Google has decided to make rich product page result features a tad bit more accessible to online merchants who use its Merchant Center. Confused? Don’t be! This article will take a closer look at how this latest change impacts your business, how the Google Merchant Center is actually a significant tool in general, and the best practices you should adopt while using the Merchant Center.
Have you ever stopped and wondered why Google is so beloved by consumers? Let me answer that: it’s because Google is consistently evolving its algorithm and search processes to ensure that its users’ experience is as seamless as possible. And it works! All you have to do is pick up your phone, type in a few words on your Google search bar, and voila! You’ll get a bucket load of information on whatever you want to find.
To millions, if not billions, of people worldwide, Google is a big, fluffy tech bear that is always ready for an embrace. HOWEVER, for SEO professionals, it can be a cold, unforgiving mountain that requires a lot of effort to master. Right?
Not really. The recent product feed changes Google has made to its algorithm can actually benefit both users and business owners – and that too without Google Shopping being involved. Want to learn more? Let’s get started!
But before we dive into the juicy stuff, let me introduce you to the Google Merchant Center.
In the most straightforward terms, the Google Merchant Center is an online dashboard that allows online businesses to manage their appearance across all Google eCommerce products. It is essentially a holistic eCommerce platform that enables store owners to make changes to their product listings as needed.
At the core of Google Merchant Center lies Google’s realization that online store owners and businesses need to upload and maintain product information faster than normal website operators. Therefore, it offers online businesses to easily organize and manage their product feed through the Merchant Center. Whether you are in the United States or anywhere else in the world, you can benefit from the features offered on this stellar platform.
As always, let’s turn to Google for more information. According to the website, here’s what the Google Merchant Center can help you do:
The eCommerce platform can help you ensure that your visitors (potential customers!) can find what they are looking for without any hassle! Product prices, in-store availability, and ALL the other important information – the Google Merchant Center helps you make sure that your customers have access to what they really need to know.
The Google Merchant Center provides access to your product data across all Google websites and networks. Since this means that you will be showing your products to relevant customers across paid and unpaid channels, it also means that you will be gaining a better opportunity to increase your sales.
Through the Google Merchant Center, you will find yourself introduced to the world of eCommerce actionable reporting; it offers in-depth information on your pricing, merchandizing, other tools that can help you with the ultimate feed optimization. All of this in a simple format ad without as much as touching Google Shopping Ads!
By now, I’m sure you’re wondering what does the product feed on Google Merchant Center has anything to do with SEO and your products. Well, let’s start by looking at the new update.
As I have already mentioned, Google is on a consistent lookout to make its users’ search process easier. To do so, it is constantly evolving the shopping experience it offers. And this time, Google has improved its search engine’s rich result features and shopping results!
Well, it has done so by expanding the availability of rich snippets to eCommerce products. The names for products, the description for products, product ratings, and other valuable product information will be a part of the rich search results. This functionality has been added to the Search Console, the Manufacturer Center, and of course, the Google Merchant Center.
Although primarily the update is introduced to make the shoppers’ jobs easier, it is also an extremely beneficial option for merchants. This is because they can now add rich snippets to their organic product search results for free! Previously, they would have had to use Google Shopping Ads to achieve this goal separately. However, with this version, they can easily put their product and data out in the most effective way possible.
Now, let’s get started on understanding what this update means in-depth for your data.
Essentially, the update allows more people with a Merchant Center account to upload relevant, updated information to the Google Merchant Center via product data feeds for free. So, if a Google Merchant has an approved product feed entered into their account, it is eligible to be displayed in organic search results on the standard search results page and the Google Image search.
Well, this change in the importance of product feeds is actually significant for your SEO strategy. Product feeds from the Google Merchant Center are now a form of organic SEO! And the fact that they are now more accessible to all Google Merchants without paying for Google Shopping or Google Ads is bound to have a positive impact on small businesses’ SEO execution. No additional steps, just shopping!
It is important to note that according to Google, the product information that appears within a certain search result will be ranked following how relevant it is to the user’s search.
Let’s look at how this works with the help of an example. So, I decide to shop for the most affordable pair of blue shoes. Let’s say you sell blue shoes. I will search for them on Google. Google, in turn, will give me a list of products, including yours. Google will show the price for your blue shoes product within the result listing itself – but only if you’ve uploaded that data to the Merchant Center account. The kind of things that will show up in the search results is product rating, pricing, availability, brand, and product description.
As with every other update, to make the most of this one, you have to start optimizing your SEO strategy from the get-go! How can you kickstart this process? Let’s see!
While all Google Merchant Center users should have had this enabled already, they are now even more necessary! Google’s new update for the Merchant Center includes product data such as reviews as a part of the rich snippets. Needless to say, if you have good reviews and a high star rating, it counts as good product data and will draw your customer in! It will even attract more people. So, to make the most of your Google Merchant Center account, you must enable product reviews.
As I have already mentioned, your product’s description and other data will be acquired from your Google Merchant Center account. Therefore you must write attractive product descriptions. Keep in mind that Google will be displaying these product descriptions in its rich result snippets.
Therefore, it is more than necessary to optimize your descriptions and write them as skillfully as possible. Keep in mind that your product description should NOT be plagiarised. To make your listing unique, make sure you write your own descriptions!
We have all been consumers at one point or the other in our lives. We know very well that the price for a thing is the single most prominent issue catering for a shopper. So, ensure that you include all the pricing data available on your Google Merchant Center account. Each page should have all the necessary pricing data and content: base price, sale price, shipping information.
Use brand qualifiers wherever you can use to ensure that your business name shows and is rightly associated with the data you’re offering. This will make you stand out from other stores as well.
Similarly, it would be better to include images as well since that will optimize your Google Merchant Center account for Image Search. The more relevant the data is, the better it is for your strategy and website!
These are all the changes you need to make to turn your Google Merchant Center account into a potent way of advancing your SEO & marketing strategy and using your data. It is definitely the ultimate option for eCommerce programs ad definitely one of the many ways Google allows you to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you are in the States, in the United Kingdom, or anywhere else in the world, Google Merchant Center will help you!
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