Creating a product page can be one of the trickiest parts of running a successful ecommerce store. What feels like a simple task can often take a long time to perfect, as having the right copy, CTAs, and images is crucial to encouraging a customer to click “Add to Cart”. Your product pages play a big role in the customer journey and experience, so every detail matters.
They’re also important to your store’s SEO - when a potential customer is searching for specific types of product, it’s more likely to be your product page that comes up on SERPs. According to Google, more than half of shoppers use the search engine to discover new brands, and 51% use it to research a purchase they plan to make.
There are a number of different elements on a product page that will factor into your store’s SEO, and most advice online will focus on writing a great product description, or optimizing meta information for keywords. However, today we’re going to look at five ways outside of keyword research that you can use to improve your product page SEO.
#1 - Add structured markup
The more information you can give search engines about your products, the better for your SEO. One of the simplest ways to do this is by implementing structured markup. This is essentially extra bits of code that tells the search engine different unique details about the page. In ecommerce, this will be things such as price, reviews, and availability. This then makes the page more likely to be featured in rich results, which look like this:
This gives search users additional information about the product before they even click onto your product page. It also gives your product page more real estate on SERPs, making it more likely to catch a potential customer’s attention over a competitor.
Implementing this can be done with the help of a developer, or can be automatically applied to product pages using an app like SEO Manager. This makes things simple and straightforward without any coding knowledge, making a huge win for your store’s SEO an easy one also.
#2 - Assess your product page UX
SEO in many ways is all about optimizing the user experience, as many ranking factors focus on UX. You improve page speed as fast loading pages are better for users, focus on quality content to make sure users only get useful results, and add keywords to make it as easy as possible for users to find relevant pages. That’s why one extremely valuable task you can do that will have a positive impact on your product page SEO is to carry out a UX assessment.
To do this, you should look at a few key elements:
Page Layout - Having a page layout that is simple and easy to follow is essential to your user experience. Keep important elements top-of-the-fold such as images, product summary and details, CTAs etc., with extra elements like expanded descriptions, detailed reviews, etc. further down the page.
Calls-to-Action - Are there clear calls-to-action? Wording is important, and while many merchants want to brand their experience, it’s important to use clear, easily interpreted language for your CTAs e.g. “Add to Cart”, “Checkout” etc.
CTA Placement - It also matters where on your product page you place your CTAs. If you have just one like a “Add to Cart”, make this visible without the need to scroll down the page. If you have a couple different CTAs such as in the case where you perhaps offer subscription options as well as one-off orders, think about the order of these that would make the most sense for a new customer.
Images - Your product images should be clear and high quality, with a variety of angles so your customers can get a good idea of what they’re buying.
Reviews - Reviews are key to customer purchasing decisions, and are extremely valuable to your store’s SEO. We’ll come back to what you can do with these later.
- Page speed - Your customers don’t want to wait for a slow page, do what you can to make sure your product pages are lightning fast so they don’t become distracted or frustrated.
From there, analyze what added value features you have on your product page - FAQ sections, size/spec guides, customer support, recommendations etc. If you’re unsure what kind of added features may be valuable, you can conduct some competitor research to better understand what more your competitors are doing to try and improve their user experience.
Typically in ecommerce, we’re building and maintaining stores on desktop and it can be easy to forget to keep on top of mobile UX optimization. Mobile is huge in search - 55% of searches are performed on a mobile device. While all themes from the Shopify Theme Store are mobile responsive, it’s still important to assess your mobile UX and take a mobile-first approach. This might be adapting your forms to require fewer fields to make it easier for those filling them out on mobile, or simplifying your mobile navigation.
#3 - Optimize internal linking and site architecture
How easy or difficult it is to navigate around your store and individual pages directly impacts how a customer perceives your store experience. If they have to dig around sub-menus, search through their browsing history, or simply can’t find a page they were on previously, that’s going to lead to some serious frustration and may cause them to leave your store altogether. Whether a customer’s first landing page is a product page or elsewhere, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to navigate around your store, find the best product for their needs, and get them through checkout.
Here are three general rules to follow that will ensure your product pages have the best navigation:
Keep your primary navigation simple and consistent
Your main menu should be kept to as few top level categories as possible to make it simple for your customers. Use sub-categories to further define different product lines or other areas of your store. These should follow a logical pattern that customers will be able to navigate, for example “Men’s” > “T-shirts”, “Trousers”, “Outerwear” and so on.
Add breadcrumb menus to your product pages
Breadcrumbs are a sort of summary of the path from homepage to the product page displayed on the page.
These make it easy for search engines to understand how your pages link up, and for customers to navigate.
Make use of internal linking to provide quick access to additional resources
There are more resources on your store that your customers may want access to in order to make a more informed purchase. These might include your FAQ, shipping information, customer support details, and so on. Providing these links on product pages is useful for both customers and search engines.
You could also consider adding a “Previously viewed” section to product pages to make it easy for customers to navigate back to products they may have been interested in.
#4 - Boost your page speed
Let’s face it - customers hate to wait. Nearly 70% say that page speed impacts their willingness to purchase from a site, and 1 in 4 customers will abandon a page if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. Slow loading pages are going to impact both acquisition and retention which in turn lowers conversion rates. Essentially, poor load times result in a poor user experience, and this will then affect your store’s SEO. Many key ranking factors focus on speed; you only have to look at Google’s Core Web Vitals to understand just how important speed is for SEO.
Your product pages are perhaps the most important landing pages on your site. So, you want to ensure they rank as high as possible on that first page of results. Page speed is one optimization that you can do easily in-house, that will be a huge win for your SEO. Here are some of our top tips for getting speeding up your page load time:
Optimize images - While you want to display a selection of great product shots, they can also be the prime culprit of slow load times. Professional product shots will often be too large for your site; you can use different online tools as well as those like Photoshop to scale the image down.
Minify your code - To minify code essentially means you’re removing characters and lines that won’t impact the functionality of the page. This compacts the code and can improve load speed.
- Browser caching - Caching is where a browser temporarily stores your site’s data to speed up load times. When a customer comes to your site, their browser has to load all the different page elements. As they navigate your site, there are many elements that stay the same such as your primary navigation, theming etc. Caching will make it so that when a user browses your site, those elements won’t need to load all those similar elements. It will also make pages they’ve previously visited load faster.
If you’re a Shopify merchant, your site will already be using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which will also speed up load times.
#5 - Prominently feature reviews
When it comes to convincing a potential customer, no tool is more powerful than reviews. Of course your description and photos will make your product sound amazing, but reading the real experiences of other customers is invaluable in purchasing decisions. 93% of consumers say reviews influence their decisions, and 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Beyond just consumer perceptions, conversion rates on product pages which include reviews see as much as 3.5 times higher than those without.
Reviews are also excellent for your product page’s SEO. Search engines want to recommend high quality, trustworthy content to their users, and reviews are an excellent way to demonstrate that trust. They also have the ability to add keywords onto your page without the need to find placement opportunities. Moreover, your customers may include keywords in their reviews that you hadn’t thought of. To make the most of reviews, you should display them throughout the product page in different ways. The top of your product page should act as a sort of summary for customers - images, product name, a summary description, CTA, price, and reviews. To display reviews here, include it as a star rating. Further down the page, add expanded reviews so customers can read more if they need that extra push. If you work closely with influencers and PR, then you may also have some featured testimonials from trusted sources you can include which will add even more credibility.
Your product pages are some of your most valuable and powerful assets. Doing more to increase their SEO potential will boost your ranking with search engines, and improve your customer experience all at the same time.