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also advises against adding time-sensitive product details like pricing or availability in titles because they may be outdated by the time this information is updated in search results.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

If you are an online retailer, you are no doubt familiar with Google’s wide array of special features built for online shopping. You are also probably aware of how confusing it can be to get included in these unique search results.

To help clarify this process and make it easier to get your products highlighted in Google’s search results, the search engine recently revealed some technical tips and tricks for e-commerce sites. 

Why It Takes Extra Work To Get In Google Shopping Results

The first question most business owners or site managers might have when they start trying to get their products included in Google Shopping results is “why do I have to do all this extra work?”

Google’s whole thing is analyzing sites and automatically delivering that information in its search results, right? Why can’t they just pull your product info when your pages get indexed?

The simple answer is that Google knows online retail changes very quickly and shoppers get very frustrated with out of date or inaccurate information. If this became a frequent problem, users would likely stop paying attention to Google’s product-related search results. 

While the search engine regularly re-indexes updated webpages, it can’t guarantee pages will be indexed fast enough to ensure information is up-to-date for searchers. 

Additionally, there are some features which online retailers tend to provide to help shoppers which can make things a little confusing for search engines to understand. 

For example, Google says it still struggles with accurately telling the difference between these types of information:

  • Original Price vs. Discounted Price
  • Related Products vs. The Main Product Being Sold
  • Taxes or Shipping Costs vs. The Actual Product Price

This is why the search engine asks online retailers to help provide this information for Google Shopping results.

Now, let’s get into the advice from Google Developer Advocate Alan Kent and how you can get your products into Google product showcases.

Two Ways To Give Google Your Product Data

In the latest Lightning Talks video, Kent discusses two different ways site managers can get their product information to Google. 

The first method is by using structured data. This is essentially using special coding embedded into pages to provide Google with additional information typically not provided through regular site code or markup. 

This is generally seen as the advanced approach because it requires significant knowledge of coding and the latest structured data techniques. 

The other method covered by Kent is by directly providing product data through Google Merchant Center, which can be done with:

  • A feed of all product data manually submitted to the search engine.
  • An API developed to update products individually as changes are made on your site. 

For more information, check out the guide provided by Google.

Conclusion

While providing product data to search engines is essential for appearing in these specific product-centric search results, the company emphasizes that these practices don’t replace traditional SEO.

“Remember that SEO still matters for organic search. Make your product details, such as images and descriptions, appealing to your customers.”

If you want to watch the full explanation from Kent, it is available below: