Hey there. as we're digital marketers, we're using Google's and Facebook Ads tracking technology.
No big deal as we just want to spend our money wisely. No personal stuff, just the basic metrics you need. You probably know what we mean.
👍 In return, we'll make sure our marketing remains relevant and up to date👍
So Google I/O just finished. And a part of the gist for advertising is: “Google wants to make it easier for Small businesses to onboard in Google”.
Having seen and taken over many accounts in the past few months I can say there’s a little catch you all need to be aware of.
they will make it easier for you to sign up
they will make it easier for you to set up a campaign
they will set up tracking for you
they will make it easier for you to connect your products with Merchant Center
The above things are done FOR you when you follow the steps in your Shopify account. Amazing isn’t it?
Well, not completely.
What if I told you setting up this app could lead to a suspended Merchant Center – or worse – Google ads account?
“How could you claim that Raoul.. what’s your proof?”
Well, there’s no proof. There are just flaws in this easy setup process of the app.
Let’s go dive into each one of them:
THEY WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO SIGN UP
Signing up through the app does one thing for Shopify: as a premium partner, they get benefits (read: money) from Google signing you up or connecting your account the first time.
You don’t need to do that, but if you are going through the process, there’s no harm in this either. Setting up your billing makes it final: you’re ready to go!
THEY WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO SET UP A CAMPAIGN
This is a tricky one. When you already have gone through the process and simply connected your campaigns, it’s not a big deal. Though, when you haven’t.. you’ll have to be sure to not go down the “smart campaign” rabbit hole.
Everything Google has been done in the past years is trying to make it as easy as possible to onboard into Google Ads. And yes, they will benefit if you’re successful, but there’s plenty of people getting started, spending money until they run out of it and stop advertising.
You don’t want to be that person. What to do?
Don’t go into “smart mode”. It’s the easiest way to set up ads, but it also limits the control and insights you could get if you switch to expert mode. How? Click the Tools icon in the top right corner.
Select Switch to Expert Mode. You can’t revert to this but don’t worry.. you will thank me later.
THEY WILL SET UP TRACKING FOR YOU
Cool! That’s actually the only thing I really love about this app.
It plugs in exactly the tracking codes I want and makes Google smarter based on the number of product page views, add to carts, checkout starts, and of course, purchases.
Sure, you can use other apps or hard code it in there with GTM or what. But there’s no harm or potential threat in this step.
THEY WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU TO CONNECT YOUR PRODUCTS WITH MERCHANT CENTER
Ok, we’re going from “cool!” to “uh oh”. This step is what I dislike the most. Why? Three reasons:
1) because once you connect Merchant center, it automatically merges your products from Shopify.
This is ok if you have one or two products.. but if you happen to have one or two products that don’t comply with Googles’ policies, it can trigger their AI and immediately **suspend** you.
If you feel you are on “the edge” with some products (supplements are a very tricky area for example), you are better off manually uploading products in the Merchant Center or first go through a Feed manager where you can filter the most “dangerous” products out.
2) because once you connect Merchant center, it may feel like you don’t have to do anything in there all before you set up a smart shopping campaign.
I’m not going into smart shopping here, but apart from that you REALLY need to take some time out of your day to make sure all the things are set in the Merchant Center configuration. If you don’t, Google will mark you as a non-serious business and potentially suspend you for “misrepresentation”.