Tag Archive for: ecommerce growth tips

An Ecommerce Guide to Optimize Product Page SEO

With so many ecommerce companies using paid search ads, you might be thinking—does product page SEO really matter? The answer is yes.

Businesses need a holistic growth marketing strategy that combines SEO and paid search. It is not an either/or situation – and as an ecommerce growth agency, we incorporate both strategies for our partners. 

Paid search can help you grow fast and stay competitive. If your site is new, it can get you to the top of search results faster. However, you pay for every click that comes to your website. On the other hand, organic search provides sustainability and long-term growth. You don’t pay for clicks, and you could get traffic from SEO-optimized product pages and content years after it was first published. 

Here are just a few reasons why organic search is so important to ecommerce businesses.

 

What is product page SEO? 

A product page is a landing page on your website that provides all the product information that a customer needs to make an informed purchase. Great product pages don’t only provide product information–they are intentionally designed to entice visitors to buy. 

Product pages are transactional, meaning that most visitors are in the market to buy. However, that doesn’t mean that they will. If your product pages are not optimized for conversions or SEO, then they aren’t generating nearly as much revenue as they could. 

Product page SEO is the practice of optimizing product page descriptions, structure, content, and other elements to increase your visibility and overall organic search traffic. With SEO-optimized product pages, you can rank higher in search results and get more visitors to your site. 

How to optimize your product pages 

There are a lot of elements to consider when creating product pages–increasing conversions, providing shoppers with product details, creating the best user experience, and more. How does SEO fit in? 

SEO’s impact may not be obvious on the page, but it is a key part of why many ecommerce brands have been successful. To optimize your product page SEO, follow these tips. 

1. Include keywords in your product names and titles. 

What makes a good product page title? It should be descriptive, but also include keywords.

Keywords are the search terms that your potential customers are using when they search for products like yours. To determine if a query is a good keyword for you, conduct keyword research. 

Look for terms that have high monthly search volume and low keyword difficulty. For example, if someone is searching for “fanny pack”, the search volume looks like this: 

Now, the keyword difficulty, or competition to rank is fairly high, but it’s not impossible to rank. To really develop your keyword strategy, you’ll want to add variations and long-tail keywords.

  • A keyword variation might be a description like the available colors “pink fanny pack” or a synonym like “belt bag”.
  • Long-tail keywords are queries that have around 4 words or more. They are usually in the form of questions, but not always. Although they aren’t usually product page keywords, they are great for longer-form how-to or informational SEO content.

Now, once you have a list of keywords that are associated with your products, you can create SEO titles. 

If you search for “fanny pack” (and many other products), you’ll eventually see Amazon in the results. It’s because Amazon is using product page SEO best practices. Its product listings have specific requirements for titles. If you look at Amazon’s product naming guidelines, you may notice that they are designed for SEO. 

For instance, they must include a descriptive keyword, and they have title length limits. Amazon’s title length is 80 characters max, but we recommend under 60. 

Here’s an easy-to-use format for creating SEO-friendly product titles: 

  • Primary Keyword – Description (material, color, or size) – Brand Name

It’s also important to note that you may rank for product category pages with SEO, in addition to individual product pages. Category pages tend to have more general keywords (belt bags and fanny packs), whereas, product pages may be more specific (faux leather belt bag). 

2. Make sure your product URL structure is descriptive.

The URL structure of your product pages is more important than you may think. The URL appears at the top of the browser, and although, it may not be read by shoppers as much as your title, search engines are reading it. 

Good URL structure helps Google crawl and index your site. Bad URL structure can impact your organic search performance. Common URL issues for ecommerce sites are duplicate and non-descriptive text. 

Avoid URLs that look like this: 

https://company.com/skincare/collections/product/index.jsp?productId=1234567

It’s long. It includes a lot of numbers that are not descriptive. Plus, it’s missing keywords. Instead, opt for a URL like this: 

  • https://company.com/product/keyword

Cooking company Caraway does this beautifully. For instance, look at the product page for its fry pan

The keyword “fry pan” is right in the title and URL. Overall, the URL structure is short, descriptive, and SEO friendly. 

