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Getting Started With Google Shopping’s Free Product Listings

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Getting Started With Google Shopping's Free Product Listings

The Google Shopping platform allows users to search millions of products across thousands of stores to find the item they are looking for in seconds.

With a tagline that emphasizes the mission to help consumers “find the best products, prices, and places to buy,” Google Shopping is poised to transform the way consumers purchase products.

Instead of shoppers automatically heading to Amazon to search for a product, a search through Google can tell them the best prices online or in nearby stores.

A cart option also makes it possible to checkout through Google, and items purchased through Google come with a Google Guarantee to ensure customer satisfaction.

Intrigued?

Understanding Google Shopping, particularly as a retailer, is crucial in 2022.

Read on to learn more about how free product listings work, why it matters, and how to get involved.

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How Does A Free Product Listing Work?

In an Amazon-dominant market, Google Shopping offers merchants the option to list their products for free, even if they aren’t running a Google Ads campaign.

Free listings allow merchants to display their items across Google – not just on the Shopping tab.

An item can show up in product results from a Google Search, Google Images, or Google Lens.

Just as businesses aren’t charged a fee to be part of the Google Search index, displaying products online is also a free service from Google.

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There are two types of free listings available for retailers to choose from, Standard and Enhanced.

Standard Listing

Standard listings include descriptive product information added to a search result.

This listing option requires only the basic product information and is available across Google; however, standard listings are not displayed through the Shopping Tab.

This standard listing offers a detailed description of the product, rating, reviews, price, and availability from the Google Search results page.

Image from Google, April 2022

Enhanced Listings

Enhanced listings go beyond the basic product information of a standard listing and offer more detailed attributes about a product.

This listing option requires more details to be provided by the retailer to make the listing more visually attractive and engaging for the Google Shopping tab.

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Below is a Google Shopping tab example when looking for baby teething products.

Google Shopping Ehanced ListingScreenshot from Google Shopping Tab, April 2022

This enhanced listing example appears under the Shopping Tab in a carousel of products.

It provides a visually appealing picture, ratings, additional style options, price, a link to directions to the nearest brick and mortar store, availability, and a comparison option for other stores.

Where Do Free Listings Appear?

Aside from free listings displayed through Google Search and the Shopping tab, free listings are also visible on Google Images.

For example, when a potential buyer searches for a product or brand on Google, the image has a “Product” tag representing the option to buy this product.

Users are taken to the product page to complete the purchase by clicking the tag.

Google Listing ImageScreenshot from Google Shopping Tab, April 2022

Free listings also appear in Google Lens, where users can click the Lens icon to see similar products to what appears in the image.

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In the example below, a quick click on hiking boots from an article leads to an abundance of visual matches to similar products.

Google Lens for ShoppingScreenshot from Google Lens, April 2022

How Can Merchants Get Started Listing Products For Free With Google?

Any merchant is eligible for free listings, whether you run paid ads or not. Interested retailers should create a Merchant Center account to manage how inventory appears throughout Google.

You can then follow the setup flow to create free listings for your products.

If you are already using Google Shopping ads, your existing product feed can seamlessly provide the necessary attributes for your free listings.

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Retailers should verify and claim their website to aid in setting up free listings. This proves that you are the authorized owner of the website, which adds a layer of security for potential buyers.

Merchants then create a product feed (or use an existing feed from Shoppings ads).

The brand can also integrate with other ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, to automatically sync inventory information.

For products to be eligible for free listings, provide the following attributes:

  • Identification such as SKUs that are unique to each product.
  • Title that accurately identifies the product.
  • Price of each product, matching your landing page.
  • Availability to tell users whether an item is in stock.
  • Link to the URL for your website’s landing page.
  • Description of the product with relevant features and details.
  • Image of the product that is viewable to customers.

You can learn more about mastering product listings for Google Shopping here.

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What Are The Benefits For Retailers Who List Their Products On Google?

Each day millions of people use Google to shop. By listing on Google, you can:

  • Increase your visibility to customers who are already looking for items similar to what you offer.
  • Promote your products by highlighting the unique features of your brand
  • Increase website traffic.
  • Bring more business into local stores.
  • Increase sales not only because of the increased web and local store traffic but also when customers Buy on Google.
  • Best of all, you can remain competitive for no additional cost. If you already advertise your products using Shopping Ads, free listings complement the campaigns you are already running.

