Hello, everybody. Anton Kraly here, and welcome back to the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. This is our show that comes out with a new episode every single Monday and Thursday, all designed to help e-commerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations and become the authority in their niche. Now today's episode, we're going to be speaking about Google Merchant Center. And I'm just going to give a quick tip, but I'm also going to explain as always why this tip is important and why, if you're using Google Merchant Center, you should definitely pay attention to this episode.
First, I just want to share the reason this even came about. It seemed like, when was it? Maybe six months ago or so, there was a influx in the amount of people I was hearing from saying that they got a notification from Google Merchant Center, so not Google Ads, but Google Merchant Center, saying that their account was suspended. And there was a variety of reasons. It wasn't always the same thing. And the issue was that when people reported this, and I should still say, it was a very small amount of people overall, but it was something that I had almost never heard in the past. But for a little while about maybe a four-to-six-week period, there were maybe one or two people a week saying, "Hey, I just got contacted by Google Merchant Center. Got an email, said my account was suspended. And the reason is something super vague and they won't be any more clear about what I need to do to get it back."
I gave advice, our normal checklist of what people should do. Some people got it back right away. Some people took a few months. Some people I'm still not sure what the status is because they haven't updated. But the good news is it seemed like almost everybody that said they had that problem that at least I have heard from got their account back. And I did an episode. It was actually, I think it was a YouTube video, about this topic and how to protect your account and some general things you should do. I did that a few months back, maybe six months back, I don't know. But what I'll do is link in this podcast descriptions so you could check that out.
Also, if you're listening to this and you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, my e-commerce coaching company, go to the members' area because last week we just relaunched the whole entire thing. Totally upgraded it for you. And now in module 6, which is all about getting traffic, one of the first lessons of that module is called compliance checklist. So go to that and that breaks down every single thing you need to do to make sure your accounts stay safe. So definitely check that out. It's in module 6 of the Drop Ship blueprint.
Now for anyone that's listening to this and you're like, "Anton, what are you even talking about? What is Google Merchant Center? Is that Google Ads?" No, it's not. It's another service from Google, another product from Google. And basically, what it is, is a tool that gives you the ability to connect the product catalog from your e-commerce store to Google. So let's just say you have a e-commerce store with 100 products. You use Google Merchant Center to tell Google, "Hey, I have these 100 products for sale." And basically what it does is take all your product information. It puts it into Google Merchant Center. And from there, you can have your products advertised for free in Google Shopping as Google Product Listings, which again, those are free. I did a podcast about that too. I'll link that in the description as well.
But you can also connect it to Google Ads and then run Google Shopping ads, which I'm a huge fan of. And there's like, I haven't even know at this, six or seven trainings in the new module 6 about how to set them up perfectly for drop shipping. So check that out too.
But the issue that some people run into is when they connect their e-commerce store to Google Merchant Center, it gives you multiple options of how you want to basically get your product feed to connect to Google. Now, one of those options is just via a CSV. And basically a CSV looks like a big Excel sheet. And this can be done literally by clicking upload and uploading a CSV of all your products that you could have exported from Shopify or whatever e-commerce platform you use, then upload it there. Another way you can do this is by connecting Google Merchant Center to a Google Sheet, which is basically Google's version of Excel and having all your product data in there. And then it'll use that to import it into Google Merchant Center.
And then another way is you can use a different app. Shopify has a free one. I think it's called Google Shopping. It's some basic name like that. I don't recommend you use that one because there's not much customizability in there. It's kind of very basic, but that will also link your Shopify store and then push your products over.
And then there are other things you can do, like use different apps, some of them are paid. The one that I use is paid. It's very inexpensive, but it's well worth it for a lot of reasons when it comes to marketing and just optimizing your product feed and the reason you want your product feed to be optimized is so that you can appear higher in the free part of Google Shopping. And so that your Google Shopping ads can get better results if your feed has more data, if your feed has no errors, and the paid apps make it a lot easier to have everything super clean and formatted for Google with no issues.
So the app that I use is called Feed For Google Shopping. It's by a company called Simprosys. We have used this app for, I don't even know how long, it feels like forever. It is $4.99 a month if you have a average size store, so basically five bucks a month. The pricing goes up if you carry like thousands and thousands and thousands of products. Let me see what it actually is in case you're wondering. Yeah, if you have up to 500 products on your store, then it is $5 a month. If you have up to 1,000 products on your store, it's $9 a month. Up to 5,000 products, it's $14 a month. Up to 10,000 products, it's $18 a month. So it's well worth it no matter how many products you have.
