At this point, fellow marketers must have recommended dozens of digital tools – be it Google Ads, any other campaign management platform. They are great in their respective ways.
But you need to research from an eCommerce perspective. Figures do show that there's a drastic shift towards online buying, the traditional way is long past us. And eCommerce stores are expected to make up more than 20% of global retail sales by the early 2020s – but the competition will be just as much.
Stand out from the rest by choosing an analytical tool that provides eCommerce specified features. There are certain features you need to make sure a tool is equipped with. A helping hand is necessary, here's an outlook:
- Data management
- Search analysis
- Quick suggestions
- Performance indications
This is a vague list of features you need to keep in mind. Which tool offers all these? Well, we have a free service in mind – Google Search Console (GSC). Yes, Google has always helped marketers track their business's performance through it.
Hear us out. Keep reading as we do a detailed review - why we think you should use Google Search Console to improve your eCommerce SEO.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console (GSC) was launched fifteen years ago, referred to as a simple "webmaster tool". Over time, it went through a lot of UI and technical changes.
Now – it helps users track down web traffic, keyword performance, incoming bugs, impression insights, and in-depth URL inspection, among many other things.
Furthermore, it provides detailed suggestions and insights. How one should change their strategy – how well has the website ranked over time – and the number of organic searches passed through.
It's easy, simply submit a suggestion on Google index, it is a library filled with web pages. On Google Index, you can further verify URL history, how well it is performing.
SEO enthusiasts: We definitely believe that the data generated through GSC can be utilized for SEO purposes. Keywords, click-through rates, the average position of a page – they all are SEO essentials. Perfect for your website.
How to Set Up Google Search Console on an eCommerce website?
Overwhelmed? Don't worry, here's a step-by-step guide to help you out. Get a GSC-compatible website in just a few minutes.
Step 1: Sign-up. Login to Google Search Console with the same credentials you used on other Google accounts, specifically Ads and Analytics. You'll need to sync with other apps later.
Step 2: Now, a menu will pop up. It should be in the upper-left corner. Select either domain or URL prefix by clicking on 'Add a property.
Step 3: Next stage. There are two options. Either you verify ownership of the site by using your domain name and copying the TXT record number into the DNS configurations or… verify later when you're comfortable, the data will be saved.
Remember, DNS verifications can take up to 72 hours, so be patient.
The Value Search Console Provides to eCommerce Websites
So, now you have an idea of what GSC is and how one can sync the software with websites. After signing up, move on to bigger things. Like, exploring the 'kind' of values Google Search Console offers to eCommerce business owners.
For starters, daily reports. Make quick changes on the go – it is revolutionary. Most analytic tools aren't swift enough, you usually have to wait a while for report generations. With GSC, get instant feedback. Here are a few features worth checking out:
Key Performance Tracking
Best for SEO – performance charts provide a complete overview of impressions, clicks received, click-through rate (CTR), and how well a keyword ranks. Without exaggeration, the performance tracking feature in Search Console is the most useful one. It can be used to track your efforts for eCommerce content marketing or even how well your product pages are performing in the SERPs.
In the eCommerce world, make sure you monitor KPIs to ensure growth.
Confused…? Here's a more detailed breakdown of technical terms.
- Impressions: As the name indicates, whenever a user scrolls through and sees your brand, that counts as an impression - even if a user doesn't click on the ad.
- Clicks: If a user goes to the next stage by visiting your eCommerce store from Google - that's a click. GSC uses this metric to see the number of users redirected to your site from Google.
- CTRs: Now, let's sort of combine the previous two. CTR is basically the ratio between clicks and impressions. A shopping site with 5 clicks and 100 impressions means a 5% click-through rate.
- Position: Here, it is self-explanatory as well. Through this scale, Search Console tracks down "where" a link was clicked, the closest approximate location and compares it with other links. According to GCS, they calculate the average position by starting from top to bottom on the primary side, then moving towards the top to bottom on secondary sides.
Web Vital Charts
Similar to actual vital signs, this "web" vital chart should be taken just as seriously - the reports are based on URL performances. Check your store's stats at the "enhancements" section on Search Console.
Core Web Vitals by GSC generates detailed records through URL configuration, metric type, and overall status. In basic terms, the idea is to see how "fast" a website is running, speed is the main focus. Search Console coined the terms LCP, FID, and CLS to interpret data for marketers (we'll explain).
Does page speed really matter though? Um, yes. The bounce rate increases exponentially. User experience heavily depends on it, the stats show it – 37% of customers bounce away if a page takes even (+) five seconds to load.
So, trust the process and proceed ahead with Core Web Vitals. Let's talk about the metrics, how the status is determined:
- Largest Content Paint (LCP): Time taken to render media-driven content when a user requests it. We assume media because the largest element is usually a video or an image.
- First Input Delay (FIP): The time interval between a loaded page and the clicking period. Whenever a user clicks on any action, interactives, FIP starts running.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): The overall time of a malfunctioning page. See, the tool measures every single layout bug that occurs. The scale is zero to greater numbers, where zero stands for no shifts.
Such detailed analysis of a single page will definitely help you lead a healthy URL with an active following - as long as you keep looking at daily reports.
Mobile adaptability might not seem like an actual issue at first but unfortunately, web designers completely overlook how certain elements will look on a palm-sized screen. Not every eCommerce product will display in the same way, unless you configure the site.
Luckily, Search Console has a solution. You'll obviously need a developer to help out, but GSC will figure out the diagnosis. The Mobile-Friendly test tool is simple yet efficient. Is your website compatible? Run a free fest by pasting the site's URL here.
The tool will eventually list out a range of errors - it can detect the following:
- Incompatible plugins
- Content incorrectly aligned
- Text size, too small
- Wrong clickable element design
- Viewport troubleshoots
Tips for Using Google Search Console to Improve the Performance of an eCommerce Store
So, we should head on to business now. Before we follow any process, it is important to remember that it is a gradual process. Rankings won’t change overnight. But if you tick all the boxes and run forward with a definite scheme, the next Amazon will be in place.
Accelerate your eCommerce store with Google Search Console.
1. Use GSC for product keyword research optimization
Always remember, do not randomly pick keywords. Use GSC and go through performance reports. There, you will find a list of keywords that are based on the eCommerce site - find them on the “Queries” tab.
With optimizing, there might be instances where the click-through rate is low yet the site ranks in high positions. It means that the keyword has potential but is not configured correctly. Add keywords in the title tag or meta description. This is just an example, go through GSC reports - you’ll find suggestions to improve SEO for your eCommerce site.
2. Use URL Inspection tool to see how the product pages look in general
Want to see rendered versions of web pages? Or do you want to find out if Google even redirects users to your page? Use URL Inspection tool by GSC - access it on the very top bar, besides the navigation sidebar.
Once done, paste the URL of the web page in the search box. Next stage, you’ll see highlights of all sorts about your web page. From crawl attempts to Google web index.
Our personal favorite is the live URL feature, it is like a prototype demonstration scenario - you can inspect product pages, play around with it. Note: your usual indexed version of the page will differ because of the lack of sitemaps and referring pages.
3. Utilize the power of Review Snippets - see how your product reviews show up on Google
Have you ever wondered how Google gathers thousands of reviews and showcases them in the form of ratings? A review snippet is exactly that - a combined average of many reviews. Businesses love curating rich results (search results with additional graphics).
In order to provide users with more specific details, Google relies on this data structure to fetch out reviews.
Here comes… Google Search Console in the conversation. Last year, they announced support for review snippets as well. Just paste an existing URL and see reports through the Rich Results Test – your entire data structure will show up with detailed feedback.
4. Use links reports to see how pages are linked
We figure you should utilize the backlinks report tool on the Search Console as well. Links and SEO go a long way back, we assume your site is already backed with a couple of them.
Nevertheless – we're going to talk about link configuration here, how the reports by GSC can elevate your business and keep it safe from suspicious behavior.
In one of the menu tabs, you can see the entire directory – all the links affiliated with your website. To be exact:
- External links: Any link that redirects the customer to another site is an external one.
- Internal links: If a link leads users to another webpage on the same site, it is internal.
You'll find a lot of unfamiliar links when browsing through the report. Google tends to nullify sites with spam content and poorly defined links. Again, GSC can help you – detailing the origin of all links and providing suggestions.
5. Use Performance report to see search appearances
This might seem like the most simple feature on GSC, it is – yet the most important one too. Performance reports have a pretty straightforward function, analyzing the ins and outs of search engine results.
And the Performance report (search) goes beyond expectations, especially in terms of SEO. On Search Console, not only can you track search traffic over time – but audience demographics too. Also, you'll get constant search predictions for the future.
Let the report work "exactly" for you - configure it. Here's how:
The usual version of the report will showcase impressions and CTRs over a three-month period. However…
- Customize metrics: See what matters for you. Remove impressions and add positions if you may
- Change view: Categorize data as you like - add impressions on the front and group other metrics accordingly in the menu. Basically, you can reorder everything.
Filter data, add layers, compare with other eCommerce businesses - the versatility is endless with performance reports.
6. Review page experience reports - check website compatibility with the Core Web Vitals
If you want to see instant reports on how the website is running - go for Core Web Vitals. As we had mentioned, it is the quickest way to review user experience and take action. The 3 metrics (LCP, FIP, and CLS) are flawless while dissecting user data.
What you can expect from a report – don't get confused by all the graphs, one step at a time. Data on a Core Web Vitals report is categorized by status, URL, and metric type.
Verify website compatibility with status. You'll face either - Poor, Needs Improvement, or Good. Remember, the Search Console always helps with the diagnosis. Once you figure out the bug, consult a marketing agency and get the site fixed… ASAP.
Read more here: Complete eCommerce SEO Checklist [Download Free Template]
Q1. How can I improve my eCommerce SEO?
Like any other digital marketing plan, it takes time and consistent effort to improve eCommerce SEO. With the right strategy and a clear goal, your business can perform well on Google.
With SEO, start off with the basics and see where the site lacks. Is it link building? Maybe onsite SEO? Are you using the right keywords? Try figuring out, use GSC if you’re lost.
Q2. How do I increase my visibility on Google?
Again, SEO optimization plays a key role here. But also, so does the content you create. Most marketing professionals underestimate how relevant content is, it is the basic foundation of a website. Be creative enough and figure out what sort of content aligns with your business aesthetic - the growth will be organic, your business will be visible.
Q3. Does Google Search Console help with eCommerce SEO?
It is a must-have. Google Search Console was specifically designed to help businesses excel further. With GSC, monitor your entire eCommerce store and especially SEO rankings. Your goal is to rank higher on SERP, Search Console gives feedback every other second - from monitoring minor details to generating helpful reports.
That’s about it. Does GSC seem similar to Google Analytics? Um, here's a quick difference. So. Google Search Console is an inclusive tool that looks after a website's entire journey, even before any user clicks. Whereas Analytics provides "later" insights.
Along with all the listed features, Google Search Console is always expanding to new ideas. These days, structured data and bread-crumbs are on top of the line.
Contact us at any time to learn more about how you can optimize your eCommerce store for repeated customers, more conversions, and high traffic - we’re just one click away.