Google matches your product with the most relevant search queries using metrics and algorithms to get your products in front of interested users.

Using the Merchant Center and analytics, brands can track the performance of free listings.

This insight gives retailers valuable information about specific products to help guide future decisions about inventory and marketing strategies for your team to consider.

Final Thoughts

Google is a thriving platform for online shoppers.

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Free listings help give consumers options to find the right product at the right price from the right seller.

By utilizing the tools available through free listings, retailers can meet potential customers already searching on Google to increase product visibility and grow their business.

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Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

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SEO

Top 10 Content Management Systems In 2022

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Top 10 Content Management Systems In 2022

Since WordPress launched in 2003, it’s held the dominant share of the Content Management Systems market.

Currently, the popular platform stands at 64.1% market share, according to W3Techs, which offers the most reputable and trustworthy data source.

In this report, you’ll learn about the size of the CMS market, how it has evolved over the past decade, how different content management systems stack up against one another, and why this matters for someone working in SEO.

How Large Is The CMS Market?

According to W3Techs, 68.9% of websites have a CMS, and Netcraft reports 1.15 billion live hostname websites.

From this, we can assume that the current market size for content management systems is approximately 796 million websites.

Top 10 Content Management Systems (CMS) By Market Share (Globally)

Top 10 CMS, May 2022 Launched Type Market Share Usage
No CMS 33.10%
1 WordPress 2003 Opensource 64.10% 42.90%
2 Shopify 2006 SaaS 6.40% 4.30%
3 Wix 2006 Saas 3.40% 2.30%
4 Squarespace 2004 Saas 3.00% 2.00%
5 Joomla 2005 Opensource 2.50% 1.60%
6 Drupal 2001 Opensource 1.90% 1.20%
7 Blogger 2008 Opensource 1.30% 0.90%
8 Bitrix 1999 Free 1.20% 0.80%
9 Magento 2012 Saas 0.90% 0.60%
10 Webflow 2013 SaaS 0.90% 0.60%

Data from W3techs, May 2022

What Is The Most Widely Used CMS?

Image from Search Engine Journal, June 2022

*Graphs are separated due to the dominance of the WordPress market share:

  • WordPress market share has increased 16% since 2011 but declined by 2% this year.
  • Wix has increased 17% this year.
  • Squarespace has increased 11% this year.

WordPress has held the dominant market share almost since its launch in 2003.

Since 2011, that position has been relatively steady – almost stagnant. In 11 years, it’s increased only by 16% to 64.1%.

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no CMS vs. wordpressImage from Search Engine Journal, June 2022

Between 2011 – 2022:

  • Websites with no CMS system have declined by 57%.
  • Websites with WordPress have increased by 227%.

Joomla vs. Drupal vs. WordPress Market Share

  • Since 2011, Joomla has decreased its market share by 77%.
  • Since 2011, Drupal has decreased its market share by 69%.

Joomla and Drupal between them used to hold 17% CMS market share, which has slumped to 4.4%.

This decline has seen them drop from positions 2 and 3 to 5 and 6, as Wix and Squarespace have risen and finally superseded them this year.

That’s quite a decline for Joomla, which might not have had the same market share as WordPress but, up to 2008, had more search interest, according to Google Trends.

wordpress vs. drupal. vs. joomlaScreenshot from Google Trends, June 2022

Why did these popular content management systems decline so much?

It’s most likely due to the strength of third-party support for WordPress with plug-ins and themes, making it much more accessible.

The growth of website builders, such as Wix and Squarespace, indicates that small businesses want a more straightforward managed solution. And, they have started to nibble market share from the bottom.

Website Builders Market Share, Wix vs. Squarespace

Elementor vs. Wix vs. SquarespaceScreenshot from W3 Techs.com, June 2022
  • Wix has increased 17% this year, from January to May.
  • Squarespace has increased 11% this year, from January to May.

If we look at the website builders, their significant growth is a strong indication of where the market might go in the future.

