In the first week of January 2022, Google added a new Shops section to the search results, albeit without announcements. However, the company’s representatives confirmed that it was a new mobile module and would appear only for specific shopping queries for now.
The new Google Shops section in the mobile search results is part of the company’s efforts to provide more seller options to users. It currently only shows three shops, but mobile users can expand the results to up to 10 merchants in the settings. It also allows online store owners to strive for more organic traffic and get to page one of the search results.
Leveraging this new update could be a win for your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. This post will give you insights into this new Shops section, eCommerce website tips to help you get featured there, what to avoid, why you should hire eCommerce SEO services and strategies you can use to optimize eCommerce website features.
Why You Should Aim To Get a Top 3 Spot
It pays to be on top of the search engine results page (SERP), literally. Google reports that websites and eCommerce stores landing in these positions account for 67.60 percent of all clicks. That is why part of eCommerce SEO best practices is to make it to page one of the SERPs.
Here’s what you need to know:
• Organic click-through rates (CTR) drop dramatically from the top positions going down.
• The top two positions account for 35 percent and 27 percent of the total CTR in the search results.
• The CTR then decreases to only 10 percent when you land in the third position, while lower ranks only get around one percent.
This is why eCommerce websites with featured stores use SEO services to improve their CTR.
The Value of Online Store SEO
So, what is eCommerce SEO? It refers to the strategies and practices that follow the guidelines provided by search engines. When your online store can keep up with these changing guidelines, it ranks higher in the search results. It then translates to more people finding your site, increasing its traffic, improving your click-through rate and boosting sales.
The new Google Shops section in the mobile search results is great news for eCommerce store owners. You can think of it as a new piece of SEO real estate, but it comes with a particular caveat. You see, even though this new update benefits eCommerce stores in general, it only works best for stores that already have excellent organic search rankings. Sites with poor rankings need an eCommerce SEO audit to improve organic search results. If you haven’t done a site audit before, you can hire the services of an eCommerce optimization agency to get this vital part of the process out of the way.
eCommerce SEO Best Practices To Get You Featured
To be a featured retailer on Google Search’s new Shops section, you need to fine-tune your SEO strategy. Remember that if you’re selling merchandise online, a lot of your revenue is riding heavily on your online store, meaning you won’t be raking in sales and conversions if your store doesn’t rank on Google and other major search engines.
The good news is that the same SEO practices apply to all sites and also work with your eCommerce store. Here are some of the eCommerce SEO best practices that you should implement:
Make Everything Mobile-Friendly
First on our list of eCommerce website tips is making your store mobile-friendly. It’s essential that your product information is searchable and user-friendly. Your product pages should have a responsive design since the Shop’s section will be featured in mobile search results. This means you should pay attention to mobile optimization, including managing image sizes, color schemes and product details to fit any screen size.
Select Important Keywords for Your Store
Next on our eCommerce SEO checklist is keyword research. When performing keyword research, you’re looking for search volume, keyword difficulty and buyer intent. These metrics will help your product pages rank higher. Search volume tells you how many people use that keyword to search for products. User intent tells you what buyers want to find, and keyword difficulty tells you how much effort it takes to rank it to the top of the SERPs. Again, an eCommerce SEO agency can come in as a specialist to help you with research. They can also help train your team to use eCommerce marketing tools like Ahrefs and Amazon keyword research.
Improve Site Design
Next in our eCommerce SEO tips: tweaking your site’s overall design. The goal is to improve the shopping experience with your enhanced site design. Sites with complex navigation, poor searchability and poor content usually have high bounce rates. Shoppers won’t care if you have the best products when they get frustrated with your eCommerce site and leave as quickly as they came.
How does that affect your online store SEO? Search engines hate sites with high bounce rates. Your ranking decreases, and your chances of being featured in Google Shops go down with it. So, what should you be looking for with your eCommerce content optimization? Here are a few suggestions:
• Use images sparingly and use the correct sizes.
• Make menus sensible and easy to navigate.
• Improve the quality of your copy.
• Increase load times.
• Ensure site uptime.
The process begins with an eCommerce SEO audit. It will help you figure out what improvements you need to make. Hiring the best SEO services for eCommerce websites speeds up this process. They use auditing and eCommerce marketing tools that crawl your site revealing broken links, duplicate or thin Content and missing metadata.
Be Smart About Your URLs
Next in our eCommerce SEO tips is one regarding page addresses. Use descriptive URLs for all the pages on your eCommerce website. Some content management systems (CMS) suggest URLs for every page you create. Sometimes those suggestions look like something you can use for a password, like this:
Compare that to the following:
Both search engine web crawlers and your site visitors can get more information from the latter than the former. The latter is a lot better than the former. Send that link to someone, and they’ll know exactly what products they should expect to see.
Don’t Duplicate Content
Next on our eCommerce SEO checklist is avoiding duplicate content and plagiarism. First, avoid plagiarism in your product descriptions. However, sometimes you have very few options since these descriptions come from the manufacturer. Since shoppers love easy-to-understand, concise descriptions, you need to tweak and simplify them. Expert writers from an experienced eCommerce optimization agency can help you produce compelling copy creating new spins on product presentations.
Don’t Forget To Implement Effective SEO Strategies
Apart from keyword research, other SEO strategies should be part of your overall online marketing strategy. In fact, strategies should be part of any eCommerce SEO checklist. Best practices include off-page and on-page SEO, technical SEO, link building and local SEO. And if unsure of where to start, working with a seasoned eCommerce optimization agency will help fine-tune your digital marketing strategy.
Let Customers Review Your Products
Our next eCommerce content optimization tip: Allow customers to post reviews on your site. Ninety percent of consumers are likelier to purchase products with customer reviews, even if some are negative. Reviews help you optimize eCommerce website pages. Reviewers sometimes use keywords that search engines can pick up when they review your site. An eCommerce marketing agency can help you redesign your website to encourage customers to write reviews.
Create Product-Specific FAQ Content
Another way to optimize eCommerce website product pages is to add product-specific FAQ content. You can add essential keywords in this section to help boost your ranking. Answering questions also improves conversion rates since they will stay longer on your page and get a better user experience.
Don’t Forget About Your Static Pages
Next up on our list of eCommerce SEO tips is updating your website’s home page, About Us page, contact page and other static pages. Outdated information on these pages may turn away your visitors. If you change anything on your business information, make sure to update your site with it as well. Updating, adding essential info, revising content and reoptimizing these pages are crucial for eCommerce content optimization.
Work on Your Site Architecture
This is one of the vital eCommerce website tips. You will add product pages and remove some as you go about your business. These changes will have a significant impact on your site’s architecture. The navigation hierarchy can get cluttered in the process and impact your online store SEO. Pay attention to your internal linking structure – you don’t want it to get too deep. eCommerce SEO best practices dictate that customers get the information they need in three clicks from your home page. An eCommerce SEO audit will help determine if you need to restructure your links and page hierarchy.
Apply Proven SEO Practices and Get Featured in the Shops Section
Should you work with an eCommerce marketing agency? If you want to get the best results and stay within your marketing budget, the answer is yes. Your team will get access to essential tools and proven strategies.
Thrive is a seasoned full-service eCommerce SEO agency. We’ve been helping online store owners for more than 16 years. We work with companies of all sizes providing eCommerce SEO services that fit their budget. Our team performs a thorough site analysis for you and fills in the gaps in your eCommerce SEO strategy so you can get featured in Google Shops.
Call 866-434-4748 today and get a free quote.