Having a firm understanding of the Google My Business Product approval process can ensure a seamless launch and mitigate potential issues. In this blog post, we will explore the Google My Business (or better know as GMB) product approval process as well as the benefits of adding your products to your local listings.
GMB Products are an excellent way to feature your brand’s products and services in local search results, drive customer interactions, and convert online searchers to buyers. As online shopping preferences continue to accelerate, with e-commerce sales predicted to grow 17.9% YoY by the end of 2021, brands must prepare to meet customers where they are looking. Now more than ever, that is online, and many times directly from your GMB listing. Sharing your in-stock products on your local listing gives searchers another path to purchase seamlessly, without the need to even click through to your website.
Mobile searchers in the Maps app can see your Products carousel on mobile, while on Google Search they may appear in a products carousel and inside the “Products” tab.
It’s important that your Product posts meet Google’s Shopping policies, though, or they may be disapproved. In this post, you’ll learn about the GMB Product approval process and find tips to ensure your brand’s Products appear in local search.
How to Submit Products on GMB
All products are subject to approval processes. You can use the GMB Product Editor to submit product data manually, or for large brands, the Google Merchant Center to submit a product feed.
To submit a Product using the Product Editor, review the following steps:
- Sign in to Google My Business from a computer.
- Go to the “Products” tab and click the + sign to Add product.
- Upload a photo and name the product.
- Select the appropriate Product category, or click the down arrow to create a new one.
- Add optional information to assist searchers and build out a more robust listing — set a price range or a fixed price, write a description, and or add a CTA button such as “Buy” or “Learn more.”
- Click Save.
See this GMB Help resource for step-by-step guidelines on submitting a Product via an Android, iPhone, or iPad device.
You can choose “See it on Google” to preview the product.
Once submitted, you may see a notification:
Here’s an example from Usama Ali of what it looks like when a Product is pending approval — and what happens if one is not approved:
Brands and enterprise organizations with a large number of products can also use Local Inventory Ads to upload product data and information about availability, as well. At the time of publication, these are available to brands in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
Why Does Google Disapprove Some Products?
Google will not approve Products that:
- Violate its General Shopping Policies
- Are not in keeping with its technical requirements
- Fall astray of guidelines in more heavily regulated areas such as Healthcare & Medicine, Dangerous Products, or Adult-oriented Content
If your Product post has been disapproved, those are good first checks.
Building and maintaining a trusting relationship with Google by submitting only Products that will be approved (as much as possible) is important. GMB notes in its Help resources that, “Submitting products that violate Google’s policy may result in the removal of the entire product catalog, including products that aren’t in violation.”
Enterprise brands also need to be aware that depending on how products are submitted, they may be subject to more than one Google policy. According to Google, “Free listings vary based on data requirements. For example, enhanced listings on the Shopping tab require more product data and require you to comply with both policies for free listings and Shopping ads.”
Resubmitting a Product to GMB for Approval
Pay close attention to the reasons GMB gives for disapproving of a product and ensure all problematic issues are addressed before resubmitting. Again, Usama Ali shows us what this may look like:
Click through to the policies page and make sure you understand exactly what needs to be corrected.
Make your corrections and resave. This will trigger a review of your updated Product submission within 24 hours.
If your Product is still not approved and you think that it should be:
- Sign in to your GMB dashboard.
- Click Products.
- Select the product in question.
- Click ‘Request Review.’
Do not overuse this feature.
It can take up to 72 hours for a manual review, and Google notes that if a GMB business profile has requested “too many” reviews for products that do actually violate its policies, they may disable the ‘Request Review’ option.
In the rare circumstance that Google suspends your GMB profile, all products are automatically designated ‘Not Approved,’ then automatically reprocessed within 5 days of account reinstatement.
Getting Started with Products for Brands
Deciding which method and platform you’ll use to upload your product showcase — Google Product Editor or Google Merchant Center — is an important first step.
Determine who owns the product submission process and is responsible for either maintaining your brand’s product feed or managing manual submissions, revisions, and resubmissions.
Use high-quality product photos and descriptive text to feature each product in the best light possible. Think of the searcher’s needs and what they might like to know to entice them to take the next step. Do your photos and copy provide that?
Need support with or have questions on the Google My Business product approval process or getting started with adding GMB products to your listing? Our team is here to support you.