What do you do when you want to buy something online?
If you’re like most people, your first step would be to do a Google search. You probably wouldn’t have to go past the first one or two pages to find the products you are looking to buy.
As a business, site search can be an indispensable tool to drive traffic, increase trust, boost conversions, generate sales, and create a positive user experience overall. However, all these rely on optimizing your e-commerce site for search. If you are not showing up where your potential buyers are searching, how would they even know that you exist?
Google recently released a video offering six tips on improving your appearance in the search results. Read further to know how you can use this to your competitive advantage.
Google Shares 6 Tips For Ecommerce Search Results
As far as promoting your e-commerce site is concerned, few digital channels can deliver the results that Google can. The search giant offers multiple channels where your e-commerce products can appear, mainly in search results and on Google Maps.
Optimizing your e-commerce site for search can help you reach more customers, get more traffic, and generate sales. Essentially, e-commerce SEO relays relevant information to the search engine so that when potential users search for relevant products/services, Google can suggest your site in the search results.
In the video, Alan Kent, Developer Advocate at Google, reiterates this concept and begins by highlighting three key elements that can help your e-commerce products stand out.
3 Key Factors to Stand Out in Visual Appearance
- Images to help users better understand your products.
- Star Ratings to help increase user trust; and
- Pricing & Availability to help users choose between sellers.
6 E-Commerce Search Result Tips
1. Review Your Title Links
Kent starts his list by explaining the value of title tags—how they should sufficiently describe what the page is about. Otherwise, as we all know, Google will rewrite them when it deems them incomplete or does not match the page content. It will look at other sources such as the heading or anchor text.
However, he cautions against the use of auto-generated titles to avoid the risks of duplicate content, poorly formatted titles, and missing information.
“A good title link can greatly help users understand your offering, bringing quality traffic to your site.”
Because there is a delay before an update on your website reflects in search results, Kent does not recommend adding dynamic data on the title tag.
2. Include High-Quality Images
In 2019, 50% of online shoppers said that images influence their buying decisions. Listings with at least one image have higher conversion rates than listings with zero images—2x higher to be exact.
Google may display your images in the search results. So, it just makes sense to support your product listings with higher-quality images. Audit your site for low-quality images and replace them with higher-quality versions.
“We’ve observed that users generally respond well to high-quality images and recommend that key images be at least 1,2000 pixels wide.”
What else can you do?
• Kent suggests checking the Max Image Preview metadata. It guides Google on how to display the images in the SERPS.
• Optimize product structured data to guide Google on how to display your images in the SERPs.
3. Share Rich Product Data With Google
Structured data is the detailed information about a particular webpage, which Google uses to better understand its content and make it eligible to be displayed as rich results—or in Kent’s words, get special presentation treatments in search results.
You would find structured data in the form of recipes, how-to guides, articles, and products. For your product structure data, it should include essential information such as title, description, images, ratings, price, and availability.
“One way to help Google understand pages is using structured data, additional markup to add to your web pages.”
Google constantly updates its product structured data guidelines where you can see what properties are essential. If your structured data conforms to these guidelines but your pages are not displayed as a special presentation, use the Search Console URL Indexing tool to see if the page is indexed. Then, use the Rich Results Test Tool to check for any errors.
4. Share Product Pricing Data
The latest version of Google Chrome alerts users of price drops on the products they are browsing, making sure that they get the best prices possible for their purchase.
By sharing pricing information with Google, your product page may be eligible for a special price drop presentation in the search results. This, of course, may drive more customers to your website. It can also mean users searching for your products will be notified of your price drops.
“If you share pricing product data, Google may highlight price drops in Product Rich Results. Price drops are calculated based on the running historical average of your product’s pricing.”
Appearing in the search results with a special price drop isn’t guaranteed. But, you can increase your chances by adding an Offer to your structured data with a specific price value, not a price range. Be aware, however, that this feature is not available in all countries.
5. Identify Products You Sell
Kent also advises identifying the products you sell to make them eligible for listings such as the top products carousel. You can use product identifiers like a GTIN identifier. It is a unique and internationally recognized product identifier, which when available should appear next to the barcode on your product’s packaging.
This is best done using a combination of Google Merchant Center feed and product structured data on pages to increase your exposure as well as manage how you want your products to appear on Google.
6. Create a Business Profile
Finally, Kent recommends businesses with a physical presence to create a Google Business Profile. This makes you visible to searches relevant to the products and services you offer in your area. Businesses with a covered service area can also create this profile.
A Google Business Profile includes key information such as location, direction, store hours, and contact number, which overall can help improve your local SEO. It also makes your site eligible for a special listing in the search results.
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What Can We Learn From Google
Google is constantly looking for ways to provide more relevant answers to searches. As such, search results have become more visual than ever and this trend is likely to continue for as long as possible.
Kent concludes that the best long-term solution to optimize your e-commerce site is to provide rich structured data for your products, which Google can use to present your pages in a way that they deem engaging to users.
If you need help increasing your visibility in the e-commerce search results–contact us! We will help you create an effective e-commerce SEO marketing strategy to put your business right where your target customers are searching.