But the reason that I like this app besides the whole marketing side, which is amazing, is because they allow you to connect your store to Google Merchant Center through what is known as the Content API. So basically what this is doing instead of creating a document, like a CSV or a Google Sheet with your product info, it is directly linking to all of your products. And what it allows you to do is set the frequency at which you want your product feed to be updated in Google Merchant Center. So you can set this for every 24 hours, every week, every two weeks, whatever you want. My advice is keep it shorter. The shorter, the better. We'll talk about why in just a minute.
But it also allows you, if you were to make a change on Shopify, let's say you went to product 123 on your store and you change the price from $500 to $600, you can click a button that will resync that product right away within a few minutes. And if you, for some reason, forgot to click the button that resyncs it right away and you have the app feed for Google Shopping set to update your products, to resync them every 24 hours, then it would just update 24 hours from the last time it did it.
So the benefit of this, and again, this is excluding all the marketing benefits. Maybe I'll do another episode on that. But the benefit of this is that your product information, your product data, whether that is price changes or product name changes, or SKU number changes, or product description changes, or product image changes, when you make them, they're updated almost in real time inside of Google Merchant Center. That way you don't have this discrepancy where you uploaded, let's say a month ago, or two months ago, or six months ago, a CSV to Google Merchant Center or connected a Google Sheet to Google Merchant Center, where the products now don't match your current store, not just in the quantity of products, but in the prices, the SKU numbers, the product names, the descriptions, because things change. You're going to update your site.
And the problem with that is if Google and they will, if their automated systems, if their AI is checking a bunch of stores and it sees that for you, SKU number 123 in Google Merchant Center says the price is $500, and it checks that link on your website, and this isn't a person doing it, this is their AI doing it, and then it goes to your site for SKU 123 and the price isn't 500, it's 600, you're going to get your account suspended because these price mismatches, the way Google sees it is as basically you're trying to deceive a customer. Because Google, what they're going to show to searchers is the price from Google Merchant Center. So if your price there, again, was 500, but when someone clicks that link and goes to that product page on your site, it's actually 600 or 700 or even 400, if it's not the same, that shows Google that this is broken. This is basically manipulative because you're telling people one thing and it doesn't match your store.
So that's the tip for today. This is one thing that is an absolute must do to keep your Google Merchant Center account safe and keep it from getting banned. Make sure whenever there are changes made on your store, specifically on your product pages, that the updates get synced to Google Merchant Center as soon as possible. If you still, for some reason, want to use a CSV to update everything, then just make sure if a change has made on your website, you update that CSV right away. You re-upload it to Google Merchant Center, keep that data coming through.
Or if you want to keep things as simple as possible, again, my advice is use the app that's called Feed for Google Shopping. Set the connection between your store and Google Merchant Center as the API connection, set it to automatically resync as quickly as it can. Every 24 hours we typically do. And then when changes are made on your store, if you want to get those syncs through even faster, you could just sync it one product at a time to make sure Google always has the most updated information about what actually reflects your store so that you don't get banned because you forgot to update a price in Google Merchant Center.
So that is, again, something everybody should do. My advice is set it up right now, don't wait. You don't want a stupid mistake that slipped through your mind, that you forgot to update something to take your account out. So definitely do that. And again, for everybody listening to this, that's a member of my coaching program, Drop Ship Lifestyle, I would recommend right now go to blueprint.dropshiplifestyle.com. That is our brand's new members' area, blueprint.dropshiplifestyle.com. Go to module 6 and go to our compliance checklist. That shows you, not just this, but everything you need to set up to keep your Google Ad account safe, your Microsoft Ad account safe, your Facebook Ad account safe. It's all there. So definitely check that out if you're a member and if you're listening and you're not, be sure to go to dropshipwebinar.com, I'll link that up as well, where you can get a free training from me plus a special offer to get enrolled in the blueprints. Again, that is dropshipwebinar.com.
So that's it for this episode, guys. I'm going to get back to it. I'm actually going to go into our ad accounts right now, make some changes, increase our return on ad spend. As always, I hope you got value and I will talk to you on Monday for the next episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast. See you, everybody.