Trying to deliver the best SEO product pages can be a real challenge for ecommerce brands. Made even trickier with Google large inventories, multiple pages and no formal process for optimisation from the outset.
The number one goal for any brand is to have their product pages showing more often in search engines for relevant keywords. At the same time, the titles and descriptions need to be eye-catching enough that potential customers want to click through to learn more.
Here are some best practice tips that any ecommerce brand can implement to further optimise their SEO product pages.
1. Page Load Speeds
Google is giving greater weight to sites with faster page speeds. Understandably, they want to create a search engine that shows the most relevant information as quickly as possible. You can check your current page speeds in Google Analytics here:
Behaviour > Site Speed > Overview.
For a typical page on an ecommerce site, Google recommends a load time of 3 seconds. This is your target, so start implementing changes to get as close to this as possible.
Read more on increasing page speeds here
2. Clean URL’s
I will create a longer post about the finer details of ecommerce urls from an SEO and customer experience perspective. But the key takeaways are to follow these broad points.
Readability – Let Google and your customers know what the page is about (that means no nonsensical mix of letters and numbers). An easy way is to match your url with the page title.
Length – Shorter url’s are proven to have a better click through rate (50-60 characters is optimum)
Keywords – Try and input your keywords into the url as naturally (without stuffing) as possible
Learn how to create SEO friendly url’s here
3. Product Title Tags
This along with your meta information will typically be your customers first impression of the brand. If you have conducted a keyword research project then this is where you can input your findings from an SEO perspective.
For customers the title tag can have a large influence on whether they click through from search engines, so implementing long-tail keywords can be useful for your CTR. This could mean adding sizes, using words like ‘Best’ or any search term with low competition and medium-high search volume.
Having actively focused on a keyword research plan, you should have a list of target words for specific product pages.
To give your ecommerce pages a better chance of ranking higher then use LSK (Latent Semantic Keywords) that give some context to your keyword. For a keyword like “apple”, using words like “iphone” or “technology” give it greater context so it won’t show up in searches for information on fruit.
Keyword – It is recommended that your keyword should appear naturally (don’t force it) 3-5 times throughout the product page.
5. Product Descriptions
This can be a real headache for a lot of ecommerce brands due to the volume of products. Bad SEO practice from the beginning can lead to an unoptimised inventory whereby more and more products are being added. I would highly recommend writing product descriptions from scratch, if not for all, then at least for your top products or categories.
Keyword – This should slot nicely into your product description.
6. Meta Descriptions
Meta data is an SEO product page staple. Rewriting your meta descriptions will almost certainly improve your CTR from search engines. As a default it tends to pull in the first few lines from the page, which can look strange especially if you bullet point your descriptions. Look at meta data from a customer’s perspective, what would encourage you to click through that result? You can always use the higher ranking pages as a springboard.
Keyword – Use your keyword as a foundation and work around this with a clear CTA at the end
For more info read The Anatomy of Great Meta Descriptions
If it is possible, then you should be using relevant keywords as file names for each image. That isn’t always so simple, especially with third party photographers and studios sending over large files of images.
Image alt tags have been given a relift recently with Google’s release of ‘Similar Items’. They also give a better customer experience to those that use page readers or whose slower internet doesn’t load all the images. So ensure these are relevant.
Keyword – You can use something like ‘picture women wearing red Nike running shoe’ to describe an image and get your keyword tagged.
8. Internal Site Links
No ecommerce page is an island.
Linking internally to relevant pages not only adds depth to your site for the crawlers but can also be very helpful in giving customers information without overloading your pages. It might be that terms and conditions, other products or a blog post are linked to in the body of your product page.
With Google’s stance on duplicate content, you might want to reduce unnecessary information about every delivery option available for example and have it sitting on a different page.
This had always previously been a factor to include in SEO product page guides. But Google has started to update its results to automatically breadcrumb some larger ecommerce websites.
If your site has not been updated by Google then I would recommend adding in breadcrumbs. There is no harm in having them added either way, so it might be something you include as a sub-navigation experience for customers.
10. Customer Reviews
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking at reviews for real advice on the product or service I’m interested in. They are great ‘social proof’ that gives some fresh, unique content to your product pages that Google will love.
Go one further and implement rich snippets to add reviews to your search results which will encourage more customer to click through.