Search Console is a powerful tool that offers valuable insights to help you create or refine your SEO strategy. In addition to crawl error reports, it provides indexing information, keyword ranking data, and details on referring domains (inbound links). By utilizing the information provided by the Search Console, website owners can make data-driven decisions to improve their website’s performance and visibility on search engines. When it comes to Ecommerce SEO, within the Shopping section of the navigation bar, you’ll find two Search Console reports that are specifically related to Product structured data.
- Merchant Listings report, which provides information on pages where shoppers can directly purchase products
- Product Snippets, which covers other types of product-related pages, such as aggregator sites and product reviews
By using these reports, website owners can obtain valuable information on the performance of their product pages and fine-tune their structured data accordingly. While both reports offer alerts and issues related to product structured data, they are separate because of the distinct requirements associated with each experience. This differentiation helps website owners identify and resolve issues related to their product listings, and ensure that their structured data is optimized for the best possible user experience.
Merchant listing report ensures that Google can understand the information and generate rich results. It covers the wider range of schema.org structured data properties and types used by the Product type. The recent news is that Google has made updates to the developer’s documentation for product structured data, which now includes additional requirements for websites to display their product return policies in the merchant listing experiences.
Merchant listing experiences
Merchant listing experiences require detailed product information such as pricing and availability, and only web pages that allow customers to make purchases are qualified for this feature. Pages that solely contain links to other websites selling the product are not eligible. Google may verify the accuracy of merchant listing product data before displaying it on search results.
Shopping experiences shared by this report include popular products, Shopping knowledge panel, and Google Images.
Google has added support for the Schema.org MerchantReturnPolicy structured data type.
Two Required Properties
Two required properties of the new MerchantReturnPolicy type are – applicableCountry and returnPolicyCategory. Google has recommended these properties to make your merchant listing eligible to show return policy information, including return fees and the window of time to return a product.
applicableCountry – The country code that the return policy applies to, using the two-letter ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code formatting. You can specify up to 25 countries.
returnPolicyCategory – MerchantReturnEnumeration
The type of return policy. Use one of the following values:
- https://schema.org/MerchantReturnFiniteReturnWindow: There’s a set number of days to return a product.
- https://schema.org/MerchantReturnNotPermitted: Returns aren’t permitted.
- https://schema.org/MerchantReturnUnlimitedWindow: There’s an unlimited amount of time to return a product.
If you use MerchantReturnFiniteReturnWindow, then the merchantReturnDays property is required.
Google has explained that there are four kinds of recommended properties: merchantReturnDays, returnFees, returnMethod, and returnShippingFeesAmount.
merchantReturnDays: The number of days from the delivery date that a product can be returned. This property is only required if you set the returnPolicyCategory to MMerchantReturnFiniteReturnWindow.
returnFees: The type of return fees. This property is only required if there’s no cost to return the product. If you use this property, you must set the value to https://schema.org/FreeReturn (other return fee types aren’t supported; if there are fees, use the returnShippingFeesAmount property instead).
returnMethod: The type of return method offered. This is only recommended if you set the returnPolicyCategory to either MerchantReturnFiniteReturnWindow or MerchantReturnUnlimitedWindow.
Use one or more of the following values:
https://schema.org/ReturnAtKiosk: The item can be returned at a kiosk.
https://schema.org/ReturnByMail: The item can be returned by mail.
https://schema.org/ReturnInStore: The item can be returned in store.
returnShippingFeesAmount: The cost of shipping for product returns. This property is only required if there’s a shipping cost to return a product. If the cost is zero, use the returnFees property instead.
With these changes, while selling products, adding the shipping and return details to the product snippet can help gain attention and visibility of snippets within Google Search and may impact your click-through rate from Google Search.
In the light of these updates, including shipping and return information in your product snippets can boost the visibility of your snippets within Google Search and potentially increase your click-through rate. By providing comprehensive information, web owners can help potential customers make informed decisions and increase the likelihood of them clicking through to your website to make a purchase. Therefore, it is essential to update your product snippets with shipping and return details to optimize your search engine performance and enhance your online sales.
By optimizing merchant listing experiences in search results, businesses can boost their site visibility and thus drive sales. To ensure optimal visibility on Google, businesses are required to provide comprehensive product information, which includes structured data on their webpages, a Google Merchant Center feed, and detailed pricing and shipping information. By providing this rich product data to Google, businesses can improve the accuracy and relevance of their product listings in the search results, making it easier for potential customers to find and purchase their products. Professional digital marketing outsourcing companies will support businesses to regularly update and maintain their product data to stay ahead of the competition and maximize their online sales potential.