We are at a crucial stage for online sales sites, in the middle of the holiday season at the end of the year that, especially in a tragic year such as this 2020, could give a little breath of fresh air to turnovers. Now more than ever, then, it is essential to arrive at the topical moment in an effective way and with attractive, working and error-free sites so not to waste the opportunity: today we try to offer some useful advice with this list of 10 things to do and 10 things not to do to optimize the product pages of e-Commerce.
Optimizing the e-Commerce product pages
The theme is at the center of an in-depth study by Winston Burton on Search Engine Journal, which begins by reaffirming the decisive value of a product page optimized for those who work in the e-commerce field: if this is a historical truth, but it takes on an even more essential value in this time of pandemic, where more and more people connect online to find the products they need rather than go to a physical store, as we also remembered about the recent Google guide to eCommerce.
The competition for the top positions in SERP is really high and to complicate things there are also users, who “use a myriad of different search terms to find the products sold by your brand”. What is needed is an “optimized product page”, which can “not only drive the traffic, but also help to convert simple visitors into buyers”.
A focused target and more conversions
This job can allow us to drive qualified traffic to the website, which can more easily turn into sales since those consumers directly get to what they were thinking of buying originally.
To beat the competition, you need to make sure that your product pages are optimized for maximum visibility, and the article provides some clear and easy-to-implement SEO guidelines, along with a list of pitfalls to absolutely avoid.
In concrete terms, this means following the classic SEO best practices, including the optimization of page titles, descriptions and text content, or working to create internal linking and add structured data, because these interventions can push more customers to visit these specific pages.
10 things to do to optimize product pages
The SEO work for e-commerce starts from these 10 operations to do to optimize the product pages: these are apparently simple and discounted interventions, but they still need to be implemented because they allow us to build a solid foundation for the success of our online project.
So here is the list of 10 dos to have an SEO oriented e-Commerce product page.
- Adopting a keyword strategy
Keyword research continues to be the basic activity to create content for each type of site and is still the basis for the optimization of the product pages: to be effective, however, you have to look for product-focused topics that users are looking for, without just fixating on the volume.
It is necessary to understand the search intent, think about the relevance and what it could actually convert, also studying the data of other channels such as paid search to “incorporate advertising texts with high percentages of clicks (CTR) in the meta descriptions”
Product pages have transactional intents, so we need to make sure that landing pages are optimized for ready-to-buy users because our goal is to sell the articles on your site.
- Optimizing titles and meta descriptions
We know that by now: title tags and meta descriptions are very important in page optimization, and product pages are no exception. Among the best practices to apply is the insertion of details such as product and brand name, model number and other useful information to attract potential buyers.
- Using appropriate structured data
Entering the correct type of structured data on our pages can help the brand to appear in SERP as rich snippets. Basically, all product pages should implement at least the schema product markup and the one for reviews (which make, for instance, the price or reviews of the product appear with star ratings), allowing you to generate more impressions and clicks, as a result, improve the CTR and increase sales. To check the validity of the structured data entered and the opportunities you can use some tools of the Google Search Console for e-commerce.
- Adding FAQ content
Publishing “high quality content that meets the needs of users is essential to rank higher among the SERPs”: if users do not find our content useful “bounce rates will be high and customers may not buy from you”, writes the author.
Most category and product pages have poorly optimized content and do not have an FAQ section marked with FAQ structured data, but instead tend to rely on user-generated content (UGC), making a mistake.
According to Burton, when the user “has a question about a product and does not want to talk to a chatbot or call customer service” he might visit the FAQ section – with answers to questions that other users commonly ask – to easily find the information youâ€™re looking for. This process helps the brand to be attentive to customer needs and can lead to higher sales: even a recent study on the curve of clicks indicates that multimedia results with Faqs have a very high average CTR, the highest of any type of rich result analyzed, and they are useful to create engagement with people.
- Writing unique texts and descriptions
Repeating the same description on multiple product pages (or even on all of them) means losing a huge opportunity: each article can be classified by branded or non-branded keywords, and should therefore include a unique description to be able to intercept them.
Last but not least, diversifying texts allows consumers to give better information and can encourage them to click on the tab, thus increasing traffic and sales.
- Sharing feedbacks from real testimonials and users
Feedback and reviews can give a strong positive boost to the brand, we said some time ago: in fact, according to some research, the product pages that present customer reviews convert 58% more visitors than their review-free counterparts.
An effective strategy therefore also involves users who have purchased and tested the product, who become testimonials to attract other buyers, and it is important to succeed in convincing people to share their experience with the product, indicating how it helped them solve problems and gain advantages.
Even more important would be to be able to intercept an endorsement of a celebrity or an influencer, because this creates even greater trust around the brand.
