Google Merchant Center: Fashion Advertising


From colors to sizing to shipping - fashion advertising can be a struggle when it comes to optimizing Google ads.

With so many different features to consider, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. I'm going to take away some of that stress by sharing a guide to the most crucial attributes to add to an account. This guide will lead to the generation of more sales and take revenue to the next level.

I’ll be discussing:

  • The importance of prerequisite feed setup.
  • The significance of apparel-specific attributes,
  • And the challenges attached to feed setup.



When it comes to titling a website, it's important to keep in mind that people are searching for specific keywords. So, make sure to include the brand, product type, and any other important attributes in the title to help the site rank higher. For example, think about including information like colors, gender, and sizing in the title to help people find what they're looking for. Remember, potential customers will read the title before deciding to click on the site, so avoid using promotional language or anything that might come across as spammy. Instead, focus on providing clear and concise information that will entice people to click and learn more.



Don’t spam SEO keywords in the description. It should read naturally.



Make sure this is being sent to the right variant of the product - different colors or genders should be sent to the appropriate product. Make sure the link is correct.

Image Link


When it comes to displaying images on a website, it's important to consider the image link. This is where the highest resolution images and aspect ratio are displayed, and adding additional images can be beneficial. By including different shots of models or just the project or lifestyle, users can get a better idea of what to expect before clicking through. This can help increase the click-through rate (CTR) and lower the cost-per-click (CPC).


  • Use the highest resolution images – ideal aspect ratio: 9:11 (w:h) for vertical images and 4:3 (w:h) for horizontal images.
  • Include additional images of the product.

Additional Image Link


This will show alternate images of the model. It can then be A/B tested multiple times against competitors of the same model or even against a different image type. It shows up when users hover over it.

Identifier Exists


This attribute is where differing variants are identified. So, the various colors and sizes of that product have distinctive IDs – I’ll talk about this later. This is normally the SKU of the item so, it’s unique to that product.

Price and Availability



Pricing is a crucial factor for potential customers when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. After viewing the image, the pricing will be one of the most significant deciding factors. Therefore, it's important to make sure the pricing is competitive. This can be determined by reviewing the pricing of competitors in Google Merchant Center. If the pricing is not competitive, potential customers may choose not to click through and make a purchase. Note that the title of the product also plays a role in the decision-making process. To find out more about pricing, I have a video that covers the topic in more detail.

Sale Price


Here is the space to consider any discounts that may be available. By displaying these discounts prominently, potential customers are more likely to see them and be enticed to make a purchase. To create a sense of urgency, it's a good idea to set up an effective sales date. This way, potential customers understand that they have a deadline to purchase and may feel more motivated to take action before the sale ends. By creating a sense of urgency, you can encourage potential customers to buy the product before the sale ends and they miss out on the opportunity.

Availability Date


Availability is important because it shows if the product is in stock. Is it going to be available on a specific date? Can customers pre-order or backorder that item?

An availability date can be added so customers can pre-order only within a  certain time period. This can be done for back orders as well.

Cost of Goods


This is more of an internal feature, benefitting the retailer. It gives a review of the margins of the advertising that are profitable for various products. Custom labels can be added and the appropriate targets are laid out on the Google ad, so money isn't being burned.

Loyalty Points


This feature is only available in Japan. It essentially pushes customers to build loyalty to a brand, so they aren’t just shopping around with competitors.

Product Identifiers


Branding is key. Identifiers show how much users search by specific brands. Advertisers should check this off so viewers will be able to filter and see their specific brands when Google shopping.



This is similar to a UPC code. It’s preferable to exclude this because an incorrect code will lead to an ad account becoming disapproved. But, GTIN helps Google to identify a particular seller faster - faster than even titles or descriptions.



This is the manufacturing part number. A brand here – if there is no GTIN – will help Google classify the product.

If no identifier exists, then hit ‘false’ or ‘no’ to prevent Google from submitting one automatically.

Lifestyle Image Link


Lifestyle image link can be used for pop-ups on mobile. It will showcase different lifestyles when users are searching. Lifestyle images are commonly used to build awareness or showcase products in a natural setting.

Examples of this feature are pictured above. However, it doesn’t just show a product image, but a product in use or a model wearing it. The dimensions (minimum resolution) should be: 600 x 600 pixels and an aspect ratio between 2:0 and 2:3.



This attribute allows viewers to filter by condition such as thrift items. They can check new versus used items and typically, the price of the item can be changed depending on its condition.



