When e-commerce marketers think about improving their site’s ranking, they tend to focus on incorporating critical keywords into their copy and/or within meta titles and meta descriptions. Incorporating keywords in those spots, however, are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating high-converting, well-optimized product pages.
Whether your ecommerce site has one product page or 10,000, it’s important to implement the following SEO and user experience strategies to help your product pages climb to the top of search engines:
Unique content is the holy grail of SEO. Delight customers and search engines by providing helpful, relevant information on every product page. Avoid duplicate content on your own site and also from other websites and product manufacturers at all costs. Duplicate content may incur a Google penalty.
Duplicate content can arise from multiple product pages where the only variance between them are size or color. In these scenarios, where possible, it would be better to include variants on the same product page instead of creating multiple product pages. If that’s not possible, then ensure that product page variants have a canonical tag pointing to the “main” version of the product. It’s incredibly difficult to get a site out of a duplicate content penalty box once they’re in there, so SEO managers should try to avoid it at all costs.
Product reviews let search engines know that your page is still fresh and facilitate the creation of free, user-generated content. Get more tips on the benefits of product reviews for SEO here.
Keyword-rich URLs are seen as more trustworthy and relevant, making them more likely to attract clicks on search engine results pages. They are also one of the many factors that, when conducted correctly, can positively impact your SEO.
A gorgeous image can grab attention, but without ALT tags, it won’t do much for your SEO. Get your images to appear in search results and help users find your product through image search by creating image ALT tags that are keyword rich. It also helps if you name your image files descriptively to include keywords in the filenames.
Breadcrumbs aren’t just for Hansel and Gretel. Search engines value link architecture and these internal links also help customers orient themselves while browsing your e-commerce site. For example, a product page for a pair of men’s climbing shoes on REI.com features the following navigational breadcrumb links: Climbing > Climbing Shoes > Men’s Climbing Shoes.
Meta Descriptions & Rich Snippets
Meta descriptions are the lines of black text that accompany every search result listing. They should include copy & keywords that will best describe the page’s relevance to the likely terms that a searcher used as their search query. You can spruce up your meta descriptions with rich snippets featuring product information such as product price, ratings, reviews and availability. In the crowded e-commerce field, rich snippets can win you eyeballs, clicks and sales.
Social Media Buttons
Getting traction on social media can give your product pages a boost in search engine rankings. Make it easier for people to share your product pages by adding social media sharing buttons.
Out of Stock Products
When you have out of stock products, it’s important to refrain from deleting their product pages. For products temporarily out of stock, there should be clear messaging to set user expectations for when a product will be back in stock and if back-order options are available. In addition, it’s important to provide links to closest similar products (i.e. same product but a different size, color, etc).
For products permanently out of stock, create a 301 redirect to the closest related product or category page. Don’t just delete product pages without a redirect. It’s critical to minimize 404 errors because a large number of those can serve as an indicator of poor site quality to Google.
Mobile-Friendly Product Pages
Consumers are increasingly researching and shopping for products on their mobile devices. Therefore, it’s essential that your product pages are mobile responsive. These sites are not only preferred by Google, but they also make for a better user experience.
Shipping Time and Cost
When possible, include shipping time and cost information on product pages to avoid abandonment further in the purchase process.
Ensure Quick Site Speed
As Internet speeds grow faster, users become more impatient waiting for webpages to load. The longer they have to wait, the more likely they are to leave your site and look elsewhere to purchase their product. In fact, a conversion study conducted by Amazon found that a 0.1 second reduction in page load time can equate to a 1 percent increase in revenue. Additionally, slow site speeds can negatively impact your SEO.
To learn about your own site’s SEO and other website factors could be improved, including user experience and conversion optimization, request a digital marketing strategy audit from Acceleration Partners.