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SEO For Ecommerce & The Future Of Google Shopping [Podcast]



SEO For Ecommerce & The Future Of Google Shopping [Podcast]

Sometimes SEO and other marketing integration can be overlooked when you’re doing migrations or other developmental projects, especially on the ecommerce side.

Holistically, you can’t do one without the other. So the search engine and conversion pieces are equally as important as the technology pieces.

Ethan Giffin, the founder and CEO of Baltimore-based Groove Commerce, joined me on the SEJ Show to discuss overall SEO for ecommerce & DTCs, Google Merchant Center / Shopping, the importance of CRO & Upsells for SEO (and other channels), and ways to prepare for the 2022 Holiday Shopping season.

Shopify Plus can be a good fit if you have a simple business. However, you need more customization if you have a more complex interaction with more business rules and logic. Big-commerce people generally float over to the big commerce side of things. –Ethan Giffin, 12:38

Programmatically create the best framework. The best framework is thinking about how the template is laid out. What is the hierarchy of the template, what are the components, and how do the sites link together from an internal linking standpoint? So I’m just a believer that many things we did back in the day still work. –Ethan Giffin, 16:11

Suppose you’re new to a company and you hear a migration. In that case, hopefully, there are archives within the company that people used before you. There are lists of the redirects that were integrated and implemented into the site. Just cleaning that history up can be incredibly impactful. But again, it gets into human behavior and the ability to make things more efficient. –Loren Baker, 20:37

[00:00] – About Ethan.
[12:14] – Most commonly overlooked issues during migration.
[24:44] – An essential factor to consider in building an ecommerce site.
[31:48] – What to do when a product is no longer sold.
[35:18] – FAQ schema recommendation.
[37:23] – What is rendering on the ecommerce side?
[41:29] – Recommendation on optimizing from an ad script perspective.
[43:01] – Optimizing schema integrations on the catalog side.
[48:55] – Ecommerce companies Ethan has worked with.


Resources mentioned:

Groove Commerce:

Every app that you install into your store has overhead. Every kind of front office sales-related app, reviews, upsells, cross-sell, site search, out-of-stock notifications – everything has a component to it that loads into the browser, and that creates a heavier page. –Ethan Giffin, 25:15

People don’t think about margin enough. So how do you promote those products and get people to buy things with the best margin versus the most popular ones? So really, it’s thinking about how to optimize the catalog. –Ethan Giffin, 47:32

If you have a business and you’re moving to another building, you don’t just bring the storefront with you. You got to bring everything you got to bring the offices, the desks, everything. So if you’re migrating a site, you don’t just redirect the front page and the top like collections or categories. You must take care of everything –the blog, subdomains, subfolder structures, etc. –Loren Baker, 22:56

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Connect with Ethan Giffin:

Ethan Giffin, GrooveCommerce’s CEO, has been a leading ecommerce and web analytics expert for most of his career. Conversion rates, search engine visibility, and web analytics are all things he knows inside and out. However, he is passionate about helping businesses succeed online without having to become experts.


There are only a few people like Ethan. His love for SEO, conversion rates, and ecommerce go hand in hand with his passion for traveling and DJing in between – not to mention those pocket squares!

Connect with Ethan on LinkedIn:
Follow him on Twitter:

Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

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B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements



B2B PPC Experts Give Their Take On Google Search On Announcements

Google hosted its 3rd annual Search On event on September 28th.

The event announced numerous Search updates revolving around these key areas:

  • Visualization
  • Personalization
  • Sustainability

After the event, Google’s Ad Liason, Ginny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to give their thoughts on the announcements, as well as how they may affect B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and gained valuable feedback from the industry.

The roundtable of experts comprised of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackey, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steph Bin, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmundson).

The Struggle With Images

Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.

Brad Geddes, Co-Founder of Adalysis, mentioned “Desktop was never mentioned once.” Others echoed the same sentiment, that many of their B2B clients rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images showing mainly on mobile devices, their B2B clients won’t benefit as much.

Another great point came up about the context of images. While images are great for a user experience, the question reiterated by multiple roundtable members:

  • How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they do in an image?

Images in search are certainly valuable for verticals such as apparel, automotive, and general eCommerce businesses. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.

More Uses Cases, Please

Ginny asked the group what they’d like to change or add to an event like Search On.


The overall consensus: both Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) have become more consumer-focused.

Greg Finn said that the Search On event was about what he expected, but Google Marketing Live feels too broad now and that Google isn’t speaking to advertisers anymore.

Marvin acknowledged and then revealed that Google received feedback that after this year’s GML, the vision felt like it was geared towards a high-level investor.

The group gave a few potential solutions to help fill the current gap of what was announced, and then later how advertisers can take action.

  • 30-minute follow-up session on how these relate to advertisers
  • Focus less on verticals
  • Provide more use cases

Michelle Morgan and Melissa Mackey said that “even just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them immensely. Providing tangible action items on how to bring this information to clients is key.

Google Product Managers Weigh In

The second half of the roundtable included input from multiple Google Search Product Managers. I started off with a more broad question to Google:

  • It seems that Google is becoming a one-stop shop for a user to gather information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Will we expect to see lower traffic, higher CPCs to compete for that coveted space?

Cecilia Wong, Global Product Lead of Search Formats, Google, mentioned that while they can’t comment directly on the overall direction, they do focus on Search. Their recommendation:

  • Manage assets and images and optimize for best user experience
  • For B2B, align your images as a sneak peek of what users can expect on the landing page

However, image assets have tight restrictions on what’s allowed. I followed up by asking if they would be loosening asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.

Google could not comment directly but acknowledged that looser restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.

Is Value-Based Bidding Worth The Hassle?

The topic of value-based bidding came up after Carlo Buchmann, Product Manager of Smart Bidding, said that they want advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the feedback seemed grim, it opened up for candid conversation.

Melissa Mackey said that while she’s talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients want to pull the trigger. For B2B, it’s difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.


Further, she stated that clients become fixated on their pipeline information and can end up making it too complicated. To sum up, they’re struggling to translate the value number input to what a sale is actually worth.

Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have moved back to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.

Finn closed the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google has not brought forth anything about best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it seems like CPA bidding. And when a client has multiple value inputs, Google tends to optimize towards the lower-value conversions – ultimately affecting lead quality.

The Google Search Product Managers closed by providing additional resources to dig into overall best practices to leverage search in the world of automation.

Closing Thoughts

Google made it clear that the future of search is visual. For B2B companies, it may require extra creativity to succeed and compete with the visualization updates.

However, the PPC roundtable experts weighed in that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.

Marketers are relying on Google to make these Search updates relevant to not only the user but the advertisers. Having clearer guides, use cases, and conversations is a great step to bringing back the Google and advertiser collaboration.

A special thank you to Ginny Marvin of Google for making space to hear B2B advertiser feedback, as well as all the PPC experts for weighing in.


Featured image: Shutterstock/T-K-M

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