In-Store example of 'sale' labels

Automate Custom Labels Using Feed Rules

In Paid Searchby Brendan Thom


How To Create & Apply Custom Labels Using Feed Rules in the Google Merchant Center

Google Shopping Ads are great for e-comm businesses to reach shoppers on Google’s Search and Display networks. It can be very easy to set up and start running with Shopping Ads for your products by; 

  • syncing up your product feed with the Google Merchant Center 
  • linking the Merchant Center to your Google Ads account 
  • using Custom Labels to structure & optimise your shopping campaigns

In South Africa, we’ve seen an increase in Shopping Ads engagement over the past year and the marketplace is getting a lot more competitive. This means that it is getting more important for advertisers to understand how we can better manage our shopping campaigns in order to optimise them and achieve our goals. 

What are custom labels?

Custom labels, custom_label_0 through custom_label_4, allow you to create specific filters to use in your Shopping campaigns. Use these filters for reporting and bidding on groups of products. The information you include in this attribute won’t be shown to users. – Google

Using custom labels is one method advertisers can use to structure and optimise their shopping campaigns by;

  • Custom_label_0 ~ Price range: values; 0-100, 101-1000, 1001-3000
  • Custom_label_1 ~ Margin: values; high, low
  • Custom_label_2 ~ Seasonality: values; summer, winter, autumn, spring
  • Custom_label_3 ~ Sale: values; Black Friday, Christmas, Women’s Day, Fathers Day


How Do I Add Or Create Custom Labels?

Custom labels need to be added to the product feed as columns and the custom label values would be applied per row/product. These column headers would be; custom_label_0 through custom_label_4 and their relevant values would then be added for each row/product.

These can be added manually to the feed or you can set up feed rules in the Merchant Center to do this for you.

What is a SKU?  

A SKU, or Stock Keeping Unit, is a unique number used to internally track a business’ inventory. – Shopify.co.za

Automate Custom Labels With Feed Rules

To save time, effort and avoid stress you can create feed rules in the Google Merchant Center to apply custom labels and values using filters based on existing attributes.

Example: How to create a feed rule to apply a price range custom label

Requirement: Merchant Center must have an existing product feed for labels to apply

Step 1: Navigate to the feed rules tab

  • Products > Feeds > Click on Main Feed 
  • Select tab > Feed Rules > Click Create Rule

Step 2: Creating a Feed Rule

In this step, we are going to create a feed rule that will apply a custom label value based on a specific filter looking at the price attribute. We will need to create multiple conditions ensuring that the filters do not overlap so that the label values are applied correctly and do not overlap.

If the filters overlap, your custom label values may not be applied as intended. Always double-check the feed to ensure that the labels have been applied correctly before building out your Shopping Ad campaigns.

E.g. We want to set up different filters so that;

  • If the price is between and/or equal to 0 and 100 ~ Apply Custom Label Value price_0-100_group

So now we that we know what we are trying to do…let’s create some rules!

  • You’ve just clicked > Create Rule
    • Now…Select > Processed Attributes > custom_label_x
      • This means that we are going to be creating rules to apply a predefined value to the chosen custom_label attribute.
  • Now we need to add conditions for a price range filter and set a value for the custom label to apply for this filter.
    • Select > Conditions > select price 
      • Here we are choosing the attribute to use for our filter.
  • Create the price range filter

  • Set a custom_label value for this filter range.
    • Here we choose Set To. This instructs the rule to set the given value if no value exists.

Don’t forget to click OK and save all your hard work!

  • The final step in creating your price range custom label using the feed rule is to repeat this process to create filters and set values for the rest of the price ranges you would like to be able to use in your campaign structure or bidding strategy. 
    • Select > Add Source > repeat above process for the different price ranges

Step 3: Wait for rules to process

The feed rules can take some time to process but should not take longer than 2-3 days. The time it takes to process depends on the number of products in the product feed.
The benefit of having the feed rule is that whenever new products are added to the feed the rule will automatically apply the custom label values when the rule conditions are met.

Now you never have to create custom labels manually again! 

Bonus Step: Build out your Google Shopping campaign

Once the rules have implemented the custom labels and applied the relevant values, you will be able to see these values in your Google Ads account that is linked to the Merchant Center.

Conclusion

You should now have at least one Custom Label automated, using the Feed Rules in the Google Merchant Center.

How to use Custom Labels for further optimisation, strategy and reporting can get very in-depth so let us know if you would like us to expand on these topics!

In Paid Searchby Brendan Thom