Google has changed their shopping channel from a free version, to a commercial “pay to play” model. This has caused some questions and confusion.
Google’s original model allowed a business to upload their existing product feed from their website, to be able to rank their products directly within search results. There were a few flaws with their model being free. Many “businesses” did not actually sell the products they represented. Sometimes products were not sold at all or prices were so unrealistic that credible businesses could not compete.
With the new commercial model, Google will not only turn this into a revenue generator for them, but it will allow businesses to compete more naturally. This will not fix the issue over night, as there are still some flaws, but it will deter businesses who do not sell the product they claim to represent.
Search for “Ipad Mini” within Google Shopping and here is what came back as part of the search results:
About half way down the results, you see these two products. While the top result is the Ipad, the second one is not. Because this store has used certain specifications within their product feed, Google is not able to recognize that this is not the same product within the results. However, in the new commercial model in Google Shopping, this business now has to pay to have this product listed here and therefore makes it more difficult to promote other products. This advertiser is more likely trying to show that you can get a similar product to the Ipad Mini for a cheaper price. It should also be noted, that this is the only result that shows up that is not the Ipad Mini and has no branding or images that would reflect an Apple product.
Relevant search results are the results given back within a search engine for a specific keyword or keyphrase that a searcher would look for. They are a representation of how many pages (not websites) on the web are considered related by that specific search. These results have many uses, which include helping a business understand if a certain keyword or keyphrase would be worth spending budget on to drive qualified visitors.
An example of a relevant search result would be searching for the word “movies”, compared to “comedy movies”. Search for both of these on Google, here are the results that are returned:
You can see in both of these shots, that the relevant search results are 3.6 billion and 449 million respectively. Obviously, it makes sense that something as generic as “movies” would have a lot more relevant results than “comedy movies”, but we can take this a step further.
Let’s look at “Will Ferrell movies for sale in Cleveland Ohio” and compare it to “Will Ferrell movies for sale in Akron Ohio”:
If I was a retailer that focused on selling movies in Ohio, I can then compare competition between these major cities, or find more niche words that do not have as many competitors.
Additionally, every search engine would give back a different number of relevant search results based on their algorithm and how they qualify content as “relevant”. For the keywords we researched above, here are the results returned by Bing:
A lot of businesses are using analytics to test new ideas and evolve to better landing pages. A baseline question is why does a page lose searchers? Is there poor content that is not engaging? The true answer can be any combination of a number of variables that all would potentially need to be tested. Where can you begin? Heat maps!
Heat maps are a way to understand where website viewers are “looking” on your webpage by showing you the “hotspots” that viewers navigate toward. This allows a business to see what their visitors see first and rearrange a page so that the most important content is in the right place.
With this data, a web developer would be able to modify the position of where the checkout button is located, or directions to the business location, etc. There are many companies that offer this software, some are free (www.labsmedia.com) and others require subscriptions (www.crazyegg.com).
Once you have subscribed to a service, they will ask you some questions about your site and see how many pages you would like to track in order to get the process started. Once this data has been entered, they will give you some code to be inserted into the page so that users experience data can be harvested by the website and viewed through the tools. Make sure when using a tool that you give it ample time to collect good data! It is unwise to continually change a page with small sets of data to back it up. This will typically lead to very small tweaks to a site done very often. This will never allow you and your website to get ahead in the process. I would recommend at least 3 months of data before changing a page to make sure you have an accurate idea of what you are viewing.
After you have decided the changes you would like to make, do not delete the old page! It is better to test the new format based on the heat map against the current page first to make sure that these changes will in fact have a positive result.