If you don't look up to Glossier as an eCommerce store to emulate, you need to start.
The cosmetics and skincare brand is killing it! Their products are getting rave reviews, Into The Gloss–their online blog–is "the place" to go for all things beauty, and their year over year growth is reported at 600%! That's astounding–but it's easy to see why.
As a customer, I love their products; as a digital marketer, I appreciate their eCommerce store. And while the entire online experience is exceptional, one area in which they exceed is with their product page SEO. It is optimized!
So today, using Glossier as a guide, I'm going to go over eight different ways to optimize your product pages for SEO.
I often see URLs structured like this:
This is wrong. And confusing.
Why? Because it doesn't give your visitor any context as to what they're looking at, nor does it contain any relevant keywords. And if it doesn't contain relevant keywords, Google doesn't know what it's reading.
Often URLs like the example above are generated by the eCommerce platform you're using for your online store. While some platforms create URLs easier to read, they can still end up like this:
The issue with this URL is that the most important part of the URL, the keywords, are placed near the back. If you place keywords at the back, you're telling Google that, for example, "ladies and collections" are the most important part of the URL, instead of the actual product.
Glossier, on the other hand, gets it right: https://www.glossier.com/products/milky-jelly-cleanser
The beauty brand's URL is perfect.
Their keywords are placed near the front, and there are no confusing product ID numbers.
Using this hierarchy is also critical for when potential customers search for those keywords or something similar. If your product shows up in search results, Google will bold the keywords in the snippet to give searchers an idea of what the page contains.
How does this happen? With some eCommerce platforms, depending on how you organize your products into categories and collections, you might see multiple URLs being automatically generated based on the path a user takes.
For example, if your ‘Acne Skincare Cleanser’ is featured on the ‘Frontpage’ collection, while also under ‘Cleansers,’ your platform might generate three URLs pointing to the same product –
Three different URLs, all pointing to the same product–see the problem. To customers there’s no difference, but to Google, it’s like having three different pages with the same content. To solve this, you’ll need to use the rel=canonical tag to tell Google that it’s not duplicate content.
Breadcrumbs are the navigational links you see near the top of a page. Here’s what a typical breadcrumb looks like. I've pulled the example from Glossier because of course, they nail it.
There are a few reasons why you should implement them:
- They build internal links to other pages on your site
- They help define your link architecture
While they're essential for eCommerce stores with lots of categories, even if you have just a few products, your online customers will appreciate knowing where they are in your shop.
Title tags appear on search engine results pages as the clickable headline for a given result. They're essential for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and succinct description of a page's content.
Like URLs, you want your main keywords to appear at the start of the tag. The optimal title tag formula is Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
The secondary keyword(s) and brand name, if applicable, are what make each product page title tag unique. It solves the problem of having multiple products of the same type, like face wash.
Adding words like ‘acne’ or ‘sensitive’ to each product title tag also takes into account other words that customers might be searching for.
Glossier has their title tag set up the right way. It's descriptive and optimized for search engines.
Product descriptions are meant to sell the product. Period. Of course, you need to spell out the technical stuff, but this comes after. And please, don't use the manufacturers product description.
Think about it. If you're selling the same product as a competitor, you'll be given negative points by search engines. Since Google released their Panda algorithm, they've been penalizing websites for duplicate content.
Glossier on the other hand, writes perfect product descriptions–just look at their Milky Jelly Cleanser. The summary tells the potential customer why they will love the face wash, as well as when and how to use it.
A rule to remember when it comes to any SEO, not just product page SEO, is that search engines love unique content.
According to eMarketer, almost 70% of people look to online reviews before making a purchase. And while online shoppers love and look for product reviews, search engines do too.
Because reviews consistantly provide your product page with fresh, unique, and quality content, Google will rank you higher. And the best part is that reviews are free user-generated content, making it a scalable and cost-effective way of adding new content to all your product pages.
Product reviews can also help optimize your product page for long tail keywords that you may have missed, as well as add micro-data.This micro-data shows up as a line of text under each search result and gives your content a bit more context.
In this Milky Jelly Cleanser example, you can see how the micro-data manifests as a star rating and shows there's 517 reviews. The information helps customers decide if they should click on the result or go to the next one.
You’re probably already aware that product images help improve conversion rates, but did you know that you can also optimize them for search engines?
Start by giving your image files descriptive names and Alt tags that incorporate your keywords. For example, MilkyJellyCleanser.png is a more descriptive file name than product1234.png.
The alt text is the alternative text that browsers use if they can’t render the image. Again, a keyword-rich description helps both search engines and humans understand what the image is.
And finally, make sure your image file sizes aren’t so large that they take a long time to load. A massive image will slow down your page speed, causing potential customers to bounce and search engines to lower your ranking.
Product videos aren’t just great for conversion rates; they also allow you to differentiate your business in search results. If you're not aware, Google owns Youtube, so putting it to work on your product page is a good idea.
When uploading product videos to Youtube, ensure you optimize the titles, tags, and descriptions with your targeted keywords. Doing this makes your product searchable on Youtube, and the video might even show up in a Google search.
After the video is up on Youtube, make sure you embed it on your site and allow others to embed it too. The more interested viewers embed your video, the higher your ranking will be in Google.
Start Optimizing your Product Pages
Optimizing your product page SEO like Glossier isn't hard. While they are undoubtedly the queens of eCommerce, they aren't doing anything remarkable when it comes to SEO, so there is no need to feel too intimidated. Everything they've optimized on their product page, you can optimize too.
Need more information about product page SEO? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer asap.
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