Google Announces Free Product Listings on Google Shopping

Google Announces Free Product Listings on Google Shopping

How to create a Google Shopping feed

Google Shopping is quickly becoming the single largest repository of product information. In May of 2020 Google started accepting organic listings for the first time in 8 years creating a significant new organic landscape for eCommerce sites. 

This document outlines the steps to take in order to create a Google Shopping feed. At the end of the day the organic winners will be those sites that invest in original content that engages and converts the reader but the first step is to make sure that Google has full visibility to your product catalog.

Here’s the information you’ll want to add to your feed:

  • ID: A unique alphanumeric ID number for every product you sell.
  • Title: This may be the single most important element on the page in terms and should include the most important keywords.
  • Description: Google will accept up to 5,000 characters in the description and again it’s important to integrate the appropriate keywords that will match your customers’ search queries.
  • Link: A link to the product URL on the site.
  • Image link: Google wants the link so that it can easily display your photo within the search results. Use the primary image.
  • Price: It’s important that you deliver the feed frequently and that the price on your feed matches the price on your site. Assume that Google is checking.
  • Brand: This is the brand name of the product and it helps Google match search intent to the product.
  • GTIN: If available, include the Global Trade Item Number. This helps Google to group sellers of the same product. Google can help you find your item’s GTIN if you’re unsure.
  • Shipping Weight, Length, Width & Height: Google Shopping tries to estimate the total cost of shipping. Values like weight, and shipping dimensions are designed to work alongside your shipping settings inside of Google Merchant Center.
  • Sales Tax: This is required in the US only if needed to override the account tax settings for an individual item. Use Google Merchant Center to settings to maintain your overall sales tax information.

Is my site eligible for Google Shopping?

Yes! All retailers can opt-in to show their products across Google Shopping for free once the product feed is submitted to the Google Merchant Center. Keep in mind that Google does restrict listings for illegal, regulated, or sensitive products.

How do I get to page one of Google Shopping?

The feed is critical and serves as Google’s starting point, but frankly that’s just a ticket to the game. In order to get to page one, you’ll have to compete for the best and most relevant product listings against all the other providers with products relevant to the search. Here’s a list of things to consider.

  1. Perfect your product title: The product title may be the most important page element and is weighed heavily in Google’s ranking algorithm. Be sure to optimize the title around the keyword phrases your customers will use to search for the product. You may need to try a few different titles if you aren’t getting to page one.

  1. Test different images: An image can really help your product stick out on a busy SERP, so pay attention to your product photography and understand how to stand out relative to other photos on the SERP. 

  1. Provide as much product detail as possible: While the most important keywords should be in your title, the description is an opportunity to connect with a broader range of search queries. Include as many relevant feed attributes as you can , such as your product category, product type, color, condition, size, and color!

  1. Product Schema: Schema on your website allows search engines to better understand your page. You’ll need to include the required attributes like price, and you can also add reviews to this schema to show the average rating. This can help entice clicks.

Must Have Schema Elements

We have seen in the competitive analysis that most of the eCommerce stores are not using rich snippets effectively. Rich snippets are missing or major product elements are not included in most of the product pages.

The most important details related to a product (which can grab the customer attention) are as following:

product name

eCommerce stores should consider implementing all important Schema Markups to all the product pages.

5. Offers: If you offer free shipping, or the product is on sale, include this information in the shopping feed. This will help the products stand out from its competitors.

6. PayPal: Google now has a partnership with PayPal, to quickly help stores with set up and provide users with “high quality results”. If you need a faster, more secure payment method for products, this is definitely worth looking into.

How will organic Google Shopping results impact paid product listing ads (PLA)?

Retailers can and should continue to show their paid ads alongside these new free organic listings. This will allow retailers more flexibility in how they chose to promote their full inventory across Google. Once the products are approved in Google Merchant Center, a retailer can create a Google Shopping campaign within Google Ads and promote specific items across Google, paying only when a searcher arrives at their site.

