Welcome to our definitive guide on eCommerce Product Page SEO. As a small SEO agency specialising in eCommerce, we're excited to share expert insights on optimising your product pages for search engines.
In today's competitive online landscape, it's not enough to have a great website and products. You need to make sure your pages are discoverable by search engines like Google.
In this guide, we'll cover everything from keyword research to user experience best practices, helping you drive targeted traffic, boost conversions, and grow your business.
Together, let's unlock the true potential of your online store.
A Brief Overview of eCommerce SEO
When it comes to eCommerce SEO, it's crucial to understand how product pages fit into the larger strategy. While optimising individual product pages is important, it's equally essential to consider the holistic picture.
Just like systems thinking, the overall site strategy plays a pivotal role in driving success. It's not about having a hundred product pages vying for the same keywords, or inadvertently cannibalising your product category keywords. Instead, a thoughtful approach is required to strike the right balance.
The key to a great eCommerce SEO strategy is finding a way to harmonise your product pages within the broader eCommerce framework, ensuring each page contributes to your site's overall visibility and success.
Optimising Product Pages
When it comes to optimising product pages, a key starting point is keyword research. In most cases, product pages should target highly specific keywords that directly relate to the product being showcased. Let's consider a few examples:
- Product names like ‘Air Force 1’
- Brand and product names like ‘Nike Air Force 1’
- Product names combined with specifications like ‘Nike Air Force 1 shoes for men’.
- or even specific attributes like ‘Nike Air Force 1 trainers for men in white’.
These examples demonstrate the level of specificity required for product page keywords. By targeting these specific keywords, you can capture the attention of the niche audience actively seeking these unique products.
Top Tip: Optimise product page keywords for product names and specifications.
When it comes to product page SEO, focus on highly specific keywords that highlight the unique identifiers of your products as this will attract potential customers actively searching for those specific items. Tailoring your product page keywords will enhance visibility and drive targeted traffic to your online store.
Products vs Categories
Choosing between product pages and product category pages is a decision you'll need to make when targeting specific keywords. Google often provides a clue to the preferred approach.
For example, let's consider a search for ‘chocolate spread’ on Google. The search results predominantly display product pages, indicating that it's ideal to target a product page for this keyword. Despite having multiple products targeting the keyword, such as ‘chocolate spread with hazelnut’, ‘chocolate spread - Cadburys’, and ‘chocolate spread with cookie chunks’, Google favours product pages for this particular query.
Following this preference, it's recommended to select the product you are trying to sell and optimise its respective product page. However, in cases where you have a vast range of this product with slight variations, it might be more advantageous to rank with a product category page. This approach offers a user-friendly experience, providing shoppers with a selection of products instead of a single option.
Top Tip: Consider the nature of your products and the user experience when deciding whether to optimise a product page or a product category page.
Product Page Elements for SEO
Optimising product pages involves several key elements, and one crucial aspect is the title tag. The title tag plays a significant role in Google search results, so it's essential to craft it properly.
Top Tip: Including your main keyword in the title tag is highly important for SEO.
Consider a title tag structure like this: ‘Buy [Product Name] [+Highlighting Feature] [Country].’
The country modifier is optional, but it can be beneficial in countries like the UK, US, AU, and others where users often filter results by location.
Including ‘Buy’ and [Country] as keyword modifiers provide additional targeting opportunities.
Keep in mind that you have about 50-60 characters to utilise. So, make the most of them with a more comprehensive approach.
‘Buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500ml) + Free UK Delivery.’
In this example, the main keyword is retained, the modifiers are included, and additional keywords or useful details like sizing are incorporated to provide valuable information for customers.
Creating a bulk title tag template, such as ‘Buy %productname% (Free UK Delivery),’ can simplify the process. You can apply this template to all product pages and then manually customise it on a per-page basis.
With thoughtful optimisation of title tags, you can enhance the visibility and appeal of your product pages in search results.
When it comes to the meta description, its importance for SEO may have diminished, but it still holds significant value for optimising click-through rates in Google search results.
While simplicity is key, there are several approaches you can take. One suggestion is to incorporate the title once again unless it's a high-ranking product with substantial search traffic.
