Google’s ‘Buy Now’ button makes content more important

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  • June 17, 2015
Stephen Kenwright

Stephen Kenwright

Strategy Director

Google is obsessed with making sure its users don’t have to search for the same thing twice.

One of the ways it does this is to make sure that a rich variety of results are returned, hoping to cater to searchers looking for different things, but potentially searching for the same term.

So for example, someone searching for “Sony TV” might want to read reviews; they might want help; they might want to buy a TV. Marketers should not be placing all their bets on the latter, even though the search engine is adding a Buy Now button to make it easier to sell directly to consumers within the search results.

The way to win in search now, is to make sure you are covering as many user intents as possible.

Apart from being trusted by consumers, Amazon performs extremely well in search because both the buying experience and the researching experience are good.

Consumers who are in a brick and mortar store, searching for a Sony TV on their phones, might be wanting to read reviews or perform a price check. Google understands that Amazon is a good result for both of these intentions.

A Buy Now button means that an ecommerce store is even better for one of these intents, but not for the other.

Google is effectively trying to combat Amazon’s increasing usefulness as a search engine by allowing its users to compare prices within the search results themselves.

This means that a searcher is less likely to end up on a site that could potentially have a bad buying experience, which in turn means that users are more likely to go straight to Amazon.

But it looks like the Buy Now button will only feature in Google’s shopping results.

If a user is browsing through the shopping feed, that’s a very clear signal of intent. Making it easier to buy a product when a searcher is looking to buy, is a sensible thing to do.

However, not all searchers are looking to buy.

Google has implied for a long time that if you want to sell directly to consumers – without putting in the legwork to help them make their decision easier by presenting the right kind of content – then the search engine wants to charge you for the privilege.

If you don’t want to adequately describe your products (tech specs and high resolution images), demonstrate their uses (unique copy and video demonstrations), and show off your satisfied customers (reviews and testimonials), then you won’t rank in organic search. This is especially the case if Amazon is already doing a better job of this than you are.

Guess what? If you want to use Google’s Buy Now button, then you have to pay for the privilege.

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