As search engines have gotten better at discovering web content in many forms, manually submitting to them has become less of a focus. But content and distribution platforms continue to expand, and as they do so, the need for manual search engine submission remains an important, if changing, option.
Of course, Google is still the king of search engines (some would even say the whole game, but I’m not one of them), and making sure that the search king sees all the attributes of an ecommerce website is important. To that end, it’s a good idea for ecommerce web masters and website owners to understand—and hopefully take advantage of—the changes Google recently made to its content submission webpage.
Google already offered many submission options, some more easy to understand than others—the specific purpose of each tool wasn’t always clear. Now Google has decided to reorganize those submission interfaces. Not only does this make it easier to understand these submission processes, for many it may also bring to light Google submission services that were previously undiscovered.
A review of what the updated Google site submission page offers now may be helpful. As represented by the graphic above, the new organization offers four entry options into Google; web, local, media, and items for sale. Let’s review each of them:
Web—This contains two of the basic tools every ecommerce site should be using to “increase your visibility by submitting and optimizing your website for Google search.” These are “Add Your URL,” which is the most basic submission tools, and Webmaster Tools, which is itself a set of extremely useful tools, including traffic and search optimization aids. I occasionally get new clients who are not aware of Google Webmaster Tools, and on day one, I focus on getting them to sign up and start using it. You won’t feel like you wasted time.
Local—If your ecommerce site has brick-and-mortar entities associated with it, the Local Business Center and Mapplet will be helpful in submitting information for local results in Google. Results in Google maps are more important than ever with the advent of blended search results (results that include, among other things, map results).
Media—If your ecommerce site has videos, these links will help you to “grow your audience by promoting and distributing your media to millions of Google users around the world.” The YouTube link is especially useful.
Items For Sale—You are selling stuff online. These links will assist you in increasing traffic to your online store with Google Product Search and product reviews.
While only the last group of links references selling things online, all of them offer tools that can augment the sales for an ecommerce site.
There are, of course, other links on the “Submit Your Content” page, too. Of particular interest is the Online Commerce section, offering tools to “distribute your product listings through Google and build your brand so that customers can buy from you early and often.”
If you’re looking for further insight on using the services offered on the “Submit Your Content” page, check out Google’s Content Central Blog. It has more details on the tools and the most current information on any changes or updates to them. While not every tool will apply to a given situation or website focus, there are sure to be a few that can help to augment your website visibility in Google, and hopefully increase sales.