Here are a couple of unique example templates to guide you:
- Catch-All Template: Searching to buy %productname%? Discover the Best Prices and Shop Online at %sitename%. Enjoy Fast Shipping, Easy Returns, and Secure Payments. Shop now and experience convenience like never before!
- Category-Specific Template: Explore the %productname% laptop available at %sitename%. Unleash the power of %processor%, %ram% RAM, and %hdd% memory. Rest assured with our 12 Month Warranty. Enjoy Fast and Free Shipping. Shop now and elevate your computing experience!
Remember, these templates can be tailored further to align with your brand voice and audience. While the meta description's primary goal is compelling copywriting, it's essential to keep in mind a few general guidelines.
- Incorporate main and secondary keywords to catch attention
- Maintain a character limit of 130-156 words
- Emphasise the product's features and benefits
- Conclude with a clear call-to-action
When it comes to product page URLs, getting them right is crucial for SEO, yet it's surprisingly easy to make mistakes.
One key consideration is the URL structure, which can be problematic on certain Commerce platforms (like Shopify). The common issue lies in including the product category within the URL, leading to inconsistencies. For instance, a product URL in a Shopify store might look like:
However, accessing the same product through another category results in a different URL structure:
This inconsistency poses a technical SEO nightmare. While platforms may attempt to resolve this with canonical URLs, it's an imperfect solution.
The best approach is to maintain a simple URL structure without including the product category:
There is no need or advantage to include the product category in the URL, so it's advisable to avoid doing so. By keeping your product page URLs clean and straightforward, you'll ensure better SEO practices and avoid unnecessary complications.
When customising the URL for each product page, it's important to focus on the permalink or handle. This is where you can insert your main keyword, and possibly a relevant secondary one.
For example, if you're selling the Heil Sound PR 40 microphone, a suitable permalink would be:
This URL is concise, easy to share and type, and aligns with how most people search for and refer to the product. However, it's crucial to avoid adding lengthy descriptions in the URL, such as:
Likewise, stuffing excess keywords like: example.com/products/ultimate-ears-boom-3-bluetooth-waterproof-portable-speaker/unicorn/should be avoided unless specifically targeting a very specific keyword beyond the product name.
In general, shorter and simpler URLs are preferable for better user experience and SEO purposes.
Product name (H1)
The product name, often overlooked, plays a vital role in SEO. It should serve as the Heading 1 (H1) element on the page, which is the primary SEO heading. When crafting the product name, consider including three key elements:
- The actual product name: This should be straightforward and reflect the true name of the product, ‘Modern Matte Lipstick’.
- The brand name: For instance, ‘Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick’ Including the brand name helps establish credibility and provides clarity for customers.
- Unique or important specifications: If relevant, incorporate notable specifications like ‘Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick Shade Muse’ These details can be valuable to potential buyers.
Top Tip: It's crucial to strike a balance and avoid making the product name appear spammy. Remember, your customers will be reading it. Focus on creating concise and customer-friendly product names that effectively communicate the key details.
Product Page Structure for SEO
When it comes to product descriptions, they play a crucial role in both conversions and SEO. While prioritising customers, there are simple ways to optimise these pages without compromising conversions.
An ideal structure for product descriptions includes the following elements:
- Introduction: Begin with 50-150 words of sales copy to effectively describe and sell the product.
- Bullet Points: List out 3-6 key features and benefits of the product in a concise format.
- Specifications: Include a table showcasing the technical details of the product.
- FAQs: Optionally, incorporate an accordion-style section with commonly asked questions.
Let's dive deeper into each element and discuss a few key additions.
- Avoid using pre-written descriptions if you're selling someone else's products, as duplicate content won't help with SEO. Instead, write your own introduction to provide unique insights and thoughts.
- Share your perspective, review the product's strengths and weaknesses, and explain the benefits in terms of how it enriches the customer's life. Curate the product by showcasing why you selected it.
- Always manually write descriptions for your highest-value products. Focus on selling the product and include the product name and, if relevant, the well-known brand in the first sentence for SEO purposes.
- Bullet points are crucial for capturing the attention of skim readers. Use them to highlight the unique features and benefits of the product.
- Consider who the product is for, emphasise its unique benefits
- Mention what it comes with, and provide important product information such as servings, capacity, or number of uses.
While SEO is not the primary concern here, listing out the features and benefits naturally adds relevant content and keywords to the page.
- Unlike other recommendations, you can directly copy and paste specifications from brands or suppliers.
- Make sure to include the necessary specifications and consider formatting them within a table. This formatting can potentially provide rich snippet benefits, making it easier for search engines to understand the information. By incorporating specifications within a table, you enhance the clarity and organization of the description.
By structuring your product descriptions in this manner and carefully crafting each section, you can create compelling content that resonates with customers and boosts SEO.
- Avoid generic file names like ‘IMG_1014.jpeg’ and instead, rename them to reflect the product name and provide a description of what the image showcases. For example, use names like ‘product-name-close-up’ or ‘product-name-waterproof’.
- Alt text is crucial for accessibility and helps explain the image's content when it cannot be loaded or seen. While it is also useful for SEO, avoid keyword stuffing and focus on providing a natural description of the image.
- Opt for the Webp format for your images, as it offers high quality with small file sizes. Utilise free image compression tools or rely on platforms like Shopify that automatically convert images to Webp.
- Site speed is vital for SEO, so ensure that you appropriately size and compress your images to reduce file sizes and improve loading times. Explore available apps or plugins specific to your platform to help with this.
- Implement lazy loading for product images and videos to enhance page loading speed. By enabling lazy loading, images will only load when small thumbnails are clicked, preventing the simultaneous loading of multiple images and slowing down the page.
- While not highly significant in overall importance, setting up an image XML sitemap can improve visibility in Google's Image results. This dedicated sitemap contains a list of all your images, making it easier for search engines to discover and crawl them. Most platforms typically include only the primary image in the sitemap, so consider creating a separate XML sitemap exclusively for images to include them all.
Reviews play a vital role in eCommerce as they build trust among potential customers. It's crucial to have a reviews feature on your product pages and actively collect feedback through email. From an SEO standpoint, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Consider loading reviews natively on the page using APIs like Yotpo. However, this approach can be complex and expensive, often outweighing the benefits of such a small feature.
Reviews also have a positive impact on on-page SEO. They naturally include attributes, benefits, and other keywords that you may want to target on the page. These keywords help enhance the overall relevance and visibility of the page.
Additionally, using Review Schema markup to display star ratings can significantly improve your click-through rates from search engine results pages, even if your page ranks lower. Incorporating structured data markup ensures that your star ratings are displayed prominently, attracting potential customers and increasing your click share.
Internal linking is a crucial aspect of effective SEO for eCommerce stores, especially considering the vast number of pages they typically have. These internal links, which are hyperlinks between pages on your own website, aid in the discovery, crawling, and ranking of your pages. The general rule of thumb is that the more internal links you have, the better.
One highly effective way to utilise internal linking is through the implementation of breadcrumbs. Breadcrumb navigation provides a trail of links that lead back through the various pages on your site.
To further assist search engines in understanding your breadcrumb structure, be sure to utilise Breadcrumb schema. By implementing this schema, you provide additional clarity to search engines, enhancing the overall SEO benefits of your internal linking efforts.
Top Tip: You may have come across sections on eCommerce websites labelled as ‘people also liked’ or ‘people also bought’. These sections recommend and link to products that are similar or complementary to the product the user is currently viewing. While these recommendations are typically based on fixed links rather than the user's browsing experience, they still hold great value for SEO purposes. By incorporating related product sections, you create additional internal links between relevant products. This not only enhances the user experience by offering more options but also benefits SEO efforts by increasing internal linking, which in turn supports the discovery and ranking of your product pages.
Organising Your eCommerce Store
When it comes to organising your eCommerce store, you have two options: brand categories and product categories. Brand categories are particularly useful for retail stores that carry multiple brands. Creating dedicated product categories for each brand can significantly benefit SEO, as customers often search for specific brands alongside the products they offer.
To enhance the ranking of these brand categories, it's essential to reference and internally link to them from your product pages. This helps search engines understand the relationship between your brand categories and product offerings, further boosting their visibility in search results.
On the other hand, product categories provide an alternative approach to increasing internal links to your product category pages. One effective but often underutilised strategy is using attribute links. These attribute links refer to specific product attributes, such as colour, size, or material. By incorporating attribute links within your product descriptions, you create additional internal links to relevant product category pages. This approach not only improves navigation and user experience but also has a significant impact on SEO.
Internal linking opportunities
While we have emphasised the importance of outbound links, it is equally vital to create internal links that point towards your product pages. It's common for products to unintentionally become orphan pages over time when internal links are either removed or never established.
To optimise internal linking for product pages, focus on three main areas:
- Product Categories: Ensure that your products are assigned to relevant categories, as this naturally generates internal links from the product grid. However, keep in mind that the position of your products within the grid or pagination greatly impacts their SEO visibility. For high-priority products, consider including contextual links within category descriptions to provide a permanent and relevant connection, irrespective of grid changes.
- Blog Posts: If you incorporate blog content into your marketing strategy, leverage these posts to internal link to relevant products. This dual approach not only benefits SEO but also drives clicks to your product pages, especially when using visually appealing sections within blog posts. For guidance on implementing this strategy, refer to our tutorial on featuring products in blog posts.
- Homepage: Most e-commerce websites showcase select products on their homepage, either through automatic or manual curation. These featured products receive significant SEO benefits due to the higher number of backlinks and traffic typically associated with the homepage. By strategically selecting which pages to link to from the homepage, you can channel this SEO advantage towards your key pages.
By diligently implementing internal linking from product categories, blog posts, and the homepage, you can enhance the discoverability, visibility, and SEO performance of your product pages.
Product variations and canonicalising
When it comes to product page SEO, a common challenge arises when deciding whether to rank a single product page using variants/options or multiple product pages. In such cases, I always recommend prioritising what is most helpful to your customers. Typically, this means creating separate product pages for visual differences and utilising variants/options for non-visual distinctions.
However, there are exceptions to this general rule. For some clients, we have discovered significant search volume for various sizing options. Similarly, others sell the same product in multiple flavours, each receiving a considerable number of monthly searches. To make an informed decision, I advise conducting thorough SEO research, as the approach may vary slightly depending on the product category.
If you opt to separate products based on variants, it is essential to implement swatch-style internal links. These links resemble variant options on the page, but when clicked, they redirect to separate product pages. This technique is particularly useful when SKUs are distributed across multiple product pages.
Additionally, if you have multiple product pages for variants that lack search volume, it may be beneficial to create a canonical URL pointing to a single chosen product page. These variants are essentially identical, and it is unlikely that someone is specifically searching for ‘Tala black flare leggings’, However, there may be searches for ‘Tala leggings’.
In this case, specifying one product as the canonical URL informs search engines that this chosen product should rank, while the others are considered duplicates. Canonicalisation also prevents keyword cannibalisation and allows the use of duplicate product descriptions without negative consequences.
Discontinued product pages
When products become discontinued or temporarily go out of stock, many brands make the mistake of deleting the corresponding product pages, resulting in the loss of valuable traffic and rankings. However, there is a better approach to handling such situations.
For discontinued products that still receive organic traffic, it is recommended to keep the page active rather than removing it entirely. Instead, replace the purchase functionality with a link to related products. By doing so, you maintain the existing traffic to the page and provide alternative options for users who were interested in the discontinued product. This strategy not only preserves the rankings and visibility of the page but also ensures a positive user experience by offering relevant alternatives.
It has been proven time and time again that optimising product pages for SEO is essential for the success of your eCommerce store.
By implementing effective strategies such as those discussed above you can significantly improve the visibility, discoverability, and overall performance of your product pages in search engine rankings.
While the technical aspects are important, remember to prioritise the needs of your customers, provide valuable and relevant content, and make data-driven decisions to continuously optimise and enhance the SEO of your product pages.
With a well-optimised product page strategy, you can attract more organic traffic, increase conversions, and ultimately drive the growth of your eCommerce business.
For more info on how we can do this and more for your eCommerce business please do not hesitate to get in touch.