The holidays are coming up fast. It’s that time of year that gets you more sales than any other month or occasion. What is your marketing and sales strategy for the next holiday season?
To increase your traffic, sales, and income over the holidays this year, you might consider introducing a strategic addition to your digital marketing approach of optimizing your website and pages for Google search functionality.
Google search functionality
When you search on Google, you see different types of searches and ads on the Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP). What you see on this page outside of (the list of) websites is called search functionality.
Below is a screenshot to help you understand the Google search function. We searched for Justin Bieber and got about 22, 20, 00,000 results in 0.68 seconds. What else we saw was this Justin Bieber info snippet in the sidebar –
The excerpt gives details about the pop singer. Google takes this information from a reliable, high-traffic website and puts it together in an easy-to-digest section on the search page.
But why is Google doing this? They want to make it easy for their users to find the products and information they are looking for.
Sometimes you may see images, product recommendations, similar questions or queries, and a lot of other visual and textual information on the search page.
Search features are custom designed interactive sections on the search engine ranking page. The term tailor-made here means that Google’s search engine displays unique search functionality for every search users make.
Imagine having your website featured in one of Google’s search features! The traffic to your website will skyrocket. And with that, your e-reputation and your sales too!
E-commerce and Google search features
Ecommerce businesses can optimize their products for Google search functionality.
If you are starting to optimize your eCommerce website now, you will need to be patient while Google evaluates your website and its content for search functionality. So, to prepare your ecommerce product pages for the high end of the year season, now is a good time to start.
And to get started and be successful here, you will need to work on these three aspects –
- SEO and content of your product page
- Schema or structural data markup
- Google Ads
One thing you need to remember is that just like SEO, SMO, PPC, and other digital marketing techniques, there is no guarantee of success with these strategic implementations as well.
Here are some of the ways you can choose to optimize your website and show your products on the Google search function –
Advertising functionality –
When a user wants to buy a product, say mobile online, and search it on google, he / she could see a list of featured products from different ecommerce sites in the sidebar like below –
You can optimize your products to be on this Google Recommended Shopping List.
It may look different on different devices. Getting your products into this list is easy. However, it might be a bit pricey, since it is part of Google Ads and Google Shopping Ads.
Rich review snippets and local features –
You can make your Google My Business page work as a rich and inviting feature during the holiday season. For this, you will need to work on your Google listing.
Don’t have a Google My Business page? Wondering why you should get it?
Because it gives you customer engagement right on SERP. It is a free and easy to manage page from Google. It increases the visibility of your brand on Google and Google Maps.
And also because when your customers and prospects search for your business locations around them, it shows up on the search page.
The user can also see a snippet of reviews and ratings for your products and services. If most of your reviews are positive, they will automatically attract new customers.
And if there are any negative reviews, you might want to provide a solution to dissatisfied customers on your Google My Business page itself; it will convince and bring you more customers during peak hours.
Here are some ways to get customer reviews –
- Connect with your past buyers and ask them to share their experience
- Offer product samples
- If you are an ecommerce reseller, you can ask the manufacturer or suppliers to provide you with the reviews they received earlier.
Image search function –
Some search queries display images above basic search listings. This is called the image search function. You can optimize your product images to get space in this Google search feature.
Google displays images on the main search page when it realizes the user wants to know what something looks like. Image function can sometimes be found at the top. However, it could also be placed somewhere in the middle of the search page.
If you want your products to be part of this search feature, then you need to optimize your website images for Google image search – this is where Google retrieves the images for the image feature.
People also ask –
People Also Ask (PAA) is a search feature that lists frequently asked questions or user queries. The feature aims to answer frequently searched or requested queries, retrieving short, informative and authentic descriptions from different URLs.
The user has the option to access the source URL by clicking on the link at the end of the response.
If you want your website link to appear on this search feature, you will need to create high-quality, informative, keyword-optimized content with rich header tags. Try to keep the content in an interactive style and the keywords long tail.
“Refine by” functionality –
When a user searches for a product that might be available in different segments, for example for different age groups, genders, materials and types, the search function offers the user the opportunity to refine their search using of “Refine by” tool.
You can have your products or lines listed here using Google Shopping Ads and Google Ads. Getting featured here might be difficult, but not impossible. You’ll need to work and scale your digital marketing implementations, especially product keywords, to find space here.
Final result –
Before optimizing your website and pages for the Google search function, you need to make sure that you have enough inventory to meet the sudden surge in demand during the holiday season.
Going forward, did you know that at $ 284 billion, mobile commerce accounts for almost half of the U.S. e-commerce market? So, in addition to the aforementioned implementations, you will also need to make sure that your eCommerce store is well optimized for mobile.
This includes, your website should look good, load fast, and perform well on any mobile device. It also implies that you follow and implement mobile SEO best practices; thus, your website and your pages rank in the top search results.
In an age when people are spending more time on mobile, mobile SEO and marketing seems essential for all marketers. So if you don’t have mobile SEO optimization in your digital marketing process, now is the best time to start before the holiday season hits.