Product pages are a perennial source of headaches for eCommerce retailers, especially mid-sized retailers that have large catalogues but not the manpower to create a unique experience on each page. Creating compelling product pages can be a significant investment of both time and money, but I’d suggest that it’s more than worthwhile in many case because the result will be more search traffic and increased conversion rates.
In this article, I’m going to take a look at a number of strategies that eCommerce retailers can use to improve the quality of their product pages and, hopefully, their sales.
Create Unique Content
If you employed a salesman who used exactly the same speech for every customer regardless of what he was trying to sell, he’d be out on his ear fairly quickly. The same principle applies to online stores. I’ve seen many stores where the only unique part of the product page is the name of the product — everything else was boilerplate. That’s bad for user experience, and it’s terrible for SEO.
If you want people to buy your products, they have to distinguish themselves in some way, and you have to give shoppers a reason why they should buy this instead of that. Your product pages are the perfect opportunity.
If every product page is identical, you’re almost certainly going to have a duplicate content issue where SEO is concerned. To be able to index your products properly, Google needs some way of differentiating them using the text on the page. If they all look the same to Google, you aren’t going to rank well and your product aren’t going to show up for relevant searches.
This applies to meta data like the title tag and meta description too. Make all content as unique as possible.
Relevant And Interesting Content
Unique is one thing, compelling is something entirely different. I’m a professional writer, so you’ll understand why I say hire a pro to write your product pages, but even if you can’t, you need to put some serious thought into making the content interesting, relevant, and engaging. Try to anticipate the questions a shopper will have and provide answers on the page. Give them a reason to buy.
Words are great, images and video are better. On of the major causes of abandoned shopping carts is doubt. The user wants what you’re selling, but isn’t sure if it fits their needs. Rich media can help minimize those doubts.
Don’t let shoppers work themselves into a dead end. You do not want them hitting up their browser bar for a Google search. Make sure that you provide breadcrumb navigation so that they can reverse their steps or navigate to category pages if the page they land on isn’t quite right.
You should also offer alternative products like Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. In fact, Amazon has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on researching the perfect product page, so use them for inspiration wherever possible.
Optimize For Search, But Don’t Go Nuts
Search engines need a little help understanding the content and context of a page, so make sure you include relevant keywords in the headers, the content, image alt tags, URLs, meta descriptions, and so on.
But do not keyword stuff and don’t attempt to trick search engines with out-of-date black hat SEO techniques like hidden keyword stuffing. It won’t work and it creates a bad impression.
One of the most powerful ways to influence searchers is social proof, and for eCommerce retailers that mostly means reviews and ratings. Both of these can be a double-edged sword, but there’s nothing to stop you curating reviews — just be reasonable about it: a bad review isn’t the end of the world and it can be used a learning experience for the company.
These are the major pillars of a successful product page, but there are many variations on these themes. In my experience, the best way to proceed is to get the basics right, and then test continually, trying out alternatives until you hit on a combination of elements that maximizes the success of your product pages.