Ecommerce product page optimization is integral to the success of your ecommerce business. The product page comes in during one of the last stages of your customer’s journey from casual browser to buyer.
Its objective is to convince them that the product you are offering them caters to their needs.
Simply put: a poorly optimized product page is bad for business.
A well optimized product page means:
- Your customers are able to find it
- Your customers become convinced they need your product
Without ecommerce product page optimization, your customers won’t find your product page, or won’t convert on your offering.
Today I have outlined how to optimize your ecommerce product pages to make them both discoverable and convincing. You can jump around this article using the following link menu:
Also, learn what the ecommerce experts have to say when it comes to ecommerce SEO audits. And don’t forget to take our ecommerce SEO audit checklist with you before you go 😉
Ecommerce Product Page Best Practices
I’m going to kick things off with an actionable list. If you only have time for this section then you should get a few takeaways to apply to your ecommerce store.
Below is a comprehensive list of the most important eCommerce product page best practices that you should be implementing.
- Write Product Descriptions for Humans: Your product descriptions should include facts and specifications but they should also be written for humans. Try to write them in a way that you would describe the product to a friend, or peer, that you were trying to get interested in the product. Try to tell a compelling story about the product like any charming salesperson would.
- Clear CTA (Call To Action): One of the most important product page elements is your CTA, common examples include “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now”. You should be testing different CTAs including the text, button color, size, and location in order to increase your conversion rates.
- Create Urgency With Scarcity: By showing your customers that there is a limited number of the product they are viewing left in stock or they can temporarily get free shipping on the product, you can create urgency. This is sales 101 folks, urgency compels action, thus increasing sales.
- Display Price Comparisons: Showing a “List Price” crossed out before your “Actual Price” followed by the “Amount Saved” is a surefire way to increase conversions. Everyone loves a discount and this makes customers feel they are getting a discount even when they aren’t.
Optimal Product Image & Video
- Large High-Quality Images: Generally speaking large product images increase conversion rates compared to smaller images. Studies have shown that they increase the perceived value of your products.
- Complete Rotational (360 degrees) View: Reports of 10%, 27%, and 40% increases in conversions rates after adding 360 degree rotational views of products have been reported by companies like Golfsmith. When shopping online one of the biggest hurdles is that your customers can’t physically see and touch your products as they can in person. Rotational views help solve this problem.
- Provide Product Video: Like mentioned above, a big hurdle in ecommerce is that your shoppers aren’t able to physically view and touch your products. Offering product videos of people using the product is a surefire way to increase conversions. Studies have shown up to a 144% increase in customers adding a product with video to their cart.
Below the Fold Elements
- Offer Reviews From Customers: Reviews are read by 92% of online shoppers so they are very important however they don’t need to be positioned above the fold. Customer reviews should be placed below your product images and descriptions.
- Utilize Live Chat: No matter how optimized your product page is, nothing beats human interaction. Live chat is a great way to seal the deal answering any final questions your shoppers may have before handing over their credit card info.
- Display Shipping & Return Policy: Customers don’t want to spend extra on shipping so waiting until they checkout to add shipping charges is a big “no-no”. Let them know up front how much shipping is or better yet that it is free. Additionally, let customers know the time frame they should expect to receive their purchase and how long they have to return it as well.
- Display Trust Badges: Whether it is a “BBB Accredited Business” badge or a “Norton Secured” badge it should be prominently displayed on your product pages to increase trust and conversion rates.
Even with best practices, you should always test your product page optimization changes to make sure you are impacting your sales positively.
Optimizing Ecommerce Product Page Titles
The title tag of your product page is the most important SEO component to your product page.
Page titles are the first thing your potential customers see in the search engine results. It gets attention and tells them what your product page is about.
In order to maximize your SEO and increase your CTR in search results, make your title tag eye-catching, uncluttered and keyword-friendly.
Here are a few of the most important SEO considerations for your product page titles:
- Keep titles under 60 characters so that they are not truncated in search results
- Make sure to include your primary keyword in your title
- Do not just list or “stuff” multiple keywords to create your title
- Make your title accurate, descriptive, and try to get attention or trigger emotion to elicit more clicks from search results
There are many guides on how to make sure you are getting the most out of your title tag. This ecommerce specific guide from Search Engine Watch provides great real world examples for you to learn from. You will find the article very helpful in breaking down how to go about nailing your title tag for your specific ecommerce niche and product offering.
Using Screaming Frog for Ecommerce Product Page Optimization
Finally, the best way to quickly and thoroughly audit your ecommerce store’s page titles is to use Screaming Frog. The software will crawl your entire website and provide you an organized list of all of your titles for analyzing. The data from Screaming Frog’s crawl of your site includes the length of your titles so you can quickly see which ones need to be shorter.
I like to export the data into Excel, or a Google Sheet, where I can analyze each title and make notes, like you see below.
