Google revealed – how to rank eCommerce website better in 2020Reading Time: 6 minutes
Every year, we work on making resolutions, setting new targets, goals, making a list of new learnings, and much more.
Google, on its official blog, revealed the top 3 ways that would make an effective SEO strategy work and help you rank your website. The blog covers a few of the SEO tactics that you should experiment with to improve the visibility and keyword ranks of your eCommerce sites.
We have been struggling behind what and how Google sees our eCommerce store and how it would rank.
But, I believe 2020 seems to be different for Google, SEOs, SEO agencies and even for eCommerce business owners heavily eyeing on the organic traffic.
So, let’s straightaway jump on to those three ways Google said using which it would rank your website better in 2020:
1. Focus on simple SEO changes
While creating SEO strategies for eCommerce businesses, I often consider larger things first, and I am sure most of the SEOs would be doing the same. The problem is- we invest time and effort in the more significant things because you and I both believe that would help us rank better and even faster.
But, Google says, “start small”. Though this task in the SEO strategy sounds a little simple one but, according to Google, making small and incremental changes to the website helps in boosting keyword rankings.
The Google My Business website implemented various web fundamental best practices including setting up canonicals. And, to their surprise, with just a few little SEO changes, the website saw an almost 2X increase in organic traffic.
Yes, check out the growth of the Google My Business marketing website saw after making those little SEO changes:
What comes under small SEO changes?
Whenever you want to optimize product pages your eCommerce store, start with small things such as-
- Setting up canonicals
- Updating XML sitemaps
- Adding the right keywords
- Setting up the right product page URLs
- Improving metadata
- Making amazing heading tags
- Working on image ALT attributes
- Putting up internal links
- And, many more
There are many underrated areas that most SEOs ignore.
Even when Aleyda Solis, an international SEO consultant, asked what are the top trends the most SEOs are overlooking right now, that the people are not talking enough right now and are important, Gary Illyes from Google said,
“I would think you’d go with images, rather. Images, media in general, like this year and also past year, I was doing quite a few keynotes and panelists on media in general, and that’s not because I’m bored and I hate my life… Well that’s partially true, but also because we notice that there are very basic things that SEOs don’t do. And if you think about it like, in your SEO process, where is like putting alt attributes on images?
We looked on many SEOs, like this is your cheat sheet. Like what should you do? And the vast majority didn’t look at the attributes, and we also see this in indexing of course. Like when we start talking about just do that one thing like with all the attributes and just put some text that’s related to the imaging in the alt attribute, we actually see in indexing that the numbers are going up. One master conference, we used to have these talks quite often, and every single time we see like an uptick in image indexation.”
Here is the complete video of Aleyda’s #CrawlingMondays of Q&A interview with Google’s Webmaster Trends Analysts to help you understand what you should do and what not-
So, we must consider ‘small things first’.
2. Experiment with making changes
When Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), many businesses and SEO marketers faced a challenge of how to compromise on design. So, the only businesses that took benefit of AMP were the news publishers.
There are two benefits that those news publishers saw AMP-lify their website-
- Making their website load much faster
- Showcasing their news in the ‘Top Stories News Carousel’
But, Google itself experimented with AMP in 2018 for the Think with Google website. Along with AMP, Google also focused on implementing structured data and work on the issues recovered in their Google Search Console.
And, just the way most SEOs find errors while implementing any such new things, Google also found common errors on a few URLs, and they focused on fixing them. After fixing those AMP errors, the impression on those URLs increased by 200%.
With this example, Google is not suggesting to AMP-lify your eCommerce store, but to try different things that can improve the user experience of your online store.
Another most essential thing Google suggests is to keep updating content that would help your product pages rank better.
For eCommerce websites, updating content can refer to updating the product description that sells, guides, blogs, and more.
What should you do to rank your eCommerce store better in 2020?
- Updating overall website content including product descriptions
- Improving site performance and loading speed (if not done yet)
- Implementing mobile-friendliness or mobile commerce
- Utilizing Structured Data to help Google understand your product pages better
- Fixing Google Search Console errors
- Adding FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to your product pages that will help them rank better after the BERT update
- And, similar stuff
3. Consolidate your efforts
Years ago, most SEOs used to create one main website and multiple geo-specific websites targeting different countries and audiences with almost similar content, design and nothing different.
This was very common among eCommerce stores.
You know a few things never change and this is one of them. Even Google revealed that they also followed a similar idea for their Google Retail.
But, as per Google, there is one issue in following this idea- this way not just confuses the users but even the search engines.
And, there is only one solution to this issue- having one great website instead of having multiple country-specific websites.
Do you know why?
Google decided to clean up their six old and geo-specific websites and consolidated everything including their efforts on their main website. Doing this, Google saw a 2X increase in click-through rate on its website’s call-to-action and a 64% increase in organic traffic.
But, here one needs to be clarified- Google did an entire site audit and then they realized the old websites needed a massive overhaul. And, according to Google, you need to know whether consolidating your efforts is possible in your case or not.
That’s the reason why I specifically suggest eCommerce SEOs to make sure you audit your website appropriately and know everything in and out for the same. That helps you create an effective SEO strategy.
Here is a step-by-step guide to doing an audit of a website for SEO by Ahrefs.
- See if only one version of your website is indexed
- Let search engine spiders know that they’re now allowed to crawl your eCommerce store
- Check if indexation issues are detected in Google Search Console
- Keep checking if you rank at the top for your brand name
- Perform a few basic on-page SEO checks manually such as title, meta description, H1 tags, and more
- See if you have any on-page issues detected in Ahrefs’ Site Audit report
- Check if your site has duplicate or thin content
- Identify the page speed scores using Lighthouse tool
- Find out if your structured data markups are rightly done
- Analyze how much traffic you’re earning from Organic Search using Google Analytics
- Check if the rankings for your keywords are growing
- Find if any of your product pages are ranking on Page 1 from the rank #5 to #10
- Analyze how many backlinks you have and how valuable they are
- Identify if your eCommerce store has or pointing to any broken links
- Find content gaps compared to your competitors’ keyword-based content
- Conduct a full content audit, including product videos, blogs, guides, and more
Also, if you are looking for some tools to audit your website for SEO apart from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, I highly recommend using these tools-
- Ahrefs – specializes in helping you analyzing backlinks and competitors SEO
- Moz – focuses on website audit, backlink analysis, and keyword research
- SEMrush – showcases entire workflow for your website’s SEO
- DeepCrawl – helps in diagnosing & fixing technical and performance issues
- ScreamingFrog – identifies technical SEO issues on your website in detail
- Woorank – analyzes the website and SEO performance
- SpyFu – specializes in helping you analyze how your competitors are doing SEO and PPC
- UberSuggest – helps in identifying which keywords you can target to rank better
Follow Google’s SEO Strategy to Rank in 2020
We, SEOs, every year start our new year with making new and fresh SEO strategies for our or clients’ websites. This year, we have got a gift of an SEO strategy by Google itself.
Just like any other company, Google also works on improving their search presence and rankings. So, let’s create our new SEO strategy focusing on these three ways that would help us drive higher performance, enhanced user experience, and great results.
Do you have anything specific that would be helpful for the SEOs and agencies to focus on while creating the SEO strategy for 2020? Share with us.