One of the most effective ways to increase highly qualified traffic to your eCommerce store is to pay special attention to your individual product pages.
And with the 2020 global pandemic, there’s been a huge spike on online shopping.
This means two things:
- More people shopping online has created more opportunity for online retailers to increase traffic and sales through organic search
- Competition for eCommerce websites in Google search is blowing up, meaning it’s getting harder and harder to compete unless you’re working hard on your organic search engine performance.
One of the best tactics you can do right now as an eCommerce store owner is to focus on optimising your individual product pages.
Because people who are ready to buy are often searching using very specific keywords, known as long-tail keywords.
“men’s size 12 ugg boots in brown”
What would be the best page that Google could show in the organic search results that’s most relevant to this highly specific search?
- The homepage of a shoe shop?
- A category page with a variety of men’s and women’s slippers and boots in different colours?
- Or a product page, showing a men’s size 12 ugg boots in brown?
Yeah, you guessed it – the third one. It makes sense. It’s a product page that’s highly relevant to the search query, meaning it will most likely satisfy the user.
So this is how optimising your product pages for SEO can help boost your bottom line – because you’ll be able to rank higher in Google for searches that are highly likely to translate into sales.
So if you’ve not paid attention to your product pages, or been a bit lazy when it comes to really focusing on how to optimise them, then don’t worry – you’re about to learn a step by step process on how to optimise your product pages for search engines and humans.
Done right, not only will you drive more highly engaged ready-to-buy users to your site, but you’ll also have a higher chance at converting those users into paying customers.
Before we start:
There’s good news and bad news…
The bad news?
Optimising your individual product pages for more organic search traffic takes a LOT of time and effort. It’s tedious, repetitive and can get pretty boring.
The good news?
This strategy is one of the single most effective ways you can boost your online store’s sales by ranking for high commercial intent keywords, and attracting ready-to-buy shoppers to the exact page they want to get to.
AND, it’s also a relatively easy (but painful) process. All you have to do it follow these simple steps outlined below and take action by applying them to your store’s product pages.
Optimising Single Product Pages
It’s time to get granular.
There’s so many moving parts to an effecitve eCommerce SEO strategy, that it’s essential that we break things down into manageable tasks.
This helps us keep on track to manage the overal SEO strategy much more easily, and also stops us from getting overwhelmed with so many things to do, and not knowing where to focus our time and effort.
A solid SEO process is the key to implementing an effective SEO campaign.
Here’s a quick look at the main areas of on-page optimisation for single product pages:
- The URL
- Page title/title tag
- Meta description
- Header tags
- Written content
We’re going to work through all of these, from top to bottom. I say ‘we’ because I want you to follow along with me by completing the action step at the end of each section.
The most important thing to remember – no matter what type of SEO you’re doing – is that you’re optimising for both search engines and humans (potential customers). This requires a combination of well written, engaging and unique content, high quality media (images and video) and strategic keyword placement.
Start with the URL of the page. URLs should be kept short, simple, and descriptive.
People and search engines should immediately know what the product is based on the URL.
Some eCommerce platforms automatically generate URLs, which may include a page number or product number, such as:
Get rid of these. They don’t make sense, and they are not clean.
People and search engines cannot defer the meaning of “pp012345.” “/sweater-floral-12345” lets people know that you’re selling a sweater but fails to mention whether it’s for men or women.
Good examples of URLs for products include:
When you read those URLs, you know what type of product the page will showcase.
Page Title/Title Tag
The page title appears in search engine results and is often the first thing people see when browsing for products. It needs to grab people’s attention and accurately describe the product.
As with the URL, people should not have to guess what the product is after reading the title. However, you also need to grab people’s attention with the title.
Keep the title short and descriptive but add one or more ‘power words’ to help sell the value of the product. Examples of power words include:
- Most durable
You also need to avoid making the title too long. Google displays 50 to 60 characters in the title tag (technically it’s 512 pixels). Best practices for title tags suggest that if you stick to 60 characters or less, most of the title should appear in search results.
If you’re using WordPress there’s heaps of great SEO plugins that you can install on your site to help guide you with title tags. We use Rank Math and Yoast SEO is also great.
Use product page meta descriptions to hook people and convince them to visit the page to learn more about your product. One way to do this is by addressing a pain point.
A pain point is a problem that your product solves.
For example, if you are selling a beach blanket, you may address how the blanket repels sand and water. If you sell clothing, you may highlight the variety of sizes and colour options to suit different styles.
Describe some of the features and benefits of your product but remember to keep it short. The recommended length for the meta description is 160 characters or less. Again, you can use an SEO plugin to help guide you here.
You should also include your main keyword toward the front of the description. Avoid placing additional variations of the keyword. Stuffing the description with keywords makes it less readable and people can usually tell that you’re over-doing it.
Remember the golden rule – write for humans first!
Header tags help break up the content by adding structure to the page. This includes the H1, H2, H3, and H4 tags used to separate sections of the product page.
Each header should highlight the benefits of your product. This makes the page easier to scan and ensures that shoppers don’t overlook a key advantage of the item.
Try to insert a header after every three to five paragraphs. If you have a long block of paragraphs, find a way to divide the content with another H2 or H3 tag.
Images are one of the most important elements of SEO for eCommerce product pages. Shoppers are less likely to buy a product if the images don’t provide a clear view of the item. Use a quality camera in a setting with good lighting to snap high-resolution images. Rotate the product to show it from multiple angles or to show close-ups of some of the main features.
Depending on the eCommerce platform that you use, you should have the option to add “ALT” tags to the images. ALT tags describe the image and are not visible to the typical visitor. Browsers use ALT tags to describe images to people with visual impairments. The ALT tags also help search engines better understand your content, providing another chance to use relevant keywords.
When adding images to your product pages, keep these details in mind:
- Only use high-quality images
- Show the product from multiple angles
- Add ALT tags to every image
Written Product Page Content (Product Descriptions)
You can make or break the sale with product descriptions.
A well written product description should:
- Identify the prospect’s problems
- Position the product as the solution
- Prove the value of your solution vs others
- Finish with a call to action
Start your product descriptions by addressing one or more pain points. Address the issues that your product solves before exploring the advantages of your item in more detail.
Always use original content. Google does not like duplicate content. Copying content, including content from other pages on your own site, can result in penalties, or being completely ignored by Google.
Your content needs to offer real value and highlight the strengths of your product.
By creating quality, informative content, you help your product stand out compared to the competition.
You don’t need to be an experienced writer to create quality content. Just follow these steps:
- Provide valuable information
- Break content up with headers
- Provide a list of features
- Showcase your value proposition
- Address one or more pain points
Summary: Start Optimising Your Single Product Pages for SEO
You now have a clear plan for optimising your product pages. Without SEO, people may never discover your products.
Remember to start with the URL. Use short, descriptive URLs that incorporate your target keyword. Page title tags and meta descriptions should grab attention with the use of power words. Let people know that you have the best, cheapest, or top product.
The content on the page also requires optimisation. Make sure to include header tags and add ALT tags to your images. Headers and images help break up the content, making it easier to digest.
The product description should keep visitors engaged and highlight the main features and advantages. Give visitors helpful information about the product so they can make an informed decision. And don’t forget to add unique content (don’t copy and paste from other websites – Google hates duplicate content)!
With these steps, you can easily start optimising any of the product pages on your eCommerce site. Before long, you may notice increased traffic and conversions that result in more sales.