Product pages, like any other page on a website, need to be optimised in order to do well in search and give your users a good experience. Much of the work required on a product page will be similar or the same as is required in other areas of your site. However, there are additional considerations when dealing with product SEO.
If you have an e-commerce site or an online store, then good product SEO is a way to increase sales and boost your user experience.
What is a Product Page?
If you sell physical items online, then you will have some form of a shop. This could be a bespoke offering created by your web developer, or you could be making use of popular shopping plugins such as WooCommerce and Shopify.
A product page is an individual page detailing one specific item that you sell in your online store. Each product should have its own page in order to perform well.
Basic Product Page SEO
1. Include a Descriptive Title
The title, above anything else, should include the name of your product. If applicable, you might also want to add a manufacturer name and any unique identifier. If someone is looking for a very specific product, then these details may just be what brings your product up in search over a competitor’s.
2. Add A Full and Unique Product Description
If you’re buying products from a manufacturer, they will often come with a pre-written product description that you can include on your product page. The problem with these is that everyone who is selling that item has the exact same description and may also be using it on their website. So by adding the exact text to your own product page, you’re creating duplicate content. And that’s a big no-no in SEO.
Instead, take some time to create your own unique and detailed description. This should cover a number of different elements including an engaging description of the item that helps customers identify how the product will benefit them. You should also incorporate more practical information such as any measurements, functions, colour options, etc. Think of all the questions a customer might ask and include the answers in the description.
3. Write a Meta Description
A meta description is what you often see in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) below the main title. If you don’t design this yourself, then search engines will create their own from the text on your page. And while this may sound like a good way of saving time, you have no control over what’s going to be shown. Instead of a lovely appealing description that encourages users to click through to your product page, you could be left with a chunk of unrelated text that tells potential customers nothing about your product.
4. Select Your URL Carefully
As URLs are a ranking factor to determine your search position, it’s a good idea to put some thought into them. The URL will ideally be descriptive of the product, and you get bonus points if it’s easy to remember!
5. Make Use of Optimised Images
If you’re selling products, you should also have good quality images of all items. Make sure these are well optimised with a descriptive file name, appropriate sizing, and a sensible alt tag. You should also include the product name in the alt tag of the main image. If you can reasonably include it in other alt tags, too, without keyword stuffing, then even better.
The same should apply to any videos you have uploaded.
6. Keyword Research
Taking some time for keyword research can really help your products show up in search. Find out exactly what people are searching, and implement that information into your product pages. For example, are users more likely to search ‘boyfriend jackets’ or ‘boyfriend blazers’? Both phrases could describe the same item of clothing, but if one is a more popular search, you’d be better targeting that phrase in your title and descriptions.
There are a number of free and paid ways to identify keywords to include in your descriptions too. Just a few to get you started include:
- Delve through your results in Search Console and find out which phrases your site already shows up for, then see if you can optimise further.
- Search a phrase in Google and check related searches for phrases you could add.
- Search on Google and identify the phrases and text used in the top results. Are they using keywords that you could utilise?
These kinds of methods can help you identify popular search phrases, but also give you more information on the details that people are looking for. What are the most popular colours? Are people searching for a certain material? Are they using a different variation of the keyword that you haven’t thought of? Find user questions and answer them in your descriptions.
The Next Steps in Product SEO
Now you’ve fulfilled the basics of product page SEO, you may be wondering what more you can do. How can you take those extra steps to provide a good experience for your customers and draw organic traffic to your website?
These next techniques may take more time to implement, or they might require some technical know-how or the help of a developer. But they’re all worth doing to really give your online store an SEO boost.
1. Structured Data
Structured data is a way of telling search engines the type of information you have on your page, helping them to identify what to show in the SERPs. Product Schema can be used to indicate anything from reviews and prices to measurements and brands. Google and other search engines can then use this to share more information with users, who can make an informed decision whether to click through to your website.
Google’s guide to Product Schema can help you identify what to include.
Reviews play a big role in building trust for your company and product. People are 92% more likely to purchase a product after reading a review, and positive scores can help you rank better in search engines.
Ideally, you should include (honest) product reviews on your page and encourage previous customers to leave feedback after each purchase. Help search engines identify these by using the Review and Rating schema.
Users don’t want to wait too long for your page to load. Otherwise they’ll navigate away and find a competitor who sells the same items more quickly! Optimising page speed is vital for your website as a whole and the more smoothly everything loads, the better the user experience, and the more likely you are to rank well.
Read my tips for optimising site speed.
4. Real User Experience
Google looks at a lot of data to identify how real users experience your website. Whether that’s positive or negative will determine how high or low you appear in search results. While Google is notoriously secretive about many of its ranking factors, you can help yourself by doing some of your own testing.
Ask a selection of real users to go through your website and identify any potential issues they face. Does something not load quickly enough? Are some of your product photos unappealing? Is a product page not working at all? By speaking to real users and getting their feedback, you can identify possible improvements for your website that will likely help with your ranking on any search engine.
Google Shopping is the section of the search engine dedicated to – you guessed it – shopping. But your store won’t necessarily automatically appear on there. There is a chance that, if you’re making use of Structured Data, you may show up already. But as Google is vague about exactly what mark-up it requires, you’d be better playing things safe and signing up to Merchant Centre. Once there, enrol in Surfaces Across Google.
Next, you need to upload your product feed, which is a list of all your products and their details.
If you’re using a plugin or e-commerce platform like WooCommerce and Shopify, they will generate feeds automatically. For bespoke platforms, your web developer should be able to create a feed that will update directly onto Google. You can also add a product feed manually by adding all the data onto a spreadsheet and uploading it – but you will need to update the spreadsheet and re-upload it every time stock, prices, or details change.
If you’re running an e-commerce website or an online store and expect to rank well, drive organic traffic, and increase sales, then you need to optimise your product pages. There are a range of ways of doing this, from the easy to the advanced. As always, optimising product pages is mainly about improving user experience and this should always be your main focus.