Product page SEO: Guide for eCommerce
Product page SEO might feel overwhelming at first, as there are so many factors to consider for each individual product page.
To make your life a little easier, I have decided to divide all the possible SEO best practices for eCommerce product pages into 7 different sections. This will give you a detailed and structured way for improving the rankings of your product pages in search engines.
Table of contents
Why is it important for eCommerce sites to optimize their product pages? When should eCommerce sites begin with SEO for product pages? Best practices for product page SEO #1 Best practices for product titles #2 Best practices for product pictures #3 Best practices for meta titles #4 Best practices for meta descriptions #5 Best practices for product descriptions #6 Best practices for product page URLs #7 Best practices for product page schema markup What to avoid on your eCommerce product pages? Avoid duplicate content Avoid irrelevant keywords Final thoughts
Why is it important for eCommerce sites to optimize their product pages?
eCommerce sites should optimize their product pages to improve visibility in the organic search results. When your product pages are optimized for search engines and users, you will likely see these benefits:
Benefits of optimized product pages
More organic impressions for product pages
A higher CTR (click-through-rate)
Higher number of sales (if the offer is good)
Higher overall revenue
The best way to show up high in the search results organically is to make your product pages target specific long-tail keywords. These long-tail keywords have less search volume than short-tail keywords, but often, they are easier to rank for.
While improving a single product page doesn’t immediately skyrocket the page and website to the top of the search results, it does help to optimize them. However, before immediately jumping into the optimization of all your product pages, you should first consider if this is the most efficient step to take.
When should eCommerce sites begin with SEO for product pages?
Product pages should be optimized last in comparison to the other types of pages in your webshop. In an eCommerce website structure, the product pages are most of the time the least important pages. They are the lowest in the hierarchy and the order in which you should optimize the pages of your webshop is:
What type of pages to optimize first
Blog & other content
Optimizing your pages based on their importance in the hierarchy is the most effective optimization strategy. Because improving a category leads to better rankings for subpages and product pages under that category as well.
Thus, improving one category page yields more results than optimizing one individual product page (when its category is not optimized). Therefore, you should always start with optimizing your webshop architecture and categorization before starting to optimize your product pages.
Not sure where to start with your eCommerce SEO? Check this eCommerce SEO checklist out for a detailed roadmap!
7 Factors to improve product page SEO
Product pages consist of a variety of different factors that should be optimized for SEO. The main purpose of optimizing these factors is to signal to Google and users that your products are the most relevant. The better Google understands what your pages offer and the more users are engaging with your product page, the higher your product will rank organically.
Most important factors that influence product page SEO
Product page URLs
#1 Best practices for product titles
Your product title is one of the most important factors that describe the product you offer. In essence, the title should clearly state what the product entails and what its key differentiating features are in comparison to other products. These key differentiating features should be based on what the customers find most important. And most of the time this coincides with (long-tail) keywords that people type into Google.
For example, instead of having product titles such as “short, medium, or long HDMI cable” you should have titles such as “50cm HDMI cable”, “100cm HDMI cable”, and “200cm HDMI cable”. In the latter example, the product title is more precisely defined with specific features that may matter to customers. Other features that could be important for customers can be brand, material, color, or anything else.
When writing your product titles you should keep the following in mind:
- Include relevant keywords
- Make it specific and appealing to users
- Set the product title as an H1 title
- The most important feature should be left in the product title (this is the first thing that customers read)
- Avoid fluff words that don’t contain any value, this distracts customers from what is important
#2 Best practices for product pictures
Of course, you should have a nice picture of the product you are offering without too many distractions. But did you know that you also should have an alt text and title attribute for your image?
Instead of naming your image alt text and alt title, “image1″ you should name it based on the product you are offering. Instead, name it based on the most important keyword of the page, for example, “Blue velvet desk chair”.
You should do this because search engines use the alt text and title attributes to determine what the page is about. When you include relevant information in these, you will make it easier for search engines to understand the product page. This will result in higher rankings in the search results.
#3 Best practices for meta titles
The meta title is the title of the webpage as shown in search engines. It is of utmost importance to name this right and to include the right information to rank higher in search engines and improve the click-through rate. This is what users see first in the search results, and first impressions do matter heavily in this case.
There are a few important standard practices for meta titles:
- They shouldn’t be longer than 60 characters, otherwise, Google will cut them short and not display everything.
- Include the most relevant keyword for the product you offer
- Include an “intention” word such as buy or order, this shows users that it is a product page and that they are able to buy the product from you.
