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TPE #59: 12 hidden insights in GMC

Sep 11, 2023

Read time: 4 minutes

Hey, Miles here writing to you from Toscana, Italia!

We just arrived yesterday after a quick stopover in Switzerland. Holy smokes, what a beautiful country! Here’s a quick pic I took on the road:



I’m taking a quick break before we launch The PPC Hub on September 28th. We’re opening it up for 200 people, and we have 1100+ people on our waitlist right now. If you want more info, check out this page — and join the waitlist if you’re interested in signing up!

Anyways… I didn’t want to leave you without an issue of The PPC Edge today so I thought I’d share a few quick tips you can use instantly today.

Let’s dive right in!


12 hidden insights in Google Merchant Center

Most PPCers aren’t aware that Google Merchant Center is full of insights and features you can use to optimize your campaigns.

They set up GMC once, and only log in to check product diagnostics every now and then (to see if there are any disapprovals).

There are a ton of old and new features that can give you useful insights, like:

  1. Discover top brands & products
  2. Price competitiveness
  3. Product protection
  4. Automatic improvements
  5. CSS partners
  6. Auto-tagging URLs (free listings)
  7. Product reviews
  8. “MCC” structure
  9. Shopping Experience Scorecard
  10. Competitive visibility (auction insights)
  11. Pricing Rules (automatic discounts)
  12. Promotions

Let’s dive in one-by-one.


1: Discover top brands & products

Google has made it really easy for advertisers to discover new brands and products to sell.

Go to Growth → Best sellers to see:

Top brands: discover brands that are hot in a specific market and vertical.



Top products: discover products that are hot in a specific market and vertical.



Brands that are gaining popularity on Google: see which brands are trending right now.



You can use these insights to expand your product inventory by adding products/brands that are hot and trending right now.


2: Price competitiveness

This is another epic feature!

Go to Growth > Price competitiveness to see how competitive your prices are versus other competitors in the market.

Google provides granular insights for different levels (overall, products, brands, categories, and product types).

If you prices are above benchmark, you can test with adjusting your pricing to be more competitive.



Something I regularly use is “products with the highest price gap”. This shows you which products have the biggest price gap, which you can also use to make your prices more competitive.



3: Product protection

I love this feature! With product protection, you set up a percentage for when Google will start to protect the products that have been removed from your feed.



This is particularly useful if you accidentally remove products from your feed. If you remove more products that the percentage you set up for product protection, Google will create a backup and use the old data for 30 extra days.

You will get alerted, giving you time to fix the issue.

This feature has saved me dozens of time.

How to set it up: go to account settings > product protection.


4: Automatic improvements

With automatic improvements, Google can automatically update your product details to match your website for: prices, availability, condition, images, and shipping/returns.

This can help you from products getting disapproved due to mismatches in data between your feed and website.

Be careful though: if you let Google update your images and prices, you could lose relevance.



How to set it up: settings > automatic improvements.


5: CSS partners

With CSS partners, you can get 20% off all Shopping clicks (both for Shopping and pMax).

Unfamiliar with CSS partners? Check out this guide we wrote.


6: Auto-tagging URLs (free listings)

In GMC, you can set up Shopping Ads, and Free Listings (to show your products for free on Google). Recently, Google added URL auto-tagging to track users after clicking through from free listings.



7: Product reviews

Product reviews are crucial to drive clicks and increase your CTR + CVR. In the example below, the sellers with product reviews catch my attention and create instant trust.



How to set it up: go to marketing > product reviews. Google Merchant Center also provides diagnostics for your reviews (which you can use to solve any issues if they arise).



8: “MCC” structure

I’ve worked with big global retailers and most of them had multiple stores in different countries. Each domain has a separate account, which can be hard to manage. Google introduced “advanced account setups” which function like an MCC.

How to set it up: go to account settings > advanced account set up. You can request a conversion from a single account, to a multi-account setup. Once you have it in place, you can connect and see all your shops in the MCC.

This saves me a lot of time and energy!


9: Shopping Experience Scorecard

There are a lot of scammy websites out there, so Google is actively rewarding legit advertisers with better positions and “Top Quality Store” labels.



Through the Shopping Experience Scorecard, you unlock additional insights into how your business compares to others in your market.

Use the info to optimize your shipping/returns policy, and more.



How to set it up: go to growth > shopping experience scorecard.


10: Competitive visibility (auction insights)

This is a great addition to GMC: you can see competitive visibility (aka auction insights) as well.



How to set it up: go to performance > competitive visibility.


11: Pricing Rules (automatic discounts)

Google wants to make it easier for advertisers to compete on price. Pricing Rules is a new feature (US-only for now) that allows you to automatically set up discounts based on rules.

It’s an advanced feature and I don’t recommend it to most brands. Once you set this up, you risk getting into a race to the bottom.

How to set it up: go to marketing > pricing rules.


12: Promotions

The last feature I want to highlight in this newsletter is “promotions”. With promotions, you can highlight a specific offer or promotion on your Shopping Ads. Works really well to increase CTR and CVR!

Here’s a post I created a while back that shows you how it works and how to set it up.


Use these new insights to your advantage

So there you have it: 12 hidden features to give you more insights in Google Merchant Center:

  1. Discover top brands & products
  2. Price competitiveness
  3. Product protection
  4. Automatic improvements
  5. CSS partners
  6. Auto-tagging URLs (free listings)
  7. Product reviews
  8. “MCC” structure
  9. Shopping Experience Scorecard
  10. Competitive visibility (auction insights)
  11. Pricing Rules (automatic discounts)
  12. Promotions


Use them to unlock new insights and crush your competitors (respectfully, of course).

That’s all for today, I’m back to enjoying my time here in Toscana. See you next week!


Miles (and Bob)

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