Current Google Shopping advertisers will continue to show their ads on the Google Shopping tab, primarily towards the top and bottom of the pages. Nonpaid (organic) listings will take the remaining real estate within that tab.

The shopping results from the Google Search results page, partner search engines, Google images, the Google Display Network, Gmail, and YouTube will still only feature paid shopping ads at this time, so advertisers won’t expect to lose much of their shopping ads traffic.

What is the ‘Google Buy Button’ or ‘Purchases on Google’? 

Google has branded the tool as Purchases on Google but many people refer to it as the Google Buy Button. The buy button appears when people do product-related searches on Android phones or tablets. This is how the process unfolds:

 

  1. Google Shopping product listing ads appear on those searches and if one of the advertisers uses Purchases on Google, its ad will have a “Buy on Google” button.
  2. When the user clicks on the Buy on Google button they go to a landing page on Google, i.e. not the retailer’s website.
  3. The user can add the product to a shopping cart.
  4. They then complete the purchase using Google Wallet, all without ever leaving Google.
  5. The retailer then fulfills the order and is responsible for all communications and interactions with the customer in relation to that order.

    At the time of the launch, Google said it had analyzed conversion data and found the conversion rates for its Product Listing Ads were 50 percent lower on mobile than desktop.

     

    With the Google Buy Button, Google aimed to increase conversion rates on mobile. Google says its buy button simplifies the process of buying online as the purchaser already has an account with Google and a method of payment.

    This is easier than going to a retailer’s website and, potentially, creating a new account and/or entering delivery and payment information. 

How to Use Competitive Analysis in Ecommerce SEO Strategy

How to Use Competitive Analysis in Ecommerce SEO Strategy

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Competitive drive is a key component to remain successful in the ecommerce industry. Knowing your biggest competitors and what they’re up to provides business owners with opportunities to take a competitive advantage. Including competitive analysis in your arsenal of ecommerce strategy tools has a positive impact on everything from on-site content to ROI. Evaluating your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses offers a window into areas of your own business that might need improvement.

When doing a competitive analysis, the eCommerce industry has more areas to consider than a basic brick-and-mortar operation. Social media marketing, SEO, product page content, mobile compatibility, and speed are just a few of the areas to include in the analysis. Comparing your own eCommerce business to competitors using unbiased analysis gives you a fresh perspective on site-wide SEO strategy. Use analysis tools like SEMRush™ or Google Search™ to identify your direct competitors, then select the top two or three to analyze.

Direct competitors are brands that provide products or services that are basically the same as yours, and operate in the same geographic region. Some eCommerce businesses add indirect competitors to the analysis. These are competitors who don’t sell similar products, but can fill the need or solve the problem your product does. Since the analysis process can be lengthy, it’s vital to focus most of your analysis on direct competitors. Take a look at the top five ways to use competitive analysis to improve your eCommerce SEO strategy. 

1. Overhaul Content

eCommerce competitive analysis narrows in on the content that attracts the most views and UGC for your direct competitors. Use this information to evaluate where your content is lacking, and then update it accordingly. Keep the following areas in mind when performing a competitor analysis for content:

  • Buying guides
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Product descriptions

Compile an accurate comparison by spotlighting competitors’ focus, length, and keywords in content.

Focus

Focus on how you can incorporate some of their topical content into your ecommerce business, and include fresh information and perspectives. What is their primary content focus? Are they constantly updating their blogs or creating buying guides? If you have similar content that is unsuccessful, rework it or start over using insight from the competitor analysis. Creating insightful content that enriches your consumer’s experience increases conversions. You only need to find out what your competitor is doing and do it better.

Length

Using competitor analysis can help you see where you may need to adjust content length based on competitor ranking in SERPs. Research done in 2017 showed that longer blogs ranked higher with search engines, but new information has determined that the length of content should be comparison based. In 2018, a study showed that ecommerce business blogs perform better if they use a similar word count, as compared to blogs on the same topic that ranked first in SERP.

