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How To Optimize Your Site For Any Device

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How To Optimize Your Site For Any Device

1. Give Your Site A Responsive Layout & Mobile-Friendly Design

Your website looks cool and works like a charm on PC; that’s fantastic.

Have you tried opening it on a smartphone?

Does it look like this?

Screenshot from TCRF.net, January 2023

If yes, then you have a big problem. That website is practically unusable on mobile.

Unfortunately, being PC-friendly doesn’t automatically make a website mobile-friendly as well.

And because of Google’s mobile-first index, if your site is not mobile-friendly, it may never see the light of page 1 of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

So what do you do?

The first major step in making your site mobile-friendly is working on a responsive design.

When a site is responsive, it displays properly on screens of all sizes, like this:

Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from WebCEO.com, January 2023

How To Give Your Website A Mobile-First Design

There are two ways to upgrade your website into a mobile-friendly experience. Each solution has its own tradeoffs.

  1. The fastest way: install a dedicated mobile-first plugin like WPtouch to give your website a responsive design in minutes. It’s the easiest method, but not without its risks; plugins are prone to breaking and (in the most extreme cases) even being hacked.
  2. The most reliable and secure way: modify your website’s code to include responsive solutions.

How To Hand-Code A Responsive Website

If you want to take the matters into your own hands and transform your desktop site into a responsive, mobile-friendly website, you’ll need to incorporate:

  • A viewport.
  • Responsive images.
  • A fluid layout.
  • Media queries.

We’ll teach you all the code you need to make your website responsive. But first, be sure you back up your website before making changes to your code.

How To Set A Viewport On A Website

Viewports help each browser know how to adapt your webpage’s dimensions to its screen.

If you add a viewport to your website’s HTML, your webpages will automatically adapt to fit onto any mobile device.

Add This:

To set the viewport on a page, add this line of HTML code inside its <head> tag:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

How To Make Images Responsive

When it comes to mobile-friendliness, it’s important that your visitor does not have to scroll left and right to see the content of your website.

This is true for all images as well, especially infographics.

Responsive images should automatically shrink and grow to fit the width of each visitor’s screen perfectly.

So, you want to use the max-width property.

How To Add The Max-Width To Make Your Images Responsive

  1. Open your site’s stylesheet (the CSS file).
  2. Add “max-width: 100%” for the <img> tag, like this:
img {
 max-width: 100%;
}

Now, if your images are wider than the viewport you added in the above step, they will automatically shrink to fit the available space.

How To Install A Fluid Layout

When you have a responsive layout on your website, it’s page elements fit themselves to any screen on their own. For example, if you have a fluid table, the table will resize along with the screen. That way, you can see all the columns without ever having to scroll left or right – even on a small mobile screen.

There are a few different fluid layout methods that you can try, depending on your individual site:

Use them when appropriate.

When To Use Flexbox

Use this method when you have a number of differently-sized items and want to fit them in a row. Add the “display: flex” property to their HTML tag, like in this example:

.items {
  display: flex;
}

When To Use Multicol

This method splits your content into columns. It uses the column-count property, like this:

.container {
 column-count: 3;
}

In this example, you get three columns.

When To Use Grid

As the name suggests, this method creates a grid to fit your elements inside. Here’s an example:

.container {
     display: grid;
     grid-template-columns: 1fr 1fr 1fr;
}

The grid-template-columns property sets the number of column tracks (three in this example) and their sizes (1 fr).

Still not sure which to use? Plugins can automatically detect and implement the best fluid layout.

How To Add Media Queries To Your Website

Media queries are another way to adapt your content to any screen size. But they have another, much more notable advantage: they adapt your site to specific features native to different devices.

For example, a computer mouse’s cursor can hover over page elements, and smartphones have touchscreens. Account for these features, and you can tailor the user experience to any type of device.

There’s a lot to absorb when dealing with media queries, but MDN Web Docs have very detailed instructions.

Once you’ve done everything, check how well it works by viewing your site on many different devices.

2. Make Your Full Website Look Good On Mobile

Step one covered the technical framework that makes your website fit well on mobile devices.

Good news – that was the hardest part. Just a few more steps to go.

With a responsive design, your site is almost fully mobile-friendly. What else do you need to finish the job?

Next, it’s time to:

  • Make use of large, easily readable text. Headlines and subheadings should be especially eye-catching.
  • Make your interactive elements (such as buttons and checkboxes) large enough to be show-stopping.
  • Avoid using long paragraphs. Short ones are always better.
  • Use negative space generously. It will prevent your site from looking cramped.
  • Leave some room around links and other interactive elements. That way, users won’t accidentally press what they don’t want to press.

3. Don’t Block Your Content With Popups

Popups make it harder for your visitor to get the information they came for, and they result in high bounce rates, a.k.a. people leaving your site as soon as they enter it.

Now, certain kinds of popups are pretty important. Most websites need to use cookies, and yours is probably no exception. And the GDPR made it mandatory to ask for the users’ permission to use their data, so you can’t avoid using a popup for that.

Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from Axahealth.co.uk, January 2023

However, your users don’t visit your site to look at popups. When the entire page is blocked by a request to accept the use of cookies, the visitors might not be so eager to put themselves in your shoes. On the contrary, it’s guaranteed to annoy them, and they may even leave without browsing your site at all.

What To Do Instead

Users are more tolerant of popups when they cover just a small portion of the screen. And if they are easy to close and dismiss, even better.

Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from Att.com, January 2023

4. Fix The Technical Errors On Your Website

Even the most minor hiccup will be easy to spot on a small screen, including the dreaded 404 errors.

While a 404 page with a funny design can serve you well, an error is still an error; it will disrupt the user experience. It’s better to remove them as a factor completely.

Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from Dribbble.com, January 2023

How To Discover Your Website’s Technical Errors

What other errors can ruin a mobile user’s day? To name a few:

  • Broken links.
  • Broken images.
  • Unwanted page redirects.
  • Faulty CSS and Javascript.
  • Server issues (e.g. gateway timeout).

All of them will send the user running if you don’t do something.
To get started, find all technical errors on your site. Scan it with WebCEO’s Technical Audit tool to generate a report.

Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from WebCEO, January 2023

Fix all the website errors you find as quickly as you can.

Don’t let codes like “Status: 503” confuse you – here are some expert tips for dealing with them.

After that, make it a habit to scan your site regularly (once a week is fine), and tend to errors in a timely manner.

5. Make Your Site Load Quickly

You visit your site, and it’s taking too long to load. Oh no!

Is the Internet down? No? Unfortunately, now your user may decide that your website never works and never return.

So, it’s important to do everything in your power to make sure your site loads quickly at all times.

How To Make Your Website Load Faster

Follow these six tips to make your website load faster:

  • Optimize your images. Minimize their file size by tweaking their height and width, save them in the right format, and compress them.
  • Enable compression (if it isn’t enabled yet). GZIP compression is among the most popular methods.
  • Use browser caching. Find your domain’s .htaccess file and set the expiration times for your page elements.
  • Use lazy loading. Like compression, it’s often already active. If you don’t have it, you can insert the loading=”lazy” attribute into the HTML tags of the elements you want to lazy load. Or just use a plugin like Smush.
  • Optimize your pages’ code. If you have sufficient knowledge of HTML, Javascript, and other languages forming your site, you can try and trim the code. Be careful not to break anything.
  • Merge elements where appropriate. For example, if you have two images right next to each other, merging them into a single image will help the page load faster.

Check your current loading speed with WebCEO’s Speed Optimization tool. It will point out the speed-related problems that are plaguing you right now.

Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from WebCEO, January 2023

6. Optimize Your Website For Local & Voice Search

Smartphones are easy to carry around, which makes them a perfect tool for online browsing on the streets.

Does the user need to find something nearby? Their goal is merely one question away.

And since the question will likely contain the word “where,” your website needs to be ready for it. That’s done through optimization for local search – and, combined with mobile SEO, it becomes surprisingly effective for voice search at the same time!

Just do these things:

  1. Use location-based keywords and phrases in your content. They usually contain words like where, nearest, closest, near me, or in “name of your location”. For example: car wash near me.
  2. Have an FAQ page on your site. Make your answers concise and straight to the point.
  3. Put your business’ name, address, and phone number on your website’s home page. Better yet, put them in the footer.
  4. Create a listing on Google Business Profile, and fill it out with as much information as you can. This is necessary if you want to appear in Google Maps.
  5. Collect positive customer reviews – the more the better.

7. Make Your First Scroll Efficient

Ideally, you should be able to captivate the visitor as soon as they see your website. But there is only so much they can see on a small screen. So, what do you do?

Make your site’s “above the fold” (what users see in the first scroll) is a total knockout.

What are the must-haves you must put in there?

  • Descriptive, eye-catching title.
  • Navigation menu.
  • Search bar.
  • Call-to-action.

But those are just the basics.

Here are a couple of expert-level ideas:

  • An interactive element (like a panoramic photo, a 3D model, or a simple game). Even an ordinary video works.
  • A floating CTA that always stays on the screen no matter how far down you scroll.
Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from Leadferno.com, January 2023

8. Make Your Search Results Attractive

As the saying goes, the best place to hide secrets is on page 2 of Google.

However, that’s true only for the desktop version.

Mobile Google comes with infinite scrolling, which presents the top 40 results instead of 10 before you find the “See More” button.

However, top 10 or not, your search results will never get any clicks if they don’t stand out.

And, just like with anything else, you need to stand out well. How do you apply this principle to your search results?

How To Make Your Search Results Stand Out

There are three great ways to make your search results more exciting for your future visitor:

  • Use the best keywords. Not just in terms of search volume – use the keywords which capture users’ search intent better than others. To figure out which keywords those are, you need to put yourself in the users’ shoes. Or just ask the users you know about their search preferences.
  • Use eye-catching titles and descriptions. Keywords are one main ingredient; the other ingredient is power words that stir the users’ emotions. Do you know which emotions are appropriate for your content?
  • Add structured data. Mark up your page elements to create oh-so-clickable rich snippets.
Mobile SEO: How To Optimize Your Site For Any DeviceScreenshot from search for [learn German], Google, January 2023

Years ago, Google saw the potential in mobile devices – and, as it turns out, they were completely right.

The search giant invested greatly in mobile friendliness, and there’s no doubt: the Internet is so much better for it. Online content has become much easier on the eyes and simpler to use.

But does your site match the gold standard? Do your users get the same great experience across all of their devices?

If you have even a shadow of doubt, it’s time to employ every tool at your disposal to make sure your site meets the mark. Sign up now and let WebCEO help you sort things out.

Start boosting your search rankings and user engagement with a responsive website today!



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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

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What Is Schema Markup & Why Is It Important For SEO?

Schema.org is a collection of vocabulary (or schemas) used to apply structured data markup to web pages and content. Correctly applying schema can improve SEO outcomes through rich snippets.

Structured data markup is translated by platforms such as Google and Microsoft to provide enhanced rich results (or rich snippets) in search engine results pages or emails. For example, you can markup your ecommerce product pages with variants schema to help Google understand product variations.

Schema.org is an independent project that has helped establish structured data consistency across the internet. It began collaborating with search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex back in 2011.

The Schema vocabulary can be applied to pages through encodings such as RDFa, Microdata, and JSON-LD. JSON-LD schema is preferred by Google as it is the easiest to apply and maintain.

Schema is not a ranking factor.

However, your webpage becomes eligible for rich snippets in SERPs only when you use schema markup. This can enhance your search visibility and increase CTR on your webpage from search results.

Schema can also be used to build a knowledge graph of entities and topics. Using semantic markup in this way aligns your website with how AI algorithms categorize entities, assisting search engines in understanding your website and content.

This means that search engines should have additional information to help them figure out what the webpage is about.

You can even link your entities directly to sites like Wikipedia or Google’s knowledge graph to build explicit connections. Using Schema this way can have positive SEO results, according to Martha van Berkel, CEO of Schema App:

By helping search engines understand content, you are assisting them in saving resources (especially important when you have a large website with millions of pages) and increasing the chances for your content to be interpreted properly and ranked well. While this may not be a ranking factor directly, Schema helps your SEO efforts by giving search engines the best chance of interpreting your content correctly, giving users the best chance of discovering it.

Listed above are some of the most popular uses of schema, which are supported by Google and other search engines.

You may have an object type that has a schema.org definition but is not supported by search engines.

In such cases, it is advised to implement them, as search engines may start supporting them in the future, and you may benefit from them as you already have that implementation.

Google recommends JSON-LD as the preferred format for structured data. Microdata is still supported, but JSON-LD schema is recommended.

In certain circumstances, it isn’t possible to implement JSON-LD schema due to website technical infrastructure limitations such as old content management systems). In these cases, the only option is to markup HTML via Microdata or RDFa.

You can now mix JSON-LD and Microdata formats by matching the @id attribute of JSON-LD schema with the itemid attribute of Microdata schema. This approach helps reduce the HTML size of your pages.

For example, in a FAQ section with extensive text, you can use Microdata for the content and JSON-LD for the structured data without duplicating the text, thus avoiding an increase in page size. We will dive deeper into this below in the article when discussing each type in detail.

