Three Tricks to Make Google Merchant Promotions Work for You

Google Merchant Promotions are a great way to enhance shopping ads by giving users an extra reason to click. If you’ve ever set up Merchant Promotions in Google Merchant Center, I’m sure you know they can be tricky. Unless you’re running a uniform discount across all products, it can be difficult to get Merchant Promotions up and running. Merchant Promotions get disapproved for a number of reasons, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out why.

Here are three easy tricks that I’ve found make Google Merchant Promotions easier to set up … and much more likely to get approved!

1. Upload Merchant Promotions as Feeds, not Lists

When creating Merchant Promotions, you can either upload them as feeds or create them one-at-a-time in your promotions list. If you add your promotion from the list tab, you can only input the required attributes, which gives you fewer options to customize your promotion. 

If you upload a promotion feed via Google Sheets or an Excel CSV file, you can utilize additional fields, including promotion display dates, minimum purchase amount, and generic redemption code. Once you upload a promotion feed, the promotions are also automatically added to the promotion list.

You can also upload multiple promotions in a single feed by adding a new row for each promotion. If you’re running multiple promotions, this is a HUGE time-saver!

2. Take Advantage of Promotion Display Dates

Google Merchant Promotions review takes up to 24 hours, so it’s nice to carve out some extra time for the approval process. Using the promotion display dates attribute is a great way to check promotions before they go live.

This optional attribute in the promotion feed lets you tell Google when a promotion will functional on the site’s checkout page, even if it’s not advertised on the site yet. If the promotion display date is before the promotion effective date, Google can review the promotion in advance. You then have time to fix any issues before your promotion is supposed to go live. This prevents you from losing out on Merchant Promotions support during your actual sale. I find this especially useful when supporting short sales, like flash, 1-day, or weekend sales.

Note that in order for Google to approve your promotion ahead of its effective date, you need to have the Promotion IDs mapped in your product feed at the time of review.

3. Utilize a Tiered Promotion Structure

Promotions often contain a range of discounts depending on the product or order value. If that’s the case, per Merchant Promotions editorial requirements, your promotion needs to state the lowest possible value in the promotion title.

For example, if you’re running this promotion:

  • 10% off $100+ orders
  • 15% off $150+ orders
  • 25% off $200+ orders

Your promotion title should say: “10%+ off” or “10%-25% off”, not “Up to 25% off”

To advertise your exact discount, set up a tiered promotion. Instead of mapping one Promotion ID to all qualifying products, you can map three different Promotion IDs to the products that fall within each price tier. The exact discount a product is eligible to receive will be displayed in the promotion for that product, therefore maximizing the your ad’s relevancy.


Google Merchant Promotions can be tedious, but also quite useful. With these three tricks, you can utilize Merchant Promotions to support your shopping campaigns more often and in more effective ways.

Taylor Chatterton About the author

Taylor is a Client Manager at Point It Digital Marketing in Seattle, Washington. She loves all things PPC, especially retail SEM and shopping campaigns. When she's not optimizing campaigns, Taylor enjoys hiking, cooking, and cheering on her first true love, the Chicago Cubs.

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