A vital aspect of your e-commerce success is ensuring your product pages are always optimized for search.
For many online marketers, this is easier said than done.
Developing optimized product pages demands you meet the requirements of two audiences:
- Your Potential Customers
If your product pages underwhelm either of these, your pathway to profit proves much more difficult. Fail with both, and it will be disastrous for your brand.
Indeed, it’s a very fine line between being a Google hero and an internet zero.
But no worries.
Creating high impact, well-received, and, of course, Google-friendly product pages is a task anyone with an online store can accomplish. By meeting the requirements of the first party — Google — you’ll ultimately meet the needs of the second — your consumers.
Accomplishing this requires some effort on your part. But you’ve got this, and just need to follow a few steps to ensure your site is set up to succeed.
Let’s explore the ten ways you can build a better product page for Google and the customers wanting to find you.
Product Page SEO
For product pages, the most important aspect of optimization is your SEO. While this generally proves true for your site as a whole, enhancing the spot where consumers view your products supercharges your overall SEO efforts.
SEO is not something you do once and ignore. It takes time to get everything set up just right and requires ongoing diligence to keep your site performing at an optimal level.
However, by making a strong commitment to SEO, you are giving your store the best chance to thrive in a competitive marketplace. Here are the SEO keys to make it happen.
1. Understand Your Audience
When running a business, this seems like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, many online sellers gloss over its importance, instead believing in the adage “If you build it, they will come.”
Knowing what your target consumer wants and needs is not just about providing them a product to fulfill those demands. You also want to create a brand and an experience that encourages them to engage with you and your online store.
Before you develop your product pages, ask yourself these questions about your target audience:
- What is the issue your customer wants to resolve?
- What is the resolution they are hoping to find?
- Where else have they searched to solve this problem?
- What other solutions have they tried?
- What information do they need to make a decision?
- What type of experience do they want to have?
- How can you give them the product and experience that leads to a sale?
Cluing into your potential customer base helps you cater directly to their needs and create product pages that meet their requirements.
Not only that, but you gain a far better understanding of how they go about finding the products or solutions they want. This provides the base for your SEO efforts and how the majority of consumers will find you when they search on Google.
When you match your store’s content and product offerings to a customer’s desires, you create an SEO blueprint that also promotes direct engagement. Engagement is what generates sales.
2. Key in on the Right Keywords
Keywords serve as the foundation for any well-developed SEO strategy. Targeting relevant search terms and phrases is a means to connect an audience to the product they are seeking (and you are selling).
When you conduct keyword research, don’t only look at common short-tail keywords. While short phrases remain helpful for some businesses, prioritize long-tail keywords that more accurately reflect how someone might search for a product.
For example, if you run an online store that sells athletic goods, keyword searches for your products could include:
- Short-tail keywords such as “running shoes” or “workout tops.”
- Long-tail keywords such as “men’s running shoes for training” or “workout tops for women.”
See the difference. Ultimately, a long-tail keyword is a more natural method for users trying to find what they want.
Long-tail keywords can also result in higher conversions since they indicate a consumer is after something specific and are motivated to act on their search once they find it.
After you’ve completed your keyword research, include any relevant keywords you identified in your product descriptions.
Several excellent tools can assist in your research. Two of the best SEO tools are Ahrefs and SEMrush. Both of these are pay services, so make sure to include the costs in your marketing budget.
A free option is Ubersuggest. Simply enter a keyword, and it returns stats on the keyword’s viability including search volume, competition, and rank opportunity.
3. No Need to Reinvent the Wheel
Understanding what your audience wants.
Researching the right keywords.
If all of this sounds familiar, its because good SEO starts with mastering the basics. You want to give your online store and your product pages the best opportunity to engage your customers and generate sales.
You do this by sticking to what works. The next four items are vital to following best-practice SEO guidelines.
Tag and Meta Descriptions
To impress search engines — and rank high — the title tags and meta descriptions for each of your product pages must include your main keyword or phrase.
When a user performs a search, this is the information that often pops up to indicate the content that the page includes. Google also uses this data as part of its ranking criteria. So make sure your tags and descriptions appeal to users and search engines alike.
