someone to do it for you.  That will be money well spent!

Google Product Listing:
Once you’ve submitted your products, you will link them to your Adwords account and then manage both from your Adword administration screen.

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