The first page of Google captures as much as 92% of overall search traffic. For ecommerce brands, your organic rankings can rise or fall based on as little as optimizing the title tags of your product pages.
While you could make the case for optimizing a number of different elements on your product pages, there are two key ones that you must get right: on-page SEO & UX. Below I outline how to optimize your ecommerce product pages in order to conserve and improve organic rankings (and drive organic sales).
Recommended reading: Use Competitive SEO Analysis to Climb the Search Engine Rankings
Keyword Research Forms the Basis of Your Optimization Strategy
Always start with granular keyword research. The video underneath gives an excellent explanation of the value of keywords, along with how to do keyword research.
There are many general principles to keyword research – including using broad industry terms and phrases, identifying the money phrases for your business, and pinpointing the exact target phrases your audience are most likely to use.
However, there are some specifics that are particularly relevant to ecommerce product pages:
- Use your product descriptions as an opportunity to write optimized content that will boost your rankings — sell your products using natural language and widely searched-for terms.
- Adding product reviews gives you a chance to include the terms your customers are actually using – along with adding free content to your product pages and, crucially, social proof.
- While your copy needs to be optimized, it must not be to the detriment of selling the benefits of your products to your customers – the language must be natural and relevant to the overall context of the page.
How To Optimize Your Product Page Content
There are some specific on-page elements that you need to revisit on your ecommerce product page in order to ensure it meets the necessary SEO requirements.
The most important part of any on-page optimization strategy, your title tag literally tells search engines what your ecommerce product pages are about. Make the most of yours.
- Front-load the most important words, but don’t be spammy.
- Use keyword variants and actions words like ‘buy’.
- Your title tag needs to be no more than 600 pixels in length.
Content on your product pages isn’t only about selling the benefits of your customers – it’s also about selling the relevance of your pages to search engines. Make sure you include enough content (copy), and mix it up with product videos and images too.
Squeeze maximum value out of your product page content and make sure that every element is adding to the overall product narrative and contributing to the relevant keyword set.
Address common questions in your product page copy, include user-friendly product guides, and make sure any images and videos are tagged up (and actually represent individual products, not just generic sales imagery).
Another easy way of optimizing the content on your product pages is to make proper use of your HTML headings.
While your product pages shouldn’t be loaded with content, breaking it up into sections headed by relevant HTML tags is a great way of boosting your on-page experience.
- Include long-tail keywords in subheadings.
- Use the heading to clearly describe the content that follows it.
- Make the length of your headings consistent.
Ecommerce food and juice brand, Daily Harvest is a great example of how to use good formatting for SEO to boost the organic rankings of your product pages:
A simple user experience is married with relevant copy and a supportive headings structure.
How To Optimize the UX of Your Product Pages
It’s no secret that you have just a few seconds to convince people to stay on your website.
Negative user metrics like a high bounce rate or low user engagement rates have long been thought to negatively impact rankings — and slow-loading pages are definitely penalized by search engines.
Your web pages need to be simple to use, understand, and navigate – all the while being as visually engaging and appealing as possible.
Speedy Ecommerce Experiences
Before you dive headfirst into the UX optimization of your product pages, establish which of your pages are loading at a speed ecommerce customers expect. Unless you’re already one of the big hitters in the industry, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have page loading speeds as good as Amazon, Walmart, or Nike — but you need to be keeping up with the rest of the independent retailers in your niche.
Comparing your product pages to high-valued websites for sale in your niche is a realistic way of establishing how much work needs to be done to bring your pages up to speed.
Of course, it’s no good just knowing which of your ecommerce pages are lagging behind – you need to know how to fix them. The following video gives tips on how to improve the load performance of your web pages:
Having familiarized yourself in how to optimize your product pages for load speed, the other non-negotiable UX ranking factors include mobile-friendly design and page navigation.
Google’s stance is that a mobile responsive design helps its “algorithms accurately assign indexing properties to the page rather than needing to signal the existence of corresponding desktop/mobile pages.”
Alongside having a mobile responsive design, there are some other ways to optimize your site and make it mobile friendly:
- Removing (or not using) flash
- Adding the viewport meta tag
- Turning off autocorrect for forms
- Using larger button sizes on the pages
- Compressing your images.
Page navigation with a more nuanced impact on your organic rankings – it’s not a ranking factor in the same way as a title tag, but it does make a difference over time. This is because if your customers can’t find what they’re looking for on your product pages, they will leave them —- increasing your bounce rate and damages your rankings.
To keep your bounce rate low and make it as simple as possible for your customers to buy your products, take a lesson from the master of ecommerce product page navigation – Amazon:
All of the important information is at the top of the page:
- Social proof
Not only is bounce rate limited by giving customers the key details immediately, but Amazon also makes the journey from product page as simple as possible and adds in upselling (accessories).
Optimizing your ecommerce product pages is essential and needs to be done as regularly as possible. While you might not think there’s a strong enough business case to employ an in-house SEO/SEO-copywriter to make changes as and when they’re needed, failing to optimize will cost your business enormous amounts of money in lost organic sales. So start by putting the lessons of this article into practice!