The whole purpose of search engine optimization is to increase traffic, and of course we know that top rankings in Google results produce more traffic. But how many of us, when searching for a product online, end up in Google’s “Shopping” results?
Often times, especially when your search query includes the word “buy,” the Shopping results for “motocross helmet” (for example) will show up in Google’s main Web search result, which conveniently allows shoppers to view a large selection of the product they want from various websites.
Google Base, aka Google Product/Shopping Results, provides shoppers with an easy way to find what they want and compare prices. And with the Shopping results often out-ranking the product’s own brand, it is obvious why getting your products listed here should be a top priority of all sites with product to sell. “But how exactly are these rankings achieved?” you might ask. Well, while you may think tradition SEO will work, internet marketing strategists would agree that Google’s organic search and Google’s shopping search results have little in common.
While Google keeps their relevancy algorithms private, they do admit that “Relevancy is a soft and fuzzy criteria,” so it’s important to carefully select truly relevant-to-your-product attributes and values before submitting your data feed. Google also provide some guidance via their Merchant Center Support, but there are definitely some notable SEO strategies that can really encourage better rankings in this arena. In no particular order, here are some key ranking factors for Google Products.
- Title and Description – Like regular SEO, including relevant keywords in product title tags and descriptions can help you rank. A strategic, keyword-rich description can also allow you to rank for long-tail key phrases not targeted in the title tag.
- Capitalism 101 – Pricing your product more competitively (cheaper) than your higher-priced competition can promote better rankings—Google’s way of giving the consumer what they want.
- Data Stuffing – While keyword-stuffing is generally considered black-hat, providing the consumer and the search engines with as much information about your product as possible—not just the bare minimum required in the Google Base set up—will help your product to rank for a variety of queries.
- Fresh Data – Because Google rewards regularly-updated, relevant content with increased authority, make sure you update your product feed as often as possible, especially when product or prices change.
- Reviews – We all know that positive reviews can greatly enhance our brand’s reputation, but did you know that the venue by which the review is submitted can make a difference in SEO? It makes sense that Google considers reviews (both negative and positive) an indicator of how big a brand is, with more reviews signifying greater brand awareness. But Google deems more authority to certain reviews (surprise!). Namely, reviews controlled by Google will take you further than third party review sites. For this reason, many SEO experts recommend adding Google Checkout to your e-commerce site in order to benefit (and profit) from the Google Checkout reviews.
Bottom line, if you are selling product online, ranking in Google Product/Shopping/Base should be a top priority. Nowadays, few things in business are as important as your brand’s presence online. Set your site up for success by following some well established SEO strategies and enhancing your site with Google Checkout.
Are you using Google Checkout for your e-commerce site? Let us know what you think below.