There are a huge number of eCommerce sites across the internet and that number is growing daily – so how do you keep, or even improve, your ranking in the face of so much competition?
Well, get on top of your SEO is a part of the answer, and one area that is often overlooked is your product descriptions. In fact, all of your product pages.
Yes – even descriptions play an important role in your SEO strategies.
Here is a list of the main items you need to be thinking about when constructing your product pages:
- Unique product descriptions
- Careful keyword planning
- Meta titles, descriptions and headings
- Tone of voice
- Blog posts
Read on for our top tips for your product descriptions for your eCommerce store.
Unique product descriptions
The golden rule of product description SEO is not to use text from the manufacturer’s website!
It’s always tempting – especially if you have hundreds or even thousands of products, and why not use the text already provided, after all, the manufacturer knows the product best, so surely they’ve already written the best description?
Perhaps – but keep in mind that:
- Duplicated text can reflect negatively on your site ranking.
- Copying is what everyone else is doing, so you are not going to be standing out as unique.
- If they have used keywords in their description, then do you really want to try ranking with the same ones as them (and everyone else)?
So take the time to write your own product descriptions and it will pay dividends in terms of positive SEO.
Put some effort into keyword planning (see below) and incorporate these into your descriptions.
Although duplicated text does not appear to incur a penalty from Google when it is found across many websites, the search engine gets confused as to which site is authoritative and it can, therefore, affect your ranking.
Unique descriptions that add more value to the customer is more likely to garner a higher ranking.
Apply this same strategy to your product photo alt descriptions as well. Make sure that every image has a valid description and that you have written it.
A well-written product description also creates a more informative page and avoids Google marking the page down for having little content.
Product keyword planning
When you are writing your product descriptions, they should be a part of your keyword strategy.
Take time to research and develop a list of long-tail keywords that you will use as a part of your product description.
If you do a Google search yourself, you will notice that the results returned are not just exact-match to your search phrase – it also ranks pages that are relevant to the search phrase that you entered.
The use of long-tail keywords helps Google to match your products to the user’s intent when they are searching. Therefore, it is user intent that you should have in mind when planning your keywords – when a customer is searching for products that you sell, what are they actually entering into the Google search bar?
User intent is a whole subject in itself – but just to say here – not everyone searching for products are looking to make a purchase today; it depends where they are in their buying journey. Some have questions and are looking for product information, some are researching prices or looking for local stores, whilst others have done this and wish to place an order today.
Writing product description that addresses more than one of these points is an important ranking factor.
Product page meta titles, descriptions and headings
Here is another area of your product page that is often overlooked.
Meta titles and descriptions need planning too – and also benefit from the use of your long-tail keywords.
Meta titles should contain more than the product name – consider adding your location if you have a physical store, e.g. “Buy [product] online and in [location]” or perhaps “Buy [product] online with FREE UK Delivery” if not.
Apply the same logic to your meta descriptions as well – keeping in mind our previous point about keywords and user intent (above).
Product description style and tone of voice
Keep your tone of voice the same across your product descriptions and, indeed, across your whole website.
Whilst not a direct SEO element – tone of voice is very important for customer experience and consistency is reassuring.
Imagine the quality of experience if a customer looks at one of your products, say, a £10 T-shirt, and there is a full description of colours available, the material used, sizes and alternative designs or wording, country of manufacturer, care instructions, delivery times – great!
Then they click onto a £300 suit they are interested in and the description just says “Grey two-piece suit”. Not only is this very unhelpful, but this gives the customer added frustration because you have not met their expectation, based on previous experience.
Where this can potentially affect your search rankings is that customer experience matters to your customers – and this means it matters to Google, as it affects how users respond to your site.
If you treat your customers in an off-handed manner such as we have just described, then they will shop elsewhere, and Google will take note!
How customers respond to your site is something that will, in the long-term, affect your rankings.
It is also worth noting that customer experience is about to become a whole lot more important to Google. For further information about this, check our companion article – Product page SEO for 2022.
If your eCommerce site doesn’t have a blog page – it should. Even for online stores, a well-planned and written blog can generate many SEO benefits. Aside from being a source of regular fresh web content (which itself is a Google plus), you have an opportunity to write about our products outside of the description of them.
It is here you can address some of the more informational searches that customers make at the start of their buying journey when they are researching. It is a great opportunity to connect with them at this early stage, prove yourself as a trusted authority and even use the blog to link directly to the product page.
In this way, you are capturing attention and drawing customers into your selling funnel at an earlier stage.
A huge number of eCommerce sites have no blog at all, and those that do often leave them neglected. A quick look around at a few will show an early deluge of posts which tend to dry up fairly rapidly; some you find will not have been posted to for years.
There is no doubt that maintaining a blog is a commitment, but it is one that pays for itself many times over if utilised correctly.
None of the above suggestions will bring a huge increase of traffic to your door overnight; as with any SEO strategy, they are long-term investments (mostly in your time) but that does not make them any less important.
Start making changes now, implement some of these suggestions for product descriptions for your eCommerce store, and in time you will start to see their effects.
For further reading about SEO generally, take a look at SEO principles for the next 20 years to help ensure your webstore is built for the future.
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