Headings and Descriptions
Another critical element to successful SEO is the actual content you produce for your online store.
That content needs to be informative, engaging, impactful, and most importantly, unique. Not only does this appeal to your would-be customers, but it helps your site stand out in the search engines.
Include keywords in both headings and on-page text descriptions for all of your product pages. For specific product descriptions, hit on the primary aspects of what you’re selling — vital specs, key features, and the main benefits of the item.
Never copy and paste descriptions from other sites and try to make it your own. Search engines pay attention to original content. The more original you can be, the better.
Rich Results and Structured Data
The more information you provide search engines to discern what’s happening on your product pages, the higher their visibility.
This is where structured data and rich results come in.
Structured data are additional pieces of text or data that are built into a page’s HTML. The data is picked up by Google and can be included as rich results — a preview of the search result that further identifies the content on the page. Rich results can include a product’s rating or highlight a price markdown on an item.
Rich results rely on understanding schema markup, which is one of the more advanced aspects of SEO. However, they can give you an edge over your competitors and strengthen your SEO, and they are winning strategy for increasing your click-through rates.
For an outstanding resource to help develop your rich snippet, we recommend reading Google’s guide to get you started.
Finally, as we continue to emphasize the importance of engagement, use internal links to link back to other pages on your site. These links turn simple “window shopping” visits into full site explorations. This is important because it is believed that the longer a customer’s dwell time on a site, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
As an added benefit, internal links provide easy access for search engines to crawl your e-commerce store and increase your SEO.
Product Page Visuals and Engagement
With this better grasp of SEO fundamentals, it’s time to kick it up a notch and make your product pages truly shine.
You could have the best SEO of your competitors, but if your product pages are lackluster, your sales and customer retention will suffer.
Avoid this by creating engaging product pages. Here are three of the best ways to achieve this.
1. A Feast for the Eyes
Images help tell the story of your products and your brand — in some cases, far better than even the most well-written marketing pitch.
The use of high-quality pictures and image galleries give your product pages vibrancy and provide a showcase for the merchandise.
A single image isn’t enough. Multiple shots of a product, including close-ups of its essential features, provide details that can spur a visitor on to making a purchase.
Beyond images, video has never been a more popular or more powerful medium. Videos increase engagement and can lead to a higher percentage of sales versus sites without them.
We’re not talking full-length feature films. Simple, one- to three-minute videos that show a product in action, provide instruction or a quick how-to, or exhibit a bit of fun in promoting a product or a brand can all have a significant impact on your SEO and your conversion rates.
2. People (and Search Engines) Love Product Reviews
If you’ve spent any time on Amazon, or any other major e-commerce site, you know consumers love to give opinions on the items they purchase.
More than that, they love to read the reviews of others who have made purchases similar to what they are considering. Research from Podium indicates that for 93% of consumers who interact with online reviews, these reviews make an impact on their buying decisions.
With your target buyers placing that level of importance on the opinions of others, it’s clear your product pages should include an area for customer feedback. Product reviews also count as original content on your product pages, which will get picked up by search engines.
The reviews may not always be glowing. There will be times you need to address a dissatisfied client. You’ll also want to monitor the comments for relevance and appropriateness regularly.
However, accepting reviews on your online shop is no longer optional. Allowing product reviews shows your customers you are legitimate, stand behind your products, and are open to feedback.
Even critical customers appreciate and respect the fact you let them voice their opinion.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Call to Action and Customization
A call to action (CTA) provides a direct link between your customer and the product pages they are browsing. Your CTA buttons — “Add to Cart” “Sign Up Now” “Order Your Free Trial” — should stand out on your pages and be easy to access.
Don’t shy away from getting creative either. If it fits with your brand, adding a little punch to these buttons through bolder colors and alternative wording will grab even more attention.
With customization, create product pages that provide users a more realistic “in-store” experience.
Size selection, the ability to view different colors or product variations, and links to similar products or what other shoppers viewed allow a visitor to immerse themselves in your product line.
Aside from a more complete experience for your shoppers, it lends your e-commerce store a great deal of professionalism.
Online Store Framework
We’ve already touched on SEO best practices and how they influence your product pages, but what about SEO for your online store as a whole?