From 2011 to 2022:

  • Wix grew by 3,678%.
  • Shopify grew by 2,033%.
  • Squarespace grew by 1,400%.

When we compare the 16% growth of WordPress over the last 11 years to the other players, that growth for the CMS behemoth becomes even more flattened and stagnant.

Why is that happening?

SaaS web builders such as Wix and Squarespace don’t require coding knowledge and offer a hosted website that makes it more accessible for a small business to get a web presence quickly.

No need to arrange a hosting solution, install a website, and set up your own email. A web builder neatly does all this for you.

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WordPress is not known as a complicated platform to use, but it does require some coding knowledge and understanding of how websites are built.

On the other hand, a website builder is a much easier route to market, without the need to understand what is happening in the back end.

Consider that, during the pandemic, much of the population worked from home, leading to more interest and attention placed on how being online could be a source of income.

Elementor is a WordPress-based website builder used by 17.2% of all the websites that use WordPress.

It also has significantly more market share than Wix and Squarespace combined.

However, because it’s a third-party plug-in and not a CMS, it isn’t listed in the Top 10 CMS above.

If we compare the volume of traffic to the number of CMS, we can see that WordPress is in the golden section, up and to the right, clearly favored by sites with more traffic.

Drupal fits into a niche of fewer installs but more high-traffic sites, indicating that more professional sites are using it.

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Squarespace and Wix are to the left and down, highlighting that they are installed on fewer sites with less traffic.

A strong indication that they are used more by small websites and small businesses.

Elementor bridges the gap between the two and has the weight of the WordPress market share, but is used by sites with less traffic.

The appetite is growing for drag-and-drop, plug-and-play solutions that make having a web presence accessible for anyone. This is the space to watch.

Ecommerce CMS Market Share, Shopify vs. Woocommerce

WooCommerce vs. Shopify vs. MagentoScreenshot from W3 Techs.com, June 2022
  • WooCommerce has a market share of 13%.
  • Shopify has a market share of 6.4%.

The ecommerce CMS space echoes a similar pattern to the website builders.

Technically, WooCommerce is not a standalone CMS, but a WordPress plug-in – which is why it doesn’t appear in the Top 10 CMS data table.

However, it’s essential to the ecommerce space, so it’s worth considering and mentioning.

8.7% of all existing websites use WooCommerce, which has a CMS market share of 13.0%.20.3% of all websites that use WordPress use WooCommerce.

Looking at the distribution, we can see a clear pattern emerge. In comparison to other ecommerce CMS platforms, WooCommere is dominant.

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It has more market share than the other competitors combined:

Magento + OpenCart + PrestaShop + Shopify = 8.9% market share.

Magento might not have the volume of installs, but high-traffic sites favor it – indicating that Magento is a CMS of choice for bigger and more professional businesses, just as we saw with Drupal.

Smaller sites might favor WooCommerce, but it has the WordPress platform’s weight for market access and, therefore, more installs – much like Elementor.

Shopify has more market share, but the traffic levels are similar to WordPress.

Shopify saw massive growth during the pandemic of 53% from 2020 to 2021, then 27% from 2021 to 2022, far more than any other platform.

Why Does CMS Market Share Matter To Someone Working In SEO?

WordPress retains its dominance in the CMS market share but website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are on the rise, indicating where market growth lies, especially for small businesses.

If more small businesses are switching to website builders, understanding the limitations and intricacies of these platforms for SEO could be a competitive advantage.

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Shopify is installed on 4.3% of all websites (not just sites with a CMS): a total potential market of 50 million websites.

With their increasing market share, specializing in Shopify SEO could be a strategic move for an SEO professional.

Similarly, specializing in Wix and Squarespace is a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

WordPress might be dominant now, but that also means that many other people are servicing that specific CMS.

Aligning with a more niche CMS can be a strategic move for new client opportunities.

More resources:

Data sources
All data collected from W3techs, May 2022, unless otherwise indicated.

W3Tech samples its data from the Alexa top 10 million and Tranco top 1 million. Websites with no content or duplicate sites are excluded. Limitations of the data source mean that hosted Tumblr and WordPress.com sites are not included as the data collection doesn’t count subdomains as more than one site.

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Featured Image: NESPIX/Shutterstock



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