When it comes to competing with other e-commerce stores, it’s not enough to have a great product anymore, but is about making sure you are doing everything you can to rank your product page. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a tool that, for better or worse, is there to regulate the efficacy of a webpage, and a poorly optimized web page will go down the rankings. The Google algorithm exists to ensure pages provide real value to people. When it comes to product page optimisation for your e-commerce store, you need to know how to do it right.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a tool that helps webpages rank better on search engine results pages. It is made up of different elements such as backlinks, product images, meta tags, content, and keywords that help determine the efficacy of a webpage. To optimise product pages for SEO, titles must be optimised, descriptions and images must be high quality, captions added, internal linking used, and structured data and schema markup implemented. Additionally, user experience is important, as it determines how your website is received, which boosts brand identity, conversion rates, and website speed. Lastly, tracking and monitoring the performance of your product pages is essential, with metrics such as best–selling products, products with the highest average order value, and products with greatest customer retention tracked over time.
Why is SEO Important for Your Product Pages?
SEO is made up of a number of different elements; knowing how each one works together can make your product pages shoot up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). SEO is critical because it makes your website more visible, resulting in more traffic and opportunities to convert leads into customers. There are many components of SEO, including:
- Product images
- Meta tags
- Social media
- Website functionality
The latter is incredibly important for your SEO strategy as keyword research helps you:
- Target keywords that have a greater return on investment.
- Create the appropriate copy that align with your marketing goals.
- Help you understand who is searching for what, and what products are in demand.
The closer you get to the top of the SERP, the more traffic you will get. Statistics show more than 90% of users never go to page 2 of the SERP if they can find what they are looking for on page 1. Page 1 should be the ultimate goal.
How Do You Optimise Your Product Pages for SEO?
An optimised product page ensures that you are giving yourself the best chance for a page 1 ranking. Not only does a well-optimised page improve your search engine ranking, it will also enhance the user experience.
Optimising your product pages begins with ensuring your individual products are setup correctly. This should consist of the following:
Optimising Product Page Titles
A great title is not just the name of the product itself, but there are a few things to consider based on the user’s search intent:
- Follow the Google requirements for product titles, which have very strict rules.
- Add relevant keywords in the product titles.
- Choose which keywords you are most relevant based on keyword research.
- Include product details in the titles because people describe products and refine their searches, so colour, material, size, specifications, and so forth make it easier for the user.
Optimise the Descriptions
The description is the meat of the product structuring, and make sure you do the following:
- The copy should resonate with your customer by avoiding overly salesy language, being concise, keeping sentences under 20 words, and focusing on the benefits as well as the features of the product, with a call to action (CTA) at the end.
- Understand your ideal customers and use your research to know where keywords should be placed. Tools such as Surfer SEO can help you utilise the right keywords and with the optimum amount.
- Personalise the copy, which is a massive draw for customers. According to Statista, 44% of shoppers would be willing to move to a different brand that offers a more personalised experience.
Optimise Product Images
Images make your content more engaging for users that are pivotal for SEO. Image optimisation involves creating images that are:
- High quality.
- The ideal format.
- The correct size.
- The right resolution.
You should optimise your images with the following in mind:
- Alt tags, which provide context and support for search engine “spiders” so they can learn what your webpage on the web is about and index your content properly.
- The right compression rates, because if an image is compressed incorrectly, it can affect the file size and quality of the image. There are a number of plugins that can help.
- Make sure the website loads quickly enough because if it takes a long time to load, it could be because your images are not optimised properly.
- Includes captions, which can add to the website experience and improve user engagement.
- Make images mobile-friendly, as the Google algorithm uses mobile-first indexing, which means the website crawlers look at your mobile version before your desktop one.
Why Internal Linking is Essential on Product Pages
One of the most important aspects of SEO is internal linking. An internal link is a simple way to help Google understand and rank your website better, which is a link from one page on your website to another internal page. Changing how you manage your internal links can make a significant impact on how your product pages rank. How do you optimise internal linking?
Provide Relevant Anchor Texts
Ensuring your anchor text is relevant provides more context about the page being linked to. Rather than a generic “look here” link, you should use a more descriptive anchor text. For example, if you are linking to an “all-purpose screwdriver” this would be a better anchor text.
Linking Between Product Pages and Blogs
If you have guides or posts on your website, using blogs with lots of links to them is a simple method to add extra links to relevant product pages.
Add a “Customers Also Bought” Section
So many e-commerce websites like ASOS and Etsy use a “you may also like” section to boost user experience.
