How to set up ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin?

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This article explains the step-by-step tutorial to set up ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin. For more information on the plugin, refer to the product page.

 

Overview

Here are some of the major highlights of this plugin:

  • Creates a TSV file for your Google Shopping: The plugin lets you create a TSV  file of your WooCommerce products that you can submit to Google, via Google Merchant Center.
  • Creates an XML file for Google Shopping: The plugin creates an XML file of your WooCommerce products that you can submit to Google, via your Google Merchant Account.
  • Creates a CSV file for Google Shopping: The plugin creates a CSV file of your WooCommerce products, which you can submit to Google, via Google Merchant Center. 
  • Schedules Cron job to refresh the XML/CSV/TSV file: If you update product information on your WooCommerce store, it is necessary to keep the Google Feed updated, hence the plugin allows you to schedule Cron jobs where the XML and the CSV file is fetched at scheduled times.
  • Include variations: If you have variations of products, the plugin allows you to include all variations. This will be useful when an online user is searching for a specific colour, size, or other variations of your product.
  • Exclude products: Since you are selecting product categories and not individual products, there may be instances where you wish to skip some certain products. You can do so by specifying the respective product names which will provide you with the products 
  • Include Dynamic Attribute Mapping on the need basis: Here the plugin lets users set their own conditions for any product attributes while mapping it to the Google Product attributes. Also, the plugin helps you generate a data feed file according to the search engine requirement.
  • Use custom Meta Tags for attribute mapping: The plugin lets you create custom meta tags for attribute mapping.
  • Manage Feeds: In here you can edit, copy, pause your feeds, delete, regenerate, download or view multiple Google feeds.
  • WPML Compatible: The plugin is completely compatible with WPML.

Getting started with ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin

Read an article to know how to complete the checkout process on ELEX. You can also read how to download, install, activate ELEX plugins.

Or watch the video on Youtube to understand how to set up ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin easily to generate Google Product Feed errorfree.

 

Once the plugin is installed and activated, you can start creating your feed. Go to WordPress Sidebar menu > ELEX Product Feed > Create Feed.

Generic settings

The generic settings of the plugin are as shown below.

Create Google Product Feed || WooCommerce Google Product Feed

  • Project Name: Enter the desired project name for the feed. This should be a unique name to make it easy to identify.
  • Project Description: Enter a description that defines the product feed or even leave it blank, if you want the project name to be taken as the project description.
  • Select Country: Select your country from where you are selling the products. This list contains all the countries where Google Merchant Center is available.
  • Include Variations: Tick this checkbox to include all variations of your WooCommerce products.
  • Default Category: Here you can choose the default Google category you want to select for all your product categories. All you need is to type in and then the list of categories corresponding to the category you typed in will appear. The category can also be modified while mapping the category in the Map Category tab.
  • File Format: The plugin currently supports CSV ,TSV and XML format. We plan to include more file formats in the future.
  • Refresh Schedule: You can schedule Cron jobs to refresh the feed generated. You can choose to refresh Daily (at a specified time), Weekly (at a specified time and on a specific day of the week when the feed was created), or Monthly (at specified time and date of creation of the feed).
  • Advanced Options: When you tick the Set Auto-set identifier exists, it allows the product feeds without unique product identifiers (GTIN, MPN, and Brand)  to be uploaded to the Google Merchant Center.
  • Once the above settings are configured, click Save & Continue.

Mapping Product Category

It is mandatory to map at least one of your WooCommerce product categories with Google category that are available in the Google Taxonomy. In this plugin, you have an option to choose the Default  Google product category in the General Settings. All you need to do is start typing the required category in the Google Categories text box and the related categories will be auto-filled. You can choose to add and map any number of product categories with Google product categories. While mapping categories are filled, the corresponding checkbox will be auto-checked.

ELEX WooCommerce Google Shopping Plugin | Map Category

 

Here, once you begin to map the product categories, then you get all the product categories on your store listed and a corresponding option to add the Google Product category. Here, if a default category is selected in General Settings, then by default all the google categories listed will be the same one. You can either opt to change the google category by just typing into it and the other categories will be shown on the list.

Tick the checkbox for the categories you want to select for your product feed, after choosing the relevant Google Product Category. If you want to exclude any one of the product categories, you can uncheck the checkbox corresponding to it. Once you selected the desired categories and mapped them, click on the Save & Continue button. 

Mapping Individual Products

Maybe you do not want to map all products in a category with Google Categories, or you need to map some selected products for listing it on the Google Shopping. In this plugin, you have an option to choose the Default  Google product category for mapping to individual products. All you need to do is start typing the required products to be mapped with Google Categories in the text box as well as the required Google Categories for mapping to the selected products. The products in your store and the related categories will be auto-filled in the respective boxes while you start typing it. 

ELEX WooCommerce Google Shopping Plugin | Map Product

You can add as many products as you want to be mapped by a particular Google Category. And you can add more rows and remove existing rows according to the requirements. After setting these you can click the Save & Continue button. 

Mapping Product Attributes

Once the product categories are mapped, you need to map attributes as well. These number of attributes in this stage depends on the country of sale you selected in the generic settings. You need to map each Google attribute with your WooCommerce attributes (both default & custom ones).

If you do not have an equivalent WooCommerce attribute for a Google attribute whose value is constant for all products, you can enter a custom value manually by clicking on the edit icon next to the WooCommerce attribute field and entering the desired value.

WooCommerce Google Product Feed attribute mapping

The product attributes mapping gives you plenty of options to edit the appearance of your product data on your feed  like ;

  • You can append /prepend any product attribute with another attribute like for example-  brand to the product title.
    WooCommerce Google Product Feed Append and Prepend on Attributes
  • You can also include conditional statements to the attributes to customize your product feed as per your needs.
    WooCommerce Google Product Feed Conditions Setting

Examples :

  • Like for example if you want to prepend the brand name with the product title, then you can use the Prepend option. Or if you want to suffix the brand name, then you can use append.
  • When a customer is selling a product whose stock quantity is unpredictable, you can set the condition for Stock status that, the stock quantity is less than a certain minimum quantity then display in the Product Description that the stock quantity is less.

The plugin gives you lots of control over how you want to set up your data for the feed. Also with the conditions, it becomes easy to set up your data as per your store requirement and generate a feed, per business need. 

The plugin also allows you to add additional fields of your own. You can click Add Field and map Google attribute with your WooCommerce attribute. You can add any number of attribute fields.

Google Product Feed Add field

Click Save & Continue to proceed further

Entering GTIN, MPN, and Brand Name in Product settings

Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs)Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and Brand Name are unique product identifiers that helps Google identify the product and target the ads easily. This, in turn, makes it easy for users to discover your products.

  • GTIN is a unique number that is provided by the manufacturer. This number can be seen below the bar-code attached to the product. Google has mandated this information for United States (U.S), United Kingdom (U.K), Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Australia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan. Depending on the selected country, the sequence of the GTIN might differ. Read this Google document for more information on GTIN.
  • MPN is used to uniquely identify a specific product from the same manufacturer. A product can be sold under different vendors. Hence, having a single MPN for a product makes Google identify the sole manufacturer of the product. If you have provided GTIN for a product, MPN is optional. But, you would need GTIN to add MPN or Brand Name. More information on MPN here.
  • Brand Name is another unique identifier that helps users find products with the brand name. If you have provided GTIN for a product, then MPN and Brand are not mandatory.

To add this information to your products, the plugin provides three additional fields in every WooCommerce product settings. These settings can be found in the General tab of product data met-box, as shown in the screenshot below.

ELEX Google Product Feed plugin | GTIN, MPN, and Brand Settings

GTIN, MPN, and Brand fields in Product settings

Provide respective GTIN, MPN, and Brand name for the product and save the product settings. In the Map Attributes step of the plugin, you can see the three fields listed. You need to make sure the meta-fields _elex_gpf_gtin, _elex_gpf_mpn, and _elex_gpf_brand  are selected for GTIN, MPN, and Brand attribute fields respectively.

Exclusions

If you wish to exclude certain products from the feed, all you need to do is , just enter the product name, which will just show you the products with those words you typed in. The process simplifies the process to exclude the products.

Exclude Product from product feed

Leave this section blank if you do not wish to exclude products.

Finally, click on the Generate Feed button to create your product feed.

Manage Feeds

Once the feed is created, you can find it in the Manage Feed tab. You can also perform multiple operations on the feed as per your need. The Manage Feed tab gives you information like :

Name: Name of the Feed created.

URL: The path at which the WooCommerce Google Product Feed is created and saved.

Created: The date of creation of the product feed including the time stamp (hh:mm: ss).

Modified: The date at which the feed was modified including the timestamp (hh:mm: ss).

Next Schedule: If you have scheduled Refresh option for your feed, the feed shows the upcoming schedule date and time when it happens. Also when the schedule is paused then it shows “Paused” to indicate that the Refreshesh schedule for the corresponding feed is paused.

Actions: It shows the list of actions that can be performed on the product feed generated. Like Edit, Copy, Pause, Regenerate, Download, View and Delete.

Managing WooCommerce Google Product Feeds Created

Edit: You can edit your feed anytime.

Copy: If you wish to create a copy of your feed, then you can do so by clicking here.

Pause: You can pause the refreshing of feed when needed and even begin again when your feed is ready to be uploaded.

Regenerate-  You can manually regenerate or refresh the feed with fresh data from your store.

Download: This option lets you download the feed on to your local system and then check for the feed generated.

View: This option lets you view the product feed both  XML and CSV files.

Delete: If you no longer need the feed then, you can easily delete the same.

Setting Meta Keys For Google Product Feed

This Settings page in the plugin, helps you set certain meta keys and provide the file path or modify the path/ location for storing the product feed files.

settings for google product feed

In here, if you are using an external plugin to create any additional products fields, you can also map them with the Google Product attributes. All you need to do is enter some meta keys and save them.

Adding meta tags to settings

These meta keys will be visible in the map attribute page.

