Blog Menu

I write and curate content for Bluehost. I hope this blog post is helpful.
Are you looking at creating a blog, website or an online store? Bluehost has something for everyone. Get started today.

Want to build an eCommerce website to grow your business, but unsure where to start?

A great option for building an online store is WooCommerce, one of the most popular eCommerce plugins for WordPress with over 6 million live websites.

Once your new WooCommerce store is up and running, you can drive traffic and sales by integrating it with the Google Merchant Center tool.

This free tool makes creating and managing your product ads even easier. It also allows your product listings to show up on Google websites and apps.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to use Google Merchant Center with your WooCommerce store to create ad campaigns and Google product listings.

What is Google Merchant Center?

Google Merchant Center is an online management tool that allows owners of retail and eCommerce businesses to upload and display their products across Google websites and apps, like Google Search, Google Shopping, YouTube and Google Maps.

Even better, Google Merchant Center allows you to do all this for free. If a customer searches for your product on any of Google’s websites or apps, they’ll find it as long as the product entry is in Merchant Center.

Google Merchant Center is also the only way to create paid advertising campaigns on Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), the number one online advertising platform.

Google Merchant Center is different from Google Business Profile. Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free service to create online profiles for any business type. Merchant Center showcases the products and services of online and offline retail companies.

Benefits of integrating Google Merchant Center with WooCommerce

Integrating Google Merchant Center with your WooCommerce store offers many benefits, such as:

  • Increased visibility for your products. Google is the world’s most widely used search engine, ahead of Bing and Yahoo, with over 85% of the global market share. It also serves as a popular starting point for online shoppers, who use the search engine to research or find specific products. Integrating with Merchant Center lets all these potential customers find your products without knowing about or visiting your online store beforehand. Plus, the product listings are updated in real-time.
  • Helps customers analyze your products. When you integrate Google Merchant Center with your WooCommerce store, the Google listing will include all the product information that a customer needs to know. It also will include product reviews from other customers to help them come to a decision. And when a customer is ready to purchase, they’re sent directly to the product page on your website.
  • Easy ad campaign creation. After you’ve integrated your store with Google Merchant Center, you’re already halfway through creating shopping campaigns on Google Ads. With the right plugin installed, you can launch your ad campaigns from within your website.
  • Simple performance tracking. You can easily track the performance of your free product listings and paid ads in Merchant Center. The metrics you can track include the conversion rate, impressions and click-through rate (CTR).

How to connect your WooCommerce store to Google Merchant Center

To follow this tutorial, you must first have a WordPress website with the WooCommerce plugin and a hosting plan. If you don’t already have a web host, you can get a WooCommerce hosting package from Bluehost.

Install Google Listings & Ads for WooCommerce

Google Listings & Ads is the official extension from WooCommerce for connecting to the Google Merchant Center.

Several other WooCommerce add-ons, like Google Product Feed and WooCommerce Google Feed Manager, generate XML product feeds to create listings on Google Merchant Center. However, for this guide, we’ll stick with the official plugin.

The Google Listings & Ads product page on the WooCommerce website.
Image Source

Visit the WooCommerce website, and search for Google Listings & Ads on the Extensions page. Clicking on the add-on in the search results will take you to the product page. From there, you can follow the steps to download the extension.

Once you complete the download, log in to your eCommerce store as an administrator, install the plugin and activate it.

Connect your WordPress account

Navigate to Marketing > Google Listings & Ads from your WordPress admin dashboard. Next, click the “Start listing products” button. This will begin the setup wizard to link your website to Google Merchant Center.

The setup wizard for Google Listings & Ads asks to connect a WordPress account.

The first step is to connect a WordPress account. The account will maintain the connection between your website and Google’s servers, ensuring everything is secure and properly attributed.

Clicking the button takes you to the login page for You can create an account, if needed. After logging in, you must approve the connection before being redirected to your website.

Connect your Google account

The next step is to connect a Google account. This account will be used for the Merchant Center and Google Ads connection.

Clicking the button redirects you to the Google sign-in page. If you don’t already have an account or want to create a new account for this purpose, click on the “Create account” link.

You must grant WooCommerce permissions from your Google account after signing in.

After signing in to your Google account, you will also need to approve the connection by granting WooCommerce access to certain information from your account. Tick the necessary checkboxes, then click “Continue.” This will return you to the setup wizard.

Set up Google Merchant Center

The next step is to set up a Google Merchant Center account. If you have previously created an account, it will be listed here.

Creating a new Merchant Center account requires accepting Google’s terms and conditions.

You can only link one Google account and one Merchant Center account to your eCommerce website. If you create a new account, then the old account will be unlinked.

To create a new Merchant Center account, you must first accept the terms of service. Accepting will run the connection process. Once that’s done, your website will be connected to a newly created account.

