The eCommerce industry covers all retail activities that take place online. eCommerce is a behemoth, yet it’s an industry still a long way from achieving its full potential. Whilst the aims of online and offline retail are the same – reach as many customers and sell as many products as possible – the digital marketer requires specifically tailored strategies. And as a 2016 poll in the Wall Street Journal found, for the first time more than half of purchases in the US are now made online, meaning that no retailer can afford to neglect the online market.
But which ranking factors apply specifically to the eCommerce sector? This whitepaper analyzes the Google rankings for a special set of eCommerce keywords to provide insight into the specific characteristics of the industry. We can also compare the results for eCommerce with the overall averages, letting us identify contrasts and differences.
The Google search results as the “shop window” for online retail
The rules on the internet are quite different from on the High Street, where the guiding principle is “location, location, location.” Online, the Google search results page is the decisive location.
Being found there – ranking high on the page – is a prerequisite for getting attention and turning visitors into paying customers.
Even customers who prefer to make purchases in a brick-and-mortar store often conduct research beforehand on the web. 81% of all shoppers conduct online search before purchasing. This shows how important an online presence – particularly in the search results pages – is for all retailers.
The eCommerce business is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And with more than 3.3 billion digital shopping baskets being filled in the US each year, it’s in every retailer’s interest that as many as possible are lured to their online checkout.
There are different ranking factors for every industry. Depending on the search intent, the user sometimes wants more text, sometimes a video too – and eCommerce also has several ranking factors which differ strongly from the general average.
To analyze the ranking factors for eCommerce, the search results were analyzed for an industry-specific keyword set based on eCommerce search terms – and these results were compared with the overall benchmark results.
Here is a selection of three particular features in the eCommerce sector:
- far fewer Ads on average
- more structured content with more lists and more bullets
- eCommerce pages have a larger file size.
This paper looks in depth at 10 ranking factors.
The Searchmetrics eCommerce Infographic
To highlight the differences between the general average and the specific features of
the eCommerce industry, we have developed the following infographic: