Analyzing the relationship between e‑commerce landing page content and Google search results.
What role does the uniquely-crafted Product Description Page (PDP) content you create for your e‑commerce product cards play when it comes to delivering high-ranking search results in Google? The answer is, not as much as you might think, despite the massive investment brands put into creating unique content.
We are fully aware of the importance of enhanced content for driving product sales on e‑commerce sites from Amazon to Zalando. It’s content that powers in-store search performance, and then encourages conversion by explaining your products’ features and benefits for time‑pressed consumers, while fulfilling legal and regulatory requirements.
It has also been drilled into us that the world’s most popular internet search engine, Google, rewards unique, high quality content. Content that is grammatically correct, completely covers the topic, and is engaging and well written – just like the content you’ve lovingly created for your e-commerce PDPs.
Given the received wisdom you’d think the more differentiated or unique the content on your individual PDPs, the more likely they are to be returned at the top of Google search results pages. In fact, focusing mainly on providing unique content for each of your PDPs can be counterproductive, and there are two main reasons why:
1) Buyer Confusion
Too much unique content may be confusing for shoppers. Online consumers actually depend on a certain uniformity between PDPs to compare products in their consideration set. Confusion adds friction to the shopping process, leading to lower conversion rate and lower sales.
2) Google Prefers Listings
eStoreJourney research carried out by eStoreMedia, shows that unique content on PDPs doesn’t have the expected impact in terms of Google search results. The research was carried out using eStoreJourney, an eShopper Research™ offering that provides insights to help brands understand how they perform across the complex online path to purchase. It shows for product and category related searches, up to 82% of relevant Google search results are e-commerce related. The average was 43% across the research sample.
Most of the e-commerce pages returned as Google search results are not Product Cards or Product Description Pages with beautifully crafted unique content. The majority are e-commerce product listings and category pages, with significant amounts of duplicate copy none of it seemingly Google-optimized. We found that on average 78% of relevant Google search results pointed to listings/category pages, versus 22% PDPs.
What does this mean for brands keen to optimize both Google and e-commerce site search, while also maximizing online shopper engagement and conversion? Brands already struggle to deliver all the content they need for online retailers. On average, brands meet only 76% of e-commerce content expectations on their first eStoreCheck content audit. For eStoreMedia clients the average content compliance score rises to over 90% after a year of regular audit and gap-closing activity.
Given that brands face multiple content and search-related challenges, eStoreMedia recommends a phased approach to content development and delivery. The first step is to focus on what we call Matrix Content – sometimes known as product master data. Matrix Content is generally consistent across SKUs, and therefore easier to translate, update and transform to the unique technical specifications of each e-store.
Getting Matrix Content right, for your portfolio, will have the greatest beneficial impact on search results and sales, in the short term.
Whither unique content
When it comes to going beyond Matrix Content, brands should think in terms of Enhanced Content or Rich Content rather than focusing on the distinctiveness of the content for each SKU. Enhanced content plays a significant role in shopper assurance, and conversion. It is also important in terms of in-store positioning, where maximizing the rich content capabilities of different e-stores comes into play. Products like eStoreContent allow brands to create, manage, update and publish adapted content for each SKU that leverages the different search mechanisms used in specific e-stores.
To find out more please reach out to your client partner or contact us via email.