Ultimate Google Shopping Certification Checklist

Having recently passed the Google Shopping Certification Exam, I thought that it would be useful to share my experience for many marketers and individuals interested to pass this exam.

If you never managed a Google Shopping Campaign, I would suggest you first to pass through Google Official Shopping Advertising exam before sitting the exam. It would help you as well some experience in managing Google Shopping campaigns for better understanding of the basics.

So, what represents a Google Shopping Certification exam?
Google Shopping Certification

Throughout the Google Shopping Certification exam there are a couple of top questions related to Merchant Center, Product listing ads and devices where shopping ads appear. Here is a checklist of the exam answers and a couple of tips from my own experience :

1. Merchant Center and Product Listing

      • Shopping campaigns use Listing Ads created from product data in Google Merchant Center.
      • Multi-client accounts (MCAs) in Google Merchant Center allow advertisers to easily manage multiple domains with a single sign in.
      • Merchants use Google Merchant Center for uploading product data through feeds or an API.
      • Google Merchant Center is used to submit product information.
      • To enter in Google Merchant Center to create a Shopping campaign you’ll need a verified and claimed website URL.
      • In Google Merchant Center, a target country is the country where the products are sold and will be delivered to.
      • Google use Google Merchant Center technical contact and primary contact to notify merchants about account warnings.
      • If another authorized owner of the website successfully verifies and claims your website URL can you lose your claimed URL and the Merchant Center account will be suspended.
      • One of the reasons why a Google Merchant Center account would get suspended is that the landing pages lead to error messages or non-existent pages.
      • Google Merchant Center use email contacts listed in account settings as the primary way to contact users with important messages, such as feed disapprovals.


2. Product Feed

      • When creating a file to upload to Merchant Center, the Tab Delimited File Format is accepted.
      • To maintain an active data feed, you must update the feed every 30 days.
      • Before submitting a new data feed, you should submit a test data feed. Required attributes when submitting a product to Google Merchant Center: ID, Title, Description, Link, Image URL, Availability, Condition, Price, Google Product Category, Brand GTIN, Shipping, Tax (US only).
      • In order to offer products in different countries, you should list the products in the local language.
      • You can sell USED GOODS on Google Shopping, but you have to set the condition attribute as “Used”.
      • If you’re promoting an online store that sells vintage goods and custom artwork, include for unique product identifiers a randomly generated number in the ‘gtin’ attribute.
      • When product listing ads have been included in enough auctions or accrued enough impressions it is eligible for the bid simulator.
      • When you create a Google Merchant Center data feed, as unique product identifiers will be accepted two identifiers from ‘gtin’, ‘mpn’ and ‘brand’ attributes.
      • If you’re selling antique goods and if there isn’t a unique product identifier available, you shall use the the exemption attribute ‘identifier exists’.
      • You was notified that your products were disapproved due to incorrect prices. This may be caused by the fact that the landing page price is different from the feed price.
      • If you want to do a promo, and provide free delivery for a small group of promotional products, then you have to update the ‘delivery’ attribute to a fixed delivery price of $0.00 for only the promotional products.
      • The best way to indicate in a feed that a product is on sale for a limited time is to use the ‘sale price’ attribute.
      • According to Google Shopping Policies, only text created from keyword insertion can be included in promotional text.
      • When optimizing the ‘title’ attribute for your products, include relevant attributes in the title such as brand, size and color.
      • If you’re preparing to release a new line of products that’s currently available for pre-order only on the landing page, then the ‘availability’ attribute should be set as ‘preorder’.
      • Best practice to reduce the processing time of a new feed is to divide the group of products into multiple data feed segments.
      • The attribute ‘identifier exists’ and value ‘FALSE’ should be used for custom-made clothing.
      • To make sure that the products that are on sale are organized on Google Shopping you should classify the products under the “holiday” Google Product Category.
      • You can submit your products only to one Google Product Category. If you product falls into several categories, submit it to the most appropriate one.
      • Custom labels can be a great way for you to subdivide products into specific product groups in AdWords for more easy management.
      • If you’re going to sell products that Google considers adult-oriented, then mark ‘adult’ in a separate custom label attribute as part of the data feed.
      • You can use custom labels in a product data feed to tag products that you’d like to group in a Shopping campaign by values of your choosing.
      • If a product doesn’t have an image available, you should wait to submit the product until an image is ready. When creating product images, ensure that all images are high-quality.

3. AdWords Shopping Campaign settings

      • Shopping campaigns use listing Ads created from product data in Google Merchant Center.
      • Product Listing Ads appear on tablets, mobile phones and desktops.
      • You would choose to advertise on the Google Search Network if you wanted to reach customers browsing websites related to your business.
      • Product Listing Ads can be targeted to only Select countries, listed in Google Merchant Center and AdWords Help Centers.
      • Product groups are used in Shopping campaigns to organize products within a data feed.
      • You should use multiple ad groups when you want to set a different priority on bidding within the same Shopping campaign.
      • Campaign priority should be used when you have multiple campaigns advertising the same products.
      • To sell products to New York residents only, set the location to New York only.
      • Do not use the bid of zero, for “Everything else in all products” product group, better use a lower bid.
      • Impression share shows how many impressions your product group has received divided by the estimated number that it was eligible to receive.
      • To subdivide products in Shopping campaigns using your own set product structure, you should use Custom Labels.
      • You can use campaign priority to tell Google which campaign’s bid to use for a product when the same product is included in multiple campaigns.
      • You add promotional text to Product Listing Ads at Product group category.
      • If you do not enable conversion tracking for your Shopping campaigns, you will be able to use maximum cost-per-click (max. CPC) bidding as bidding option.
      • Product Listing Ads should be used for promoting products online.

4. Campaign optimization

      • After an analysis you discovered that 5 brands from “All products” group are performing especially well. So, to capture more traffic on these valuable brands subdivide by brand and set more competitive bids for the brands individually.
      • You’re currently targeting all inventory in one campaign through an “All products” group. To find campaign optimization opportunities segment performance by various shopping views in the “Dimensions” tab.
      • You can estimate how a different bid amount would impact your shop’s online traffic by using the Bid simulator tool.
      • If you notice that a certain group of products has more traffic and conversions, then subdivide the product group and move budget allocation to the best performing products.
      • If you’re seeing low traffic for one of your product groups and daily spend is low, to increase impressions and traffic increase bids on products groups.
      • If on of your shopping campaigns is reaching the daily budget cap by the early afternoon, increase the budget cap of the campaign.
      • Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) bidding should be used to optimize bids using converted clicks.
      • If you cannot see any benchmark data for your new Shopping campaign, this means there aren’t enough comparable products from other advertisers.
      • To differentiate your products from your competitors use promotional text to highlight any deals.
      • Setting a bid for the “everything else in all products” product group will allow you to include items not part of other product groups in your campaign.

Follow these tips and read the Google Shopping study guide and you will be good to go to take the Google Shopping Certification exam.

Once passed, put all the acquired knowledge to good use, create a product feed and start managing some shopping campaigns and follow up the results.

In case you need my help, do not hesitate to contact me.