Keywords

Use competitive SEO analysis to find out how your competitor is adding fresh keywords into evergreen short and long-term keywords to improve SERP ranking. How your competitors use keywords impacts their SEO success: evaluate what types of keywords they are using and adjust yours. Are they using LSI keywords? Are their keywords evergreen, or fresh (trending)? Fresh keywords are an excellent short-term source of conversions, but evergreen keywords are more relevant for consistent conversions. Pay attention to all forms of content including image meta-tags and titles. To get a complete view of your SEO content versus your competitors, don’t forget titles, metadata, tags, and content relevance.

2. Increase Conversions

Ecommerce SEO competitor analysis can increase your conversions because innovation is a large part of maintaining customer satisfaction. Gaining an increase in customer satisfaction provides you with a competitive advantage. Analyze growth patterns and current ROI to find opportunities to convert consumers to your brand by using innovative strategies that increase ratings and positive UGC. Evaluate your competitors’ marketing goals and predictions, as well as their past and present strategies that have been successful. Your closest competitors can give you insight into different SEO strategies that can increase your ranking in SERP, and lead to more conversions. Chances are, if they are optimizing for voice or image search and getting good results, your ecommerce business would be safe optimizing for those areas, too.

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3. Strengthen Marketing Strategy

Ecommerce SEO strategy needs to include social media marketing: 25.6 percent of referral traffic came from social media advertising (SMA) in 2017. While Google Search is still king, social media continues to keep pace, and with voice and image search not far behind, text search will have stiff competition. Use competitive analysis to determine the type, frequency, and cost of your competitors’ SMA campaigns. Figure out what types of SMA worked for your direct competitors, and which ones fell short. Brainstorm how your ecommerce business can expand on competitor methods and find opportunities to surpass their successes. Competitive analysis allows your ecommerce business to locate opportunities for the right social media strategy, based on real-time marketing data. It can also determine where current SMA strategy fell-short. Pay special attention to competitor social media data like:

  • Fans, followers, and subscriptions
  • Sharing patterns
  • Frequency and consistency of posts
  • Customer engagement
  • Photos and videos
  • Advertisements and videos

In your competitor analysis, include the advertising methods that did and didn’t work for the competition to give yourself a jump-off point for additions or changes.

4. Maximize Overall Site Speed

Another key benefit of using competitor analysis is the ability to compare your current load speed with your competitors. Run all URLs through analysis to help you zero in on areas that can be improved to increase load speed. Include the following in your ecommerce SEO competitor analysis:

  • Images: What format are they using? How did they optimize images for search engines and mobile devices? What size are their image files compared to yours? Are their image titles more effective?
  • Links: How do they use internal and external links? Do they allow social media linking? How are their links displayed (buttons, images, direct links)? Are their external links more trustworthy or relevant than yours?
  • URLs: Does your competitor include keywords in product URLs? Have they optimized URLs for SEO? What type of formatting do they use?

5. Rank Higher in SERP

Ecommerce SEO competitor analysis used effectively leads to higher SERP rankings. When you analyze your competitor’s content, speed, and marketing strategy you break down their SEO structure. Find out how your competitor uses keywords to drive search engine results, and decide what you can do to improve on their existing methods. Competitive analysis allows you to see how they are redirecting broken or missing links, improving loading times, and using cross browser compatibility. Consider researching the following in your ecommerce SERP competitive analysis:

  • Ease of use: Sites that are user-friendly rank higher because they provide a positive customer experience
  • Layout: Site layout is important to SERP rankings – the easier a sight is for the search engine algorithm to navigate matters
  • Platform: Technology used to create a site is just as important as SEO content to search engines
  • XML Sitemap: Sitemaps provide efficient and quick indexing for search engines
  • Snippets: They appear at the top of SERP, usually with an image, link, and description

Don’t forget to double check UGC at all stages of analysis. See what aspects of products or services their consumers are satisfied with, and what needs work. Satisfied consumers create more leads, visits, conversions, and SERP rankings.

