The Complete Guide to Google Manufacturer Center

November 5, 2018 in brand pages, brands, Google, Google Manufacturer Center, Google Shopping

If your company manufactures products, Google Manufacturer Center is a no-brainer.

Although it's only a few years old, Google Manufacturer Center has completely changed the way manufacturers are able to market their products. 

In this article, we’re going to explain what the Google Manufacturer Center is, why it’s so important, and what you can do to ensure your products are benefiting from it.

What Is Google Manufacturer Center?

In short, Google Manufacturer Center is an opportunity for manufacturers to provide details about their products directly to the search engine giant.

Understandably, Google wants the most accurate information possible about any subject. Obtaining details about products directly from the company that makes them virtually guarantees the accuracy of the information that Google provides its customers.

Manufacturers can supply the search engine with all kinds of information. Common examples include things like:

  • Product Title
  • Product Description
  • Product Dimensions
  • Global Trade Number
  • Manufacturer Part Number

These are just a handful of examples, though. Google is supporting a massive number of features, which even includes details like “scent.” Again, their priority is giving users every possible piece of information about a product.

Google will then take this data and use it to enhance the information it provides users across all of its properties, including:

  • Google.com
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Now
  • Google Express

This information will also be used in seller and reseller ads.

Keep reading because, later on, we’re going to describe, in detail, the kind of information you must provide Google Manufacturer Center for best results.

Why Is Google Manufacturer Center important?

Again, there’s a short answer for this one and it’s: because Google thinks it’s important.

You don’t have to be a marketing expert to appreciate that you’re better off doing the things that Google values.

That said, like most things Google values, their Manufacturer Center has the end user – your potential customers – in mind.

Let’s look at the three main reasons Google Manufacturer Center is important.

This Information Drives Traffic

By providing the Google Manufacturing Center with accurate information, the search engine can direct more users to your products. More importantly, though, Google is able to better qualify these users, so your products receive targeted traffic from people who are more likely to become customers.

Google Manufacturer Center Improves Conversion Rates

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, then, that this information will improve conversion rates, too. As we just mentioned, Google will use it to ensure it attracts people who are potential customers.

However, there’s also an added benefit of Google Manufacturer Center that will help drive greater conversions.

By giving users information that comes right from the manufacturer – and, again, is therefore much more likely to be 100% accurate – Google Shopping will see improved consumer confidence. Users will know that they can trust the information Google gives them and this confidence will transfer to more sales.

Manufacturers Will Receive Actionable Feedback

Finally, Google will be providing participating manufacturers with analytics-based insights they can then use to improve their:

  • Products
  • Product Information
  • Customer Experiences

Something as small as the product image being used may be hurting its marketability. Google Manufacturer Center will make this abundantly clear so the company behind a product can make the necessary changes ASAP and start seeing greater sales.

Manufacturers Now Have Much Greater Control Over the Sale of Their Products

While some manufacturers sell direct to consumers, more and more, it’s becoming common practice to outsource the work to other companies. This is extremely easy to do in the Internet age and doing so means far greater returns.

However, in the past, the trade off usually meant that the manufacturer was at the mercy of these marketers and third-party sellers to portray their products accurately. Google often went to these companies – not the manufacturers – for product information. If that information was wrong, the manufacturer lost sales and, if the erroneous representation was egregious, even credibility.

With Google Manufacturer Center, manufacturers now have a direct line to the world’s most popular search engine, granting them more control over how their products are portrayed than ever before.

Real-World Examples of Improved Conversions with Google Manufacturer Center

This isn’t all talk, either.

Google was anxious to prove their concept from the beginning, which is why they tracked the results of three early adopters of their Manufacturer Center. Here are the three companies they tracked and how their conversions improved with this service:

  • Bosch: +4%
  • Speakman: +8.1%
  • JanSport: +13%

As you can see, Google Manufacturer Center can have extremely impressive results. Best of all, it’s not costing you anything other than the time it takes to provide accurate information to Google, which is something we’ll cover in the next section.
What Are the Essential Elements of a Google Manufacturer Center Feed?

While this is definitely an exciting opportunity you need to take advantage of, there is one last area we need to cover before you proceed: the actual content.

Creating your Google Manufacturer Center account should prove easy enough. It’s the information you provide that will ultimately play the biggest role in your success.

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Google Manufacturer Center Feed Attributes

Google only requires that you complete five fields for your products in order to have them listed in their Manufacturer Center. These are:

  • Required - Must-have attributes for Google Manufacturer Center:
    • ID
    • Title
    • Description
    • Image Link
    • Brand
    • GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
  • Recommended - Should-have attributes for Google Manufacturer Center:
    • MPN (Manufacturer’s Part Number)
    • Product Line
    • Additional Image Link
    • Feature Description
  • Optional - Good-to-have attributes for Google Manufacturer Center:
    • Product Name
    • Product Type
    • Disclosure Date
    • Release Date
    • Video Link
    • Product Page URL
    • Suggested Retail Price
    • Product Detail

That’s it. Upload this information and, upon approval, Google will have accurate information for all your products and you’ll begin reaping the aforementioned benefits.

You can also schedule fetches on your feed so that Google automatically retrieves the data file from your company’s server.

Although using a data feed will save you a lot of time when updating the Manufacturer Center, you may have some products that require editing. Google allows manually updates to this information. You can even decide if this information should persist after future updates or if it should change as your information feed does.

Other Elements You Should Include

Don’t stop there, though.

Just like with Google’s search engine, you can optimize the information you provide the Manufacturer Center to ensure your product receives the attention it deserves.

Here are some simple tips to get you started:

  • Use Your Keywords – You still want to leverage SEO with your product descriptions, especially in the titles. The only difference is that, with the Manufacturer Center, you might actually have a better chance of ranking for highly-competitive keywords you aren’t currently ranking for in Google’s search engine. Check back regularly and update the keywords you use as necessary.
  • Leverage Categories – Get as granular as possible with the “product types” supported by your data sheet. Check out the Google Product Taxonomy to ensure you’re providing every possible detail and you’ll be rewarded for it.
  • Add Promotions – Want an instant boost to your conversions? Inside the Merchant Center, you should see the option for “Merchant Promotions.”If not, just fill out this Merchants Promotions form. You’ll find all kinds of options including free shipping, buy-one-get-one-free, tiered discounts, and much more.
  • Don’t Skimp on the Details – Google will give you 10,000 characters to describe your products. Do not take this for granted, but don’t go overboard, either. Between 500 and 1,000 seems to be the sweet spot. Provide visual details, too, instead of relying solely on the visuals. Before you upload anything, check for grammar and punctuation. You’ll be punished for any mistakes.

As with any content you post online, this should be seen as a process. Come back to it again and again and look for ways it can be improved. You wouldn’t upload content for your website once and never return to it. Over time, even the smallest of enhancements can have giant ripple effects. 

 

Final Thoughts

Manufacturer Center is a free tool from Google that gives retailers the opportunity to standardize their brand’s identity across the Web. Take this opportunity to regain control over the way your products are portrayed on Google's search results. GoDataFeed makes it easy. Book a free demo to learn how you can connect your products to Google Manufacturer Center.

Bryan Falla
Director of Marketing
Bryan is a digital marketer with roots in journalism and creative writing. Over the past decade, he's helped hundreds of online retailers develop and implement ecommerce marketing strategies. When he isn't educating retailers on ecommerce, he's out exploring South Florida and stalking local breweries.