Meta tags on Attribute mapping

Submitting the Google Product Feed file to Google Merchant Center

Now that your feed is ready to be used, you need to create a Google Merchant Center Account.

Let us walk through the steps to create a Google Merchant Center account.

Google  Merchant Center is a gateway for retailers to get their products on to Google Shopping. This will help you to surface your ads on Google Shopping

Signing up with Google Merchant Center

In order to sign up with Google Merchant Center, you need to have a google email id created from accounts.google.com

Once you create, then login to merchants.google.com.   Upon logging in, you need to add your page details and other information required.

Here you need to enter the details of countries wherein your business is registered. Also, you can specify the business name – which is mostly the website, business you do or even the store name. This is the name that Google Merchant Center takes into consideration. The time zone is automatically selected depending on the country of selection.

Choose your programs 

There are several Google Merchant center programs that can be selected as per your business needs, which includes – shopping ads, shopping actions and surface across Google. Learn more about Google Merchant Center Programs.

Navigating through Google Merchant Center

When you log in to Google Merchant Center, you can see :

Adding Google Product Feed to Merchant Center

Overview : Contains all the summary of your programs and even the quick glance through the announcements by Google Merchant Center.

Products :  Here you can manage your feed, review the feeds and also view all the products in a centralized manner.It is easy to access all information from here.

  Diagnostics: Troubleshoot and even review any issues, present or even historical ones.

All Products – View all the products you have included in the Google Product Feed as well as add new ones too.

Adding Products to Google Merchant Center

Feeds –  You can create or upload a feed from your store here.

Adding feeds

Adding Feeds to Google Merchant Center

When you click on the ‘+’ sign to add a feed to the Google Merchant Center, then you can see that you are taken to another page, wherein you have to enter the basic information:

Feed into Google Merchant Center

Country of Sales: Should be the target location, you want to sell.

Language: Depends on the region you select.

Destinations: You need to choose, the destination for these product feeds like the Shopping ads and Surface across Google.

Upload Feeds to your Google Merchant Center

Google Merchant Center provides various options to upload and input the Google Product Feed.

There are four ways to set up your feed:

  1. Google Sheet – Lets you add a new sheet or select an existing Google sheet. When you make changes in the sheet, it’ll be automatically reflected on your Google Merchant Account.
  2. Schedule Fetch – Lets you provide a URL of your product feed. From our plugins perspective, you can specify the URL of the product feed when you view your feed.
  3. Upload – Lets you upload a file in XML, TXT or other supported file formats.
  4. Content API – The Content API for Shopping enables you to automatically upload product listings and so make your products easily discoverable through Google Shopping.

We use Schedule Fetch to ensure that the refresh schedules are happening.

The feed will then be uploaded and shown to you in the Feeds section. It might take some time for your feed to show up depending on your products. Sometimes it shows up after a minute or even takes about 30 minutes. You can refresh the Feeds page after some time to check.

Additional Feed Details in Google Merchant Center

You need to fill in :

  • The feed name and then create a Fetch schedule. Ensure that the name entered is exactly matching to the file name.
  • Provide a fetch frequency like Daily, Weekly and Monthly and specify a time for the fetch.
    Note: The time settings can be a later time to the time we set while Generating a refresh schedule for your feed in the plugin.
  • Provide the file URL to fetch the feed.

Once the feed is uploaded, it then appears in the feeds uploaded.

Final Feed Generated on Google Merchant Center

Once you are done with Google Merchant Center, then you need to enhance the  Ads with proper campaigns using Google Ads. 

Linking Google Merchant Center to Google Ads

Google Ads is the backbone of Google Shopping. To optimize the channels for Google Shopping results, you need to set up Google Ads. Finally, to get your Google Ads to link to the Google Merchant Center, you need to do the following :

  1. Request access from the Google Merchant Center to Google Ads under Accounts linking using Google Ads id.
  2. Approve the link to connect to the Google Merchant Center on the Google Ads account.
  3. Google Ads can create supporting campaigns for approval.

With all these steps, you can build your customer base with Google Shopping. It would be ideal to keep monitoring your business with Google Analytics and Google Ad conversion tracking for better results.

Verify and Claim your Website URL

It is important to verify your store URL  so that Google knows you are a genuine retailer. Using Google Merchant Center, you can claim your website URL.

How does it work?

In order to verify and Claim your website, you need to ensure that you allow Google to communicate with your website in a proper channel. While doing so, Google Ad markers to your website, and allows you Google to confirm that you are an authorized user for your website and the Google Merchant Center Account.

Google Ads setting

Here are some important instructions to follow :

  1. Enter your website URL in the Google Merchant Center.
  2. Verify your URL:  To verify you must use any of the four channels of Google  Console– Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, HTML Tag, HTML file upload. Once the URL Verification is done, you get a confirmation mail.
  3. Claim your website URL: Google Merchant  Center allows you to claim your URL once this verification is done.

Learn more about verification and claiming your website from Google Merchant Center.


To explore more details about the plugin, go check out ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin.

check out the product documentation section for more related articles.

You can also check out other WooCommerce and WordPress plugins in ELEX.

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