Let us know how competitor analysis has helped your ecommerce business, and what steps had the biggest impact on conversions. If you need guidance fixing under-performing areas of your site, we can help. At eZdia we analyze content, customer experiences, traffic, and conversions, and identify problems that can negatively impact your ecommerce business. We can also help by developing rich content like strategy guides and blogs that engage and entertain your consumers.

 

 

What is Schema Markup and Why is it Important for SEO?

What is Schema Markup and Why is it Important for SEO?

In 2011 the search engines Google©, Yahoo©, Bing©, and Yandex© created schema.org. The collaboration was designed to increase the use of schema, to enrich and enhance user search experience. Schema is structured data text that can help search engines parse and define information. That said, let’s dig into schema markup and its importance to SEO.

What Is Schema Markup?

Schema markup helps search engines understand the context behind user inquiries. For instance, a user could type “make chocolate cake” and receive everything from box mixes to local bakers that make chocolate cakes. Unfortunately, the meaning behind the inquiry suggested that they were looking for a recipe or how to make a chocolate cake, making the SERP less accurate. Structured data vocabulary like schema helps interpret information in a way that communicates the end-users intention to the search engine. Better interpretation of inquiries provides more relevant results in SERPs.

Primary Schema Markup Forms

The most commonly used form of schema is microdata. Microdata can be inserted into HTML, XML, and XHTML-based documents and pages. Resource Descriptive Framework in attributes (RDFa) is inserted into the same type of documents as microdata. JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Objects (JSON-LD) is a bit different – it implements schema by pasting it into specific areas of JavaScript coding.

Why Structured Data Matters

Using schema is becoming increasingly important with the rise of voice search and technology like Amazon’s Alexa™. Structured data communicates your site’s or page’s purpose and creates relationships throughout the internet between search engines and applications like websites, emails, and social media. Rich snippets only appear in SERPs after info is gathered from schema or other structured data. Search engines are guided by SEO content and the inclusion of schema in your SEO strategy may eventually make the difference between being found and being forgotten.

Schema Is Important To SEO Strategy

Schema is important to the evolution of SEO strategy. For SEO content, marketers, and advertisers, structured markup like schema means a potential increase in click-through rates and overall site traffic. When companies implement the inclusion of structured data into their SEO strategy, it’s called Semantic SEO. Providing context to web pages using schema makes them more visible to search engines, which can transfer to higher SERP rank. Rich snippets created by structured data boost your page in terms of relevance. In short, schema provides visibility that traditional SEO strategies may not offer.

Defining Items With Schema Markup

Microdata and other forms of schema are enhancements that can drive consumers to your business or service. Using schema markup provides opportunities to rise in rank for SERPs, by giving depth to text strings. Few companies or entities presently use schema markup, so it’s a good time to get in at ground level with Semantic SEO. To find out more about how schema can be integrated into your SEO strategy, and view a full list of items that can be defined by schema online, go to schema.org.   Author: Kristin Ann Hassel Email: kristin.ann.hassel@gmail.com Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-hassel-8651a3157
How to Find and Target High-Value Keywords for Your Business

How to Find and Target High-Value Keywords for Your Business

Keyword research and competitive analysis are two of most important things for any business to boost their online presence. A wrong keyword strategy in place means losing most of the site’s traffic, leads, and ultimately, the money.

It’s therefore important to understand the entire keyword research process to get right and relevant keywords for the business. It’s also important to prioritize the keyword and put them in use to boost the organic and paid rankings of the website.

Top keyword research tools to try

There are some really helpful keyword research tools to let you be on the right side of keyword research. You can use these tools and boost the presence of your website. They include:

#1 keywordtool.io

keywordtool.io

This tool is important to understand what the audience is looking for. Using this, it becomes easy to know what people are typing into Google Search Box. Using it means you needn’t have Google Keyword Planner.

#2 keyword.io

keyword.io

Use this tool to get highly relevant keyword suggestions. You will easily get actual phrases used these days to find products or information on the internet. You will also in-depth Google Trends information.

#3 keywordspy.com

keywordspy

This tool comes handy when the goal is to find which keywords are fit for paid marketing and which are not. It means, you can use this tool to filter out all those keywords that are neither effective nor affordable for paid efforts.

