Insights

15th December 2020

How to get to the top of Google Surfaces

google-surfaces

2020 has been a year packed with change, and in May Google announced that free listings were now going to be placed on Google Shopping results pages

In today’s article, we show you how you can drive more valuable organic traffic by getting to the top of the new Google Shopping listings.

Whilst a lot of noise was made about the rollout, the outcome was rather subdued. It was quietly released in the US, areas appeared in Google Merchant Center for it, but without data. Then two months ago, we noticed that a few of our clients were getting traffic from ‘Surfaces.’

Now the reporting in Google Merchant Center is still rough and may not be on every account and not on every search, but Google Surfaces is going to have the capacity to drive a lot of traffic to your website, organically, without the need for paid advertising. 

At the top are the paid search ads on a scrolling marquee effect and under those are (in this case) 20 unpaid shopping options from various websites. These are taken from the shopping feeds of the Merchant Center but they don’t cost the advertiser anything. Under these 20 is another marquee of paid ads, but how has this affected the results of Google Shopping?

Google Surfaces on Desktop

The desktop version is surprisingly similar, with added filters on the left-hand side. While these filters do apply to the ads, they are easier to access on desktop than mobile.

On this search, there were 60 unpaid listings on the first page!

Google Surfaces – Dashboards

The reporting for Google Surfaces is quite basic – and only available once Google has decided that there are enough impressions, and clicks to make a graph. The data is limited to clicks and impressions (no search terms or keywords) but can be broken down by any metric you have tagged your products with in the feed.

How to rank in Google Surfaces

Those first 4 products are going to drive nearly as much traffic as the paid ads on Desktop and the first 2 products on Mobile, so how do you get on top of these free listings. The answer is SEO – as they are organic – but there are some areas that you might need to concentrate on.

  • Reviews. Your company’s Google Reviews can appear next to your product listing and seem to be one of the main driving factors in getting that listing higher.
  • Nail that image, title & description. Your potential customers will see about 40 Characters and an image at first glance. They can then click in to see 90 more characters of the description. If you can sell the product with those three things then your CTR will increase and that will improve your ranking and keep you there.
  • Keywords. Include the most searched for keywords and variants in your product title, product description, and the alt text of your image.

Previously, the SEO on a product page was usually recommended in addition to the SEO on a category page, but with this development, your stand-out products should definitely get an SEO review to make sure they have the best chance of getting visibility and driving more valuable clicks and sales for your business. 

Article by: Tom, Managing Director of Varn Digital Marketing More articles by Tom

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