fbpx Guide for setting up your Google Merchant Center account


Guide for setting up your Google Merchant Center account

Behind any successful Google Shopping campaign, there's a great Google Merchant Center account. We understand it can be tempting to get caught up in changing your Google Shopping settings and try to learn it yourself. However, if you're not using Google Merchant Center effectively, even the most tailored product listing advertising (PLAs) will fail.   Why? Well, your Google Merchant Center account is the portal that links your e-commerce site to Google Ads (previously Google Ads). Stock, product types, descriptions... You need to get your Google Shopping Ads in front of the right people and this is easily done by taking your data directly from your Google Merchant Center account.   Let's set you up!

Rogier Lunter


Creating a Merchant Center Account

Select your Email

To create a new Google Merchant Center account, you first need to determine which email to use. It is advisable to use the same Google email address that you have linked to your Google Ads account (although this is not required). This simplifies your Google experience. Just keep track of one email address for all your Google Shopping accounts.

Picked your preferred email address? Awesome. Creating your account is as easy as pressing the big green “Sign up” button and link it to your Google Account. Once your Merchant Center account has been established, you’ll need to link it to your GoogleAds account. Tap on the three dots to move to the drop-down menu in the top right corner of the screen.

From the drop-down, select “Account Link” You will then be advised to connect to a Google Ads account that is already connected to your email address.
If you are using a different email address for the Google Merchant Center, just press the “Link Account” button at the bottom of the page and enter your Google Ads ID.

Skip the hard work, let us help you

When working with The Next Ad’s Shopping Autopilot, we will create a Google Ads account as well as a Google Merchant Center account for you. Simply connect your Shopify store (or create one) to our Shopping Autopilot App (via the Shopify App Store). Let us create an Ad Account and Merchant Center for you, import the products of your webshop to the account and make sure you’re ready to create your first Google Shopping campaign.

Link your account to Google Merchant Hub

The next step is to link your website to the Google Merchant Hub. Basically, this is to check if you’re the owner of the domain you’re trying to advertise. This is done by going to the Company Details tab in the left column, and then clicking the “Website.” button.

Here, you will be able to link your account through one of four methods:
Downloading a snippet of HTML code and adding it to your website’s theme file in thetag.Verify through an HTML file you will upload to your site. (Google claims this is the most popular method)Verify through Google AnalyticsVerify through Google Tag Manager

Incidentally, if you’ve already verified your website through Google Google Ads using this email account, you won’t have to worry about this step.

Shipping and Tax Settings


Shipping and Tax settings are the next things you want to set up in the Merchant Center. Don’t worry, the process is pretty straight ahead.

For the tax settings, click on “Tax” in the left-hand navigation menu.
The good news is, you only need to set up rules for the Countries that you charge sales tax in (typically just the Country you have a physical store in).


Shipping settings may require a little more work based on the complexity of your shipping rules. Google will not allow you to run any shopping campaigns until you add this information, so click “Shipping” in the left-hand navigation box and complete your set-up.

You will need the locations, weights, and prices of the different shipping options you offer.

Tip: If you offer free shipping, make sure you select Fixed Rate and enter $0.00 for the price. If you fail to do this, you will not see the “Free Shipping” promotional text in your Google Shopping ads.

Connect a Feed

Congratulations, you’re ready to connect your feed to your Google Merchant Center now! This can be done in multiple ways, but to set up your product feed, click on the “Products” button in the left-hand navigation menu and click the “Feeds” button.

These are some of the most common ways people connect their feed to their Merchant Center account:

  • Upload a .TXT or .CSV file with all the right google product attributes
  • Connect your feed via a data feed provider, such as Channable
  • Use a feed on a URL to have it dynamically updated


Once the feed has been connected using one of the above methods, you will be able to see whether your product is pending, approved, or disapproved.

Dealing with Feed Problems
The initial approval process for a new account may take up to 72 hours. If it takes longer than the 72 hours, contact Google support and let them know it’s been longer than 72 hours, so they will help you by manually pushing it through the same day.

Don’t panic if your product feed has products that are not approved. Go to the “Diagnostic” tab of the Merchant Center under Products. Here you will find any errors that Google has detected on your feed. You can even download a .csv of products that have been disapproved.

If all of your products have been disapproved, click on the account section of the diagnostics page. If there are specific reasons why your account has been disapproved, you can find out why by clicking on the Learn More link next to the error.

Advanced Merchant Center Features

So you got all the way through it, but what if you need to do something special with your feed, like upload multiple feeds or create promotions? To be honest, these kinds of situations are exactly why Google created the Merchant Center instead of simply having you upload your product feed directly to Google Google Ads.

Multiple Product Feeds

If you have more than one feed you need to combine to get all the data you need, Merchant Center now has the capability to handle it on the platform itself. You can add attributes to your existing feed by uploading a secondary feed.

After connecting your primary and secondary feeds, you will need to adjust your feed rules. Click your primary feed and head to the Rules tab

Here you can specify which attributes should be drawn from each feed. One common example I used is to set all attributes to the default Primary Feed, but if the attribute does not exist in the primary feed, use the attribute in the secondary feed.


One of the (newest) features of the Merchant Center is the Promotions section. In this section, you can set up promotions that will appear on your Google Shopping Ads. This can be a huge benefit for price-sensitive shoppers who are looking for a deal.

The easiest way to set up promotion is a site-wide promotion that can be used for any feed product. In this case, you will simply go to the promotions tab and select “list” from the drop-down menu. Click on the blue “+” and start filling out the required fields. These fields include:

  • Promotion Id (This can be whatever you want)
  • Title (This will be the promotional text that appears in your Google Shopping ads
  • Redemption Code (optional but recommended)
  • Select All Products
  • Select the date range that the promotion will be active on the site

So, that’s it. We have helped you set up your Merchant Account and explained some of the extra features you can apply using this tool. Working with technology you might run into any problems. To help you with fixing these errors, we have created the common error blog explaining the most common error when working with Google’s Merchant Center. Click here to read more about it. . Please be advised that we’re always happy to help you out. Use the chat function on the website or fill out the contact form to get in touch.

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