This article was originally published on TotalRetail.
It’s no secret that proper search engine optimization is a key factor in the success of an online retailer. Some online retailers view SEO as a requirement to drive traffic to a website’s blog or homepage, but that’s only part of the story. To increase your chances of converting a website visitor into a customer, every page of your site should be optimized for search — especially your product pages.
Discovery is the Name of the Game
The more unique and relevant your on-page content is — especially on your product pages — the easier it is for search engines to find it, understand it, relate it to your site and determine its value to searchers. Since people base purchasing decisions on how clear and compelling the information is on a product’s web page, it’s essential to optimize it to ensure visitors can find what they’re looking for and complete their purchase with ease.
Here are four ways to optimize your product pages and boost your searchability:
1. Avoid recycling product descriptions. One of the biggest SEO sins is duplicate content. Search engines look to provide searchers with the most relevant and unique information in response to their queries. However, with product pages, duplicate content can sneak up on you fast.
Consider putting all of the variants for products on a single page. For example, if you have a dress that comes in red, black and blue, dedicate one product page to that dress style and provide content on the various size and color options there.
The key takeaway is to ensure that the content on every product page you have is unique, relevant and helpful to the consumer who lands there.
2. Create meta descriptions and rich snippets. The lines of text that accompany every search result are meta descriptions. They should include copy and keywords that best describe how closely the product page relates to the terms a searcher would likely use.
Level up your meta descriptions with rich snippets. Rich snippets display information like price, availability, product reviews and images in the meta description. Google loves rich snippets because they help the search engine provide the most relevant results possible. They also result in better clickthrough rates and higher rankings, so using them is a win-win strategy.
3. Leverage long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are highly targeted search phrases of three or more words. Visitors are more likely to use long-tail keywords when they’re close to making a purchase. Therefore, using these keywords gets you that much closer to a sale.
For example, “men’s XL cargo pants khaki” is a more targeted phrase than “cargo pants.” By using long-tail keywords, you’ll attract and convert consumers who are ready to buy.
4. Provide product reviews. Pages with customer reviews convert 58 percent more visitors than those without. And because customer reviews often organically include long-tail keywords, using them for inspiration can greatly improve your copywriting.
Consider promoting those reviews and making them prominent on your site. They will help search engines direct people to your site and make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.
Properly optimizing your product pages for search can mean the difference between a sale and people leaving your site almost as soon as they find it. Look beyond just your homepage and blog. Optimize each product page to increase sales, rank higher in search engine results, and rise above the competition.