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Front Line UI: Sizing Tricks with Google Preview

One of the more difficult tasks of SEO for e-commerce websites is getting your product catalog pages to rank anywhere in the SERP; getting them to rank on page 1 is even harder.

It's nearly impossible to rank a single product's detail page in the SERP unless you have a lot of detail that looks like paragraph content. For this Nugget we're going to ignore the product detail page and instead focus on the main landing pages for each product catalog category.

We're referring to the category landing page as the main page someone sees when they enter your online catalog and clicks on "wedding rings" or some other primary category. You might have subcategories for "princess cut diamond wedding rings" or "round diamond wedding rings," and each of those are considered sub-landing pages.

A typical landing page has several rows of jewelry thumbnails, short descriptions, and prices of the items. If you want to rank any of these landing pages in the top 10 of the SERP, you should have 400 words of information on the page. Your visitors probably won't want to read those 400 words; they'll be too busy looking at the thumbnails. So put a sentence or two above the cluster of thumbnails and the rest of the 400 words below the thumbnails.

Now let's talk about those product thumbnails. They now play a very important role in attracting visitors to your site.

Using the Google SERP Preview, potential visitors can see your website before they click. Yesterday, we told you to examine your website design as a preview image while you are still in the design process. Today, we have another recommendation.

The product thumbnails on your landing pages have the ability to attract or repel visitors when they view the Google Preview. Larger thumbnails attract, and the smallest thumbnails repel.

Recently we took a close look at different product landing pages and analyzed them for their aesthetics in Google Preview; here's what we found:

* Thumbnails of 100x100 pixels look very bad in preview.
* Thumbnails of 140x140 pixels look okay in preview.
* Thumbnails of 150x150 pixels and above look good in preview.
* Thumbnails of 250x250 look amazing in the preview.

Just to be clear, we haven't tested clicks on websites, or analyzed buying trends. This was an aesthetic review of the Google SERP Preview while using various sizes of thumbnails. We're using our previous years of experience to make a professional "front line" evaluation without data to support the theories yet.

However, knowing that Google's original goal for the preview feature was to lower bounce rates and improve customer experience, it stand to reason that the better the preview, the more visitors you will attract.

In this case, larger thumbnails look more attractive and should draw more visitors.

In case you haven't noticed yet, all design elements are getting larger on newer websites; text is larger, images are larger, headlines are huge. The trend helps draw attention to the important areas of a web page while the more subtle areas remain smaller.

The bottom line of today's Daily Gold Nugget is to increase the size of your product thumbnails and other important areas of every page so they not only look good in Google Preview, but also immediately command attention when someone visits your page.
AT: 05/26/2011 11:32:36 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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