5 SEO tips for eCommerce product pages

eCommerce SEO

Image from SXC.hu

Many eCommerce websites, especially the product pages, have flaws when it comes to SEO best practices. This then makes it tricky to compete for exceptional search engine rankings.

Below are some simple product page tips which can really make a difference, these aren’t by any means special techniques, just best practices to follow, especially with all the recent Google updates, notably, Panda and Penguin.

1. Write unique product descriptions

When the Panda update was launched early 2011, many eCommerce sites were hit due to duplicate product descriptions. The description refers to the on-page information about the product.

Typically many sites were lifting content from the main seller’s website. An example of this would be lifting the information about a certain TV from the manufacture website.

My advice would be to write unique and user focused product descriptions – that way you won’t get caught up in any duplicate content updates, which Google doesn’t approve of any way, and you’ll also stand out from the crowd when customers are shopping online.

2. Optimise product images

Having great product images can really sell a product, but there are certain things you should be doing to your images:

  • Re-size images correctly, especially thumbnail images so they load fast
  • Optimise images so the file sizes are smaller, and again, load faster
  • Add ALT text to all images; these need to be descriptive, but only include 3-5 words (and don’t keyword stuff)
  • Add captions to accompany the image, this is another great way to include vital product information and unique content

3. Use META tags wisely

Time and time again, I see META titles and descriptions which are not unique, not written very well and don’t really represent the page. I can appreciate writing hundreds, if not thousands, of product META details would be a massive task. In my opinion META counts for at least 20% of on-page SEO, so it’s important.

My advice would be to use a reserve breadcrumb trail as the META title, most eCommerce platforms will have a plug-in, widget or function where you can do this and will include the product name, category and brand name or will be fully customisable.

With reference to the description tag, if you can’t commit the time to write unique META descriptions, leave this blank and let Google select the best piece of text from the on-page content, this would be far better than duplicating the description across hundreds of pages.

4. Include customer reviews

Something which Amazon has done very well is the ability for customers to leave reviews about products on the relevant page.

By doing this you are covering a few SEO methods:

  • Content is being updated on a regular basis (Google loves content freshness)
  • The product review will be unique, thus adding more unique content to the page
  • I’ve know doubt the content will also include relevant keywords within the copy, thus helping the on-page even more

There are many benefits to doing this and I highly respect what Amazon have done with there on-page SEO and helping their customers.

5. Website structure and URLs

One thing I’ve talked about a lot is website structure and URLs, this is massively important and can really help with the user’s journey and experience, not forgetting the search engines love well structure websites.

Let’s say we are shopping for a wardrobe, a journey through a site should be:

Home > Furniture > Bedroom > Wardrobes

So the URL will be something like the below:

http://www.domain.co.uk/furniture/bedroom/wardrobes

The above is perfect and has the all important keywords included, plus it’s short, easy to remember and not keyword stuffed.

One company that does a great job of this is Renault, there on-page SEO, in my opinion, is fantastic, check out this URL:

http://www.renault.co.uk/cars/range/clio.aspx

Look how short and specific it is and they haven’t stuffed the keywords into the URL.

and finally…

Do you have any eCommerce tips or advice? Leave your comments below.

This post was written by , Dave is a digital marketer specialising in SEO and PPC, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

2 Responses to “5 SEO tips for eCommerce product pages”

  1. Aaron Lee says:

    Another awesome post! I was wondering, is there any specific eCommerce solution that you would recommend above others?

    Thanks again.

    • Dave Cain says:

      Hi Aaron,

      I’m a fan of WordPress and Magento, both offer great solutions and have large communities behind them. Personally, I’d always recommend the custom route to fit the exact needs of the business.

      Thanks,
      Dave.

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