3. Use canonical tags to eliminate duplicate content.

Even if you have a consistent, keyword-rich product URL structure, there are common SEO issues that happen with every ecommerce site. This is because ecommerce sites may have many variations of the same product. 

For instance, you could have one product, but different sizes, materials, and colors. Each product variation creates a unique URL, even though the content on the page doesn’t change much. 

In addition, many ecommerce sites use breadcrumb navigation. The URL structure changes based on how you clicked through the site to eventually land on the product page. 

This creates duplicate content issues for ecommerce sites. To solve this, you’ll want to implement canonical tags. 

Canonical tags tell Google and other search engines that a specific URL is the master URL. 

By implementing rel=canonical tags, you let Google know that it’s not duplicate content.

4. Add unique product descriptions.

If you don’t have unique product descriptions, you’ll run into two major problems–duplicate content and likely, lower conversions. Product descriptions are written first for buyers, not bots. 

That said, a good product description for buyers should also be good for SEO. Here are some tips for writing product descriptions for SEO and conversions: 

  • Include the most important information above the fold. 
  • Highlight benefits, but provide a bulleted list of product features.
  • Include keywords in your product description.
  • Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes.
  • Make it skimmable–include icons and bulleted lists.
  • Eliminate empty words–every word should add meaning to the description.
  • Answer common questions–what is the product, what does it do, and why is it worth buying?

For an example of product page descriptions that work, look at Glossier. 

The product description for Glossier’s milky jelly cleanser includes all the important information (pricing, sizes, etc.) above the fold. It includes keywords like “conditioning face wash” and “gel face wash” throughout. It is also easy to read with short descriptions, product images, and bulleted lists. 

5. Add high-quality product images, but watch out for loading speed.

A fast loading speed is critical to ecommerce websites. Unbounce reports that 70% of shoppers say page speed influences their likelihood of buying from an online store. 

Page speed impacts the user experience, and it’s a ranking factor for search engine optimization. Ideally, your pages will load within one to two seconds. 

Many factors impact page loading speed, but the size of images is one of the easiest that you can control. The rule of thumb for images is to keep the size below 70 KB. 

If you are having a difficult time reducing the size without impacting quality, you can try a smaller image size. You can also change image formats. For example, a JPEG image usually has a much smaller file size than a PNG. 

6. Name image files with keywords and add alt text.

Speaking of product images, make sure that when you upload them, they are named descriptively using keywords. For example, instead of adding a product image that is titled “image1.png”, rename it with a descriptive keyword like “blue-fanny-pack.png”

Then, add alt text. This is descriptive text that appears for screen readers, and in case an image doesn’t load on your site. It’s not only important for SEO but for accessibility standards.

7. Embed product videos.

Video content can vastly improve your product page conversions. Combine it with SEO, and you can have more traffic and potential customers. 

Sometimes, the best way to describe how your product works is by showing how it works. Site visitors that watch a product video are 73% more likely to buy. Of course, the quality of the product video is important too. Some quick tips for product videos are: 

  • Keep it short–under 30 seconds.
  • Show how your product solves a problem. 
  • Bring the product to life–go beyond an image and show the product in action.

Another advantage of product videos for SEO is that, if they are set up with schema, they can appear in Google’s rich video snippets. (More on that below.)

8. Add schema markup to appear in rich results.

Google is continuously adding more search results features to help users discover products. Rich results, also called rich snippets, are Google search results that go beyond the basic text and blue link format. They can be image carousels, videos, or interactive elements. Common rich results for ecommerce companies are:

  • Product – (Popular Products)
  • Reviews – (Star ratings and customer reviews)

To appear in rich results, there are specific product page SEO requirements–mainly structured data or schema markup. You can test whether or not your product pages support rich snippets by adding the link to Google’s Rich Results Test.

