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How to set up ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin?
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.
You can watch the video tutorial below.
Here are some of the major highlights of this plugin:
- 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.
- Schedules Cron job to refresh the XML 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 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 color, 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 IDs.
- Manage Feeds: Create, edit, copy, delete, quick refresh, download, or view multiple Google feeds.
Getting started with ELEX WooCommerce Google Product Feed Plugin
The generic settings of the plugin are as shown below.
- Project Name: Enter the desired project name for the feed. This should be a unique name.
- Select Country: Select your country from where you are selling the products. This list contains all the countries where Google Merchant Center is available.
- Channel: By default, Google Merchant is selected.
- Include Variations: Tick this check box to include all variations of your WooCommerce products.
- File Format: The plugin currently supports only XML format. We plan to include more file formats in the future.
- Refresh Schedule: You can schedule Cron jobs to refresh the feed. You can choose to refresh Daily (at a specified time), Weekly (at specified time and day of the week when the feed was created), or Monthly (at specified time and date of creation of the feed).
Mapping Product Category
It is mandatory to map at least one of your WooCommerce product category with Google category. You need to start typing the required category in the Google Categories text box and the related categories will be autofilled. You can choose to add and map any number of product categories with Google product categories.
You can click on the Add New Field button to add a new category field. Click on remove icon on the Action column to remove a category. Once you selected the desired categories and mapped them, click on 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.
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.
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.
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.
If you wish to exclude certain products from the feed, you can specify product IDs separated by commas.
Leave this section blank if you do not wish to exclude products.
Once the feed is created, you can find it in the Manage Feed tab. You can edit, copy, or delete the project. You can also perform a quick refresh, download and view the feed.
Submitting the XML file in Google Merchant Center
Follow the below steps to submit your newly created XML product feed file in the Google Merchant Center.
Before you update the URL to the Google Merchant Center, all you need is the Google Merchant Center Account. Follow these steps to create a Google Merchant Center Account easily.
- Log in to your Google Merchant Center account.
- In the left sidebar, go to Products > Feeds and click on blue add icon, as shown in the screenshot below.
- Next, you need to provide information like the Country of sale and language. Select the required settings and click Continue.
- In the next step, you need to specify the desired feed name and select the method for inputting your feed.
There are four ways to set up your feed:
- 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.
- 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.
- Upload – Lets you upload a file in XML, TXT or other supported file formats.
- Content API – The Content API for Shopping enables you to automatically upload product listings and so make your products easily discoverable through Google Shopping.
For demonstration purpose, we’ll use the third method, that is to upload the XML file manually.
Enter a suitable name for your feed. This name can be different from the one you gave in the plugin settings while creating your feed. Browse your XML file in your computer and click Continue.
- 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.
But the job is still not done, yet!
The feed file must be properly mapped and all other settings have to be properly configured. Else, your feed file will not be accepted. To check the errors in your feed file, click on the respective feed name to open it.
You can then see the errors contained in your XML file, as shown in the screenshot below.
Once you have rectified your errors, Google will automatically accept your product feed and shows them in its search result pages.
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.