JSON-LD encodes data using JSON, making it easy to integrate structured data into web pages. JSON-LD allows connecting different schema types using a graph with @ids, improving data integration and reducing redundancy.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say that you own a store that sells high-quality routers. If you were to look at the source code of your homepage, you would likely see something like this:

Once you dive into the code, you’ll want to find the portion of your webpage that discusses what your business offers. In this example, that data can be found between the two

tags.

The following JSON-LD formatted text will markup the information within that HTML fragment on your webpage, which you may want to include in your webpage’s

section.



This snippet of code defines your business as a store via the attribute"@type": "Store".

Then, it details its location, contact information, hours of operation from Monday to Saturday, and different operational hours for Sunday.

By structuring your webpage data this way, you provide critical information directly to search engines, which can improve how they index and display your site in search results. Just like adding tags in the initial HTML, inserting this JSON-LD script tells search engines specific aspects of your business.

Let’s review another example of WebPage schema connected with Organization and Author schemas via @id. JSON-LD is the format Google recommends and other search engines because it’s extremely flexible, and this is a great example.



In the example:

  • Website links to the organization as the publisher with @id.
  • The organization is described with detailed properties.
  • WebPage links to the WebSite with isPartOf.
  • NewsArticle links to the WebPage with isPartOf, and back to the WebPage with mainEntityOfPage, and includes the author property via @id.

You can see how graph nodes are linked to each other using the"@id"attribute. This way, we inform Google that it is a webpage published by the publisher described in the schema.

The use of hashes (#) for IDs is optional. You should only ensure that different schema types don’t have the same ID by accident. Adding custom hashes (#) can be helpful, as it provides an extra layer of insurance that they will not be repeated.

You may wonder why we use"@id"to connect graph nodes. Can’t we just drop organization, author, and webpage schemas separately on the same page, and it is intuitive that those are connected?

The issue is that Google and other search engines cannot reliably interpret these connections unless explicitly linked using @id.

Adding to the graph additional schema types is as easy as constructing Lego bricks. Say we want to add an image to the schema:

{
   "@type": "ImageObject",
   "@id": "https://www.example.com/#post-image",
   "url": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "contentUrl": "https://www.example.com/example.png",
   "width": 2160,
   "height": 1215,
   "thumbnail": [
     {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/4x3/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1620,
        "height": 1215
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/16x9/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1440,
        "height": 810
      },
      {
        "@type": "ImageObject",
        "url": "https://example.com/1x1/photo.jpg",
        "width": 1000,
        "height": 1000
      }
    ]
}

As you already know from the NewsArticle schema, you need to add it to the above schema graph as a parent node and link via @id.

As you do that, it will have this structure:



Quite easy, isn’t it? Now that you understand the main principle, you can build your own schema based on the content you have on your website.

And since we live in the age of AI, you may also want to use ChatGPT or other chatbots to help you build any schema you want.

2. Microdata Schema Format

Microdata is a set of tags that aims to make annotating HTML elements with machine-readable tags much easier.

However, the one downside to using Microdata is that you have to mark every individual item within the body of your webpage. As you can imagine, this can quickly get messy.

Take a look at this sample HTML code, which corresponds to the above JSON schema with NewsArticle:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: "Innovation at its best".

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for customer service.

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe. Connect with John on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If we convert the above JSON-LD schema into Microdata format, it will look like this:

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author:

Example image

This example shows how complicated it becomes compared to JSON-LD since the markup is spread over HTML. Let’s understand what is in the markup.

You can see

tags like:


By adding this tag, we’re stating that the HTML code contained between the

blocks identifies a specific item.

Next, we have to identify what that item is by using the ‘itemtype’ attribute to identify the type of item (Person).


An item type comes in the form of a URL (such as https://schema.org/Person). Let’s say, for example, you have a product you may use http://schema.org/Product.

To make things easier, you can browse a list of item types here and view extensions to identify the specific entity you’re looking for. Keep in mind that this list is not all-encompassing but only includes ones that are supported by Google, so there is a possibility that you won’t find the item type for your specific niche.

It may look complicated, but Schema.org provides examples of how to use the different item types so you can see what the code is supposed to do.

Don’t worry; you won’t be left out in the cold trying to figure this out on your own!

If you’re still feeling a little intimidated by the code, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper makes it super easy to tag your webpages.

To use this amazing tool, just select your item type, paste in the URL of the target page or the content you want to target, and then highlight the different elements so that you can tag them.

3. RDFa Schema Format

RDFa is an acronym for Resource Description Framework in Attributes. Essentially, RDFa is an extension to HTML5 designed to aid users in marking up structured data.

