This article will explain what a Data Feed is and how creating one is the cornerstone of your success in automating tasks on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. For help with the process of creating a Data Feed, head to:
- How to Create a Data Feed
- How to Upload a Data Feed
- Common Issues and Troubleshooting for Data Feeds
If this is the first time you’ve heard of Data Feeds, this could well be the most valuable Help Center article you ever read.
A Data Feed is like a file (think of an Excel) that lists your products and includes information about those products which would be useful to include in an ad.
Look at this example of a very basic feed. Each row is an individual product or item. Each column contains a different piece of information about that item, like its Name, Price, Location, Availability, Discount, ID, URL, and so on. These different attributes are called Tags.
An Example Data Feed. Click to enlarge.
Organizing your catalog like this allows you to create ads that are personalized to a user looking for a product by using all the individual elements of information that you provide about that product, on a large scale, and in a way that is easier to manage than would be possible manually.
Here’s a quick example of how that information, when organized by tags, can be used to create ads, and structures of ad campaigns once you have uploaded that Data Feed to Spaceboost:
And, if you make a dynamic Data Feed and synchronize it to Spaceboost - which you can do for free in a matter of seconds by publishing a Google Sheets to a URL - you can make sure that the ads that you create and link to this Data Feed are automatically updated to reflect the information in the Feed.
Think how much time that will save you in manually updating ads with new information about product availability, price, and discounts, or anything else that could change about what you are advertising. And now think how much value having always up to date ads will create.
Even better, if you calculate an ideal CPA for each item, or a target ROI, you can give Google’s Machine Learning bidding algorithms the information they need to optimize your bidding on a massive scale, with all the data they could need to find the combinations of information that prove most profitable for your business.
Starting to get it? Read on!
Different Formats of Data Feeds
You can create a feed in various formats, including CSV, JSON, XML, and TSV. If you already have your business information or product catalog organized in a certain format, it may be easiest to also make a Data Feed in that format.
CSV (Comma Separated Values) is the most common and easiest type of Data Feed to create. Think of it like an Excel or Google Sheets file.
XML (Extensive Markup Language) is the next most common type of feed, but they require a higher level of technological knowledge to create (here’s our guide to XML feed creation).
TSV (Tab Separated Values) is very similar to a CSV, only your values are separated by tab, not by comma. If you have a feed in TSV, you can upload it to Spaceboost and start creating ads.
A feed can be in any of these formats and have the same results, so choose whatever is most relavant to your business. If you don't have technical experience with feeds or an IT department to help you, it is easiest to create a CSV Data Feed.
Static Feeds vs Dynamic Feeds
When you upload a Data Feed to Spaceboost, you need to choose whether to upload a Static or a Dynamic Feed. This is the screen you will see:
If you select From File, you'll need a Static Feed.
Static Feeds: What are they?
A static Data Feed is a file that you upload to Spaceboost and can not modify automatically. If you want to apply any changes to the feed, you must do it manually, loading the file again with the modifications you want.
When to use one? If you know the products you are going to be advertising will stay the same, you can use a Static feed, which you upload directly as a file to Spaceboost. Unlike a Dynamic feed, it will not update itself, so you don’t need to create a URL for it.
If you don’t have a feed already, it is slightly quicker to upload a Data Feed as a file.
If you select From URL, you'll need a Dynamic Feed.
Dynamic Feeds: What are they?
A Dynamic type of feed is linked to Spaceboost by a URL, and allows you to modify the information that it contains to update ads automatically, as well as remove or add products or, if necessary, to modify the optimization objective.
When to use one? If you have a wide-ranging product inventory that is constantly changing – a fast moving ecommerce, for example – a Dynamic feed will help you to stay on top of all the developments in your catalogue. It means that your feed will automatically update itself to adjust your campaigns to represent the new developments in your product inventory.
Why Do I Need a Data Feed?
By creating a Data Feed containing information about the products you want to advertise, you can revolutionize the way you manage your PPC campaigns, synchronizing your catalog with Spaceboost and allowing you to create, recreate, edit, and improve ad campaigns on whatever channel you want to advertise on.
This is an essential step towards automating online advertising tasks. Trust us, the small amount of time you invest in uploading a Data Feed will save you hours, possibly even weeks, of time wasted manually updating ad campaigns.
For a step by step of how to create your very own Data Feed, check