I heard something the other day and it’s stuck with me. Someone defined SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as “where words pay rent on Google.”

And with Google confirming that the ‘Buy’ button is coming to its shopping results, making it easier to sell directly to consumers, paying that rent just got more important for ecommerce businesses.

Within the last year, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more recently Instagram have announced plans to either test or introduce some version of a ‘Buy’ button, turning their social networks and discovery platforms into shopping centres (bank balance danger!). Brands will have to pay for it – after all, Google’s been throwing warning signs for ages that if businesses are going to sell directly to consumers without presenting the right kind of content to make their decisions easier, then they’ll charge them for the privilege.

Organic and paid listings work like this: using ads and AdWords helps you sell products; creating content around those products adds value. The latter is what makes you rank in organic results, and is basically why we created Content Soup. The Buy Now button is great for those with media budgets, but for those who have to be more frugal, websites are going to have to work even harder to sell via their content – in other words, ‘for free’.

So how do you go about increasing your organic ranking via content? Above all, make it as easy as possible to buy a product when a searcher is looking to buy. That means:

1. Spend time properly describing your products and showing them off with high resolution images – talk about their tech spec and capabilities

2. Demonstrate a product’s uses through cleverly crafted words, pictures and videos – it’s well documented that Google loves rich content like videos

3. Tell the world about your satisfied customers – encourage reviews, splash out testimonials, give people confidence in your product via others

4. Think about why people are searching for your potential solution – usually they’re either researching, comparing or buying, so bear all of those things in mind when creating your content and make sure you’re covering all bases.

While it’s unknown exactly when this buy button will be introduced (word on the street is imminently), it’s obviously massive for the future of retail as well as Google’s dominance of the search engine sector. It’s also only set to be available on mobile devices, and with Google’s algorithms recently changing to favour mobile-optimised sites, it’s clear where Google’s priorities lie for ecommerce.