Product Page SEO
For any and all eCommerce businesses, the product pages are crucial pages no matter the shape and size of their online store. With that being the case, how do you optimize your product pages for SEO and high conversions?
It’s not an uncommon opinion that traffic comes from either the home page or (keyword-oriented) category pages for most online stores. While this might be so for some well-known brands (think high-end fashion brands, think Channel), in general, this is not true anymore.
As the world became more search engine literate, Google became the starting point of buyers’ journey and your product page their final destination. No in-betweens. No online store browsing. Making search engine optimization (SEO) hugely important.
Businesses already know that, and they are investing heavily into product page optimization. There are two aspects of optimization you should consider: the SEO aspect and the clickthrough rate optimization (CTR) aspect. The first one is all about the appearance of your product page in search results for desired keywords. The second one is about the conversion or selling of your product.
Don’t worry. The two are intertwined.
📝 eCommerce SEO Guide.
I’ll talk about both from the perspective of ‘Spongebob Squarepants Socks’ example from our eCommerce SEO guide. You can DOWNLOAD a PDF version of this guide with bonus content (this page included) for easier offline reading and sharing with coworkers.
BTW this does not mean you should focus solely on product pages. Home and category pages still play an important role. As more transitional pages they are a great way to cover more general keywords within your business’s industry and better showcase and promote your products.
How to Optimize Product Pages?
The beginning of any SEO is making sure basics are done. Like setting up GA for eCommerce properly, submitting the website to Search Console and Bing Webmasters, etc. The guide I mentioned above has that first step explained (among many other things).
Keywords, Meta, Title, Description, and URL
Beginners and experts alike know about on-page optimization. In eCommerce, for the most part, it means aligning the product name with your keyword research (targeted search queries) and implementing the results/findings in the crucial parts of a page.
▶️Best practices: your keyword/product research findings include in the product page title, meta title and description, and URL slug.
📝SEO aspect: obviously, focusing on keywords helps you rank for them. That’s like SEO 101 from the days of old.
💰CTR aspect: matching keywords with page/product and intent helps raise CTR. It is cool that we rank for cartoon socks, but chances are we’ll have much better CTR for Spongebob Squarepants Socks because not everyone looking for cartoon socks would be interested in Spongebob’s.
💻Example. Check The Spongebob Squarepants Socks Example in our eCommerce SEO guide (.pdf version).
Use Schema.org structured data format loved and approved by all major search engines as a part of your HTML <head> tag to help search engines understand and display your content better in search results and as a rich result.
▶️Best practices: ensure all the vital product information, including user reviews and ratings, are incorporated into the schema code you’ll be using.
📝SEO aspect: helps you win those rich result listings.
💰CTR aspect: winning those rich results is the first step in interesting potential buyers to spend $ on your product. The more info you give them via product schema means it’ll be much easier for them to choose you.
💻Example. OK. OK. Where do you begin? Start with Google’s own structured data suggestions page.
Page Content Headings, HTML, Attributes, Variants, Product Storytelling
Headings have the purpose of catching your audience’s attention. HTML helps structure the page. Attributes and variants depend on the product. And product storytelling helps sell your product better. Judging by the title, this is an odd mix, right?
What binds them is the product, i.e., the number of attributes and variants of it, which will influence the content of the page and the way you convey a story about the product, and the number of product pages.
▶️Best practices: use H tags to structure your product page and message. H tags are an excellent place for adding main product keywords but also synonyms. You’re not just selling your product; you are selling a story, a feeling, a meaning that comes with it, so go beyond simple product descriptions.
📝SEO aspect: having a neat structure supported with quality content helps both search engines and users understand and value your website more.
💰CTR aspect: the better the story, the bigger the likelihood of your audience purchasing your product.
💻Example. We sell ‘Spongebob Squarepants Socks,’ i.e., socks, right? Wrong. We’re selling the hype of being a Spongebob Squarepants fan. We’re selling that inner child in you who loves the cartoon’s quirkiness. We’re selling that feeling of belonging to a group of people with the same interest. I have two variants of socks (yellow and red) with size attributes, and the variants' keywords are not that searched for, so I’ll stick with two product pages (yellow and red) and let faceted navigation cover extra long-tail keywords like ‘size M SpongeBob SquarePants socks.’
High-quality Images and Videos
Humans are visual animals. We form an opinion about something in the first few seconds of visual interaction. That’s why high-quality product images and videos showing the product in detail and in real-life situations can help improve conversion rates, i.e., incentivize someone to buy your product.
There is a dark side to using high-quality images and videos; they influence your page performance which, in turn, affects your sales. Solution? Use modern image formats.
▶️Best practices: you can find everything about image and video optimization in our eCommerce SEO guide (yeah the one I mentioned a couple of times already).
📝SEO aspect: if standing out is not enough of a reason, think of a positive influence on UX (another ranking signal) but also a chance of appearing in Google Images.
💰CTR aspect: everything I mentioned above.
💻Example. (shameless plug) if you use Crystallize on the backed as I do in my Spongebob example, you’ll be happy to know we compress/convert images to AVIF and Webp in different sizes and transcode videos out of the box. Just upload and take care of them on the front end any way you want.
Navigation, Reviews, Suggestions, FAQ
Selling a product does not end with a great story, images, and videos. When in doubt, people turn to reviews, suggestions, and FAQ sections to understand the product more. Make these dynamic elements an integral part of the buyers’ journey on your product page.
▶️Best practices: use breadcrumb navigation, so your audience knows where they are on your website (and search engines as well). Honesty is the best policy, i.e., don’t mess with reviews. The FAQ section is there to answer the most common question about your product. How-to videos are an excellent tool for page conversion. Use them in your FAQ section. Suggestions (You might also like section) is a great way to retain visitors to your website.
📝SEO aspect: study the pages appearing for your product/keyword page. Satisfying the expected page structure is just as important as satisfying the search query’s intent in terms of the content.
💰CTR aspect: those undecided visitors may be won over by these additional sections.
💻Example. On my Spongebob page, thanks to reviews, people have learned that the yellow ones are best paired with black pants. And our how to put on a sock video in FAQ has thousands of views.
Website performance matters. It matters for conversion, SEO, and ad spending. This simple fact makes choosing a platform for your eCommerce crucial when planning your online presence. In general, there are two approaches you either go with traditional monolith (all in one bundle) solutions, or you go with headless architecture.
Pros and cons on both sides. Still, the headless approach is built with performance in mind, and with a fast-growing ecosystem of tools and companies in the space, the chance is you’ll find a perfect, performant and secure solution for your use case.
▶️Best practices: no matter the tech you use, there are some general things you should be doing like using CDN, optimizing images and videos, managing 3rd part scripts, etc. Of course, in-depth coverage of the performance aspect of SEO is in our eCommerce SEO guide (find the link somewhere above).
📝SEO aspect: website performance is a part of Page Experience ranking signals embodied in Core Web Vitals (CWV).
💰CTR aspect: milliseconds matter.
💻Example. (shameless plug) as a headless eCommerce solution, we are turned to modern frontends that are all about performance. Hence the Gatsby, NextJS, Nuxt, and Remix open source and free boilerplates built with eCommerce in mind. Secure, easy to scale, and, above all, performant. Guess which one I’d use for my Spongebob socks project?
Canonization and Discontinued Product
In eCommerce, one often has (or thinks about having) multiple pages with similar content. Think of a sock in different sizes and colors. You can identify variants within the single product page or multiple pages for each variant. If the latter is your case, make sure the primary variant has a self-referencing canonical URL. Why? This way, you’ll tell Google what page to rank.
Once the product is out of stock, or you simply don’t sell it anymore, handle that page with care because it may still bring quality traffic either organic (search engines love it) or from partnering sites (i.e., other websites linking to it).
📝SEO aspect: canonize to make sure everything works as intended.
💰CTR aspect: no, you don’t want to lose the traffic or let your competitors take it. Keep track of your products to replace the discontinued ones with something similar.
💻Example. So my red socks are out of stock. Let me offer them my yellow ones.
Is That Really All?
Well, yes and no. There are several ways you can do your product page, and for the most part, it depends on what you are selling. Whether you start a new store or upgrade the old one, the best course of action is to check search results for clues about what your page should look like.
Shift your BUSINESS perspective to headless architecture with Crystallize and reap the performance, SEO, and CTR benefits that come along with it.
START building for FREE or schedule a personalized 1-on-1 demo and let us walk you through Crystallize.