Steps involved in finding high-value keywords

You have to follow a few steps in finding high-value keywords for your business website. They include:

Step 1: Check whether your website is properly optimized for SEO

You can use a tool –  SEO SiteChekup – to do this step. It helps you get a detailed report of the back-end SEO of your site. It will fetch you information of all aspects including broken links, Meta descriptions, keywords, etc. This way, it become easy to know where the site stands in terms of optimization.

Step 2: Find Keywords Your Site is Already Ranking For

This step is important in knowing all those keywords your site is ranking for and in this endeavor, you can take the help of a tool, called Moz. You have to know the SERP position and its fluctuations, monthly search volume and CPC. You will know your search traffic per month together with the futility and utility of switching to paid campaigns or taking the organic route.

Step 3: Find Keywords for SEO

This step is important for those sites that are yet to rank for any keywords. Before finding keywords, it’s important to understand the target audience, their tastes etc. to approach the job in a superior manner. The focus should be to analyze the content creation ability and strategy and then choosing keywords not fancied by other businesses. The search can be started from Google AdWords Keyword Planner. You have to do all, from compilation to analysis to sorting to prioritizing of the keywords to get the focus point.

Step 4: Find The Right Keywords

Right keywords can found by analyzing the search intent. You have to understand the dynamics of different queries such as navigational, informational, commercial and transactional. You have to analyze the keywords based on the number of their searches. More so, you have to know the CPC value of the keyword. And lastly, you got to understand the value of long tail keywords.

Step 5: Do Competitive Analysis

And lastly, you have to indulge in competitor analysis as all those keywords you want to use will have some fierce competition. You need to see all those keywords the competitor is ranking for and focusing on. You also need to know what pages their keywords rank for.

Conclusion

Finding high-value keywords for the business is not easy and it takes a lot of efforts on a sustained basis. So, be up to the job and rank higher.

Dwell Time vs. Bounce Rate vs. Time on Page: What’s the Difference?

Dwell Time vs. Bounce Rate vs. Time on Page: What’s the Difference?

The most common misconception about dwell time, bounce rate, and time on page, is that they’re all the same thing. While they’re extremely similar in some ways, each one serves a unique purpose in the grand scheme of search engine metrics. If you’ve ever been confused as to why they matter, and how to accurately use each metric, read on to find out.

It’s A Thin Line Between Metrics

Dwell time, bounce rate, and time on page are all about numbers, namely percentages in some form or another. Dwell time is the length of time a user spends looking at a site after they select the link from an SERP, before going back to the SERP. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who visit one page and then click to any other page on or off your site. Finally, time on page refers to the time a user spends anywhere on your page before leaving. If it all sounds very similar, it is. The key difference between all three is that dwell time is solely SERP-based, links from other areas aren’t included in metric. Both bounce rate and time on page take all visitors into account, not just those flown in from SERPs.

Why Does It Matter If They’re Different?

Each of these metrics offers information about the quantity and quality of visits to your website, but in its own way. Let’s take a look at each one, why it matters, and what you can do to improve them.

What Is Dwell Time?

Dwell time is an important factor in SEO strategy, because it’s solely SERP-based. Knowing if your links in SERPs are leading users to the best area on your site is important. The first thing you should know about dwell time in regard to metrics is that it fluctuates by business or business intent. For example, if you operate a weather site or a retail business, it may take less than five minutes for people to get what they want from a link. In that event, your dwell time would be naturally low. On the other hand, blogs and videos can expect higher dwell times because it takes a while to read articles or watch videos. Start compiling all the metrics related to dwell time to find the ideal average dwell time for your site. Once you have that information, use the following tips to help you reach dwell time goals.

