The Best Practices For Ecommerce Sites According To Google
Many ecommerce sites strive to improve website SEO through various means. And with Google’s newly published best practices guide, many online businesses can greatly benefit and boost their website SEO rankings.
Google wrote a new section for their developer pages, providing publishers with the best practices for ecommerce websites. This new information aims to help developers specifically; however, they are just as useful to any online business.
The new guide’s goal is to ensure that the products are visible on the search results and on any of Google’s search products that display items for potential customers.
Google added seven pages that each covers the following topics:
- Where ecommerce content appears on Google
- Available options for sharing product data with Google
- Ecommerce structured data tips
- Instructions on launching a new ecommerce site
- Designing and optimising URL structure for ecommerce sites
- Helping Google understand ecommerce site structure
- Pagination, incremental page loading, and how it affects Google’s search results
Where ecommerce content appears on Google
Many people think that Google is just a search engine; however, it in fact consists of many services bound to desktop apps and mobile phones, particularly the mobile experience.
These services show products that one cannot find on the search engine alone, and with great timing, too. Buyers will often find items the moment they become interested in purchasing them. The company’s many services are called “surfaces” since Google often “surfaces” products and content to users.
There are six important surfaces on Google:
- Google Search
- Google Images
- Google Lens
- Google Maps
- Google My Business
- Google Shopping Tab
Google recommends that online businesses and site owners create website SEO content for each of those six surfaces. They also said that these surfaces could support various ways in which site owners can display content.
Available options for sharing product data with Google
Google explained various ways in which one could provide product information to the search engine, such as product feeds and structured data to Google’s Merchant Center. Doing so helps increase eligibility for more surfaces on Google and display one’s products to potential customers at the right time.
To take advantage of these benefits, Google recommends including structured data on a website’s product page. Doing so directly tells the search engine which products should be displayed on the search results.
Ecommerce structured data tips
Google listed eight crucial structured data that ecommerce websites should know of and use for their SEO. They are the following:
- LocalBusiness – provides Google with more information about one’s business on their information pages, such as opening and closing hours, locations, store codes, etc.
- Product – tells Google more about one’s products
- Review – it allows Google to understand product reviews on a website and when they are appropriate
- HowTo – allows Google to show a rich result for “how-to” guides for the products
- FAQPage – tells Google about an FAQ page on the website
- Breadcrumblist – allows Google to understand the website’s hierarchy pages and display a more meaningful breadcrumb trail in search results
- VideoObject – video content is crucial for ecommerce sites
- WebSite – helps Google understand how one implements site search on their website
Helping Google understand ecommerce site structure
This section explains the site architecture that allows Google to get all the important content on the web page. According to Google, they find the most helpful content on the website by analysing the relationship between web pages based on their linkages. This means that a website’s navigation structures, like cross-page links and menus, can affect Google’s understanding of the site structure.
Instructions on launching a new ecommerce site
Google gives a step-by-step guideline on launching an ecommerce site. It also contains links to more in-depth content containing all the details that site owners need to know. Google advises site owners to register their site with Google by following these steps below:
- Verify site ownership with Google.
- Request Google to index the website. If there is a small number of URLs, one can use the URL inspection tool. Otherwise, they can provide Google with a sitemap.
- Track how Google Search indexes the website. Google Merchant Center may cross-check and verify content with Google Search index. SEOs should ensure that their website is indexed and that their products are available for customers to purchase to avoid false verification warnings.
- Those who own physical stores should establish their details with Google.
- Lastly, sign up for Google Merchant Center to give additional information, like descriptions of deals and products.
Designing and optimising URL structure for ecommerce sites
A well-designed URL can help Google locate and retrieve pages on an ecommerce website more efficiently. If a site owner controls the URLs’ structure – for instance, if the website is being built from scratch – this guide can help them make a well-informed decision on their URL structure to avoid indexing problems.
Here are some of the general URL recommendations:
- – Minimise the number of alternative URLs that redirect readers to the same content. Doing so prevents Google from making more requests to the same website. Google may not know that there are two URLs for the same content page.
- – If the webserver treats upper- and lower-case text in a URL the same way, the publisher should convert all text to the same case. This makes it easier for Google to distinguish that URLs reference the same page.
Advanced SEO For Ecommerce
Google’s newly published guidelines aim to help developers and website owners gain a technical understanding of their ecommerce sites. It also offers a helpful outline of the important points that one should understand to boost their ecommerce presence in the search results.
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