If you want your product pages to stand out and perform well, follow these steps to maintain a top-performing online store at all times.
1. Create a Focused and Consistent Online Store
Nothing is worse than landing on a website with a haphazard design, poor navigation, and product pages that are dull and uninformative.
Although the products you offer from page to page might be different, the look and feel of the pages — and your store as a whole — should not. Make sure your branding and design communicate an appealing, cohesive vibe across your entire site.
Produce product pages that are consistent and easy to navigate. Clean navigation translates to customers finding images and calls to action faster.
Don’t overlook the importance of well-written and informative copy. Consumers do read what you write, so make sure it reads well.
Overall, when developing your site, your goal should be to convey professionalism and a clear brand image. Even if your company carries with it a sense of whimsy, an educational tone, or something authoritative, build this personality into the design and messaging of your site.
2. Optimize Your Entire Website
Your product pages exist within the framework of your entire e-commerce website. If the backbone of your website underperforms, so will your sales. Avoid this by optimizing your e-commerce store with a few straightforward steps so that its always ready for the next visitor.
Look Good on Mobile
Mobile browsing is growing and shows no signs of slowing down. Optimize your online store so it performs well, no matter the screen or device used to view it. This includes navigation, images, customization, and ordering.
Keep Your Pages Snappy
Nobody likes a web page that loads slowly. Nobody will stick around to watch a slow web page load. Nobody shopping on your e-commerce store means nobody is spending money on your e-commerce store. Avoid having nobody visit your store. Test your site’s speed at WebPagetest or GTmetrix.
Manage Your Images
Earlier we noted the importance of your store’s imagery, but don’t let those images overwhelm the shopping experience. Keep your pictures and galleries tidy by adhering to the rules laid out by your host platform. If you need help keeping your image sizes under control, there are tools for that too.
Keep Links Connected
Broken links can be frustrating. Not just for you and how Google perceives the quality of your site, but for the shoppers expecting something good on the other end of the link. If your site employs heavy use of internal (or external) links, be certain they all lead somewhere. Google Search Console can help you identify broken links, among many other helpful services.
Get A Bit Social
Few things can spur organic engagement and word-of mouth-promotion better than social sharing. Make sure your online store and product pages have ways for visitors to share products or information across the major social platforms, including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
3. Always be Testing
Regardless of the effort behind your online store, there will be times when certain pages underperform or don’t get the attention from consumers that you had hoped. Don’t fret. This is a prime opportunity to test what works and what doesn’t.
You can A/B test numerous items within your site and product pages to figure out the best approach — layout, headlines, product copy, images, CTA buttons.
You should also add Google Analytics to keep tabs on site traffic and conversions and if your audience is what you expected or is something different.
Bonus Tip — Product Page Maintenance
Even the best stores can get better.
Think about any retailer — online or brick and mortar — and the ones who’ve had lasting success.
Places like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, or Target.
To stay relevant, what do you often see these stores do?
The answer is they improve.
Whether it’s a small tweak or something more significant, you should always strive for improvement — in both your SEO and your customer engagement.
Check out other e-commerce stores that sell products similar to yours. Visit online shops that trade in something completely different. Understand why some sellers do better than others. Stay on top of trends and what your target consumer is looking for in an online experience.
There’s no need to make massive changes regularly. However, knowing what others are doing and what works and what doesn’t will help inform your decisions.
Additionally, don’t ignore the nuts and bolts of your product pages once your store is up and running. Visiting your site regularly and monitoring its performance will help you quickly identify and correct problems should they arise.
Use available tools to actively monitor your e-commerce efforts and use the data to improve performance. Two more sites to add to your toolkit include Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom.
By keeping your e-commerce store fresh and current, you’ll keep both Google and your audience engaged. An engaged Google leads to more consumers, and an engaged group of consumers are loyal to your brand and will spend money.
This post was written by Skubana. Skubana is the leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that enables multi-channel brands and retailers to unify their back-office operations. Skubana serves as your operational nervous system, providing a centralized platform to handle inventory and order management, fulfillment and purchasing. Skubana empowers e-commerce brands to improve their operational efficiency and make smarter business decisions.