9. Include social proof, most importantly reviews.

Out of all the elements on a product page, you can bet that people will read reviews no matter what. In fact, 93% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. 

It is probably obvious by now that reviews influence a customer to buy a product. However, did you know that reviews also impact SEO? 

Reviews act as trust signals for customers and search engines. If you feature reviews from real customers on your site, you could be rewarded with a higher search engine ranking. 

Allbirds has some of the best product page reviews. For example, on the product page for its men’s wool running shoes, visitors can search inside reviews. It signals that Allbirds cares about customers’ experiences, and makes it easier for new customers to research. 

Visitors can sort and filter results to look for past buyers that have similar shoe sizes, widths, and more. 

10. Pair product pages with high-quality SEO content.

Product pages are instrumental to any ecommerce site. However, they are designed for people that already have some idea of what they want. In other words, visitors may be in the consideration or conversion stage of the customer funnel already. But, what if a purchase requires a little more education? What if a customer is familiar with a product, but isn’t sure what size or other features they need? 

High-quality SEO content like how-to blogs can help educate consumers about your products in ways that product pages can’t. 

Take REI for example. The outdoor gear and clothing store is taking a holistic approach to its marketing. You can tell because they appear on the first page of results in paid search, organic results, and rich snippets for highly relevant keywords. It doesn’t cannibalize keywords because each result is different. For example, there are local searches for retail locations and keyword-based results. 

In addition, when you search for “sleeping bags”, REI appears in Google’s Popular Products as well as general search results. 

Now, in addition to optimizing its product pages for SEO, REI is optimizing content. Using sleeping bags as an example, a question that people searching for sleeping bags often have is what temperature rating do you need? 

Temperature ratings are a sleeping bag product feature that new buyers may not be familiar with, so it’s worth educating them through long-form SEO content. In fact, REI does just that. Looking at this blog on How to Choose a Sleeping Bag, you’ll see one of the first sections is “Understanding Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings”.

 

REI is currently ranking for the keyword “sleeping bag temperature ratings”, as well as other sleeping bag-related queries.

Of course, much more goes into optimizing product pages for ecommerce. It’s a good idea to A/B test changes to a product page to see how it impacts conversions. Fixing technical product page SEO issues can be much more complex too. Features like adding structured schema can take a lot of time and attention to detail. These tips can set you on the right path, but if you want to dive deeper, you may want to seek an ecommerce growth agency with experience in product page SEO to get additional expertise. 

SEO Strategy Overview

How to Develop an Effective Ecommerce SEO Strategy in 2022

SEO Strategy Overview

It’s 2022, and the world has changed. 

Some things haven’t—like the fact that the number of active internet users worldwide is rapidly growing towards 5 billion and that 30% of global web usage comes from people using search engines to find something they want or need. 

But other things have—most notably, how those searches are made, have.

With a market that becomes more competitive every day, you need to have a solid SEO strategy to ensure your eCommerce store can stay afloat. But with so many different approaches and techniques out there, how can you decide which is best for your business?

The good news is that although eCommerce SEO can be challenging, it’s not impossible, and as an eCommerce growth agency, we’ve learned a few things that can be helpful for you. Here are some significant steps to help you get started with your eCommerce SEO strategy today.

When building your SEO strategy, you always want to begin with either keyword research or technical SEO. In this case, we’ll begin with keyword research. 

Keyword research

Keyword research is the most fundamental step in any SEO strategy. To start, you’ll want to use a tool like SEMrush to find out which keywords you should be targeting. You probably already have  a few in mind but by researching your top-performing keywords and pages, you will get insights into which keywords are performing well and it will help you narrow down your list of keywords to the 5-10 most important keywords. 

When doing keyword research, you’ll want to look at the monthly organic traffic of non-branded search terms, the keyword difficulty, and the searcher intent first. 

These metrics will help you narrow down to your 5-10 most critical target keywords for your eCommerce store. These are the ones that: 

  • have a high search volume, but aren’t too broad
  • are relevant to your business – look at the search results
  • have low competition (low keyword difficulty, first page results have low domain authority). 

