E-commerce SEO: How to Optimize Product Pages

So we’ve talked a lot about how you can optimize your blog posts, but if you’re an e-commerce business, blog posts may not necessarily be the most lucrative aspect of your website for your customer experience. Instead, you’re probably focusing on getting your customers to spend time on your product pages.

So learning how to optimize your product pages is super important to bring the right customers to your website and get them to buy your products!

Now, just because you have an e-commerce business doesn’t mean you can’t blog – you just might not need to because you might have enough in your product descriptions to bring people right in for exactly what you’re selling. The benefit of potentially having dozens or hundreds of different products is that you can optimize each one of those pages for different target keywords.


Product listings vs. blog posts: How are they optimized differently?

Product listings and blog posts are different types of content and therefore show up differently on your website. They have a lot of similarities between them, especially in the way that they’re optimized and the places where you can put those specific target keywords.

Their page goals are different

For many blog posts, the goal is education. And maybe at the end of your blog post, you can try to get people to sign up for your email newsletter. 

Whereas the goal of a product description page is a sale. You don’t need to tell a story and you don’t need to educate your readers. By the time people make it to your product listing, they’re either going to buy or they’re not, so they may not need that much more education that would come in the form of a blog post.

The page structure varies

Blog posts tend to be a little bit more long-form content. They might have a story and are typically more structured (broken up with section headings and images) because the goal is to talk people through a transformation in a blog post.

Whereas a product listing is structured in a different way. It typically will include a title, the description, and how to buy it. It gets to the point much quicker.

Images are used differently

In a blog post, an image supports the idea that you’re trying to get across; The blog post is more focused on the text.

Whereas on your product listing, you want to give people as many ways as possible to visualize themselves using that product – so images are key

So you’ve gotten a better idea of how blog posts and product pages are different. Now, what can do we do to optimize those product pages? Keep on reading for 5 tips!

Product Page Tip #1: Check your SEO title tag

You want to make sure that whatever shows up on the Google search engine results page reflects what that product actually is. A good rule of thumb is to include two to three keywords in your SEO title so that people can find it.

Remember that your SEO title tag is only 67 characters, so you have a really limited amount of space here. Here are some things to take into consideration when titling your products for SEO:

  1. What are one or two things that you want people to know about that product?
  2. What are the search terms people might be looking for when it comes to this exact product?
  3. How is this product different from the other products in your shop?

For example, you would want to name your SEO title, “Black Dress With Ruffle Sleeves” instead of something vague like, “Dresses”. This title includes those specific search terms people might be looking for and it differentiates the dress from other dresses in your shop.

Product Page Tip #2: Nail your metadescription

When you’re thinking about the SEO for your product listings, your metadescription is super important. This is the text description underneath the blue text on the Google search engine results. 

screen clipping of seo title and metadescription

The title tag (the blue text) is really what Google is paying attention to while the metadescription (the black text) is more about what you want your searcher to know about that product.

There’s a real person out there who might be looking for exactly what you’re selling. And when your product shows up in the search results, they’ve got a bunch of other search results there. So this might be the time to appeal to them with something that’s not quite tangible.

You might say something about the softness of a sweater or the experience of what it’s like to have that plant in your office. 

This might also be a place to show some of your personality or include some “behind the scenes” of what went into that product.

What can you say in your meta description to make people want to click through to your website instead of the other nine listings on that page?

Product Page Tip #3: Check your headline

Okay, cool. So someone clicked from Google over to your website! Now you’ve gotta take a look at your headline, or H1 tag which in most e-commerce websites is also your product name.

Now, whatever you put here doesn’t necessarily have to be the same description that you have in your SEO title. This could be a place where you let some of your personality shine through.

So if you’re selling a painting of Nantucket, you might have your SEO title be a bit more informational – something like “Nantucket beach with seagulls oil painting 24×36”.

And then the meta description might say something like, “If you’re envisioning a weekend at the beach, and you want to bring it home with you, here’s how you can bring that little piece of Nantucket into your home office.”

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And then your product name can be a combination of these two things. Like, “Whimsy Nantucket inspired beach with bright white seagull painting”.

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The title, metadescription, and headline don’t all have to be the same, but they should all have the idea of what people are looking for in those key places.

Product Page Tip #4: Images & videos

For product pages, images are really important. So you want to make sure to take all of the best practices of image SEO and apply them to your product pages. (Maybe you even want to have a product video available for people to watch!)

The person who’s searching for your product wants to think of themselves wearing your clothes, hanging your painting on their wall, having their books on your bookshelf. So having that visual representation of what your product can be like in their lives is so important.

So think about all the ways that a person could potentially interact with what you’re selling. Some good ideas are:

  • a video of somebody using the product
  • an image of somebody holding the product to show its size
  • a mock-up of the product in a real space
  • a rendering of what the product could potentially look like in someone’s room/home

The takeaway here: the more information that you can give visually, the better.

And once you’ve shown how people can visualize themselves with these products, now make sure that Google knows what’s in the images.

Update image file name

When you’re uploading a product image to your page, you want to make sure that you include information about what’s in there. Don’t upload files that are named “IMG-6254”.

Add alt text

Your alt text is what shows up if people can’t see that image. So think of this as a description where you can include more information, as if you were explaining to somebody what is in the picture. 

You can learn more about image SEO to get all of the tips on how to optimize your images.

Product Page Tip #5: Have a good product description

And our fifth key element of your product description page is, well, your description!

Now, this might actually be the hardest part, because writing product descriptions for SEO can be a little bit boring. So make sure that you include all that relevant information.

If you’re selling something physical, you want to include the height, weight and the materials that are used. You can use an accordion drop-down or bullet points in the description so people can easily see whether or not that bookshelf will fit into their house.

Include info like delivery information, if it’s a physical product or a digital download. Is shipping included? What’s the shipping cost?

Any information that you can give about how people will receive your product can be helpful here as well as any features and benefits of the product.

3 tips to differentiate similar product listings

Now, this is often where people get a little bit stuck because they have products that are really similar in their shop.

And so if you have 20 different kinds of bookshelves, and the only difference is their size, but you use the same materials when creating them, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure that you’re setting your products apart from each other and not getting penalized for duplicate content across multiple products. Here are three tips to help with product listings that are really similar:

  1. Consolidate your product listings.

If you have five t-shirts in five different colors and five different sizes, that doesn’t mean you need 25 different product pages. That might mean you need one product with two dropdowns, each having five options in that dropdown. This way, you can really spend some time building up the SEO of that t-shirt instead of trying to spread it out between 25 different pages and have them all competing against each other.

  1. Create a product category

Another option is to create a product category and try to get the category to rank for the overarching term. Then you can give more specific details in the individual product pages. 

If you have seven different herbal tea blends, you don’t want each one of those seven pages attempting to rank for the term “herbal tea blend” because they’ll be competing against each other. Instead, you can have a product category for herbal tea blends, and then you can include a lot of different information in those specific products without each of them trying to rank for the overarching category.

  1. Add shop-wide links

If you have things that are going to show up across all your pages, you can just create shop-wide links, and then include them in your footer and maybe link to them from the product listings. 

So if your shipping policy is the same across all of your products, just say, “Here’s a link to our shipping policies” so you don’t have that same block of information about shipping on every product page.

I do recommend optimizing your product description pages before you start creating educational content for your website, so when people eventually get to the educational content, you can lead them directly to the corresponding product description page and they can go buy your products.