All the product data from your store will be synced to this account. This will ensure that your products will appear as free listings on the Shopping tab of the Google search results page and Google Shopping ads.

Configure your product listings

The settings you configure here will affect how Google displays your products and who sees them.

Configuring the audience locations for your Merchant Center listings.

The first option here is your audience, which allows you to configure the language and locations where your listings will appear.

The default language for your website should already be preselected. If your website is multilingual, you can add more languages. You can also select additional countries for your listings to be displayed in.

You can also configure shipping rates and times for your listings.

Next, you can configure shipping rates for your products. By default, it uses the rates you configured while setting up WooCommerce, but you can also set a flat shipping rate or choose to configure this later in Merchant Center.

Then, you can add the shipping time estimates for your customers.

Confirm store requirements

This step requires that you confirm your store’s contact information. This includes the physical address and phone number. The store address is picked up from your WooCommerce settings, but you must manually enter and verify your phone number.

You must confirm that your online store meets Merchant Center’s requirements for free listings.

Also on this step are the prelaunch checklist items that ensure you meet Merchant Center’s requirements for listing your products. Failure to meet these requirements can result in your product listing being disapproved or your account being suspended.

The requirements are:

  • Your store is live and accessible to all users.
  • It has a complete and secure checkout process.
  • Your refund policy and terms of service are visible on your online store.
  • Your store’s phone number, email and/or address are visible on the website.

Once you check all the boxes for each requirement and have verified your phone number, you can move to the next stage.

Complete your campaign with paid ads

Configuring a paid product ad campaign will work with your free listings to drive traffic to your website, but it isn’t required. If you want to ignore this option, you can click on the “skip this step for now” link, and you’ll be done with the integration process.

The plugin will generate a Google Shopping feed file listing the products from your website and send it to the Google Merchant Center. However, Merchant Center won’t display your products immediately. Google takes three to five days to review new product listings.

Once approved, your store’s products will be live on Google’s platforms, and your potential customers can see them in the search results.

The Google Listings & Ads dashboard.

You can monitor your product feed from your WordPress admin dashboard (Marketing > Google Listings & Ads). On this dashboard, you can see the status of your product feed and any issues related to your account that need resolution.

Best practices for optimizing product data for Google Merchant Center

Here are some best practices to follow to get the most out of Google Merchant Center:

  • Ensure you’ve set up WooCommerce correctly. This includes providing all the contact and shipping information and setting up taxation properly. Without these details, Google may reject your product listings.
  • Be clear with your product information. When you add new products to your eCommerce website, optimize them to include all the necessary product attributes. This includes the product title, pricing, dimensions, colors, category, and safety information. If applicable, include the manufacturer part number (MPN) and global trade item number (GTIN). Follow the Google product categories when setting up your listings to make sure products show up correctly in Google search results.
  • Make your listings unique and engaging. Your products will be displayed alongside thousands of competing items, so your product descriptions and images need to stand out.
  • Be upfront with the information your customers need to make purchasing decisions.
  • Update your WooCommerce product information regularly, especially if you run promotions or offer discounts. This information can give your products an edge with potential customers.

Troubleshooting common integration issues

Check out these troubleshooting tips if you’re having trouble integrating your WooCommerce website and Google Merchant Center.

  • Issues with connecting accounts: If you’re having trouble connecting your WordPress or Google accounts, try logging in to them directly from their respective websites. It’s possible that you’re using an incorrect password or entered the wrong account information.
  • Trouble setting up a Merchant Center account: If the Google account you linked already has a Merchant Center account, you may not be able to pair that account to your website. To work around this, choose the option to create a new account while setting up Google Listings & Ads.
  • Incorrect product information in Google Merchant Center: This may result from some product attributes from your WooCommerce store incorrectly mapping to the Merchant Center feed data. Attributes like product IDs, product variations or some custom fields that are unique to your store may not translate accurately. Still, you can map these attributes manually to fix this issue.
  • Listings aren’t live after completing setup: Google typically takes three to five days to review each new listing application before approval. If your listings are still inactive after this period, then it’s possible that your submission doesn’t meet the terms and conditions for free listings. You should also receive an email from Google about the cause of the delay and how to fix it.

Final thoughts: How to integrate Google Merchant Center with WooCommerce

If you just started your eCommerce business, then integrating your WooCommerce store with Google Merchant Center is a great way to get increased visibility for your products without spending extra cash.

Even if your online store has been around for a while, you can expand your audience beyond your loyal customer base by taking advantage of the free listings feature.

If you still need a reliable web host to help get your eCommerce business off the ground, Bluehost can help. Learn about our hosting packages, including WordPress hosting plans, today.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
Learn more about Bluehost Editorial Guidelines

Write A Comment