Having great product pages is so important for your sales. These are the pages where people decide to click that buy button. Besides optimizing your product pages for user experience, you want to make sure these pages are as good as possible for SEO as well. You might think this is obvious. That’s why, in this post, we’ll show you a few less obvious — at least for most website owners — elements of product page SEO, and tell you why it’s so important to take these things into account.
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1. The basics of product page SEO
First things first: A product page on an online store is a page as well. This means that all the SEO things that matter for your content pages, matter for your product pages as well. There’s a lot more to product page SEO, but for now, this will be your basic optimization. Tip: If you offer not-so-exciting products on your site, you may also want to read our post on SEO for boring products. But first:
- Add a great title, focusing on the product name — including a manufacturer name, if applicable. If your product is, for instance, a small part of a larger machine (screw, tube), include the SKU as well. People might search for that specifically.
- Add a proper, unique description of the product. Most of the time, this isn’t the description the product’s manufacturer used. That description might be found on hundreds of websites, which means it’ll be duplicate content and a sign of low quality for your website (to Google). You want to prevent duplicate content at all times. Because if all your content (content pages, category pages, blog) is unique, but the content used on thousands of product pages isn’t, the majority of your website’s content won’t be up to par. Think about that and don’t take it lightly as Google’s collection of black and white animals is waiting for you. So make time to create unique content. The Yoast WooCommerce SEO plugin comes with a product-specific content and SEO analysis that helps you produce great product descriptions.
- Add an inviting meta description. Usually, a product page contains a lot of general information as well, varying from dimensions to terms of service. To avoid Google using that unrelated text in a meta description, you want to add a meta description to your product pages, even more than to content pages. We often see that meta descriptions are added in some kind of templated way, where just the product name is changed per product. That’s okay to start with, but ideally, all your meta descriptions should be unique.
- Pick a great, easy-to-remember URL for your product pages. We recommend using the product name in the URL, but make sure that the URL is still readable for site visitors. Keep it short and simple.
- Add high-quality, well-optimized images with proper ALT text. Include the product name in at least the main product image. This will help you do better in visual search. Also, don’t forget video — if applicable.
- Add all the things mentioned in our Product Page UX post. UX is an important part of holistic SEO.
2. Add structured data for your products and get rich results
Structured data is an essential part of a modern SEO strategy. You can’t do without structured data for your product pages anymore. There is a specific
Product schema that helps you get highlighted search results, so-called rich results. In addition, you’d better mark up customers’ reviews with
Review structured data. All of this will make your product page stand out and increase the chance that a potential customer clicks on your link in the search results.
The importance of this for your product page SEO is that the major search engines came up with this markup, not the W3C consortium. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex agreed upon this markup, so they could identify product pages and all the product elements and characteristics more easily. Why? So they could a) understand these pages a lot better and b) show you rich snippets like this:
Product schema tells the search engine more about the product. It could include characteristics like product description, manufacturer, brand, name, dimensions, and color, but also the SKU we mentioned earlier. The
Offer schema includes more information on price and availability, like currency and stock. It can even include something called
priceValidUntil to let search engines know that the price offer is for a limited time only.
Many options to add structured data for product page SEO
Schema.org has a lot of options, but only a limited set of properties are supported by search engines. For instance, look at Google’s page on product page structured data to see what search engines expect in your code and what they can do with it.
This is why you want to add Schema.org data for product page SEO: It’s easier to recognize for Google, and it makes sure to include important extras in Google already. If you have a WooCommerce shop, our WooCommerce SEO plugin takes care of a lot of this stuff behind the scenes.
Another reason to add it is to manage expectations from customers. Your visitors will know your price up front and that the product is still in stock. Your potential clients can even see how well-regarded your product or service is by looking at those beautiful stars in the search results. How’s that for user experience! Which brings us to number three.
3. Add real reviews
If you are a local company, online reviews are even more important. Most reviews tend to be extremely positive, but it might just be the negative reviews that give a better sense of what is going on with a company or product. In addition, getting awesome testimonials is another way of showing your business means business.
