When we’re re-building SEO friendly product detail pages for our sites, we generally have the following guidelines for how we construct these pages as well as how we fill these pages with rich and relevant content.
1. Brands, Keywords, and Product Names in the Title Tags
Every page will have h1,h2,h3 tags at a minimum, and in each of these tags we want to place something that is keyword rich in the context of the individual product. This will help differentiate the product from the many thousands of other products we have on our sites.
2. Brands, Keywords, and Product Names in the URL
If you don’t have keyword rich URLs yet (come on, it’s 2012) this should be one of the first things you tackle. We aim to include the same keywords that are in our title tags in our url strings.
Example: http://www.dealuxe.ca/en/dolce-vita-pansey-sandal-pink.html [Brand = Dolce Vita] [Name = Pansey Sandal Pink]
3. Meta Description Tag
We’ve found that the best approach to filling your meta description is to use a portion of your product description / content. I say a portion because there are limits to the # of characters that you can put inside of a meta description tag.
4. Product Images Alt Tags
Alt tags on images are sort of like finding free money. Often forgotten, this is just an easy way to get SEO friendly names on each of the images on your product detail pages.
5. Social Sharing Buttons
This is such an easy win that it shocks me when sites don’t have these buttons. There are numerous plugins available that provide you with a script snippet that you drop onto your product detail pages and it creates all the necessary sharing code. If you’re using a popular eCommerce platform then there are usually platform extensions for this sort of thing as well.
6. Calls to Action on Linking
If you want people to link to your product detail pages then I strongly suggest you build creative calls to action to get users to share, blog about, tweet etc… This also goes hand in hand with the above point on social sharing. It’s not just about Facebook and Twitter. You want link juice. If you write really creative product detail pages, maybe even a bit funny/crass (think woot.com), then people link to them out of interest.
7. Customer / User Generated Product Reviews
What better way to build out amazing content on your product detail pages than by having your users do it for you? The trick? Making sure your entire customer service experience is amazing, right down to super fast shipping. We also like automated emails that go out a few weeks after the product has shipped, asking customers to come back and review purchases (depends on the site of course).
8. Use Images for Non-SEO Text Actions / Buttons
Add to Wishlist, Add to Compare etc… these are not important for the search engines to crawl and therefor we typically make these calls to actions images instead of text links. It’s minor, but it helps.
9. Unique & Rich Product Descriptions for Each Product
Write your product descriptions as though you were a sales clerk in a retail store and you were trying to explain the product to a potential customer. This is by far the best thing you could do for both your visitors and the search engines. The serps are getting much, MUCH better at penalizing “optimized” content so your best approach should be to write great, saleable content based on what your visitors are going to want, not what you think the serps want.
10. Use Video
Using video properly can result in fantastic organic traffic. I’m not going to go into all of the specifics on how to put together great video, where to host, or how to get those videos ranked in Google better. There have been countless posts done on this topic. All you need to know for an eCommerce site is that it adds a lot of value!