Another important attribute here. Google knows users are searching for bundles or GIFs that can be bundled. It prevents sellers from creating different SKUs or sending potential customers to the wrong landing page.

Age Group


This age group shows boys’ clothing. Sellers can add an age group for consumers who may be searching for boys or girls versus women or men. Then the right product shows up at the right spot for the appropriate demographic to see. Age group can be added to the title as well.



Finding the right color is important for many shoppers. That makes it a key addition to attributes as it can help determine which users filter by this feature when they are Google shopping. Color can also be added to the title to increase the likelihood that the product will pop up for those viewers searching by this feature.

Consistent Color Names


Keep the following in mind:

  • Review the account data to ensure the color names are consistent with what consumers are searching.
  • The product name used in product data should match the color name used on the product landing page.
  • Up to three colors can be added under multi-colors, so for example, if a product is black, red and blue, it can be noted as ‘blue/red/black.’ Make sure it’s not submitted as just ‘multi-color.’



Consumers can also filter by gender, similar to colors. Make sure, as noted previously, it is a proper gender relevant to the product being featured. Size [size], size system [size_system] and size type [size_type] attributes can also be included here as well.



Sometimes users will be searching for a particular material, for example, cotton, polyester or wool. If data shows this is a trending material, add it to the attribute.



Same thing with patterns – maybe the consumer is looking for a suit or sweater with stripes or camouflage.



Consumers can filter by size, which will be different item group SKUs. I'll go into more detail on this later.

Product Size Type and Size System


Make sure the size corresponds to system sizes so that shoppers in the US can find standard sizing while shoppers in the UK or EU can shop according to their countries’ standard sizing. It should be the default value for the shoppers’ target country.


Item Group IDs


This (as shown above) would be considered all one product, but they have different colors or sizes. So, it’s important to make sure there are unique item IDs or SKUs for each product based on the colors and sizes. They should not be all the same – no duplicates.

Product Length


It will help optimize for searches including this attribute.

Detailed Product Decription


Additional features can be added here if they aren’t already included in the previous attributes.

Shopping Campaigns and Other Configurations

Custom Labels


Custom labels can be very helpful once margin data has been collected.  This allows for filtering by seasonality, clearance sales, price, price ranges, or holidays. By doing it this way, Google ads can be segmented, then scaled for the right products and groupings. Keep in mind that not all products within the same product type will be seasonal or on sale.

Promotion ID


These can also be added outside of custom labels to push promotions.



Shipping is important because it will signify free shipping, and how fast it will be delivered – big factors outside of price that shoppers look for.

Shipping Label


Similar to shipping. If there’s a specific oversized item that’s unique from other products, a special shipping label can be created so shoppers can determine how long they have to wait. Maybe the product falls into the drop-shipping category.

Shipping Weight


The weight will also help Google calculate transit time.

Transit Time Label


This can assist Google in collecting more data on transit time in Google Merchant Center. But this is specific to that item.


Retail advertisers not only have to deal with large assortments, but often have to deal with strong seasonalities.  Also, products in the catalog change frequently based on trends and seasons, making it exhausting to keep the feed and the corresponding item bids up-to-date. It may be necessary to change bids and react on conversion values if there is a promotion period, a drop in prices, or an increase in the rate of return.

Methods to Overcome

  • Focus on seasonality in the best sellers and make sure the margins are correct.
  • Consider any returns happening and if promotion periods are accurate – one of the biggest issues for large retailers. Custom labels can help drastically with this problem. It helps retailers define special strategies depending on stock availabilities, margins, rate of returns or seasonalities.


Once all the statistics are in on the ad account, feed rules can be used. For example, if it’s obvious users are searching by brand, then product type, and then gender, for a certain group of products, that can be added as a feed rule. That data is 'clean' and it can automatically do this at scale, so it’s better to focus on updating the product data, followed by computing the feed rules.

Wrap Up

Google advertising is, no doubt, a smart way to gain, maintain and increase visibility for most retailers. But, it can also be an overwhelming and cumbersome task. Setting up a prerequisite feed with apparel-specific attributes is essential for an effective ad campaign. Yes, managing and optimizing product data can be challenging. But, understanding these challenges and implementing strategies to overcome them can lead to successful campaigns and increased sales.

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About the Author

Ted is the founder of TGQ Marketing a PPC, Analytics and CRO agency focused on client results.