Structured Data Markup for Google Merchant Center Feed

Tutorial

This article outlines how to implement schema markup for your product pages using your Google Merchant Center data.

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to consider creating a Google Merchant Center account. You’ll be able to manage your appearance across all Google e-commerce products, upload product information (like pricing & pictures), and be displayed in Google Shopping searches.

What is Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center is an online dashboard where you can manage your shop and product appearance and make it available to shoppers across Google. You can upload and maintain product information and your online listings where needed, including pictures and pricing that can be displayed in Google Shopping searches. Google Merchant Center also integrates with other Google services like Google My Business, allowing you to reach potential customers at different stages of their buyer journey.

What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping isn’t technically an online marketplace. It’s more of an ad platform where you can advertise your products, providing shoppers an opportunity to browse physical products based on a search query. Google Shopping is also known as a Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE), where shoppers search for, compare and shop for physical products across different retailers.

Fun fact! When Google Shopping was released in 2002, it was called Froogle.

Structured Data Markup for Google Merchant Center

You can use structured data to mark up your organization and your products so that search engines can reliably retrieve up-to-date information from your website and display these details in search. In Google Merchant Center, this structured data markup can be used to update your product data, simplifying the creation and maintenance of your product feeds.

What is structured data?

Structured data is a type of code that can be added to your website, making it easier for search engines to crawl, organize and display your content in search. When you mark up information on your website with structured data, you are basically explaining to Google what your data means. Through structured data or schema markup, you can define objects in your data as distinct entities with their own properties and relationships to other entities. Once defined, entities can be linked to a search engines knowledge graph through schema markup. Knowledge graphs represent the linking of information and data across the Web, providing context for search engines as they crawl your website. For e-commerce, structured data markup unlocks great opportunities to display product and store information in search results so customers can engage with your brand before even entering your website.

Structured Data Markup for Products

It’s recommended that you add new schema markup to your product pages to help Google reliably retrieve up-to-date information, and enable click-driving search features like Automatic Item Updates, Google Sheets Merchant Center add-on, and Product Rich Results. This ensures that you’re set up optimally and simplifies the creation and maintenance of your product feed in search.

Product entities and review snippets are two of the most important considerations for any brand with an e-commerce presence. Customers want to know the most up-to-date information about your products and/or services, and like to see what other customers have to say about your brand through reviews. Having an aggregate star rating and reviews can improve click-through-rates and conversion rates – when they’re over 3 stars!

Here are the essential product markup properties that we recommend:

Google recommends marking up individual product pages instead of a category or list of products. Read more about Google’s guidelines for product schema markup here.

If you’re looking to set up your product schema by hand there are a number of things to keep in mind. Be sure to follow all the Structured Data General Guidelines. Be sure to know the Google Merchant Center requirements for structured data markup. Once you’re comfortable with that, you’ll want to know which corresponding attributes and accepted values are supported by Google Merchant Center, how to handle a single offer vs multiple offers with product variants. If you’re new to schema markup all of this can seem daunting.

Schema App for Google Merchant Center

Schema App has a much easier solution. Just login to Schema App and use our Google Merchant Center Integration. Here’s how:

  1. Login to Schema App and choose the Active Project you want to setup.
  2. Go to https://app.schemaapp.com/merchantcenter
  3. Authenticate with Google – If you have Merchant Center authority, you can directly Authorize Access to Merchant Center. Once connected, Schema App will start processing and generating Schema Markup JSON-LD from the Product. You are done!
  4. Request Access – If you do not have Merchant Center access directly, you can request a colleague delegate the access. We provide an email template that invites them to connect the account. The system will generate a link to setup the authorization that expires after 72 hours.
  5. Request Access – your colleague will receive an email, click on the link, and proceed with the Authorization.

Schema App Google Merchant Center

So long as you have set up one of our integration methods, this is a TWO CLICK solution to completing all your product markup. Once you’re done, just grab a coffee and spend the time you were going to use labouring over your markup on something else!

Considerations for Google Merchant Center Structured Data Markup

While structured data can help to showcase your ecommerce store and products in Google Merchant Center, there are some considerations you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t change your product or store landing pages based on the user, such as adjusting prices based on the customer’s location
  • Your structured data should be present in the HTML returned from the web server and not generated with JavaScript AFTER the page has loaded
  • Only mark up information that is shown to the user on your landing pages, which means even the prices in your structured data markup should match the values shown on the page

Maintaining schema markup for ecommerce products can be tedious as prices may change and supply may shift. That’s why Schema App offers dynamic structured data services that can update your markup in tandem with any content changes on your webpages. Learn more about our solutions.

We’ve helped retailers from Keen Footwear to Home Hardware overcome website challenges and reach their ecommerce goals through structured data. If you’d like to learn more about what we could do for your online business, contact us to get started.

As a customer success manager at Schema App, Jeffrey Burns helps our users get the most out of our toolset and act as a customer advocate. Jeff studied philosophy at York University and he’s played sports his whole life. Most of his career has been in sales or customer success, which is great because he’s energized by people and enjoys solving problems.

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