Google Search supports a variety of shopping experiences, known as merchant listing experiences, in its search results. These include product snippets, popular products, shopping knowledge panels, and image search.
To be eligible for these experiences, Google requires rich product data.
In the latest installment of Google’s Ecommerce Essentials series on YouTube, Developer Advocate Alan Kent shares tips to optimize your product information to become eligible for those experiences.
Here’s a summary of the information shared in Google’s video.
Providing Product Data
The first step in making your product pages eligible for Google’s merchant listing experiences is to provide the required product data.
This can be done through structured data on webpages, through a Google Merchant feed, or both. Google recommends doing both if possible.
If you’re just getting started, you may want to add structured data to your webpages and then add a Google Merchant auto-feed. This feed is created from your on-page content and will help Google better understand your products.
After adding the structured data, use the merchant listing report in the Google Search Console to ensure it’s correct. This report will show any issues and help you fix them.
Providing Pricing Data
Providing product pricing data to Google can be complex because the search engine supports an increasing range of options.
The first step is to review the pricing options used on your website and then read through the Google documentation on pricing models to see what’s supported.
Once you know what pricing your site uses and what Google supports, you may need to simplify the pricing data you provide to Google to avoid confusion for shoppers.
Shipping information is a crucial component in determining the total cost of an item and an essential factor in search results.
Determining shipping costs can be complicated, as it depends on various factors such as carrier used, total order weight and dimensions, shipping distance, and more.
It’s important to note that, like pricing, you may need to simplify the shipping information you provide to match what Google supports.
Google says it’s safer to over-estimate shipping costs to avoid surprising customers at checkout with higher-than-expected charges.
Providing Product Identifiers
Eligibility to many merchant listing experiences requires you to provide product identifiers, such as a GTIN number, an NPN number, or a brand and product name.
The more you can provide, the better, Google says.
A SKU, or stock-keeping unit, isn’t an acceptable product identifier as it’s inconsistent across merchants.
Inspect your structured data markup to see whether GTIN or similar product identifiers are on your web pages.
Also, check the Merchant Center report in Google Search Console for warnings or error messages related to product identifiers.
Google’s merchant listing experiences in search results allow businesses to increase their visibility and drive sales.
To be eligible for these experiences, businesses must provide rich product data to Google, which includes structured data on webpages, a Google Merchant Center feed, and product pricing and shipping information.
Additionally, providing product identifiers such as GTIN, NPN, brand, and product name is crucial to becoming eligible for merchant listing experiences.
By following these tips and using the merchant listing report in the Google Search Console to ensure accuracy, businesses can optimize their product information and increase their chances of being featured in Google’s search results.
Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, January 2023.