SEO for Ecommerce Product Pages: Everything You Need to Know | Linkflow
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SEO for Ecommerce Product Pages: Everything You Need to Know

July 20, 2023

The best place to hide from potential customers is the second page of Google.

A huge portion of the traffic to your online store comes from search engines, and plenty of customers will use them to research your product before buying.

You could spend tons of money on paid ads (you probably are already). But when that money stops flowing in, your site is invisible again.

In this article, we’ll teach you the ins and outs of ecommerce product page SEO. That way, you won’t have to worry about that.

First Things First: On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is something you need to take care of regardless of your SEO goals.

Think of it like a house you’re trying to sell: You can add all the eye-catching decorations and features, but if the foundation is shaky, nobody will want to move in.

By optimizing your product page for search engines, you’re ensuring that your product pages have a solid foundation.

Everyone does product pages a little different. As far as what’s on the page is concerned, there are three key considerations no matter your product: your title, description, and breadcrumbs.

Product Title

Your product title is the most important element of your product page. It should be concise, descriptive, and easy to read.

Focus on the product name (including the manufacturer or brand, if you’re a third-party retailer), plus any important features or benefits.

For example, instead of “T-Shirt,” your title might be something like “Luxury Cotton T-Shirt – Regular Fit, Made in USA.”

If your product is a small part of a larger system, include the SKU and compatibility as well. People might look on search engines for those details specifically.

Product Description

You need to add a unique, compelling description of your product. Not just a copy/pasted paragraph from the manufacturer’s website (which might be used on dozens of other sites).

Duplicate content is a huge no-no for SEO, and it’ll make Google think all your other original content is equally bad.

Your product description should put your customers first. The writing in that tiny section next to the “Purchase” button serves the same purpose as a sales rep or in-store retail worker: to educate and engage your customers with accurate information.

Think of it as an opportunity to showcase your product’s benefits and features, make them feel understood, and explain why yours is better than what’s out there already.

Here are a few brief tips:

  • Turn features into benefits (e.g., “Multi-purpose cutting board” becomes “Cut, serve, and store food with ease.”).
  • Be concise and to the point. Don’t run on for paragraphs and paragraphs.
  • Include relevant keywords without going overboard (an SEO tool can help here).
  • Make your buyer smarter.
  • Tell a story, if you can.
  • Leave a warm, fuzzy lasting impression of your brand.

Depending on your product, you won’t be able to execute on all of these tips. Let’s look at an example.

Scrub Daddy’s product pages are a great example of what we mean. They highlight the benefits of the sponge’s silly design, and they turn its quirky features (like its cute smile) into functional benefits (“Quickly clean both sides of serving spoons and utensils in one motion”).

Some buy the Scrub Daddy because of its features. Some because of its branding. And some because it’s just plain funny.

The brand’s product page guarantees it’ll convert visitors into customers no matter what they’re looking for.

Now, if you were selling a product like Scrub Daddy on a third-party ecommerce site like Amazon, you’d have to shift your approach.

Notice how the Amazon description above is full of jargon (like “Ergonomic and Functional”) and keywords (like “Scratch-Free Multipurpose Dish Sponge Color”), but there’s still some light storytelling in the mix.

There’s a reason for this. On any large ecommerce site, you’re competing with dozens — sometimes hundreds — of other sellers.

If you’re selling a unique product on your own site, you can afford to be more creative because you’re primarily targeting branded keywords. On other sites, your main focus should be landing customers searching for products in your general category.

Breadcrumbs

“Breadcrumb” is a term for the links that appear at the top of your product pages, usually in the form of folders: Home > Category > Subcategory > Product.

They’re great for both SEO and usability because they create a logical linked structure for visitors to follow. Plus, they allow Google to easily crawl and index your pages.

For breadcrumbs, use keywords only if they’re relevant to the page you’re on. For example, if you have a page called “Women’s Boots,” your breadcrumb might be Home > Women’s Shoes > Women’s Boots.

SEO Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and URLs

SEO titles and meta descriptions are small snippets of text that appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages). They are important for SEO and conversions — they let you create a compelling snippet to get people to click through to your site.

Your title tag (big blue link) should include the product name, brand, and any other relevant keywords. The meta description (small gray text) should be concise and explain why someone should click through to your page.

When it comes to SEO titles and meta descriptions, it’s all about striking the right balance between relevance and click-worthiness — your goal is to make readers interested enough to click, while also giving search engines enough context to understand what you’re offering.

URLs are another huge element of product page optimization. To make every page SEO-friendly, include the name of the product/brand in your URL.

In the example above, IKEA wants to rank for home office products, so its title, meta description, and URL all match this keyword.

And voila. Home office furniture and storage are two of its most popular keywords (once we take out the branded ones).

Structured Data for Product Page SEO

For ecommerce product pages, SEO isn’t complete without structured data. If your ecommerce website has missing structured data, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your SEO and reach more potential customers.

Structured data — like meta tags and schema markups — are snippets of code that give search engines additional context about your product page.

It also helps them add this context to the SERPs, like star ratings and reviews, product availability, and pricing information.

FAQs are another important element of search results because they help your potential customers learn more without even clicking (though they will enhance your click-through rate).

Typically, FAQs show up as a dropdown on the SERPs, but you can use rich snippets to create FAQs for your product pages so viewers can see little ones in the SERPs that link to your page.

They’re also SEO gold — most new ecommerce sites rely too heavily on user-generated content and skip the FAQ structured data, which is the perfect place to add non-branded keywords and garner a higher search volume.

For product schema, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is a great tool to use for adding this kind of markup. You simply copy/paste the URL into the tool, click “Start Tagging,” and it’ll walk you through the process of adding schema markups.

Once you’re done, add the code to your product page’s HTML.

Internal Linking for Ecommerce Product Pages

Internal links are like breadcrumbs in the sense that they help guide users to other related pages on your site.

But they’re placed throughout the content itself — they’re linked words, phrases, or box sections that take the user to another page on your site.

For ecommerce product pages, you should link to:

  • Reviews
  • Customer success stories or case studies
  • Helpful content that’s relevant to the page (e.g., articles)

To drive higher order volumes on your ecommerce store, you should also add a “Frequently Bought Together” or “You May Also Like” section to each product page.

This will help you cross-sell and upsell related items. The results? Bigger orders and higher conversion rates.

Keep Product Pages Live for SEO

Your immediate reaction might be to take seasonal, promotional, and out-of-stock items down from your ecommerce store. But you 1,000% shouldn’t.

If you plan to bring those items back in stock at any point, you’ll find yourself struggling to rank your new product pages when you publish them again.

For out-of-stock items, you could even have a “Notify me when back in stock” option to collect emails from customers and keep them interested (and, obviously, notify them).

Take Amazon’s Black Friday URL for example. It’s still live, and every year they just add to it so they’re already ranking #1 when sales start popping up.

Canonicalization

If you have duplicate product pages — which often happen with ecommerce sites, especially for the above reasons — make sure to canonicalize them.

Canonical tags tell search engines which page is the original and should be indexed, and which ones are duplicates that should not be indexed.

To add canonical tags, follow these steps:

  1. Identify duplicate pages. The first step in adding canonical tags is to identify the duplicate pages on your website. These could be pages that contain similar or identical content.
  2. Choose a preferred URL. Next, decide which version of the page you want search engines to index. This will be your ‘canonical’ or preferred URL.
  3. Edit your page’s HTML. Open the HTML of the duplicate page. You’ll need to add a link element to the head section of your page’s HTML.
  4. Add the canonical tag. Within the link element, add the ‘rel’ attribute with a value of ‘canonical’. This tells search engines that the page is a copy of another page. An example of a canonical tag looks like this: <link rel=”canonical” href=”https://www.yoursite.com/preferred-url/” />
  5. Specify the canonical URL. Replace ‘https://www.yoursite.com/preferred-url/‘ with the URL of the page you’ve chosen as the canonical version.

Once finished, repeat this for all duplicate pages and test your implementation.

Technical SEO Optimization

We’ve already delved into technical ecommerce SEO a little bit, but there are a few essential elements you need to make sure you have in order.

Page Loading Speed

Page speed is among the most important of Google’s https://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors. If your product pages take too long to load, you can kiss that ranking goodbye.

The good news is, there are several tools available for optimizing page speed. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is a quick way to test landing pages for speed and provides tips to improve them.

301 Redirects

If you have to delete a product page due to discontinuation of the item or a URL change, make sure it’s completely removed from your website — including any internal links that lead to it.

But you should also make sure to set up 301 redirects for any URLs linked to the page so that visitors and search engines can all be redirected to its new URL (if you’ve moved it) or to a relevant page like your home page (if you don’t have anything close).

An easy way to do this is by using a .htaccess file.

XML Sitemap

A sitemap is a file on your server that contains all the URLs for your website. Search engine bots use this to index your pages and look for new content, so it’s important to make sure your product pages are listed properly in yours.

If you don’t have an XML sitemap yet, you can generate one using tools like Screaming Frog’s Sitemap Generator for automated optimization.

Ecommerce Site Content

Put yourself in your buyers’ shoes. About 44% of them start their product hunt with a Google search.

To do what, exactly?

  • See the product in action
  • Compare features and prices
  • Read customer reviews
  • Learn tips and find advice

Structured data markup takes care of this on the SERP, but you need to show them more of what they’re looking for once they click on your online store.

Header and Description Optimization

Your headers and product descriptions are also important for SEO — they help search engines understand what your page is about and determine its relevance to a particular query.

Try your best to include relevant keywords, synonyms, and related phrases within your descriptions in an organic way.

High-Quality Images

Include professional-looking product images at different angles and with various features so that users can get a better idea of what they’re about to buy.

Keep them simple and on-brand (like the ones above). Add a few lifestyle images or branded color schemes for extra visibility points.

Consider adding product measurements as well, especially if you’re selling items that people might want to compare sizes with.

These should also be optimized for SEO — use relevant, descriptive file names and ALT text when you upload them.

And pay close attention to the format, size, and resolution of these images — shoot for 640 x 640 or 800 x 800.

Videos

How-tos, demos, various use cases, and unboxing videos are all excellent ways to provide additional information about your products and keep customers engaged with your ecommerce store.

The help your customers understand what they would do with your product. Best-case scenario, they discover a new way to use it and convert on that.

Customer Reviews

Social proof sells. 95% of customers read reviews before buying a product — it’s the easiest way to know what they’re getting themselves into.

Create a simple review system where customers can submit reviews and rate products right in your online store. Then, create links to segment them based on key search terms your customers are looking for, such as ‘long-lasting’ or ‘reliable.’

FAQ Section

FAQ sections help you answer your customer’s questions (sometimes, before they even know they’re asking them) and prevent them from having any doubts or hesitations about their purchase.

To keep your ecommerce product pages shorter, make them clickable — that way, they can expand only the FAQs they need answers to.

Otherwise, Follow General SEO Best Practices for Product Pages

We know a thing or two about ecommerce product page optimization, but we’ve also seen the above information get misconstrued in the name of catering to the robots.

Don’t follow the above information without heeding our advice below.

Google isn’t the one buying your product.

It’s just a robot that puts it on the screen of those who will.

First and foremost, focus on the content that will convert your customers and make your brand more complete. Because if your product pages aren’t converting, Google will devalue them anyways.

A few things to avoid:

  • Keyword stuffing. One or two keywords won’t be the difference between ranking or not, but it might seem weird to your actual (human) readers.
  • Sacrificing your brand identity for keyword optimization. If you sell a unique product, it’s always better to emphasize that aspect rather than be just like everyone else.
  • Using too many images. You want your page to load as fast as possible, so only include the ones you need and optimize them properly for the web.

You’ll never outrank the big guys.

Ok, never say “never.” Maybe you have big dreams.

But we’re willing to bet IKEA will always outrank you for basic terms like “home office furniture” because (literally) millions of people around the world shop there.

That’s totally fine. Your inventory probably can’t even handle that search volume.

During keyword research, focus on long-tail keywords like “white mid-century modern home office furniture” that your product has a chance of ranking for in the near future.

Always be testing.

Test your ecommerce product pages. And test multiple versions of them. Always.

Running A/B tests on different elements of your product page can help you determine what works and what doesn’t work. Think about the user experience, the placement of CTA buttons, the length of your content, and the overall messaging in your headers, descriptions, and images/videos.

(Actually) do the work. And wait.

We’re gonna give it to you straight. SEO is the long game.

Automated optimization, black-hat tactics, and shortcuts are (at best) only temporary measures — and you’re likely to get caught in the long run.

There isn’t a cheat code to long-term success, just as there isn’t with your ecommerce business. To succeed at SEO, you need to:

  • have a good product
  • sell it effectively
  • build brand awareness
  • have a page your customers respond well to
  • generate positive reviews

AND you need to worry about all the other SEO factors like proper titles and meta descriptions, optimized product images, URL structure, and internal linking.

It’s a lot of work — but it’s so, so worth it in the end.

You focus on the product. We’ll take care of the rest.

SEO seems like an uphill battle, especially if you’re more worried about building your brand, selling your product, and running your business.

We’re going to tell you straight up: It is.

With Linkflow in your corner, you’ll have a dedicated team of SEO experts to help you build your website in a way search engines and customers respond equally well to.

Talk to us and find out how.

Brittney Fred, SEO Analyst
Brittney has been working in SEO and digital marketing for ten years and specializes in content strategy for the B2B SaaS industry. She is based in Denver, CO and absolutely fits the Denverite stereotype. You’re just as likely to find her hiking, snowboarding, or doing yoga as reading sci-fi or playing video games.