With brick-and-mortar businesses moving online and new online businesses popping up to survive the pandemic, plenty of people are facing the challenge of becoming relevant and discoverable in search results especially as competition is getting tighter and tighter. Businesses that aren’t discoverable will have trouble connecting and building relationships with their customers, and that in turn will result in low to no conversions and no profit.
Google Search Central decided to release their e-commerce best practices guide to help developers set up e-commerce websites and ensure that they are compatible with Google. This guide also works for websites that have product listings but don’t necessarily fall under e-commerce such as brick-and-mortar businesses that want to showcase their products online.
E-commerce best practices guide outline
To make navigation easier, Google categorized them in topics each with a brief description.
Here are the categories according to Google:
- Where ecommerce content can appear on Google: Understand the different surfaces where your ecommerce content can appear.
- Share your product data with Google: Decide which method to use when sharing your product data with Google.
- Include structured data relevant to ecommerce: Help Google understand and appropriately present your content by providing explicit information about the meaning of your page with structured data.
- How to launch a new ecommerce website: Learn how to strategically launch a new ecommerce website and understand timing considerations when registering your website with Google.
- Designing a URL structure for ecommerce sites: Avoid issues related to crawling and URL design that are specific to ecommerce sites.
- Help Google understand your ecommerce site structure: Design a site navigation structure and link between pages to help Google understand what is most important on your ecommerce site.
- Pagination, incremental page loading, and their impact on Google Search: Learn common UX patterns for ecommerce sites and understand how UX patterns impact Google’s ability to crawl and index your content.
How this can help businesses
By making use of this e-commerce best practices guide, developers can create e-commerce websites that are more visible on the SERPs, driving more traffic to their businesses that could potentially translate to higher profit.
According to Google, “When you share your e-commerce data and site structure with Google, Google can more easily find and parse your content, which allows your content to show up in Google Search and other Google surfaces. This can help shoppers find your site and products.”
Here is a snapshot of the first topic:
As you can see, the first guide provides links and instructions as to what a developer is supposed to do so that their business is visible on the various Google surfaces such as Search, Images, Maps, and others.
But that’s not all. Google is also giving tips on what kind of content businesses can create for their websites to be more relevant and to entice customers to engage. For example:
This is what the users see at the bottom of the first e-commerce best practices guide. Google ensured that each guide provides the how’s and why’s of each topic to make them easier to understand for developers and businesses so that they won’t have to do the hard work of figuring out if something is necessary or not.
With competition getting more tense in the online landscape due to the pandemic, it is important that businesses understand what they need to do in order to get ahead of the game. Google has created a handy e-commerce best practices guide for businesses to utilize in order to help them see what they need to ensure that customers will discover them, engage with them, and ultimately purchase their products and services.