Google’s May 2020 core update is HUGE – especially for Google Shopping.

There has never been a more important time than now to adapt your business to the current situation. Get your pen and paper out because we’ve listed the most important things that will help you and your business get through these uncertain times by taking full advantage of Google’s latest updates.

Businesses are changing, and so is the Google algorithm. The May 2020 Core Update will shuffle and reorganise websites in the search engine ranking pages (SERPs), and your rankings could change dramatically.

Over the past two months we’ve seen businesses of all industries innovate, redesign and adapt their services to support our new way of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep their businesses in top shape, the challenge of modifying a service or product to be available online to customers is nothing new, but now 1 in 3 web users surveyed have started using a new brand because of the innovative or compassionate way they have responded to the pandemic.

Google Algorithm Update:

It’s time to update your SEO.

Google has had to adjust their algorithm to align with how the entire planet is searching right now. With more users online than ever before, this is the perfect opportunity to enhance your SEO.

As always, these changes in rankings will prioritise results based on how relevant a website’s content is to each search. Google will match each user search to the most relevant website content that they see fit.

SEO Premier Advice:

Refresh and add to your website content ASAP! Whether it be adding an extra few blogs or sharing content on how your business is innovating services – more (quality) content is the KEY to ranking higher. The more specific your content is, the higher your web page will rank in searches. Think about user’s search intent and how you can adapt to needs that may be trending in this current climate (we give some good examples below).

Websites that are providing information about how they have changed their processes to suit the needs of their customers in this time are the ones that are ranking and actually converting better. For example, businesses explaining how their delivery companies are using contactless delivery and are following strict guidelines with additional hygiene measures will be favoured with the new update.

Google Shopping Update:

To support businesses during the COVID -19 pandemic, Google have also released an update specific to their Google Shopping tab. Google has now allowed for organic listings in the shopping section rather than just the paid ads. This is a MASSIVE opportunity for businesses within all industries!

All businesses with an eCommerce site can jump straight into this feature to help customise their service or product to the current climate. Search phrases that have increased industry wide include ‘home delivery’, ‘in stock’, ‘near me’ and ‘online delivery’ (we hope you’re taking note). To rank higher organically on Google Shopping, businesses will need to show whether products are in stock, out of stock or if a product is low in quantity.

If you are one of our clients, then lucky you! We’ve gone ahead and optimised Shopping campaigns while also making necessary adjustments to your website.

For everyone else, here is a comprehensive guide on what you can do to get the most out of organic Google Shopping listings.

1. Optimise Your Meta Titles

Meta tags are most commonly formatted in a template on eCommerce sites. We know it is seriously time consuming to write specific metadata for every single webpage. However, with Google’s new Shopping update, there are a few ways to streamline this.

smyths title metas

SEO Premier advice:

  • Include your primary keyword for each product/product type;
  • Add some of the long-tail keyword variations (where appropriate);
  • Include action words (e.g., buy, click, learn, sale, free, etc.);
  • Use the character | as the separator rather than a dash or a comma
  • Try to keep the length under 60 characters so that they don’t get cut short

2. Optimise your Meta Descriptions

You knew this was coming next. This may not offer a significant factor in Google’s ranking but there is one thing more valuable than the Google algorithm, and that’s human interest. Your meta description can encourage a click that has the potential to convert.

smyths title metas

SEO Premier advice:

  • Mention your USP (free shipping, next day delivery, free returns, etc.) in the meta description to encourage click through.
  • Mention primary keywords for the web page which will match to the user search
  • Try to keep length under 160 characters so that they don’t get cut short 

To help you we’ve mocked up a sample meta title and description below for a Category and Product page to guide you.

Here’s a meta title and description template for category:

Buy <Category Name> | <Category Name> Online | <Website Name>

Shop/Buy <Category Name> at <Website Name> — <USP> FREE Shipping. All of our products are vacuum packed for freshness. Next day delivery as standard for orders placed before 1PM.

Here’s a meta title and description template for Product pages:

Buy <Product Name> | <Keyword 2> Online | <Website Name>

Shop/Buy <Product Name> at <Website Name> — <USP> FREE Shipping. All of our products are vacuum packed for freshness. Next day delivery as standard for orders placed before 1PM.

3. Optimise Your H1 Tag

The Header Tag has authority in Google’s priorities, so it’s crucial to check that your Category and Product titles are labelled correctly as H1’s.

SEO Premier Advice:

  • Make the category title (for category pages) and the product title (for product pages) as your H1 tag

4. Write Unique Product & Category Descriptions

We know how tempting it is sometimes to copy and paste the content from another website, but duplicated content can have negative implications on your rankings. When writing unique descriptions, keep in mind that they must be informative to your customer, and also keyword rich for the search engine.

SEO Premier advice:

  • Around 30-50 words should be in Category Pages to introduce the collection and describe to Google what sort of products are listed
  • Product Details should be at least 150 – 200 words and mention keywords and phrases about the product to help both the customer and the search engine.
product description topshop
  • Include your main target keyword in the description, an ideal keyword density is 2-3% so if your description is 100 words long be sure to mention a keyword twice.
  • Don’t be tempted to stuff keywords, the description needs to be natural
  • Add in long-tail keywords (more niche terms)
  • Make sure they’re well-written and readable for visitors

5. Add Schema Markup

A schema markup can be added to your website to show more information for users searching on Google, and yes this has a big impact on SEO. Google will provide relevant information so users can see price, availability and review ratings straight away right from the search results.

This may require some development experience so you might need to reach out to your web developer. You can also get in touch with us for support and we’d be happy to help!

SEO Premier advice:

Here are some of the most common schema tags, and the ones we recommend adding to product pages:

6. Optimise Product Data Feed

If you are going to optimise one field in your data feed, we recommend optimising product titles. Your product title is very important in helping Google find, index and return your products for the appropriate search queries.

SEO Premier advice:

Here are some industry-tailored formulas you can test to come up with your perfect product titles:

Apparel:

  • Brand + Product Type + Gender + Keyword 1 + Keyword 2 + Color + Size
  • Gender + Keyword 1 + Keyword 2 + Brand + Color + Product Type
  • Gender + Brand + Material + Product Type + Size + Color

Athletic and outdoors:

  • Type of Sport/Activity + Sports Team/Brand + Age Group + Product Type
  • Brand + Sport + Product Type + Color
  • Brand + Gender + Color + Size

Jewellery:

  • Brand + Weight+ Shape + Style + Occasion + Metal
  • Style + Metal Type + Shape + Product Type + Size (i.e., Length, Width, Weight) + Gender + Product Type
  • Age Group + Metal Type + Gem Type + Shape + Product Type + Size (i.e., Length, Width, Weight)

Home and garden:

  • Brand + Product Type + Color + Room Type
  • Brand + Usage + Material + Usage + Product Type
  • Style + How it’s made + Product Type + Color + Size + Brand + Product Type

Generic:

  • Brand + Product Type + Color + Material
  • Brand + Size (length, width, height) + Product Type + Color
  • Material + Product Type + Color + Brand
  • Style + Color + Product Type + Brand
  • Product Type + Size + Color + Keyword + Brand

7. Product Images

Product Images are going to be the first thing users see when your ad is shown, so make sure they look great!

Google Shopping Feed Optimization Nike Shoes

SEO Premier advice:

  • Use high quality pictures (For Mobile Responsive Devices)
  • Make sure the variants match the picture (color, size, material etc.)
  • Look out for text over the picture (watermarks, sales, manufacture parts numbers)
  • Test product images vs lifestyle images (to find which works best for your brand)

So, there you have it! We hope our recommendations will give your business the edge it needs to rank well online to deliver you leads and sales. We know that Google’s broad core update will have significant and inevitable impacts on search engine results, but by getting in early and updating your site accordingly, you can get ahead of your competition.

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