Doing a quick Google search is the quickest way to determine searcher intent for a keyword. If the top-10 results are unrelated to your business, even though you think the keyword is a great fit, then it’s not a keyword that you want to spend time trying to rank for. 

Note that for eCommerce sites, transactional queries tend to be more critical than informational ones because they drive a higher conversion rate and should be weighted when comparing keywords.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the foundational building block of SEO and should be the first step in any eCommerce SEO strategy.

It entails:

  • Running an SEO audit of your existing website;
  • Creating a plan to fix any technical issues, and 
  • Implementing technical SEO fixes before adding additional content to your website. 

The last thing an eCommerce agency wants to do is invest resources into content creation to find out the site isn’t even crawlable or has major accessibility issues that kill the user experience.

Another technical SEO implementation to be aware of for eCommerce websites is making sure you’re adding structured data schema to your product pages. By adding the appropriate structured data to your product pages, you can display your price, ratings, and product image directly in Google’s SERP and increase your CTR.

If you spend time now making sure your site is healthy from an SEO standpoint, it will be easier (and cheaper) to make on-page SEO changes as needed in the future.

Example of structured data on SERP

Optimize Site architecture

Ecommerce site architecture will help your users find the information they need while also helping Google find and index your pages.

Look at your navigation structure and make sure it makes sense. Do all categories, subcategories, and products have a logical flow? Will you be adding pages in the future and will they fit into the existing site structure?

To optimize your site architecture:

  • Ensure your categories are easy to navigate and link to the correct pages.
  • Avoid duplicate content
  • Make sure breadcrumbs are in place – breadcrumbs (a navigational feature showing the user’s location within a website)  help users navigate your site, especially if they get lost along the way.
  • Use SEO-optimized page titles – Page titles are like a newspaper headline; they tell the reader (and Google) what the page is about. 
  • Create internal links between relevant categories, products, and landing pages.
  • Focus on user experience by adding necessary filters, tags, or search bars to help users navigate through your website easier. 

 

On-page SEO

If you don’t have the right on-page SEO strategies in place, the chances of your products or services ranking highly in search results are less likely.

Keyword Mapping

The first step of on-page SEO is keyword mapping, making sure each page has a unique target keyword and that the target keyword is relevant. Learn how keyword mapping helped us increase Salam’s organic traffic by 117% in 90 days.

One of the first things to look for during keyword mapping, if you haven’t already during technical SEO, is to find pages that shouldn’t be indexed in Google. It’s important that you’re only indexing pages that have an SEO value to them and benefit your users. 

You can build a keyword mapping spreadsheet by crawling your website with ScreamingFrog and exporting all data to a spreadsheet. From there, you can either determine the target keyword of each URL by analyzing the data in the URL and title or you can export all target keywords from Yoast if you’re using Yoast Premium on WordPress. 

Example of keyword mapping

Once you have a unique target keyword for each page then ensure they are included in the title tag, meta description, and H1 tag of that page. 

Once you’ve done this, it’s essential to optimize your product pages by adding internal links from other pages within your site that contain relevant content. 

Ecommerce SEO Content

A specific eCommerce SEO strategy is adding SEO-optimized content at the bottom of all of your product listing pages. This is a strategy that is widely used by the eCommerce behemoths and has worked very well for our clients. By adding this content at the bottom of your page, it doesn’t interfere with the user experience, helps improve page ranking, and provides useful information for your customers. 

SEO content example for Renogy

Internal linking

Internal linking helps users navigate and find more relevant content on your site while also helping search engines figure out what pages are most important.

Here are some best practices for internal linking:

  • Start with a sitemap. The first step to effective internal linking is creating a sitemap that lists all the essential pages of your website. This is not only good for internal linking but also for crawlability. 
  • Always display “Products You May Like” or something similar on the individual product pages to help improve internal linking and user experience.
  • Make sure every page has at least 2 or 3 internal links pointing to it. This ensures that every page on your site gets some love from Google and visitors alike.
  • Link only relevant pages together. Don’t link one article to another just because you want to link to it somewhere—make sure it’s relevant or valuable to the person reading the content.
  • Use SEO-optimized anchor text when linking pages.

