SEO for eCommerce Website | Predictions for 2022
The e-commerce world of today is almost unrecognizable compared to how it looked over the past few years.
Thanks to the global pandemic, online consumer behavior changes, and other key factors, online retail has risen to prominence and become a priority for many businesses.
This rapid development of eCommerce has led Google to make significant changes to its algorithm over the past few years. Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, or E-A-T, has been a major focus for many of Google's updates in recent years.
But, beyond Google's E-A-T-focused upgrades, another topic has dominated their attention - eCommerce and Google Shopping.
This year, Google highlighted a number of enhancements related to shopping - including the Shopping Graph, a new window shopping feature on search, more product recommendations, and new ways for users to discover if products are in stock nearby.
Google also announced it would collaborate with Shopify to make it simple and cost-free for millions of businesses to link with its Merchant Center.
With such a strong emphasis on eCommerce, it appears Google's business goals have shifted to focus on making its Google Shopping marketplace more desirable for both consumers and merchants.
Ecommerce is here to stay, and Google is going to do everything it can to assist online businesses in selling these products.
This post highlights a few of the key developments we've witnessed in the google Ecommerce Landscape, as well as a few predictions for the future of Google E-commerce. Continue reading to discover how your business can take advantage of these changing trends.
Four Reasons why the E-commerce Landscape is changing
- The Dominance of Amazon ECommerce and Fulfillment
- Disruptions to the Global Supply Chain
- The impact of Coronavirus on ECommerce
- Googles Recent E-commerce Updates
1. The Dominance of Amazon ECommerce and Fulfillment
Amazon's steady rise in search engine market dominance has been rumored for years.
This growth in Amazon's market share shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Incredible consumer features like Amazon Prime, 1-click purchasing, same-day shipping, and an efficient return policy have made Amazon one of the best places to buy things online.
Google's biggest threat comes from how easy it is to buy something from Amazon. Many of the most competitive (and profitable) keywords on Google Ads are transactional keywords that people search for to buy things on Amazon.
Amazon shopping is a very appealing additional channel to search and social, especially for generic keyword search and generic shopping, which are known to be hard to do well in highly competitive categories. Keep in mind that it's hard to beat the reach of Google and Meta. But at a fraction of the cost, Amazon ads can have a big effect on a company's bottom line, its ability to make money, and its ability to reach new customers.
Although Google's decline in search market share is significant, what's even more crucial for Google is that it's losing out on highly competitive buyer keywords, which are a huge source of the company's advertising revenue.
Google has known since 2014 that Amazon is its biggest competitor and has frequently said so. As mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, this "raised alarms inside Google," leading CEO Sundar Pichai to reassure Alphabet's board that reviving its lagging e-commerce efforts is a top priority.
2. Disruptions to the Global Supply Chain
We can’t talk about the dramatic rise in e-commerce without also talking about the retail market and the major disruptions to the supply chain.
There is nothing new about the shift towards e-commerce. Traditional retail has been under a lot of pressure for years. Prior to the COVID outbreak, there was a lot of discussion about the importance of retailers creating in-store experiences to combat eCommerce. But eCommerce has shone through, and this is because consumers want more choice and more ease in their buying process.
When lockdowns forced retail stores to close, people started buying clothes, food, household equipment, and nearly everything else online - and eCommerce stores boomed. Traditional shopping was on hold, while online shopping was moving very quickly.
This dramatic rise in eCommerce may have been forecasted, but no one was ready to handle such a big increase in online orders - especially not the Supply Chain.
Enormous backlogs in shipping caused many businesses to run out of stock, and have issues refilling their virtual shelves.
After a year, supply chains are just now starting to get back to normal. This will allow brands to reach their full potential and give them a chance of capitalizing on the changing Google eCommerce landscape.
The supply chain will continue to evolve and improve. With trillions of dollars of eCommerce orders pushing this industry, expect to see major upgrades this industry.
3. The Impact of Coronavirus on ECommerce
Along with the ever-growing threat of Amazon's, the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more important for Google to improve its eCommerce shopping services.
COVID-19 caused a major change in how people use the Internet and lead to an unprecedented jump in eCommerce sales. Within the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google quickly responded with a number of new shopping features and products for both searchers and business owners.
One update from Google stood out from the rest: Google made it free to show products on the Google Shopping platform through its Merchant Center.
Before this change, Google's Merchant Center was only for paid ads, which were called "Product Listing Ads" (PLAs). Google says that the coronavirus pandemic "intensified the threats" facing the retail industry, and digital commerce was a "lifeline for retailers." By letting merchants sell for free on Google, they got "free exposure to the millions of shoppers who use Google every day." This change caused Google's product catalog to grow by 70 percent and the number of Google Shopping merchants to grow by 80 percent.
Even though this change was good for both users and merchants and was welcome during the pandemic, it's important to think about why Google might want to expand the Merchant Center from a business point of view.
It's no secret that Google Shopping brings in a lot of money for the company. More than 80% of Alphabet's income comes from Google Ads, and a big chunk of that comes from Shopping.
Millions of new site owners are learning about the benefits of having their products listed in Google Shopping because Merchant Center is now being used A LOT more.
Is your eCommerce business taking advantage of Google Shopping yet? Book a free call with me to see how your business can best capitalize on these shifting trends.
4. Google’s Product Review Updates
In 2021, Google's regulations for websites with product reviews were tightened up significantly. Google released two major updates referred to as "Product Review Updates" to improve this area of their platform.
These updates were designed to reduce the visibility of spammy product reviews that were insufficient, redundant, or unhelpful, and to elevate the rankings of websites that featured in-depth, comprehensive reviews posted by experts.
When it comes to producing content for product reviews in 2022, Google appears to be ramping up how it analyses the quality and E-A-T of reviews. The platform looks at these particular questions when assessing product reviews.
- Does it show expert knowledge about the relevant products?
- Does it describe the physical attributes of the product, or how it can be used?
- Does the review have unique content, not just a copy and paste from the manufacturer description?
- Does the review explain why this product is different from its competitors?
- Does it discuss the benefits and downside of the particular product?
- Does it explain how the product has improved, upgraded, or evolved from earlier models or releases?
These updates are aimed at improving the Google shopping experience by ensuring that only the best-quality reviews reach the top of the Search results.
Major Changes in the Google eCommerce Landscape
Google has released a series of upgrades over the past 12 months that are clearly intended to reclaim market share from Amazon and improve Google Shopping for both retailers and customers. Some of these features include:
- Google's new cooperation with Shopify allows millions of retailers to display products in Google Shopping for free.
- Merchant Center now integrates Woocommerce, GoDaddy, and Square
- Google Search Window Shopping: It uses a variety of enhanced features to improve the look and feel of product results in Google's organic listings.
- Local-based products: Google Maps users can view if local stores have specific products in stock.
- Google Merchant Center now lets brands add "Black-owned" or "women-owned" qualities.
- Google Lens on Android, iOS and Chrome lets users recognize and shop for products in photos or screenshots.
- Implementing Augmented Reality (AR) to improve the online shopping experience. Like trying on clothes virtually before buying them.
- ECommerce store owners can showcase Black Friday, Christmas, or Cyber Monday deals using the Merchant Center.
Google is investing significant amounts in improving its shopping experience and taking back market share from Amazon. Not responding to these changes could be devastating for an eCommerce brand, but adapting fast could lead to huge growth.
To see more of the SEO algorithm changes that Google has made over the last few years, take a tour through SEO history with this article.
The new eCommerce landscape may seem overwhelming, but with the right tactics, brands will have many chances to scale their stores and increase revenue. If you want to learn how your business can capitalize on all of these new updates, book a free call with an expert in SEO and Paid ads - Aaron Rains.
How Do These Changes Impact Organic Search & SEO?
2022 has been a big year for eCommerce SEO, mainly due to Google's new updates and features.
Google has begun improving product results further than what the Product Schema already displays. Google now takes image thumbnails algorithmically from websites and presents them above page titles and descriptions. Google has also tested numerous indented results, that can contain rich results for eCommerce websites.
Additionally, Google just unveiled a brand-new organic feature called "Shops," which displays the availability of products at well-known retailers.
