Ecommerce SEO guide: New documentation from Google


With COVID forcing many retailers online, there are more ecommerce options than ever. Google Search Central recently released new guidelines for developers to help improve search visibility for ecommerce sites. “When you share your ecommerce 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,” said the guide.

The guide has seven pages covering the following topics:

Where content can appear. The guide says that ecommerce content can actually appear in more results than just traditional search. These include Google Search, Images, Lens, the shopping tab, Google My Business, and Maps. “Product data is the most obvious type of ecommerce related content, but other types of information can also be useful to shoppers at different stages of their shopping journey,” according to the guide. So Google recommends promoting content like product reviews, offers, customer service touchpoints, and even livestreams.

Adding product data. Structured data can also help your ecommerce products show in Google search properties. The guide recommends the following ways to show Google what your products are:

  • Include structured data in your site’s product pages.
  • Tell Google directly which products you want to show on Google by uploading a feed to Google Merchant Center.

URL structure for ecommerce sites. “A good URL design structure helps Google crawl and index your site,” says the guide. A poor URL structure can cause confusion, though, resulting in missed content, content that’s retreived more than once, and crawlers thinking your site has infinity pages (and beyond!). The guide includes recommedations for a URL structure that helps search engines better understand your content and pages:

  • Minimize the number of alternative URLs that return the same content to avoid Google making more requests to your site than needed.
  • If upper and lower case text in a URL is treated the same by the web server, convert all text to the same case so it is easier for Google to determine that URLs reference the same page.
  • Make sure each page in paginated results has a unique URL.
  • Add descriptive words in URL paths. The words in URLs may help Google better understand the page.

Make your ecommerce site navigation Google crawler friendly. Both shoppers and search engines need to be able to easily understand what’s going on with your website and where to find what they’re looking for via navigation. What are navigation best practices for ecommerce? “For example, add links from menus to category pages, from category pages to sub-category pages, and finally from sub-category pages to all product pages.”

Why we care. With many businesses starting ecommerce websites for the first time in the past year or so, this guide can help ensure that they’re following the best practices to get their products seen in the varying search engines Google provides. It also gives SEOs who focus on ecommerce documentation to show their clients and stakeholders to help get their recommendations for better ecommerce SEO implemented.

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About The Author

Carolyn Lyden serves as the Director of Search Content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search, and analytics, she focuses on making marketers’ jobs easier with important news and educational content.



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