- Include, if possible because of the character limit, your company name at the end to promote your brand.
#4 Best practices for meta descriptions
The meta description is the secondary text below the meta title in the search results. This is the second most important piece of information for people that search for a particular product. The meta description should be used to add additional information to extend and enhance the information in the meta title.
Again, there are a few important best practices to adhere to:
- Don’t make the meta description longer than 160 characters, otherwise, Google will cut it short.
- Repeat the main keyword(s) from the product title, including the buying intent words.
- Add additional information which might be relevant to the users, such as product variations or use cases.
- Add (if there are characters left) unique selling points of your webshop, such as “free shipping” or the number of products you offer.
#5 Best practices for product descriptions
In order to rank your product pages for as many relevant keywords as possible, you should have a detailed product description that includes relevant information. First, you need to include all relevant information such as dimensions, ingredients, or anything else that you should include because of regulatory concerns.
However, you should also add relevant textual information to add additional keywords. The more relevant keywords your product pages rank for, the more relevant your product pages become for search engines. One way to add additional keywords is to have additional headers (H2/H3/H4 titles) including keywords that are relevant to your product.
Another possibility is to have an FAQ section in which you give answers to the most common questions that are associated with your product.
#6 Best practices for product page URLs
The URL of your product page is another factor that you should consider when optimizing your product pages for SEO. URLs are seen by both users and the crawl bots of search engines. And therefore you should optimize your URLs for both, instead of focusing on one. This means that your URL should present relevant information to users in a coherent way so that search engines understand them. Here are 5 important best practices you should follow:
- Keep the language clear and simple
- Make use of hyphens “-”
- Use either all uppercase or lowercase letters (preferably lowercase)
- Use keywords appropriately in your URLs
- Make your URLs as short as possible
If you would like to know more about this topic you should consider reading this article about improving eCommerce URLs with keywords.
#7 Best practices for product page schema markup
Schema markup, also known as structured data, is code that tells search engines more about the content of your site. Search engines cannot always immediately tell what the content of your page is about and they should get hints to display more information about your product in the search engines.
These hints (in the form of schema markup) allow search engines to show rich search results which give more information to users about your product.
The most important schema markup to add to your product pages is the product schema. Product schema gives search engines more information about the features of your product, resulting in additional information about your product in the search results. This information can for example be about the price, availability, ratings, reviews, features, or even promotions.
This gives valuable information to the people that search for your product and leads to higher click-through-rates (CTR) because your product page link will take up more space on the search results and have more information to persuade people to click.
If you want to know more about schema markup and how you should add it to your eCommerce store, you should read our blog about the 5 most important schema markup implementations to add to your eCommerce site. With detailed documentation and coding examples!
What to avoid on your eCommerce product pages?
There are two common problems that I see on eCommerce product pages that make them rank lower in the search results. These two issues are #1 duplicate content and #2 irrelevant keywords in important places.
Avoid duplicate content
Duplicate content is content that is duplicated on the same domain or across different domains. The problem with this is that search engines will not be able to understand which of the two or more pages is better to show, which makes them both rank poorly.
Therefore, you should always aim to have unique content on all your product pages. This means that you shouldn’t copy the descriptions from your vendors or have multiple links for the same product page.
Avoid irrelevant keywords
Second, irrelevant keywords in important places such as headers, meta titles, or meta descriptions make your page show up for keywords that are not relevant to your product. When people search for these irrelevant keywords and your page shows up, your page will not be what users are looking for.
This makes them leave as soon as possible, which is penalized by the search engines as they want to show the most relevant page to their users.
Search engines will recognize it if this happens too often, and will display you lower in the search results as a consequence. This will decrease the overall visibility of your page and ultimately the number of visitors that come to your page.
Final thoughts on product page SEO
Use this blog to your advantage, the next time you want to optimize one of your eCommerce product pages. However, before you start optimizing all of your product pages, I need to repeat myself and strongly recommend you first optimize your webshop architecture and categorization.
Optimizing all your product pages can be time-consuming when it hasn’t been done from the start. But it can have a tremendous impact on your organic growth when done right and in the right order. Also, one last quick tip, you can best use these 5 eCommerce SEO tools, which will help you save time and guesswork when implementing these best practices.
If you have made it this far through the blog…
Chances are that you are seriously looking to improve your SEO game. That’s great we are here for it!
Or learn more about your future SEO Strategist: Jairo Guerrero.