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In today's digital marketing age, your ecommerce website needs to be visible on the search engine results to sustain profitable success. Whether through organic search engine optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, or both, the exposure of your ecommerce site is critical for its survival.
Attaining a top search engine ranking is one of the most powerful and cost-efficient sources of Internet traffic. For ecommerce SEO, your product pages are the ideal channels to focus your efforts. Product pages are the direct path for online shoppers to turn into paying customers, because product pages serve as effective landing pages for SEO.
Additionally, search engine users are becoming smarter and use detailed, product-specific search phrases (or long-tail keywords) to find what they are looking for.
Keyword Research is Imperative for Success
In this article, we will cover 5 effective ways in which you enhance the SEO potential of your ecommerce site's product pages. But before we dive into the methodologies, we must underscore the significance of keyword research and targeting. It is very important to conduct research and know precisely the keyword phrases your target market is searching. The Google Keyword Tool is a good place to start. Below are some considerations while conducting keyword research for ecommerce SEO.
- Are searchers referencing the brand and model names?
- Are searchers including specific model or part numbers?
- Are searchers using a combination of the latter elements?
It is also very important to know the motives behind a consumer who is using plural versus singular search terms. In most cases, plural use of keywords will typically imply that the consumer is shopping around and will be purchasing in the near future, whereas singular will often mean the consumer is looking to buy more immediately.
Once you have a good idea of the precise keyword phrase that matches up with the corresponding product page on your ecommerce site, you can begin to optimize specific aspects of the page's content. Let's say we have performed some keyword research for our online store that sells running footwear. The product page we want to optimize is for "men's New Balance shoes", specifically the "730 model." We have determined that our primary keyword target that consumers are searching is "New Balance 730 mens."
It is critical to include the primary keyword target in the page title for SEO. The page title is one of the greatest factors in establishing keyword relevancy of the page, and it shows up the Google search results as the main headline and link. For this reason, it is important to not only include the keyword target, but write it in such a way that searcher will want to click your listing.
A solid page title will lead with the keyword target or mention it as early as possible. In our example above, we can make this happen by writing the title as such "New Balance 730 Men's Shoes." We can also include the words "Buy" or "For Sale" to capture some keyword variations.
The Meta description appears just below the page title in the Google search results, and is an area to capture the interests of consumers. Here you'll want to get creative and motivate your audience to click your listing with some sort of incentive.
It is, however, very important to include the keyword target in the Meta description as well. Effective descriptions will include one or two variations of the keyword target, but keep in mind that most search engine cut the description off at 160 characters, so keep it concise.
Visible Page Copy
There a number of elements you will want to take into consideration for the visible copy of the product page. This copy is commonly the "product description" and will include information about the product. The organization of the content is the SEO difference maker.
Use a H1 tag whenever possible as the header or title of the product description, and always use the same keyword structure you used in the page title, or a close variation. Within the description, mention the keyword at least once, along with any variations that seem appropriate. If possible, use strong tags to make the keyword bold. This will further enhance the SEO value of the product page.
To take the page copy one-step further, implement a tab format for your product pages to bring more content onto the page, while keep it organized and clean to the eye.
Image "Alt" Tags
The "Alt" tag in images refers to "alternative" text, in the instance that a user's browser is incompatible with your website. This is rarely the case, yet the Alt tag is stilled crawled by search engine spiders and is taken into consideration for SEO purposes.
In the page's back-end or HTML code, always write a keyword optimize Alt tag, but keep it respective to what the image represents. For ecommerce product pages, this is pretty simple because the keyword almost always resembles the image. A good Alt tag for our shoe store example would be "New Balance 730 Mens Shoes White/Green"
The last element to optimizing your product page is by use of video. Video is a huge selling point that greatly contributes to more sales conversions. If you have a top selling product, create a video highlight of that product. Strong, well-optimized ecommerce stores will have comprehensive YouTube channels that showcase their top products.
Although this is not our primary focus in this article, a YouTube channel is good food for thought for a long-term ecommerce SEO strategy, for video is becoming highly popular in the search results. When optimizing your videos, be sure to save the video files with respect to your keyword targets. Similar to image Alt tags, this is pretty straight-forward because the product video typically coincides directly with the keyword.
It is also wise to include keyword relevant tags and descriptions while uploading your video. This will maximize the SEO potential of your product pages as well as the conversion potential when users land on your page.
Final Thoughts for Ecommerce SEO
It is also very beneficial for ecommerce sites to encourage reviews. It is best to request reviews after the checkout phase or with a follow-up email. Independent reviews are strong indicators of a credible ecommerce site. In addition, reviews offer free, user-generated content which adds greater SEO value to your product pages, especially when customers make use of keywords in the their review.
Apply these strategies for product page ecommerce SEO, and start seeing your online store in the top search engine listings for the inventory that offers the greatest margins.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO.