SEO for eCommerce Product Pages | SEO for Category Pages

Scott Schulfer
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    Have you heard of SEO for eCommerce product pages? eCommerce sites typically have two types of pages:

    • Product pages sell individual products
    • A category page link out to related product pages

    eCommerce product pages and category pages all have a certain shape and set of best SEO practices.

    Let’s look into SEO for eCommerce product pages and category pages so you can boost visibility and drive traffic.

    SEO for eCommerce Product Pages

    Most eCommerce product pages end up looking something like this:

    ecommerce product page

    Let’s break down the components to better understand SEO for eCommerce product pages.

    Header 1 or H1

    This is the primary headline of the content on your page. This field should contain the primary keywords you’re targeting. It’s the first thing most people see on a product page, and it should be between 20 and 70 characters.

    Image with Alt Text

    Your product page should have an image with alt text added.

    alt text definition

    The best eCommerce platform for SEO, best eCommerce website, or online marketplace will automatically generate the alt text for images based on product descriptions and allow you to edit the description for further refinement.

    In the above Wholey example, the alt text “Atlantic Monk Fish (3 Lb. Avg)” is added.

    ecommerce alt text

    Alt text should not exceed 125 characters.

    Keyword-Optimized Meta Title and Meta Description

    meta title definition: what is a meta title

    Each product page’s meta title shows up when you hover over the browser tab:

    ecommerce meta title

    And on the SERP:

    ecommerce seo meta description

    And the meta title should have the keywords you’re targeting in it along with modifiers like:

    • Best
    • Online
    • Free shipping
    • Deals
    • Fresh
    • Cheap
    • X% Off
    • Sale
    • Lowest Price

    These modifiers are typically what get people to click through to a page. It's one of the keys to SEO for eCommerce product pages.

    Meta titles should be, max, 60 characters long to avoid getting cut off on the browser tab and the SERP.

    It’s important that your H1 and your meta title are not identical. They can target the same keywords, but don’t phrase them exactly the same.

    Additionally, every product page needs an optimized meta description, which shows up only on the SERP and is more important for CTR than ranking. 

    Here you the meta description is the paragraph beneath the clickable blue link. Include keywords in your meta description, but for the purpose of getting searchers to click the link above it. Meta descriptions should not exceed 160 characters. This is another key component of SEO for eCommerce product pages.

    meta description definition

    Write your meta descriptions as if it’s the only thing standing between someone clicking your link. Use keywords and concisely communicate the value of your page. Be real: why is your page good?

    Unique Descriptions

    SEO for eCommerce product pages includes unique descriptions. Product and category pages should have at least 500 words on them. Longer content ranks best on Google, but creating 1,800-word product pages isn’t realistic.

    Ideally, unique, high-value descriptions of at least 500 words will be written for every product you offer. If that’s not possible, think about doing it for only the top 10 or 20 or 30 products. 

    Other things they can include: weight, size (dimensions), shipping, handling instructions, SKU number, etc. 

    Be sure to use targeted keywords in the description, and:

    • Don’t go overboard using your keywords. This is called “keyword stuffing,” and Google doesn’t like it. The frequency of keywords on web pages used to be a big deal, but it’s not anymore. That’s because people started keyword stuffing and sentences turned into unreadable robot-focused drivel. Use keywords, sure, but never ever sacrifice human readability. That’s the most important part of any content, and Google considers it thus, too.
    • Use related keywords. Sometimes related keywords are also called “LSI keywords,” which stands for latent semantic indexing. Again, it’s pretty much a fancy word for “related keywords.” Google is smart enough to understand that some words are similar to others. Pepper in some related keywords with the specific keywords you’re targeting to avoid keyword stuffing and cast a wider semantic net. LSI or related keywords for seafood, for example, would be shellfish, fresh fish, and lobster.

    Pro-tip: The easiest way to find related keywords is using Amazon. Type in your primary keyword and look at all the related words that pop up in product titles. These titles are usually stuffed with semantically-related keywords.

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    Breadcrumbs are a sequence of links that allow users to see where they are in a website, how far they are from the main home page, and how to get back if they want.

    If you have someone in-house with technical expertise, and your content management system or CMS, supports it, consider implementing breadcrumbs on your website.

    CMS: Software used to manage the creation and modification of digital content. This is the program that you use to write, publish, and edit web pages. The most well-known example is WordPress.

    In our above Wholey example, the breadcrumbs are:

    ecommerce seo breadcrumb

    The user is now aware that they started at the Fresh Seafood category page, went to the Fresh Fish for Sale subcategory page, and then chose the Monkfish product page.

    Breadcrumbs are links, too, so they serve as navigational elements that not only make it easier for search engines to crawl your page, but they create a better user experience.

    Both external and internal linking is important when it comes to SEO for eCommerce product pages. Check out our post about off-page SEO for eCommerce to learn more about external links.

    free ecommerce seo book

    Use HTML Tables or Lists

    Integrating a table or list on your product page may increase your chances of getting a result on the SERP that has extra visual or interactive features. This is also known as a rich result.

    Here’s an interesting example.

    On the Neiman Marcus web page, there is a table and a list on the left side of the web page:

    ecommerce seo table

    This widget was put on the page primarily to fish for rich results. And look what Google picks up and placed under the meta description on the SERP for that web page:

    ecommerce seo rich result

    That’s a rich result. And it’s way more appealing to searchers than results without the extra visual emphasis or interactivity.

    SEO for eCommerce Category Pages

    Everything for eCommerce SEO product pages applies to eCommerce category pages. They need optimized meta titles, meta descriptions, and H1s. They need at least 500 words of content. They need images with alt text. Tables and lists can unlock more benefits of eCommerce SEO.

    But category pages have a few best practices of their own, just like SEO for eCommerce product pages.

    Here’s an example of Omaha Steak’s high-level Seafood category page that links out to subcategory pages:

    ecommerce category page

    And here’s an example of Omaha Steak’s Salmon subcategory page that is linked from the Seafood category page and links out to individual product pages:

    ecommerce subcategory page

    Category pages are first and foremost navigation hubs. That means they exist solely to help users navigate to pages with more specific content.

    If they don’t enable users to easily and obviously narrow down their shopping experience, they’re not doing their job.

    Observe the following when creating your eCommerce category pages:

    • Put your 500+ words at the bottom and don’t let them get in the way of navigation.
    • Make sure all product images are good quality and consistently sized.
    • Make categories clear and obvious. This is the big one. Notice the left rail of each image above. On the high-level category page, users can click laterally to different high-level category pages. On the sub-category page, users can drill down into further subcategories.
    • Enable sorting and filtering.

    You’ve got keywords. You’ve got individual page structure. You should also make sure to link between product pages so that you can work on cross selling.

    Now let’s look at the last on-page SEO for eCommerce topic: SEO content for eCommerce.

    You may also want to look into using a catalog creator to further highlight your product offerings and make it easier for customers.

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    Frequently Asked Questions About SEO for eCommerce Product Pages

    It's crucial to understand SEO for eCommerce product pages in order to have them perform well on search engine platforms. Read through these commonly asked questions to get a better understanding of why this is important.

    How Do You Optimize a Product Page?

    To optimize a product page, follow these six tips: 

    1. Include your keywords in the product names
    2. Use descriptive product URLs
    3. Include a meta description and meta title
    4. Create descriptive headings and engaging product descriptions
    5. Include product attributes and add links for them
    6. Add high quality images with ALT text (don't forget to use the right size product images to ensure fast page load speeds)

    Optimizing your product pages on your eCommerce store will improve user experience and rich results in search engines. When it comes to SEO for eCommerce product pages, consider adding rich snippets, structured data, customer reviews, internal links, a call to action, and avoiding duplicate content.

    How Long Should an SEO Product Page Title Be?

    An SEO product page title should ideally be between 20-70 characters in length. Too long of an SEO product page title will make it look spammy and untrustworthy. This is essential to know when it comes to SEO for eCommerce product pages.

    Is SEO Worth It for eCommerce?

    Yes, SEO is worthwhile for eCommerce. This is especially true if you utilize the proper strategy and work towards getting the ideal results. With SEO for eCommerce product pages and keyword research tactics, you will increase your chances of ranking for higher search volume keywords. These include long tail keywords. It may also help your click through rates for your online store.

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