Add Sub-category Links to a Category Page
Sub-category links provide more context, allowing web crawlers to navigate through the website. For example, if the user is on a product page for a laptop computer, you can add sub-category links such as “netbooks,” “desktops,” “laptops,” “ultrabooks,” and “accessories” to further complement the user experience.
Breadcrumb navigation can help users navigate a website better as they can determine where they are and return to the previously browsed pages. A typical breadcrumb navigation structure would be the following:
Main Page → Category → Subcategory → Product
It is clearly labelled and can increase transparency. There are different types of breadcrumbs, and broadly speaking, they cover three main categories:
Location, which is the most popular type of breadcrumb, is typically found on the horizontal navigation bar of a webpage. For example:
Home → Men → Shoes → Men’s Lace-Ups → Clarks Men’s Batcombe Wing Brogues
Attribute-based, which displays the times a user has selected to filter their search on a webpage. For example, if a customer searches for t-shirts, a number of attribute-based breadcrumbs may include “baggy,” “beige,” or “mid.”
History-based or path-based breadcrumbs represent the path the user took before landing on the current page. The path is not usually displayed in its entirety, and a path-based breadcrumb is usually implemented as a type of back button, for example, on an e-commerce site you may see the term “Back To Results.”
When it comes to breadcrumb navigation, the goal is to indicate the order of the elements and subpages to make the website easier to navigate. When implementing this, consider the following:
- Incorporate shorts quality names.
- Make sure users can click on everything (apart from the website address).
- Be careful not to have too many subcategories that exceed the display space.
Using Structured Data and Schema Markup
Schema and structured data are two sides to the same coin and are one of the most underutilised techniques out there because of their initial complexity. The goal of structured data and schema is to ensure that your data is understood by search engines.
Schema is a vocabulary of standardised tags added to the page’s HTML and helps a search engine understand the content and context of your web page, converting unstructured data into structured data. The structured data is the content on your page and the actions visitors can perform with the content and consist of certain characteristics, but the overarching rule is that it should be easy to understand.
In terms of products, the schema should provide clear information relating to product reviews or deals on product stock, levels, or prices. You can implement structured data to your product pages in two different ways:
- Implementing the code yourself.
- Using third-party tools, for example, plugins.
It can seem very technical, but this guide explains Schema in an easy-to-digest manner. It is essentially another aspect of helping the Google bots understand the content.
The Importance of User Experience
User experience, or UX, is more important than ever. Websites that prioritise the user experience in terms of design and content ensure visitors feel more important, which benefits businesses in the following ways:
- Long-term retention of users.
- Boosting brand identity.
- Increasing conversion rates.
- Creates the best experience for all devices.
- Improves website speed.
- Is helpful in SEO.
Because SEO does not just consist of the right copy or images, but the overall experience, this is what you need to think about when it comes to your SERP rankings. Some of the following fundamentals in how you design your product pages will have a direct impact on SEO:
- Simplifying navigation by focusing on structure and not complicating practices.
- Having SEO-friendly layouts, for example, by using headers, incorporating call-to-actions, including elements that link to related content, and making the information easy to digest.
- Optimising the website’s load speed, which you can achieve with a number of website loading tools.
- Optimising for mobile, which, as we have already discussed, is pivotal for SEO.
Monitoring and Tracking Your Page’s Performance
We can incorporate all these tools, but they would be worth nothing if we didn’t understand how customers interact with our web pages. Analytics can help you gather and analyse a lot of data, giving you greater insight into your page’s performance, by identifying growth drivers and places where you can improve.
It also helps you understand customer behaviours, optimise promotional campaigns, monitor your inventory to reduce costs, and develop products to meet customer expectations. To track the performance of your product pages, here are some simple tips:
Find the Right Metrics Based on Your Goals
With hundreds of metrics to track, you would be best selecting the right ones based on your objectives, for example, the best-selling products, products with the highest average order value, or products with the greatest customer retention.
Tracking Products and Product Categories Over Time
It’s important to play the long game by tracking some of the important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as the products that sell the most, the least common, those that are most refunded, or those that are most reordered.
Utilise an E-Commerce Dashboard
You can use a number of great free analytics tools, for example, Google Analytics, which will provide you with a lot to get you started, but there are a number of other plugins that you can utilise via websites like WordPress. As there are many aspects that involve measuring your performance, analytics is a valuable component because it will give you a greater insight into the customer journey. No two customers are the same, and once you start to look at the right metrics for your store, you can optimise these better.
To rank better on search engines involves a lot of SEO best practices. From your keyword research to optimisation of titles, images, and descriptions, using internal linking and using structured data, as well as focusing on customer engagement and analysing all this information, if you are looking to boost your rankings, having an understanding of all these will provide you with the resources to make your online store thrive.