- Do’s and don’t for optimising e-commerce product pages
- Importance of optimising metadata
- How schema markup can positively affect your search rankings
- Optimise for mobile to enhance the user experience
It’s not rocket science, but it can still come as a surprise how much of a positive impact SEO will have on the revenue and sales generated by your e-commerce website. Optimising for search engines and users will increase your traffic and sales – it’s that simple.
Optimising product pages for e-commerce has always been an integral aspect of digital marketing, even more so following the coronavirus pandemic, which triggered a massive shift to online with people unable to shop at brick and mortar stores.
Increased competition means optimising your product pages and e-commerce websites is essential. Optimised product pages boost your chances of appearing on the first page of Google and in front of customers who are using a range of search terms to find products your brand sells.
Optimised product pages will see influxes in high-quality traffic, resulting in higher conversions and an increase in return-on-investment (ROI).
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, ensure that your product pages are optimised to not only help convert prospects into loyal customers but generate maximum exposure for your business.
E-commerce Product Page SEO: 10 Do & Don’ts
To help you, we’ve outlined some actionable SEO guidelines for product pages to help you generate qualified traffic and avoid major pitfalls. If you’re looking for Retail SEO guidelines specifically, then please click here.
Optimise for Relevant Keywords
If you want your online store’s product pages to rank highly in search engine result pages (SERPs), devising an effective keyword strategy will be crucial.
Keyword research is one of the cruxes of product page optimisation; however, there are some best practices that marketers and website owners should follow.
Although it’s important to optimise your content to maximise search visibility, don’t fixate on volume. Instead, concentrate on keyword relevance, as this will help drive conversion.
Stuffing keywords into your content and HTML tags isn’t what makes you rank on Google; producing high-quality content with a dynamic range of terms that demonstrate context to search engines is what will improve your search visibility.
Context over keywords.
Google scans and crawls pages to determine whether your product pages are contextually related to users’ search queries. If you have data from other channels such as paid search, utilise those metrics in topic research and incorporate high-performing ad copy into metadata.
Remember that, unlike blogs, people searching for products have transactional intent and will be using keywords associated with purchasing such as “buy”, “discount”, “shipping”, and “book”.
Use consumer-led language and ensure your landing pages are optimised for searchers with transactional intent as they will want to get to your product pages right away.
Optimise Meta Titles and Descriptions
The meta title is about 60 characters in length, while the meta description is a snippet of text around 155 characters.
Given that the metadata is what search engines display in SERPs, you must correctly optimise them to increase your chances of convincing users to click through to your page.
Characteristics of a compelling meta title and description include:
- Writing in an active voice
- The name and brand of the product
- A call-to-action
- An actionable meta description
- Your focus keywords
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that Google will display the meta title or description you’ve written. Search engines also say that they do not consider metadata when it comes to SEO; however, there is an indirect benefit.
Search engines use clickthrough rate (CTR) to determine whether your content is worthy of appearing high in search. So, if your metadata is convincing users to click, search engines will reward this by improving your rankings.
Schema MarkUp and Structured Data
Structured data helps e-commerce businesses in several ways, the most important being:
- To help search engines understand the content on your page
- Users can see essential information such as price, availability and reviews
- Maintaining the accuracy and relevance of your product information
The enhancement, known as a “rich result” or “rich snippet”, can help make the appearance of search listings more prominent, which increases opportunities for impressions and CTR.
Include FAQ Content
An FAQ section – short for Frequently Asked Questions – is an organised collection of valuable information for search users who want to learn more about your product or service.
Although a website needs to contain high-quality content to create a positive user experience (UX), the FAQ section will help draw out most of your traffic and drive conversion. In addition, it allows potential customers to find the information they are looking for quickly.
FAQ pages are advantageous for many reasons, such as:
- Improving customer experience and building trust
- Reducing the time employees spend answering commonly asked questions
- Increasing your online visibility on search engines
- Driving conversion as users have the information they need to make a decision
One of the most cost-effective customer service tactics available to e-commerce businesses is FAQ pages, and companies that utilise this form of communication tend to have lower bounce rates.
If users find the content on your website helpful, they will more than likely browse and purchase the products or services you offer.
Most product pages we’ve come across rely on user-generated content (UGC). However, marketers or content writers should also be integrating FAQ sections as this content links directly to transactional intent – from question to conversion.
Use High-Quality Video and Images
Although new technologies such as augmented reality (AR) have allowed customers to virtually try on or test products, one of the drawbacks of online shopping is that you cannot physically handle the product you’re considering buying.
However, high-quality images and videos can help bridge the gap and influence purchasing decisions by providing prospective buyers with a good idea of the product and the information they need to feel confident about it.
If you sell an experience or a service, you could positively influence purchasing decisions by displaying:
- Video content from past events
- FAQ videos
- Striking infographics
- Question and answers with existing customers
- Company culture video
Video content is becoming increasingly popular and advantageous for marketers as it captures audience attention much longer than other media forms.
