Posts

A new video from Google focuses on helping e-commerce brands stand out on the search engine, including specific strategies for ensuring your listing is eligible for search features that make your listing more prominent and visible.

For starters, the video lists three general guidelines for making your products stand out:

  1. Images help visitors understand your products
  2. Product reviews and star ratings increase trust in your brand
  3. Pricing and availability information allows shoppers to choose the best seller for their needs

With that in mind, Google’s Alan Kent then breaks down six ways to make your site more visible on the search engine.

1) Title Tags

As one of the first things any searcher will see, title tags are crucial for helping searchers understand your web pages. This is why site owners should take extra care when preparing the titles for their pages – especially product pages.

“A good title link can greatly help users understand your offering, bringing quality traffic to your site. … Low-quality title links can harm a users’ impression of your site.”

While Google will rewrite title tags if it believes the existing titles do not adequately describe the related page, it is better to deliver informative titles on your own.

Kent also advises against adding time-sensitive product details like pricing or availability in titles because they may be outdated by the time this information is updated in search results.

2) High-Quality Images

Improving the quality of your product images can make shoppers feel more confident about your products and their potential decision to purchase. 

As Kent says, “we’ve observed that users generally respond well to high-quality images and recommend that key images be at least 1200 pixels wide.”

Once these images are in place, Kent suggests checking the Max Image Preview metadata as that provides Google with guidance on how to handle images within search results.

Additionally, best practices indicate you should use product structured data to allow Google to pick the best images to display in search results.

Lastly, he provided some broad guidance for product photos, encouraging e-commerce brands to focus on creating product photos that best help shoppers understand their products. For example, you might highlight different angles or provide size comparisons within product photos.

3) Share Rich Product Data

Google uses structured data to more easily understand web pages and enable them to be shown as rich results or “special presentation treatments”. 

Specifically, Kent emphasizes that these details should always be included in structured product data:

  • Product Title
  • Description
  • Images
  • Ratings
  • Price
  • Availability

Kent also encourages brands to regularly use the Search Console URL Indexing tool and Rich Results Test tool to ensure you don’t have any issues with structured data on your site.

4) Share Price Drop Data

Google uses special price drop presentations to highlight special deals in search results. Still, e-commerce brands must share pricing information with the search engine and include the Offer property in the product structured data to be eligible.

However, there is no guarantee your listing will be shown in a special price drop presentation once you’ve provided these details.

5) Identify Products You Sell

Use accurate product identifiers – such as GTIN identifiers – along with Google Merchant Center data and structured product data to make your site eligible for product carousels.

6) Create a Business Profile Listing

Kent advises brands to create a Google Business Profile via the Google Business Profile Manager if their shop also has a brick-and-mortar location. 

This enables your site to be included in local search results which makes your physical locations more visible in search.

Ecommerce websites have become a major part of the internet as online shopping has taken off in recent years. However, the unique nature and structure of these sites can make them uniquely tricky to optimize. 

Product variant pages, annual sales, and the need for lots of high-quality images may make it difficult to optimize these pages using some traditional SEO strategies, while other techniques remain essential for high rankings.

Thankfully, Google’s own Alan Kent has produced a short video full of SEO tips specifically for ecommerce sites. I’ll embed the full video at the bottom of the page, but we’ll also be sharing the highlights below:

8 Tips for Ecommerce SEO

  1. Cover the Basics: Basic technical SEO like allowing Google to crawl your site or using proper page titles is crucial for helping Google find and understand your website. For starters, make sure page titles feature your brand name and product details (such as color) and use structured data to make your product pages easy for Google to sort through your online store pages.
  2. Create Content for Every Stage of the Shopping Journey: Google knows that searchers are often looking for information rather than wanting to buy right now. This is why the search engine prioritizes sites with a wide array of content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. To help you get started brainstorming, Kent suggests providing gift ideas, highlighting reviews, and including detailed information about your products.
  3. Markup Product Variant Pages: To keep product variants well organized, ensure every variant has a unique URL and establish a canonical page.
  4. Reuse Regular Sale URLs: Preserve URLs from sales so they can be reused later. For example, you’ll want to use the same URLs every year for holiday sales.
  5. Performance: When shoppers are ready to buy, they want to do so as quickly as possible. When your page is competing against a similar product page for a spot in the search results, speed is often the tiebreaker that will help you come out ahead.
  6. Be Patient: SEO takes time to gain momentum. In many cases, it can take months for changes to impact your rankings. Don’t try to rush things or change strategies because you’re getting restless. Just keep working on improving your overall SEO.
  7. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help: Every site is unique and may not benefit equally from Google’s broad advice. Don’t hesitate to ask SEO experts how to best optimize your site or how to adopt these strategies to your needs.
  8. Focus on Users: At the end of the day, Google wants to provide the best possible site for users. Be that site.