Try to get your customers to leave reviews, and show the reviews on your product page. Do you get a negative review? Contact the writer, find out what’s wrong and try to mitigate the situation. Maybe they can turn their negative review into a positive one. Plus: You’ve gained new insights into your work.
If you’re not sure how to get those ratings and reviews, check out our blog post: how to get ratings and reviews for your business. And don’t forget to mark up your reviews and ratings with
Rating schema so search engines can pick them up and show rich results on the search results pages.
4. Make your product page lightning fast
People don’t like to wait. Especially in today’s mobile-focused world, every second counts. Even more so if you spend a lot of time and energy trying to get that potential customer to your product page in the first place. People expect a fast page, and Google does too. Of course, there’s a lot you can do to improve your site speed. To get you started, here’s a post about how to improve your Core Web Vital scores.
5. User test your product page
Looking at numbers in Google Analytics, Search Console or other analytical tools can give you a lot of insight into how people find and interact with your page. These insights can help you improve the performance of the page even more. But there’s another way of ensuring the page is as awesome as it can be: user testing.
There are loads of issues testers can find for you: From terrible use of images (including non-functioning galleries) to bad handling of out-of-stock products. It also seems that many sites fail to provide accurate shipping information and return information, which leads to trust issues.
Now, you might be thinking: Surely, my website doesn’t have those issues! But you’d be surprised. In their 2021 Product Page UX research project, the Baymard Institute found that “the average site has 24 structural UX issues on its product pages, and only 18% of the 60 top-grossing US and European e-commerce sites have a “good” or “acceptable” product page UX performance. The vast majority of benchmarked sites — 82% — have a “poor” or “mediocre” performance. And no sites have a “state of the art” product page UX performance.” You can read this fascinating study on their Product Page UX site.
While you compare your product pages to external user research, don’t forget to do your own user testing! Doing proper research will give you eye-opening results that you probably wouldn’t have found yourself.
Bonus: Build trust and show people you are for real
Getting a stranger to buy something on your site involves a lot of trust. Someone needs to know you are for real before handing you their hard-earned money, right? Google puts a lot of emphasis on the element of trust — It’s all over their famous Search Quality Raters Guidelines. The search engine tries to evaluate trust and expertise by looking at online reviews, the accolade a site or its authors receive, and much more.
This is why it’s so important that your About us and Customer service pages are in order. Make sure people can easily find your contact information, information about returns and shipping, payment, privacy, et cetera. This will build that trust for your customers. So, don’t forget!
Conclusion: Be serious about your product page SEO
If you’re serious about optimizing your product page, you shouldn’t focus on regular SEO and user experience alone. You’ll have to dig a little deeper into other aspects of the product page in your online store. For instance, you could add the
Offer Schema, so Google can easily index all the details about your product and show these as rich results in the search results. In addition, you should make your product pages super fast, add user reviews and try to enhance your website’s trustworthiness. And don’t forget to test everything you do!
Need a helping hand? Be sure to check out our ecommerce SEO training course. Learn what ecommerce SEO entails, how to optimize your site and boost your online presence. Want to get your products ranking in the shopping search results? We’ll tell you how. Start your free trial lesson today! Full access to Yoast SEO academy is included in Yoast SEO Premium.
Webinar: Get prepared for Black Friday!
Especially during the holiday season, you want people to land on your website and easily buy your products! Did you know that you can start preparing as early as 45 days in advance? That’s right! The better you plan, the better your website will perform, and the more money you’ll make.
We want to help everyone who owns an online shop and share important things you can do to prepare for the year’s biggest sale events. That’s why we are organizing a webinar on October 4th: “Is your SEO ready for Black Friday?”. Register now!
Check out our overview of product page must-haves
To help you stay on top of your product pages, we created a PDF that you can use to optimize your product pages whenever you have time. Most of what’s discussed in this blog post can be found in the PDF, plus more tips! Just click on the image to go to the PDF and download it.