- Testing the landing page
There are various techniques and suggestions to create a perfect landing page, but it is essential not to neglect the test activity: besides classic A/B test, the author suggests to use tools such as “Optimizely and Google Optimize, which provide an intuitive way to test even the smallest variations within the product pages”, so as to discover the ideal configuration.
For example, he continues, “changing the location of the call to action could generate more conversions” and it is useful to test the various possible page layout options to see the actual impact.
- Using high quality videos and images
One of the disadvantages of online shopping is that “you cannot physically touch or feel the product you are evaluating”: inserting high-quality images and videos into the pages can fill this gap and provide end users with the information they need to feel confident in their purchases.
High quality means not only taking care of technical aspects such as size and resolution, but also providing videos that answer common questions about the product or images on the package and overall equipment: in short, anything that can increase the acquisition of information by people and improve their shopping experience.
- Reducing loading times
Watch out for loading times: serving fast pages brings our content to the target audience faster and provides a better user experience, which in turn can translate into increased sales, revenue and pages per session, as well as a reduction in the bounce frequency. Simply put, a net advantage over the competitors.
- Checking for technical problems
Product pages can often be duplicated due to the use of URL parameters, which can cause many problems for the SEO, such as duplicate content, waste of budget crawl, dispersal of link equity.
To avoid these problems, the advice is to check the pages to see which technical and content elements should be optimized, keeping an eye in particular on duplications of title tags and meta descriptions, slow page loading times, broken link, thin content, pages 404, redirect 302 and lack of structured data.
10 errors not to commit on product pages
If this was the list of dos, Burton also provides a decalogue of mistakes to avoid, the classics don’ts: it is always rough and often mainly common-sense oriented indications, but still useful to try to improve our product pages and get better results.
- Do not use product descriptions copied from the manufacturerâ€™s website
Avoid duplicate content, always and especially for product pages: copy/paste the same descriptions provided by manufacturers on our site is a frequent practice, but it opens to SEO problems and also efficiency.
Not always in fact the standard cards are convincing and optimized for research, while the effort to personally compile the best texts will be rewarded by a potential increase in visibility in the Search, as well as the certainty of providing more detailed and accurate information to visitors.
- Do not use the automatic optimization
It is not a best practice to use a system of automatic optimization of the product pages and to compile in standard way the title tag using always and only the name of the product more brand. It is better to include important information in the titles, also using the data obtained from our keyword research for targeted terms. Also, that general line, all titles and descriptions should be unique.
- Do not remove seasonal pages at the end of the peak period
Winston Burton then recommends not to delete the pages of seasonal products when they are now “out of season”, because over time “they have built charts, traffic and sales”: while not having a real purpose for most of the year, However, it is necessary to keep them in the freezer in order to highlight them at the right time, so as to exploit the authority they had already gained without having to start from scratch.
- Do not remove temporarily out of stock products
The management of the availability of products is essential to ensure a good user experience and not create frustration to customers; if, however, a product is only temporarily out of stock and is expected to be available soon (or at least within a reasonable time), it would be advisable not to remove its original page, especially if it has ranking and traffic.
An effective strategy is to keep these URLs alive and use them to insert internal links to other related and relevant products until the time the original product is back in stock, as we were already talking about e-commerce optimization techniques.
- Do not misuse structured data
Structured data can help a site to position itself among the SERP rich results and get more traffic and sales, but must be used and cared for carefully.
- Do not use weak call to actions
Providing clear and easy-to-understand CTAs should be a must-have for each site, especially for product pages, which have the primary objective of bringing revenues and sales to the site.
If it takes too long to figure out how to buy a product, customers might leave the site and buy from a competitor, especially if our site loads in more than 3 seconds.
- Do not optimize the page for low volume keywords
It is important that keyword research identifies useful and searched-for terms, but even more so that the product page is actually optimized for a word that has a good search volume. According to the author, it is not worth working on optimizing a page on a low volume keyword because “users are not really looking for this term and even if we rank we will not get many sales because it has a low volume”.
- Do not miss out on opportunities with internal links and backlinks
Links are still important for all sites and also for e-commerce, but often brands “create links only to their home page and category pages and forget the product pages”.
Instead, these pages can position themselves, especially for long tail keywords that have a high commercial intent and can greatly increase revenue and sales. Therefore, we should always support product pages with internal links or even paid social, to improve visibility and returns.
- Do not set the wrong price
Beyond the law of supply and demand, it is crucial to have a fair pricing strategy in order not to lose consumers, who might prefer products offered at more affordable prices.
- Do not forget about mobile optimization
Users are now running most of their operations via smartphones, and online products are also being sought by mobile: more than 82% of online buyers in the United States buy via mobile devices and 35% of them buy exclusively from smartphones.
It follows that not having a product page optimized for mobile devices is the most serious mistake, which can induce potential customers not even consider buying products from our site and push them into the arms of competitors.