Mobile Optimization for Product Pages
Most people are now accessing the internet from their phone or tablet, rather than from their desktop.
If your site is not mobile friendly, then this will have a negative impact on your product page’s SEO. Google and other search engines prioritize sites which are mobile friendly over those which aren’t. They do this because they don’t want mobile searchers to have a poor experience.
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to find whether your product page is geared up for mobile users. If it isn’t, then you’ll probably want to switch to a responsive web design, ASAP. You will also want to ensure that the mobile user experience (UX) is as speedy as possible.
Here is a list of the most important mobile optimization factors for your ecommerce product pages:
- Optimize your navigation for mobile making it the proper size with only the most important links.
- Consider eliminating some content to simplify the screen on smaller devices.
- Make sure all clickable elements are tappable.
- Make sure grids, tables and any other special layouts are optimized for mobile.
- Make sure your images are sharp on reitna screens.
- Any big banner or slider images need to be reviewed and optimized for mobile devices.
- Complex headers, info packed footers and sidebars, and large logos must be optimized for mobile devices.
- Only use hover effects if it is optimal on mobile.
- Optimize your forms for mobile devices.
- Make sure the add to cart, checkout, and payment process is optimized for all screen sizes.
Having a product page that’s mobile friendly is a ball that very few companies drop in 2017, but don’t let yours be the one that makes this faux pas.
Even if you are doing all of the above, consider whether you can challenge your design to go even further on mobile. Could you be using geo-tagging, localized mobile voucher codes, or speeding up your mobile experience using AMP to maintain a competitive edge?
Use mobile user testing to benchmark your current mobile UX (user experience). Also use Varvy’s free mobile testing tool to identify mobile SEO issues.
Performance & Pagespeed Optimization for Product Pages
SEO does not recognize the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare. Slow and steady puts you at the back of the race and keeps you there.
One of the main reasons that potential customers will fail to utilize your product page is its speed.
Users are continually expecting faster load times and when your pages don’t meet their expectations, they bounce and leave your page without even viewing your product.
For this reason, Google has made pagespeed one of the ranking factors that they measure a website against. So, if you have a slow loading product page, your rankings will suffer. This is true of both mobile and desktop sites.
You can check the speed of your product page using the PageSpeed Insights tool available from Google. Ensuring that your product page runs at an optimum speed is a basic SEO requirement.
If you find that your product page is loading slowly, there are some things that you can do to fix it:
- Allow browser caching: this means that your product page won’t have to send an HTTP request to the server every time that your customers visit it.
- Optimize the images that you use: large images take longer to load and can slow down your product page. If the image that you have is too big, then you can compress it. Compress Jpeg is a great site for shrinking the file size of your images.
- Check your hosting: You should have uptime above 99.5% and your pageload speeds should be consistent even during high traffic hours. Test these factors to determine if you need to invest in better servers.
I wrote this more in-depth resource on optimizing your pagespeed for SEO efficiently using free tools. Below are a list of the tools I recommend in the article that you use to optimize your pagespeed performance:
The above tools are free and will help you to fully optimize your ecommerce product page speeds for users and SEO.
Product Page URL Optimization
There was a time when lengthy page URLs were the order of the day for page optimization. Now, though, they’re yesterday’s dinner, congealing round the rim of your trash can.
In order to ensure that the URL for your product page is set up for SEO success, check that it has the following structure:
You want to have all the relevant information, but only the relevant information. It is best to keep your URLs under 100 characters when possible.
Don’t try to crowbar in as many words as possible because search engines will mark it as spammy and kick your SEO where it hurts.
What’s crucial, though, is that the URL for your product page is unique, because if it’s not you risk confusing the search engine and being served a further kick.
For more information on optimizing your product page URLs checkout these 15 best practices for optimizing your URLs.
Optimizing Product Page Content
I just explained that being unique is essential to ecommerce product page optimization — this relates to both product descriptions and page content.
Some businesses make the mistake of using the same content for their product descriptions as that used by their supplier. Or even worse, they copy their competitors without adding anything unique or any additional value.
Replicating content is a huge error. You should invest time and money into writing engaging and interesting product descriptions instead. This will not only help your SEO, but also improve your brand reputation.
Replicating content is a particular problem for ecommerce companies who are involved in dropshipping. Duplicate content issues often crop up because you not sending out your own unique, self-produced stock – it has come from a manufacturer who will be supplying the same products and product descriptions to a number of other businesses.
As such, you need to make sure that your product descriptions do not replicate those used by your manufacturer, and that they stand out against those used other companies employing the same manufacturer as you do.
Use Canonical URLs to Avoid Duplicate Content Penalties
Similarly, replicating content across URLs will confuse search engines by telling them that there is duplicate content on your website resulting in a search engine penalty.
