As any online store owner knows, without visitors, there are no sales. While you can pay to advertise your website, increasing the visibility of your product pages in search engine results is often the most effective way to achieve online success. Today, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a necessity for e-commerce companies wanting their product pages to stand out in a crowded online market. In this post, we explain the key components of product page optimisation and how to put them into place.
Understanding your audience’s search behaviour is vital for effective SEO. This begins with keyword research, in particular, identifying the terms and phrases potential customers use when searching for your products. Importantly, it’s not just about finding the most popular keywords, as these are often dominated by bigger competitors; rather, it’s about discovering the specific, long-tail queries that lead customers to your store.
While you may have a good idea about the common terms used to find your products, using keyword research tools can provide deeper insights into search volumes, competition levels and changing trends. What’s more, these tools can often suggest relevant and related keywords that are much less competitive and which your pages stand a better chance of ranking for.
Once you’ve identified a list of potential keywords, the next step is to understand the searcher’s intent behind each one. Intent can be informational (e.g., finding out about a product), navigational (e.g., finding who sells a product) or transactional (e.g., buying the product). For product pages, your focus should, therefore, be to use transactional keywords to attract those ready to purchase.
Need to know more about search intent? Read How to Optimise Websites for Search Intent
While keywords are important, they need to be used carefully. Overuse, or keyword stuffing as it is often referred to, can provide a poor user experience if it affects the flow of the writing and can even be detrimental to your search result performance if search engines think you are trying to game the ranking process. Instead, keywords should be used naturally and sparingly in your titles, descriptions, meta tags and URLs.
Optimising product titles and meta descriptions
Optimising product titles and meta descriptions is a crucial part of the SEO process. The title of your product page is the first thing a potential customer sees in search results, so this must have the right keywords. The keywords will also be important to make sure that the page is identified as relevant by search engines. However, it must also be descriptive, sound naturally written and be relevant to users if it stands any chance of being noticed and clicked on.
Meta descriptions often appear as snippets of text under titles in search engine results. While they have limited ranking value, they are vital for clickthroughs as they summarise what customers can expect to find on your page. A well-written meta description lets you add additional details that there isn’t room for in a title, thus further enticing a click. Ideally, they should be a brief but compelling summary of the product, with a clear call to action and about the same length as a tweet.
New to SEO? Read our article: SEO for Beginners: Your FAQs Answered
High-quality product images
High-quality product images can significantly influence both user experience and search engine rankings. Indeed, for online stores, images give the clearest indication of what the customer is buying both in terms of what the product looks like and its quality. For this reason, well-taken, high-resolution photographs can dramatically increase the attraction of your product and raise the perceived value.
Ideally, to enable customers to thoroughly inspect products, there should be multiple, well-lit images of each item, including from different angles or distances. This can improve sales and reduce returns. Do remember that the images themselves need optimising. High-quality images can be large in terms of data size, and this can impact loading times, user experience and ranking. For this reason, compress the images without compromising on quality.
Finally, after uploading, use the alt text (alternative text) and file names of images to add additional SEO value. Using keywords in the alt text and file names helps search engines index your images so they appear in image searches, while alt text also provides useful information for those with visual impairment.
Detailed product descriptions
A detailed product description not only plays a role in attracting and converting potential customers; it’s also an ideal element of the content in which to drop relevant keywords that attract traffic from search engines.
Creating a compelling product description isn’t simply about listing the features of your product, though those are important; it’s also about establishing the benefits of buying the item, for example, how does it enhance the user’s lifestyle or solve their problems. Remember to provide details that answer users’ questions and write in a natural way that is easy to read and not bombarded with keywords. To rank higher, the descriptions need to provide genuine value to users: this is best achieved by writing your own product descriptions instead of using those provided by manufacturers and found, verbatim, on countless other websites.
To make things easier for search engines and users, structure your content into clearly defined sections and make use of subheadings, short paragraphs, bullets or numbered points that help guide users to the end of the description and the Buy Now button.
User reviews and ratings
According to Search Engine Journal, a staggering 99.9% of people now use reviews when buying goods online. Websites that use them, therefore, stand to benefit greatly from both enhanced customer trust and, as reviews are noticed by search engines, improved SEO.
Without the ability to see products in real life, getting feedback from previous customers often provides the social proof people need to buy or reject an item. This not only leads to new sales but boosts your brand’s credibility and gives you an insight into any products that are not satisfying customers and need to be withdrawn from sale.
From an SEO perspective, user-generated content like reviews and ratings keeps your product pages fresh, which tells search engines that your site is active and relevant. What’s more, as the content is rich in keywords, it can boost online visibility even further. To make the most of reviews, you need to encourage customers to leave them and find a way to display them clearly on relevant product pages.
For more information, read 9 Ways Social Proof Can Boost Your Website
Product page optimisation is vital to e-commerce businesses seeking to improve their search engine visibility and boost organic sales. By carrying out keyword research, optimising titles and meta descriptions, producing high-quality images, writing detailed product descriptions and enabling reviews and ratings, you stand a much greater chance of performing better in search engine results and of improving conversion rates at the same time.
Ready to make your products stand out online and boost sales? Don’t miss the chance to use powerful SEO tools for better visibility. Begin optimising your product pages today with our easy tips. Need help? Reach out, and let’s work on this together!