E-commerce Product Page Tactics to Avoid
So, we’ve covered the “do’s” for e-commerce SEO and product pages. It’s now time to take a look at the five things you should avoid doing when optimising product pages.
Don’t Use Product Descriptions Mentioned on Manufacturers Websites
One of the most commonly made mistakes seen when optimising product pages is using manufacturer product descriptions.
By copying and pasting manufacturer product descriptions, you’re essentially committing plagiarism, which will also cause duplicate page issues with your website and the manufacturers, impacting your ranking position.
Take the time to write unique product descriptions that are compelling and optimised for search to maximise your exposure – the more detailed, the better!
Don’t Optimise For Low Volume Keywords
If you’re only optimising for low volume keywords, your website isn’t going to gain a lot of attention as people will only be searching for that phrase in certain situations.
That’s not to say you should never include low volume keywords on the page, but it would be more beneficial to use data to guide your decision around keywords.
If you want your website to rank highly in SERPs for the product or service you offer, you need to incorporate keywords that your target audience is using.
Don’t Remove Seasonal Pages
It might seem wise to remove a seasonal page, but doing that also erases all of the SEO equity and backlinks it earned when it was active.
Even if you migrate the content to another page on your site, that’s essentially the same as removing the old page and creating a new one, so think carefully about where you want to place the page and what you want to name the URL.
Avoid removing seasonal pages and having to rebuild authority by:
- Not including dates in the URL
- Writing a clear message on the page to give users a clear idea of dates and give them a place to return
- Remove the page from the main navigation menu
- Set up a temporary (302) redirect to another page
Any of the above actions will help marketers plan their SEO strategies for seasonal events.
Don’t Bin Out of Stock Pages
We preach about this time and time again; the most straightforward answer is to leave the pages up. Of course, you may want to remove the page from any direct navigation if you aren’t expecting to restock the product for quite some time, but keeping the page indexed with Google will do your overall SEO a lot of good.
In addition, if you are keeping the page accessible from your menu or category system, you are much better off by offering alternative products on the page than simply deleting or replacing the product itself. This is not only good SEO practice but is a far better option for the customer experience – better yet, if your business can accommodate it, offer a ‘backorder’ service.
Unless you know that you won’t be offering a product again, don’t remove out of stock product pages as this will hurt traffic and rankings.
If a product is temporarily unavailable, keep the URL live with clear notice that the item will be available to buy again soon. You could also offer users alternative recommendations to redirect them to other parts of your site, which will help reduce bounce rates.
While this may seem counterintuitive, it is a more profitable solution than deleting the product page, as you will retain page authority and any link equity generated by backlinks.
Don’t Neglect Mobile Optimisation
Optimising your product pages for mobile should be a top priority for e-commerce businesses to improve the user experience (UX) and your chances of ranking highly in SERPs as Google uses a mobile-first indexing strategy.
According to the latest research, more than 50% of internet shopping traffic is carried out on mobile, and this trend is evolving as we head into 2022.
Optimised mobile product pages should include:
- High-quality images
- Zooming flexibility
- An FAQ section
- Fast loading speed
- Similar/related product section
If your website is not mobile-friendly, this could deter users from purchasing your product or services.
FAQs: Increasing Sales with Product Page & E-commerce SEO
Here are the most common questions we get when it comes to optimising product pages and overall e-commerce websites when it comes to SEO:
What do I do with new products?
Your internal link structure and semantic architecture need to be strong for new product pages to rank well. For example, your home page should link to your categories and your categories to each product. See our previous post on how to correctly structure URLs for a few more hints on how to organise and optimise your URLs properly.
It would be best if you also looked to feature your new products on your homepage to have them seen and indexed as quickly as possible.
How do I handle content on product pages?
Content on product pages is often overlooked or managed poorly by way of mass importing from a database, which leads to duplicate, lacking or broken descriptions. But, as we all know, content is vital when it comes to Google, so your product pages must have unique and accurately written content.
You can start by targeting your most popular products and bolstering their content manually. This can be a long process, depending on the size of your catalogue, but it will be worth it. You can also strengthen your category pages with good content, breadcrumbs and link structure.
Also, harnessing user-generated content can bolster your SEO. Ask your customers to leave reviews and endorsements to increase your content as well as to boost conversions.
How important are category pages?
Very. In fact, next to your homepage, category pages are the most powerful.
Treat your category pages like homepages in themselves, focusing on particular niches and topics. As above, they should have rich, unique content with a good internal linking structure. As you may have guessed, they should also have a semantic, search-friendly URL, for example:
Category Page: Website.com/category/
Sub-category page: Website.com/category/sub-category/
Product page: website.com/category/sub-category/product-name/
Is your e-Commerce website generating enough sales?
The above are only a few areas to consider when optimising your e-commerce website. Not only are there many more SEO best practices to follow, but there are also several e-commerce SEO pitfalls you should be avoiding at the same time.