A common example of duplicate content on multiple URLs on your domain occurs with category filters where users can filter your products by price, color, category or some other piece of information. For example:
In this example both URLs would display the same 15 hats for sale, just in a different order based on the price of each hat. This is considered duplicate content and can result in a search engine penalty if not handled properly.
Use canonical tags to stop search engines flagging content on your category and product pages as duplicate if your content management system generates multiple URLs for the same page.
In the previous example, you would use the following cannonical tag:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://ecommercestore.com/category/hats/">
This tag should be placed in the Header of the duplicate page:
Here are some additional resources on using canonical tags properly, and you will definitely want to read these if you haven’t already implemented canonical tags on your ecommerce store. This is essential for ecommerce SEO optimization on ALL ecommerce stores.
Optimize Product Page Design, Layout, & Elements
In addition to unique copy and canonical tags, you should strive to design a unique page layout with unique images, unique product information, unique layouts, elements and special features for users to inspect and learn more about your products.
I highly recommend reading the product page best practices section below and studying the following examples of unique and stellar ecommerce product page designs that convert very well.
- 7 Effective Ecommerce Product Pages: How to Turn Visitors into Customers
- 14 of the Best Product Page Design Examples We’ve Ever Seen
- Best Ecommerce Product Pages: 13 First-Class Examples of Product Page Perfection
The examples above should give you ideas for your own ecommerce product page optimization when it comes to unique and effective design and layout.
Keyword Research for Product Pages
There is a continual debate about how to effectively use keywords. The fact remains that they are crucial to the success of your SEO strategy.
Think of keywords as how your customers choose to talk about the products you want to sell them.
You must take keywords into account and apply them to the content on your product page to show search engines that your product has the answer to user’s queries.
While isn’t easy to make your product page rank highly for a competitive keyword, there are a multitude of tools available to help you find longtail keywords. These include:
I wrote this keyword research guide to help you step by step using the tools above to perform advanced keyword research.
Enter your product (and words linked to your product) into a search engine and see what the autocomplete function suggests.
Optimizing Social Media Sharing for Product Pages
Social media is crucial to SEO, and not taking advantage of it is just crazy.
In order to ensure that you are getting the most out of your product page, you need to make sure you have included social media share buttons on the page. In addition to having sharing options available, they should be placed optimally on your product pages in order to be used.
Additionally, by not having a social media strategy you are failing to take advantage of some other huge search engines: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. All of these social media platforms have huge numbers of users sharing things they like to their followers.
Without social sharing enabled for your product pages you are missing out on a lot of important visibility.
You should also have a solid social media strategy that takes product sales into account. You can even sell products directly on social.
Social media is also changing the way that we shop.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the ability to add a ‘Shop’ section to your Facebook page. Using an online platform such as Shopify even allows you to link your site to your Facebook page.
This enables users to purchase your products directly from Facebook. So, when someone shares your product page their followers can buy the product without ever visiting your store.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Working together with Shopify, Instagram has rolled out Shopping on Instagram to merchants who want to make sales on their platform. The feature lets merchants tag their Instagram posts for sale. The tag enables users to purchase the goods from the merchant’s ecommerce store without having to navigate away from Instagram.
Optimizing Meta Descriptions for Product Pages.
Before Twitter’s recent revamp, it gave its users 140 characters to make their case for grabbing your attention.
Meta descriptions are your opportunity to get your customers attention in search results. And like Twitter, you have 140 characters (the ideal number is between 140 and 160) to do it.
Your meta description is the advertisement for your product page that search engines give you to work with.
While they are not as crucial to your rankings as they once were, they do still have an important role to play. Meta descriptions are your call to action to entice your potential customers to learn more about your product.
Here is how to optimize your ecommerce meta descriptions:
- Use verbs in your copy
- Use a clear call to action
- Use your keywords
- Create templates
Also, be sure to read Armando Roggio’s in-depth resource on optimizing ecommerce meta descriptions for SEO. He shares a lot of solid ecommerce advice at PracticalEcommerce.
Poorly optimized meta descriptions equal low click-through rates on your SERPs. Low CTRs make your rankings worthless since they aren’t driving traffic. Additionally, Google will push your rankings down if they aren’t being clicked on by users.
Conversely, well-optimized meta descriptions equal high CTRs which mean more traffic and increased rankings.
So, this is one task that you definitely want to chcek off. Present your products to your customers (and Google) with well-constructed meta descriptions.
Ecommerce product page optimization is an ongoing process. After implementing the tactics in this article, your product pages will not be optimized forever.
You need to review your product page constantly. And keep up to date with new SEO developments because what works today will be yesterday’s news before you know it.
For help optimizing your ecommerce store, you can create a custom ecommerce SEO package.
Today’s article was a collaborative effort between Keller and Victoria. If you’d like to contribute an article or collaborate on one with Keller, get in touch.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce.com, she shares tips on ecommerce and how writers can hone their craft. She is a passionate advocate of SEO optimized content and ecommerce marketing strategies that make the most of search.