RDFa isn’t much different from Microdata. RDFa tags incorporate the preexisting HTML code in the body of your webpage. For familiarity, we’ll look at the same code above.

The HTML for the same JSON-LD news article will look like:

vocab="https://schema.org/" typeof="WebSite" resource="https://www.example.com/#website">

Our Company

Example Company, also known as Example Co., is a leading innovator in the tech industry.

Founded in 2000-01-01, we have grown to a team of 200 dedicated employees.

Our slogan is: Innovation at its best.

Contact us at +1-800-555-1212 for Customer Service.

https://www.example.com Example Company Logo

Connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Our Founder

Our founder, Jane Smith, is a pioneer in the tech industry.

Connect with Jane on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Us

This is the About Us page for Example Company.

https://www.example.com/about

Example News Headline

This is an example news article.

This is the full content of the example news article. It provides detailed information about the news event or topic covered in the article.

Author: John Doe Profile Twitter LinkedIn

Example image

Unlike Microdata, which uses a URL to identify types, RDFa uses one or more words to classify types.

vocab=”http://schema.org/” typeof=”WebPage”>

If you wish to identify a property further, use the ‘typeof’ attribute.

Let’s compare JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa side by side. The @type attribute of JSON-LD is equivalent to the itemtype attribute of Microdata format and the typeof attribute in RDFa. Furthermore, the propertyName of JSON-LD attribute would be the equivalent of the itemprop and property attributes.

Attribute Name JSON-LD Microdata RDFa
Type @type itemtype typeof
ID @id itemid resource
Property propertyName itemprop property
Name name itemprop=”name” property=”name”
Description description itemprop=”description” property=”description”

For further explanation, you can visit Schema.org to check lists and view examples. You can find which kinds of elements are defined as properties and which are defined as types.

To help, every page on Schema.org provides examples of how to apply tags properly. Of course, you can also fall back on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

4. Mixing Different Formats Of Structured Data With JSON-LD

If you use JSON-LD schema but certain parts of pages aren’t compatible with it, you can mix schema formats by linking them via @id.

For example, if you have live blogging on the website and a JSON-LD schema, including all live blogging items in the JSON schema would mean having the same content twice on the page, which may increase HTML size and affect First Contentful Paint and Largest Contentful Paint page speed metrics.

You can solve this either by generating JSON-LD dynamically with JavaScript when the page loads or by marking up HTML tags of live blogging via the Microdata format, then linking to your JSON-LD schema in the head section via “@id“.

Here is an example of how to do it.

Say we have this HTML with Microdata markup with itemid="https://www.example.com/live-blog-page/#live-blog"

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We can link to it from the sample JSON-LD example we had like this:



If you copy and paste HTML and JSON examples underneath in the schema validator tool, you will see that they are validating properly.

The schema validator does validate the above example.The schema validator does validate the above example.

The SEO Impact Of Structured Data

This article explored the different schema encoding types and all the nuances regarding structured data implementation.

Schema is much easier to apply than it seems, and it’s a best practice you must incorporate into your webpages. While you won’t receive a direct boost in your SEO rankings for implementing Schema, it can:

  • Make your pages eligible to appear in rich results.
  • Ensure your pages get seen by the right users more often.
  • Avoid confusion and ambiguity.

The work may seem tedious. However, given time and effort, properly implementing Schema markup is good for your website and can lead to better user journeys through the accuracy of information you’re supplying to search engines.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
Screenshot taken by author

 

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Chuck Price

Founder at Measurable SEO

Looking for a Content Marketing Solution to Increase Traffic and Revenue? I’m the founder of Measurable SEO and former COO ...

Advanced Technical SEO: A Complete Guide



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Gen Z Ditches Google, Turns To Reddit For Product Searches

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In this photo illustration, the Reddit logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

A new report from Reddit, in collaboration with GWI and AmbassCo, sheds light on the evolving search behaviors of Generation Z consumers.

The study surveyed over 3,000 internet users across the UK, US, and Germany, highlighting significant changes in how young people discover and research products online.

Here’s an overview of key findings and the implications for marketers.

Decline In Traditional Search

The study found that Gen Z uses search engines to find new brands and products less often.

That’s because they shop online differently. They’re less interested in looking for expert reviews or spending much time searching for products.

There are also frustrations with mobile-friendliness and complex interfaces on traditional search platforms.

Because of this, traditional SEO strategies might not work well for reaching younger customers.

