One thing which never ceases to amaze me when visiting eCommerce websites is how many of them seem to pay very little attention to their product pages. After all, the product page for the most part makes up a good 90% of your average eCommerce site, it’s also the page which should convert the visitor into a customer.
Quite important then.
One of the things Chris Dyson has written about on this very site previously is the power of the long tail keyword and how sites can use these low competition keywords to drive highly targeted visitors which convert really well. In my view product pages are absolutely the areas of eCommerce sites micro business owners should be using to capture this highly valuable traffic. What I wanted to cover in this post are the elements of the product page which command a great deal of SEO value, not just for the long tail keywords but for the the broader site’s search engine health and well-being (aka rankings)
Still one of the easiest and most powerful changes you can make to a product page has got to be a descriptive title tag, in many eCommerce platforms the title of a product page and the product name are one and the same. The power of the page title is two fold, first of all it is used as the link to your site in the search engines, meaning it’s big and eye catching.
Second, the page title is a key indicator to the search engines (and customers) as to the content of your product page, it should tell them both exactly what your product is about.
See the example below using a search for a particular brand of ladies footwear (guess what my wife had for Christmas?) It contains very specific and descriptive words about the product, the brand, the colour, the style and the gender the shoe is aimed at.
I possibly would have added the word “Boot” but that’s just me.
If you’ve done any reading on the subject of SEO you will have heard the phrase “content is king” and your product pages are no exception to the rule. Simply copying the manufacturer’s description onto your site just will not cut it. Take a look at this search engine result for a snippet of description I lifted from the Ugg website. Page after page (the results actually estimated 600,000 pages returned for this query) using exactly the same description.
Is this what Google wants? More to the point, as a customer, is this what I want?
Product page content goes further then writing a unique and interesting description for each and every one of your products however. On top of the basic product descriptions think about:
- Incorporating customer reviews (real ones, from real customers!)
- Questions and answers about the product
- Images and/or video
- Any sizing, variant, warranty
- Shipping details
These are all great ways to bulk up your product pages with useful information. Using tabs on your pages is a great way to keep all the content in bite sized chunks for the visitor, whilst making sure it’s all still available to the search engine.
One of my favourite SEO features for product pages which many people don’t see as SEO is actually the “related product” section. Most eCommerce platforms will have this available to you and it can be used to help your site’s SEO efforts by linking your related product pages together.
Internal linking is extremely important, especially in lager eCommerce sites with many product pages because it allows the search engines to jump between the pages which are often at the very bottom of the site’s hierarchy (those which take the most clicks from the homepage to get to). Product pages are sometimes the most difficult to get noticed by the search engines but internal linking through a handful of related products on each product page is a good way to aid this process.
In the above image (from SEOMoz) those detail pages at the bottom of the picture are the same as your eCommerce product pages. I highly recommend the article if you’re interested in how a search engines discover pages on your site.
You can use Google analytics to find product pages which are being found by customers via search engines (Content -> Site Content -> Landing pages) Use this report to prioritise the product pages which are NOT currently getting any direct search traffic.