The holiday shopping season is just around the corner. It’s a boom time for retailers and crucial for those who depend on good sales in this period for a large part of their annual revenues.
Naturally this also makes it a time of fierce competition for those clicks and sales. This makes your site’s visual appearance in the results all the more important. Searchers are now shown more information directly in the results, such as star ratings, prices and images, and these will help their decision making.
So how can you ensure your ecommerce site stands out in Google Search and doesn’t get lost in the crowd?
Here are 6 tips from Google to improve your appearance in Search;
1. Review your title links
The first thing you should do is to check the title link Google is showing for your page in the results.
A good title link should help users understand your offering, bringing visitors to your site. It’s the user’s first impression of your site.
Title links are normally extracted from the HTML title element for the page. However, Google may rewrite the title link if it considers it inadequate. Read more about this in our blog post on why page titles might be changed.
If you automatically generate page titles from product attributes you should be careful to avoid duplication or poorly-formatted titles.
It’s unwise to put dynamic information in the title, such as pricing or availability, due to the lag between your update and Google re-indexing the page.
Check how your page appears in Google’s results with the site query:
If you can't see your page, use the URL Inspection Tool to check if it has been indexed.
2. Include high-quality images
Images can be displayed directly in search results, so you should include high-quality images that showcase your products really well.
Google recommends that key images be at least 1,200 pixels wide.
Use the site query search as above, to see if product images are being shown in Google search results for a page.
To improve your images in search results, identify and replace any low quality ones. Review robot settings such as Max Image Preview, which lets you tell Google how you want images to be treated in the results.
If your images are not appearing in the search results, you should consider adding product structured data to your product pages.
3. Share rich product data
Rich product data helps Google correctly understand the intent of your pages. It also helps it understand whether your page merits special presentation in the results.
Structured data can be used for a variety of pages including for recipes, books, products, how-to guides and many more. Check out the full list, and how to get started with each, in Google’s Search Gallery.
For products in search results, Google recommends you include as a minimum:
If you’ve added structured data but aren’t seeing any special presentation, check the page has been indexed using the URL Inspection Tool, and use the Rich Results Test tool to see if there are any errors in your markup.
You can use the nosnippet controls to exclude any information, which you don’t want Google to include in the results.
4. Share price drop data
If you share pricing product data, Google may include price drops in product-rich results.
Google calculates price drops based on the running historical average of your product’s pricing.
Price drops are not currently available in all countries and are not guaranteed to be shown. To be eligible, make sure you have an offer in your product structured data. This must be a specific figure, not a range.
5. Identify products you sell
You should clearly identify the products you sell by providing accurate product identifiers such as GTIN identifiers. Google’s advice is to do this using a combination of Google Merchant Center feed and product structured data on pages.
Doing this can increase your exposure in experiences that list products with multiple sellers per product, such as the top products carousel.
6. Create a business profile
If your business has a physical presence then you should create a Google Business Profile.
Businesses which are online-only are not currently eligible.
Business profiles are displayed alongside search results and can provide a variety of information such as location and opening hours, and links to your website and contacts.
Google’s long term advice is to provide rich, structured data describing your products and to create a Merchant Center feed with product data updates.
Search results over the years have become increasingly visual, and this trend is likely to continue. Google is continually experimenting with new, more visual formats, designed to be more engaging for searchers.
The better information you can provide about your pages and products the better your chance of Google displaying your offering in the variety of ways it now shows search results, and the better your visibility to potential customers.
Watch Google's whole Ecommerce Essentials video here: