If you want your product pages to rank in search results, you need to optimize them for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but how do you do this?
Well that is what we are going to show you in this guide by going through all of the elements of product page SEO to increase the chances of your site appearing higher in search engines and getting that all important organic search traffic!
- 1. Product Page Keyword Research
- 2. Optimize the Product Title
- 3. Write a Custom Product Description
- 4. SEO Product Images
- 5. Page Titles
- 6. Write a Custom Meta Description
- 7. Create a Unique URL
- 8. Make Sure Structured Data is Correct
- 9. Enable Customer Product Reviews
- 10. Make Sure Your Site is Fast and Loads Properly
- 11. Build Links
1. Product Page Keyword Research
The very first step in doing SEO for your product pages is to do Keyword Research and many people make the mistake of guessing what they think people might be searching for and this is recipe for disaster!
Instead you want to take a data driven approach and find out what people are actually searching for so that you can identify what keywords or phrases that you would like the page to rank for.
When doing this for product pages, you are going to be looking at very product focused keywords, unsurprisingly! But what are product focused keywords? They are things like:
Now obviously these vary depending on the type of product you are selling but they are very product specific and there is good reason why you want to rank for these types of keywords as they are very buyer focused because people searching for specific products are ready to buy, they have already done the research, now they just need to find somewhere to buy it from.
But how do you go about finding these search terms and keywords? Well you could use one of the premium tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush but these can be expensive (even though they are very good) but if you are doing things on a budget, then Google offers a couple of great free tools.
But before we start looking at the tools, you want to ideally aim for long-tail keywords as these are going to be more product focused and potentially easier to rank for (although not a guarantee!), you also want to identify:
- Primary Keyword – the main keyword you want the page to rank for
- Secondary Keywords – these a related to your primary keyword and potential keywords that the page could also rank for
I have include some examples of how these tools work below, but they are very general terms to give you an idea of how they work, when doing it yourself, you want to be looking for more product focused keywords.
1. Google Autosuggest
If you are not sure what Google Autosuggest is, it is when you go to Google and simply start typing in a search query and then Google will offer some suggestions based on recent searches that people have made.
For example, in the image below we started with Canon Eos (it’s a type of camera) and Google came up with a list of model numbers that people have recently been searching for.
To come up with a good selection of keywords, you want to play around with this tool but for best results use an incognito or private window as the search results are less likely to be impacted by your previous searches.
Using Autosuggest will also indicate that people are searching for these terms as it only shows results based on recent search data and if it doesn’t show an autosuggest for a potential keyword, then it is an indication that there is little to no search volume for that term.
2. Google Related Searches
Another potential goldmine of keywords is Google related searches, these can be found at the bottom of the Google results page and the example below is based off a search for the Canon Eos M50.
These related searches, similar to the autosuggest are all based of recent search data of the main term that you searched for and can be a very good source of information for potential keywords.
3. Google Keyword Planner
You will need to sign up for a Google Ads account for this but don’t worry, you won’t be spending any money on ads!
When you sign into the Keyword Planner, you will be asked whether you want to get Keyword Ideas or Get Search Volumes and you want to click on Keyword Ideas (as it gives you volumes as well!).
You can then make a search for one of your chosen keywords and it will show you any related searches and the image below is based off a search for Canon camera.
Now the numbers in here are very vague as they cover a large range but it helps to give you an idea of what the average number of monthly searches are for that chosen term, you can also see if there has been a change over the last three months and the year on year (YoY) change.
One thing you don’t want to pay too much attention to is the competition as this is the competition for ads using that keyword, not organic search.
2. Optimize the Product Title
One of the most important SEO elements on your product page is the title as this is what fills the H1 tag and you want the product title to include your primary keyword as it gives search engines an idea as to what the page is about, it is also given the most real estate is SERPs as can be seen in the image below of the EcommerceGold SERP.
Crafting a product page title is a bit of skill in itself as you want it to be optimized for search engines but you also want it to read organically and make people want to click through to your website, so what are some key things to consider when creating a product title:
- Make sure that it includes the Primary Keyword
- Keep it to 60 character or less as search engines cut off longer titles
- Make sure it reads organically as if you were saying it to someone in person
If you are struggling with your product titles, take a look at the top organic search results for your chosen keyword and use these as inspiration for your own title but don’t copy them as this won’t do you any good as you want to create a custom title if possible.
3. Write a Custom Product Description
The product description is the largest chunk of content that is on a product page and it is very important from an SEO perspective and one that is often not utilized correctly.
That is why it can be helpful to think of the product description as a mini blog post to help you no only rank the page but also sell the product, it is also where you can add secondary keywords that you would like the page to rank for.
When creating a product description, there are some best practices that you want to follow:
1. Create Original Content
Many ecommerce websites make the mistake of either using the manufacturers description or copying and pasting descriptions from other product pages but this is something you want to avoid as search engines can see this as duplicate content.
That is why you want to create unique and original content on each of your product descriptions and while it can be time consuming, it can potentially pay dividends in the long run.
You don’t want to overload your product page with content but you also don’t want it to be too light on content, now this does vary from product to product but somewhere between 300 – 600 words should be ideal.
This is because it should give you enough depth to write a very good description which includes all the keywords you want to rank for but is still short enough for a customer to quickly and easily read.
That leads us nicely into readability as you want the information of the product page to be easy to consume as very few people are going sit there and read every word.
To make it easy to read you want to:
- Avoid Blocks of Text – you want it to be easy to read and a block of 600 is not!
- Keep it Short and Punchy – instead use short sentences and paragraphs (max 4 lines)
- Use Bullet Points – list all the information such as specs etc in bullet points
When writing your product description, think about the person reading it, is it easy to read? can the information be found quickly? Yes you want include keywords but include them organically, just as if you was describing it to the person face to face.
Want to learn more about writing a great product description? Then check out Fits Small Business Guide to Writing Product Descriptions that Sell
4. SEO Product Images
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is that they don’t make the most of their images. Yes, you may have high quality, beautiful images but are you getting the most from them? Two things you should do with every image are:
- Name them properly, ring1.jpg is of no use to anyone. handmade-1ct-solitaire-diamond-engagement-ring.jpg is much better and will have a positive impact on your SEO
- Use the alt tag. This is where you describe what the image is and it helps search engines to know what the image is about.
I always try and name my images and write the alt tag similar to the product title. This way you are ranking the image for the same query as the web page. You can get lots of visitors from places like google images.
5. Page Titles
For many product listing, the Product Title and Page Title will be the same but there may be a time when you want to a different title to appear in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and if this is the case, then you would use the Meta Title option to show this.
Now when it comes to the Meta Data that you can enter for your product page, it does come down to the platform you are using as to what you can enter, with some platforms such as Shopify you get to edit all of the Meta Data (image below is the SEO section from the Shopify add new product page) but others either offer limited or no options for Meta Data
6. Write a Custom Meta Description
Meta descriptions are becoming less relevant to SEO, this is because on some occasions, search engines will select text from your product description to place in the SERP result if they feel it matches the search query better what has been created intentionally.
But this doesn’t always happen and it is still worth creating a custom meta description for your products.
If you are unsure what a meta description is, it is a very short description of the product and is usually just one sentence and ideally no longer than 160 characters as this is all that search engines such as Google show, below you can see the meta description for the EcommerceGold homepage:
The meta description can be a great place to add secondary keywords that you may not have been able to add to your title and sometimes a small call to action such as buy now can show users that it is a product page and available to purchase if it is what they want.
7. Create a Unique URL
As all URL’s on your website need to be different anyway, you might as well make the most of this and use it to your advantage and add some keywords to it to help your pages SEO.
Whenever you are creating a URL for a page, it is always good practice to try and make it match the title of the page as closely as possible and using the Canon camera examples above, something along the lines of:
This would work pretty well as a URL, this is because it contains the keywords that I want the page to rank for and also matches up with the rest of the content on the page and would work much better than something like:
These types of URL have no benefit to SEO and should be avoided, instead, spend a little bit of time to craft a URL that actually benefits your website.
8. Make Sure Structured Data is Correct
As I mentioned Schema above, it is also worth talking about Structured Data for products as it plays a big part in the technical SEO of your store, this is because this structured data helps search engines know what your page is about, which in turn helps them know when best to show your product in search results.
As you can see in the snippet above, the listing contains a lot more information than a standard search result and this is because this page has been schema optimized and includes:
- Schema type (product)
- Brand type and name
All this information allows the search engines to know exactly what the page is about and in turn, when to make it appear in search results.
Now it does depends on the ecommerce platform that you are using as to which mark up data you can include but most are pretty good an include most of the fields required.
Google Search Console is a very useful tool when it comes to checking whether you are missing an product schema mark up and will let you know what information is missing and will rate your page as either:
- Having Errors (red)
- Valid with Warnings (yellow)
- Valid (green)
And below is an example of a page with warnings:
For some types of products, you won’t be able to include all of the information required to take it into the valid section as not all products include a global identifier but it is always best practice to include as much schema information as possible.
This is because many ecommerce website owners don’t understand schema and how important it can be and any edge you can get over your competition is something you should go for!
For more information on product schema, check out Google’s Product Schema Page as it contains lots of useful information.
9. Enable Customer Product Reviews
Many people think that having customers leave product reviews is just a way to help increase conversion rates via social proofing but these reviews can also give you a helping hand when it comes to SEO.
This is because when product reviews are schema enabled, there is a chance that these ratings will appear in search results, just like in the SERP below:
These product reviews also let search engines know whether the product is good or not and a product with lots of positive reviews is more likely to appear higher in search results than one with lots of negative reviews.
But PLEASE don’t use fake reviews to artificially increase the rating of a product, only use genuine reviews!
10. Make Sure Your Site is Fast and Loads Properly
How well your site performs has always been an important part of technical SEO but search engines such as Google are starting to put more emphasis on websites loading quickly and also correctly, especially on mobile devices as they have introduced core web vitals to their PageSpeed Insight tool.
Now, as with the Schema mentioned above, it very much does depend on the platform you are using as to how well your website is going to perform and with some hosted ecommerce platforms, your options are very limited.
Before attempting to make any improvements to your websites performance, you first need to know how well it is currently performing and there are two very good tools for this:
- Google PageSpeed Insights – this tests your site against Google’s core web vitals and will provide you with a score out of 100 for both mobile and desktop, it will also vaguely advise on areas where you can improve
- Uptrends Speed Tool – one of the only free speed tools that lets you test mobile and desktop, it will provide a load time in seconds, PageSpeed Insights scores and a waterfall to show what is loading and where. You can also test from different locations, which is great for international stores
Once you have got a benchmark for your sites performance, you can look at ways to improve but as mentioned above, this does depend on the platform you are using but some tips to help improve performance, no matter which platform you use:
When looking to improve performance, don’t do everything at once, instead try on thing and then test to see if it improves anything and then repeat the process with the next thing. This way you will know exactly what worked for your site.
11. Build Links
If you want your product page to rank, then you need links pointing to the page as these act as signals to search engines that this page is good quality and there are two types of links you can build, both of which are helpful:
- Internal Links – these are links from other pages on your site and the easiest way to do this is from relevant blog posts, for example a tutorial that is related to that product or something like a best product list
- External Links – these are links from external sites and you could do something like getting your product added to a list post on another blog, there are multiple ways to build links to an ecommerce store
So that is how you SEO a product page and I bet there was more to it than you first thought but hopefully this post has been helpful and included some useful SEO tips that you can implement on your own store.
It can seem daunting at first but if you work at it one step at a time, you will find it becomes easier with each product you do and you will also start to develop your own process when you start seeing what works and what doesn’t.
You will also start seeing what others are using and not using when doing things like keyword research and this will help to give you an indication as to whether you will be able to outrank some of your competition.