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Optimizing Ecommerce Sites for Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE)

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Understanding Ecommerce Specific Challenges of SGE

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) represents a shift in how users interact with search results by leveraging AI to generate more interactive experiences directly within the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

SGE introduces new challenges and opportunities for retailers;  understanding and adapting to the new landscape is paramount for retailers to maintain competitiveness and capitalize on emerging trends in search behavior.

SGE will result in the following challenges for Ecommerce Sites:

  • Shopping Ads appear before SGE – need to consider a Google Ads Shopping Campaign. By working with your PPC team, you can attack the SERPs from two angles and increase the likelihood of shoppers clicking through to your site.
  • Greater competition in the SERPs
  • What usually ranked in Google (e.g. optimization for specific keywords), is not what is ranking in SGE currently (sites with greater domain authority seem to be winning)
  • All this leads to a potential decrease in organic traffic and click-through rates

Heightened competition in the SERPs is inevitable, as SGE showcases more dynamic and varied content directly within search results. This increased competition can make it harder for ecommerce sites to stand out and attract clicks.

Google amalgamates data from multiple websites and presents it right in the SERP

Secondly, there’s an anticipated decrease in organic traffic and click-through rates as users may find what they need without needing to click through to individual websites (the presumed goal of SGE).

Actions Items to Optimize Ecommerce Sites for SGE

By the time you read this, it may be outdated for your local; SGE is rolling out across the world in phases so how you experience it may be different from how someone else experiences it. We’ll post a date for when content is updated.

Download a cheatsheet to everything SGE - no email required!

Focus on EEAT

  • As we discussed previously EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
  • Increase your authority through more backlinks – high domain authority is a significant part of SGE
  • Take a multi-channel approach (if SGE wipes out your Organic Search visibility, you are going to need Paid Search and/or Social Media to help boost your visibility from other channels)
  • Have customers review and rate your products – this enhances your expertise and provides original content about your products; encourage them to upload photos as well since using unique photos is a way to help different you from every other retailer that sells the same products
  • You can further support product pages with blog posts that showcase your original thought leadership by focusing on topics such as:
    • Top Spring fashions
    • New fall colours
    • Review of a new type of fabric

Use Structured Data or Schema

  • Product descriptions
  • Reviews
  • Availability
  • price

This can help you show up in more places in Google; makes it easier for Google to add you to an AI generated list.

Increase Visibility for Your Brand

  • not always easy to do but you might use influencers
  • be visible on social media
  • have a clear USP (unique selling point) – are your products eco-friendly? Fit a variety of bodies? Super comfortable? Stand for something.
  • Encourage reviews on 3rd party websites such as Facebook or TrustPilot

Optimize Product Detail Pages (PDPs)

This is an example of prioritizing bottom of funnel content and the reason for doing this is when searching for broader category items (e.g. Product Listing Pages), Google may feature a carousel; when a searcher clicks on an item in the carousel, they are taken to a more granular snapshot of products that match this category. Clicking on a specific product will showcase retailers selling this product → there no longer is a need for the searcher to scroll further down the SERP to search for more specific items.

Start your optimization process with your highest revenue products (20% of your products likely drive 80% of your sales)

Detailed descriptions – not just the manufacturer’s description as that is not unique. SGE is influencing a shift towards detailed, long-tail queries; add more details to your products – who loves them the most? What are customers saying? SGE will pull this content into its AI-generated responses to set your offerings apart from competitors.

Creating supporting, related content, such as sizing guides, product comparisons, etc. Focus on creating authoritative, original content that enhances user experience and engagement.

You should use Google’s “People Also Ask” feature to help figure out what sort of content to add to your PDPs. It’s ok to focus on longtail, low search volume search terms at this point as the goal is to provide useful information.

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