Takeaway

Companies trying to reach Gen Z might need to try new methods instead of just focusing on being visible on Google and other search engines.

Rise Of Social Media Discovery

Screenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Gen Z is increasingly using social media to find new brands and products.

The study shows that Gen Z has used social media for product discovery 36% more frequently since 2018.

This change is affecting how young people shop online. Instead of searching for products, they expect brands to appear in their social media feeds.

1719123963 547 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Because of this, companies trying to reach young customers need to pay more attention to how they present themselves on social media.

Takeaway

To succeed at marketing to Gen Z, businesses will likely need to focus on two main things:

  1. Ensure that your content appears more often in social media feeds.
  2. Create posts people want to share and interact with.

Trust Issues With Influencer Marketing

Even though more people are finding products through social media, the report shows that Gen Z is less likely to trust what social media influencers recommend.

These young shoppers often don’t believe in posts that influencers are paid to make or products they promote.

Instead, they prefer to get information from sources that feel more real and are driven by regular people in online communities.

Takeaway

Because of this lack of trust, companies must focus on being genuine and building trust when they try to get their websites to appear in search results or create ads.

Some good ways to connect with these young consumers might be to use content created by regular users, encourage honest product reviews, and create authentic conversations within online communities.

Challenges With Current Search Experiences

The research shows that many people are unhappy with how search engines work right now.

More than 60% of those surveyed want search results to be more trustworthy. Almost half of users don’t like looking through many search result pages.

Gen Z is particularly bothered by inaccurate information and unreliable reviews.

1719123963 785 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Takeaway

Given the frustration with search quality, marketers should prioritize creating accurate, trustworthy content.

This can help build brand credibility, leading to more direct visits.

Reddit: A Trusted Alternative

The report suggests that Gen Z trusts Reddit when looking up products—it’s their third most trusted source, after friends and family and review websites.

1719123963 403 Gen Z Ditches Google Turns To Reddit For Product SearchesScreenshot from Reddit study titled: “From search to research: How search marketers can keep up with Gen Z.”, June 2024.

Young users like Reddit because it’s community-based and provides specific answers to users’ questions, making it feel more real.

It’s worth noting that this report comes from Reddit itself, which probably influenced why it’s suggesting its own platform.

Takeaway

Companies should focus more on being part of smaller, specific online groups frequented by Gen Z.

That could include Reddit or any other forum.

Why SEJ Cares

As young people change how they look for information online, this study gives businesses important clues about connecting with future customers.

Here’s what to remember:

  • Traditional search engine use is declining among Gen Z.
  • Social media is increasingly vital for product discovery.
  • There’s growing skepticism towards influencer marketing.
  • Current search experiences often fail to meet user expectations.
  • Community-based platforms like Reddit are gaining trust.

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Google Clarifies Organization Merchant Returns Structured Data

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Google updates organization structured data for merchant returns

Google quietly updated their organization structured data documentation in order to clarify two points about merchant returns in response to feedback about an ambiguity in the previous version.

Organization Structured Data and Merchant Returns

Google recently expanded their Organization structured data so that it could now accommodate a merchant return policy. The change added support for adding a sitewide merchant return policy.

The original reason for adding this support:

“Adding support for Organization-level return policies

What: Added documentation on how to specify a general return policy for an Organization as a whole.

Why: This makes it easier to define and maintain general return policies for an entire site.”

However that change left unanswered about what will happen if a site has a sitewide return policy but also has a different policy for individual products.

The clarification applies for the specific scenario of when a site uses both a sitewide return policy in their structured data and another one for specific products.

What Takes Precedence?

What happens if a merchant uses both a sitewide and product return structured data? Google’s new documentation states that Google will ignore the sitewide product return policy in favor of a more granular product-level policy in the structured data.

The clarification states:

“If you choose to provide both organization-level and product-level return policy markup, Google defaults to the product-level return policy markup.”

Change Reflected Elsewhere

Google also updated the documentation to reflect the scenario of the use of two levels of merchant return policies in another section that discusses whether structured data or merchant feed data takes precedence. There is no change to the policy, merchant center data still takes precedence.

This is the old documentation:

“If you choose to use both markup and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

This is the same section but updated with additional wording:

“If you choose to use both markup (whether at the organization-level or product-level, or both) and settings in Merchant Center, Google will only use the information provided in Merchant Center for any products submitted in your Merchant Center product feeds, including automated feeds.”

Read the newly updated Organization structured data documentation:

Organization (Organization) structured data – MerchantReturnPolicy

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