Google will continue to reinvent its shopping experience in 2022 and beyond using data and technology.
Google will continue to create tools that drive product searches on Google, even if the transaction doesn't end there. Google will likely maintain depending heavily on Google Maps, as Amazon can't compete for localised searches.
As Google's algorithms improve to reward high-quality content and user experience, eCommerce SEO will become more competitive. Sites without both solid technical SEO and high-quality content won't make the cut.
Predictions for The Future Of E-Commerce
E-commerce is showing no signs of slowing down in 2022:
Technology advancements and the expansion of marketplaces have made buying and selling online even easier. Between 2021 and 2025, the eCommerce industry is forecast to grow by a whopping $11 trillion. Yes, you read that right… 11 Trillion dollars.
Businesses went digital during COVID-19, and the global eCommerce movement accelerated at breakneck speed. Even with most countries reopening local businesses, eCommerce growth continues to accelerate. Global eCommerce sales are estimated to surpass $5 trillion in 2022, rising to $6 trillion by 2024.
Moving forward there will be fierce competition for eCommerce brands both from freshly reopened brick-and-mortar stores and the countless other businesses that migrated online to survive the pandemic.
We expect to see an increase in the number of individuals shopping online, both through mobile and social, in the next years. Which is why it's critical to keep up with the quick developments in Google eCommerce.
To differentiate yourself from the competition, e-commerce business owners must already be anticipating the next big trend. Although this constantly evolving field can be challenging to understand, those who work to become true specialists can stand to benefit greatly.
How to Take Advantage of changing Google eCommerce Trends
The way consumers shop online is fundamentally changing, and the retail industry is going through a major transition.
What used to be a good e-commerce marketing strategy a few years ago may not have the same success in the changing eCommerce landscape. To keep from losing market share, brands must build and optimise their presence on these platforms and use content to grab consumers' attention.
Content is Crucial for Success
High-Quality content still remains king, both in SEO and Paid ads.
Google wants to provide its searchers with the most informative, accurate answers possible and a wide range of quality products. If you provide searchers and online shoppers with high-quality products, and five-star products, you will be rewarded.
Brand Building will Benefit eCommerce Stores Long Term
Businesses are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in brand building, which raises client lifetime value, boosts eCommerce conversion rates, and attracts new consumers in the long run.
The best way a brand can interact with consumers across the ever-expanding spectrum of channels and platforms is through its content.
We predict that eCommerce stores that post quality content and sell top-grade products will continue to see the most success in the future.
Improve your Marketing Funnel
If the cost per click continues to rise, you may counter the increased costs with a stronger offer, more effective marketing, and an optimised landing page to convert people into buyers.
It's also worth considering your retargeting budget in order to get more of your adverts in front of warm leads that are familiar with your offering.
Expand your Advertising Methods
As successful as google ads are, you don't want to be priced out and without any alternative marketing channels to fall back on. Invest in SEO, email marketing, social media, video, and other paid advertising channels.
TikTok, a newer social ad network, has much lower ad expenses than Facebook and Google. (I never thought I'd write about using TikTok as an advertising option, but as I've been saying, the eCommerce landscape is changing and you have to adapt with it.)
It will be intriguing to see how Google updates its paid and organic results as well as its e-commerce-specific products in the future.
Google will almost certainly continue to look for methods to entice more consumers and businesses to utilise Google Shopping, such as by developing a digital shopping experience that competes with Amazon's superb user experience.
SEO professionals should keep an eye on Google's latest advancements in eCommerce and Google Shopping. These changes affect more than paid search advertising campaigns. Continue to follow Google's best practices for eCommerce sites, leverage the most recent data, and experiment with Google's new brand features in the Merchant Center.
Don't waste your time seeking for a quick fix when it comes to eCommerce marketing. If you're not sure where your eCommerce brand is in terms of SEO, paid ads, or how to implement best practises in digital marketing, contact us here immediately and we'll set up a free introductory consultation.
We can examine your eCommerce store strategy, help establish goals for your firm, and create content marketing strategies tailored to your needs.
Written by Aaron Rain