 

Focus on high-converting and high-ticket items

As a general rule, high-search-volume keywords will be more competitive. You can still rank for them, but it’ll take more effort and resources than ranking for low-volume keywords.

The problem with this scenario is that you’re focusing on eCommerce SEO without defining the problem you’re trying to solve beforehand. 

Instead of optimizing for high-volume search terms because someone told you to, defining goals and KPIs is much more effective before beginning an eCommerce SEO strategy. This is something that you will decide when you’re doing your keyword research and narrowing down on your 5-10 most important keywords. 

Determining which specific products generate the highest revenue makes it easier to pinpoint the most valuable pages on your store. 

It is recommended to look at monthly revenue per product if you have hundreds or thousands of products. If you have fewer than 100 products, you could look at quarterly or annual data instead.

If you have low-performing pages that are ranking well, try to find other ways to take advantage of that traffic by adding related products to the page. 

Conversion Rate Optimization

Every extra conversion you make increases your revenue, which means that CRO has a real and direct impact on your company’s bottom line.

eCommerce marketers optimize for CRO in parallel with SEO to provide a seamless experience for your customers from landing on your website, reading your content, and taking that desired action.

It’s all about understanding how users behave on your website and making changes to improve that behavior. And, it’s not just about improving conversion rates; You can also use CRO techniques to reduce bounce rates, increase time on page and enhance visitor engagement.

The main aim of CRO is to create an experience for your customers that will encourage them to complete their purchase or other desired action on your website. 

Conclusion

There you have it—a fully-formed eCommerce SEO strategy that you can use to tackle the rest of 2022 and beyond. You’ve got the tools and the knowledge, and now you just need to get started.

When it comes to developing a successful eCommerce SEO strategy, the key is to understand your customers and what they’re looking for. 

If you can consistently provide the best products and answers to your customers’ questions, you’ll be able to build a strong eCommerce business over time.

Typing on slack.

ECommerce Growth Tips From Experts (Tuff Roundup)

If we told you that $1 in every $5 spent in the entire retail industry was spent in online stores, would you believe us? Good news, you don’t have to take our word for it – the U.S. Department of Commerce released figures showing that e-commerce businesses made $245.28 billion in Q4 2020, up 32.1% from the previous year. This was nearly double the growth in 2019 – thanks in part to COVID-19.

It’s not like retail sales struggled in 2020 either. The entire retail industry grew by 9% even in lockdown: which makes the rapid growth of e-commerce sales all that much more impressive. 

What does that mean for Ecommerce business owners? If you’ve got an online store – the competition is growing, and driving traffic is more important now than ever to make sure you’re not falling behind. At Tuff, we’ve worked with over 50+ brands in 4 years to develop and execute eCommerce growth marketing strategies. As such, we’ve learned a thing or two – so we asked the team to share some tips from their experiences. 

Kristin:

 “Buckle up, because the way that performance marketers use and report on Facebook advertising is about to change big time.” 

Since Apple announced iOS 14 and all the privacy updates that come along with it, we’re expecting some major changes to the performance of Facebook ads for e-comm brands, especially when it comes to retargeting and attribution. 

As users begin to opt out of sharing data with apps like Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter, the pixels for those channels — the ones that allow us to track and retarget users that visit your site — will be kinda useless on mobile devices. This is going to make our retargeting audiences small, slow to populate, and skew the audience pool towards users on desktop devices.

Having a holistic strategy and diversifying on multiple acquisition channels is going to be more important than ever. How has your ECommerce brand prepared for iOS 14? 

John:

“Your number one focus as an ECommerce Brand should be to generate targeted performance content that search engines will slap on page one.”

Acquisition isn’t solely about paid advertising – ECommerge growth is also influenced by a brand’s organic content marketing strategy. ECommerce content strategies are slightly different than a B2B, or SaaS content strategy, but the principals are mostly the same. Instead of writing white papers, or case studies, ECommerce brands can create product pages, guides, and how-to articles that are stacked with highly optimized content for search engines. 

If you aren’t utilizing performance content to reach potential customers – you’re ignoring a long-term strategy that can reap loads of benefits in the long run. 

Matt:

“Simply put, product descriptions really do matter.”

Engaging and optimized product copy can enhance the SEO of your ECommerce site, while copied descriptions from manufactures or other websites will make certain that Google’s algorithms keep your pages from ever ranking. 

When you write something you have to consider the SEO value and how Google and other search engines will see it. Additionally, at the end of the day, that 75-100 word product description is what is going to push your customer to convert. This is your chance to differentiate what makes your product better than the other 100 products out there like it – so get to it. 

McKenzie:

“When it comes to launching successful Facebook and Instagram ads for ECommerce brands, we take a two-pronged approach with prospecting and retargeting campaigns.” 

Our prospecting campaigns focus on bringing in new customers with interest-based and lookalike audiences. Once we’ve generated enough traffic and/or conversions on the website, we’ll launch a retargeting campaign using Facebook’s conversion tracking pixel to re-target people who have visited or engaged with the ECommerce brand’s website. Retargeting campaigns are crucial for eCommerce brands in order to yield more conversions and sales.

Having a strategy that works users through a funnel helps improve awareness, consideration, and ultimately purchase from customers. Tailoring every campaign we create, testing, and optimizing campaigns to quickly drive ROI is what makes social advertising at Tuff so different. 

Richard:

“Many brands don’t fully utilize personalization on their websites to its fullest potential. Whether you’re looking to increase average order value by product upsells, or just improve conversion rates – personalization is the hottest trend in ECommerce optimizations right now.”

How many times have you browsed an ecommerce website thinking you were going to buy one thing, and ended up buying another? Seeing content sections such as “Customers Also Viewed”, or “Top Selling Products” utilizes personalization to provide customers the opportunity to make sure they are choosing the best product for their needs. 

Personalization is directly tied to higher average order values, and higher conversion rates. Whether you’re trying to cut down on abandoned carts, increase session time, or just upsell – personalization has a solution for you, so test, test, test!

Chris: 

“For ECommerce brands, Google Shopping is a must. The lower-than-search CPCs coupled with buying intent is a win-win. But, it’s important first to create a well-structured shopping feed and strong negative keyword list to avoid wasted spend and to give your products the best chance at showing in searches for the ideal search terms.” 

Google Shopping is an excellent mid-low funnel placement, that when coupled with Search and Youtube campaign strategy can be highly effective. Because users are reviewing loads of products in their searches, you will have a fair mix of users who click to price-compare, or are doing initial research. Since the CPCs are lower, however, it’s still a very cost-effective platform. 

A major added bonus of Google Shopping is that it occupies valuable real estate in SERPs (search engine result pages). If your product is featured, and you also happen to have a search ad appearing for the same keyword – you’re occupying a lot of space at the top of the page that is very valuable for attracting customers. 

Because Google Shopping utilizes a broad match technique – making sure your product feed is optimized for searches pertinent to your product keywords is essential. Having optimized titles and descriptions is one way to match to better search results and stand out against competitors. Making sure that you’ve also added a negative keyword list can help reduce spend and take full advantage of users browsing Google Shopping ads. 

eCommerce in 2021 and Beyond:

eCommerce is a constantly evolving industry – what is best Ecommerce practices now, may not be effective a year from now. What we can say for certain is this: eCommerce is here to stay, and brands need to pay attention to their eCommerce strategy. It’s an industry that only will get bigger – and with more participants, comes more competition. 

If you’re in need of an eCommerce Growth Expert – look no further than the Tuff team. Download one of our sample growth marketing proposals, and check out how we can take your ECommerce brand to the next level.