  • Stop spamming users: Don’t use invasive or disruptive ads like pop-ups or auto-scroll videos–users hate that. One of the surest ways to lose a customer is to force them to watch or click through interstitial ads to get to your content. Make the answer to their search engine inquiry non-intrusive and easy to find.
  • Make Quality Content a Priority: Create useful content that’s actionable, accessible, and entertaining. Only use links if they are reputable and helpful. Make other content relevant to search topics accessible on the page so users don’t need to dig.
  • Speed Matters: Load time is just as important as content. Dwell time will suffer from poor load speeds, so use speed optimization tools like Pingdom’s Website Speed Test to see how your site measures up. Speed in terms of use is just as important as load time speeds. While scrolling pages may be a hassle, done correctly they can also help search engines parse data quicker and make content faster to read.

Another important piece of meeting your dwell time ideal is to focus on conversion optimization. If conversions are poor, it could be the quality of your content, speed issues, or broken links causing people to leave or never gain access to your site.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate that’s too high can clue you into major issues, like a lack of dynamic content or that dwell times have fallen way below average for your business. Neither one is good. In some cases, a high bounce rate is normal, for instance, a weather forecast site won’t have high dwell times because it doesn’t take that long to check a forecast. The need was met and the user moves one, so in that instance, a fairly high bounce rate is a good thing. For sites that are strictly mobile, the bounce rates you can also expect to experience higher bounce rates. If your site offers online training or deals in retail, a lower bounce rate is better because you expect people to stay a bit longer. Again, as with dwell time, there are no specific good or bad average rates, as they vary by niche, but general criteria are available in the table below.

General Bounce Rate Range Indicators
 Good 26-40%
 Average 41-55%
 Fair 56-70%
 Poor ≥ 71%

If you hit over 90%, something is majorly wrong with your website, because people are leaving immediately. A spike this high can indicate one of the following major issues:

  • Poor load speeds
  • Bad content or lack of engaging content
  • Poor overall design

Bounce rate is an important indicator of what areas of your website design need an upgrade and lets businesses know if analytics software tracking is off. There are a few areas to consider when tracking bounce rate:

  • User intent: Did the page meet user intent, did the page accurately cover user search inquiry?
  • Type of page: Is the page relevant to user search engine inquiry?
  • Quality of page: Is the content actionable, useful, engaging, and informative?
  • Quality of traffic: Is the page attracting the right type of traffic
  • Device type: The device users access from can affect bounce rates. Is the average user accessing from desktop, laptop, or mobile?

Another way to find your ideal bounce rate would be viewing top sites that offer similar services or products as your website. Bounce rates have value because they are easy to measure, linked to business goals, and improving them can help reduce latency issues.

Time Spent On Page

This metric is affected by bounce rate, but isn’t the same thing. TSOP is simply a measure of time that anyone who accesses the site spends on a given page. If the exit percentage is high then the time spent on page average is less reliable. Low exit percentages generally indicate an accurate reflection of TSOP. Exit percentages are the percentage of total exits from a page, after time spent on that page. One of the best ways to get accurate TSOP metrics is to use event tracking methods that determine the following:

  • If the user scrolled
  • If the user interacted with the page (videos, sharing buttons, links, etc.)
  • If the user went on to another page of the site

Without event tracking methods, TSOP won’t account for the people who leave their browser open during supper, or left the browser open on their tablet or phone when they went into the store. Tracking specific actions instead of just time periods will give you actionable information.

If you already have a stellar SEO strategy in place, none of this should present an issue. If you don’t, you may want to consider finding a SEO content powerhouse like eZdia to help you develop one. Our professional SEO strategists and content writers can help you make sense of the ins-and-outs of search engine growing pains.

Author: Kristin Ann Hassel
Email: kristin.ann.hassel@gmail.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristin-hassel-8651a3157

Creating a Seller Management Platform for the E-Commerce Marketplace

Creating a Seller Management Platform for the E-Commerce Marketplace

Seller Management Platform for the E-CommerceIn an ever-growing e-commerce sector, marketplaces are are looking for ways to onboard quality sellers, improve the customer experience for various pages and increase the conversion rate for their sellers. And sellers, in their quest to sell better, are continually adding their own stores and products in these marketplaces. There’s one thing that both sellers and marketplaces need: good content. (more…)