You’ve always had a passion for fashion, and now you finally have your own ecommerce apparel store. But coming up with fun, functional and trendy designs is only half your battle. If you want people to find your clothing and want your ecommerce store to be in business for the long haul, then your best bet for ranking above competing stores online is search engine optimization (SEO).
As of now, Google takes into account more than 200 ranking factors—that’s a heckuva lot of factors to know and optimize for! Luckily for you, this post isn’t an in-depth look into each of those ranking factors, but I will review 5 of the more important SEO ecommerce tips for product pages that every apparel retailer needs to know.
1. Perform Buyer Centric Keyword Research
Keyword research is simply the act of better understanding what terminology consumers use when looking for the products you’re offering, and then using that knowledge so your website or product page shows up when someone types “taupe dress with sleeves” into Google’s search bar.
You have to consider what consumers are demanding and searching for when they type their clothing and accessory searches into a search engine, and then research online to find out what keywords are being used and what keywords you can easily rank for and how to use those to properly optimize your title tags, meta descriptions and heading tags on your product pages. Knowing what industry keywords and phrases are being highly searched allows you to target specific buyer centric keywords as well as focus your product page content on those phrases and answer the questions consumers are asking search engines every day.
So how do you begin performing keyword research?
The best starting point is getting a Google AdWords account and then using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, which lets you search for keywords and see how many searches per month each receives, what the competition is like for each keyword and any related search terms. Other keyword research tools you can use are Keyword.io or Ubersuggest. You can also hop onto Google yourself as a consumer and start typing in a search term you think one of your customers would use and then see what search terms auto populate in the search bar below as well as look at the related searches that appear on the bottom of the page.
Keyword research is a key part of creating a successful SEO strategy. It provides insights into your customers and potential customers, and using buyer centric keyword research will improve your SEO rankings and can even increase your revenue by up to 300%!
2. Re-write All Product Descriptions
Probably the biggest mistake most ecommerce sites make is using manufacturers’ product descriptions. Never copy and paste descriptions right from the manufacturers—this will get you banned from search engines because it’s copied word-for-word content already on another site. Google likes unique content; it doesn’t like duplicate content or content scraping. These actions get you quickly pushed down the search engine rankings.
Besides being penalized by Google, using manufacturer product descriptions is also a bad sales tactic. These descriptions are boring and are only meant to highlight the product’s features. Google likes unique product descriptions, and so do consumers. Write product descriptions that sell. The more unique, quality and descriptive your content is for your product descriptions, the better your SEO efforts will be and the better chance you have at showing consumers why they absolutely need to buy your product.
Product descriptions are your one-time sales pitch to entice shoppers to buy your product. They’re also a chance to differentiate your ecommerce apparel store from the hundreds already out there, also selling cool men’s jackets and cute fall booties or whatever you sell.
3. Go The Extra Mile With High Resolution Images & Videos
We’re visual people. And especially when shopping online and you can’t try a shirt or pair of shoes on, your site better have some high resolution images of your product to really show off how it looks. A detailed product description telling me this dress is the perfect addition to my winter wardrobe and can easily be paired with a pair of boots or pumps is great and needed, but if you don’t have any pictures or have one low-quality image of one of the offered colors, I can’t visualize myself rocking that dress on a girls night out so you’re not getting the sale.
And when you can add a short video, even if it’s simply a model trying on a shirt and turning around a couple of times to show off the different angles, do it. Pictures illustrate your product, but videos increase a consumer’s chances of buying your product by 64%.
Also keep in mind that people can see your images and videos, but the search engines can’t. So be sure to add a short, optimized description below the media.
Always include a few high resolution images and videos, keeping the page load times in mind, and don’t forget to tag them with relevant metadata so your product pages show up in image searches.
4. Don’t Forget About User Generated Content
To gain a loyal customer and a sale, the customer has to trust you. But before they trust you, they turn to their peers. Today, 92% of consumers read online reviews and 88% of consumers trust online reviews from complete strangers as much as they do a personal recommendation from a close friend.
User generated content in the form of product reviews is how to boost your approval of an online shopper—it’s also how to get on the good side of search engines. Looking at it from an SEO standpoint, product pages being continually refreshed with new, unique content, in this case customer reviews, rank higher because Google rewards this behavior.
And the two best parts? Getting reviews is free, and the ROI from having them includes converting 58% more site visitors and increasing your revenue per visit by 62%.
5. Make Sure You Include Schema Markup
OK, include schema markup…wait, what the heck is schema markup? It’s code or structured data you add to your website that helps search engines understand your site’s content and then give more informative results to consumers.
And why do you want it? Because it helps your ecommerce site rank better, makes listings richer and increases click-through rates.
Also noteworthy is that there are various types of schema markup types, i.e. organization, website, breadcrumbs, site navigation and video. For your ecommerce site, you’ll want to use the schema product and offer markups. Used together, these two will help your product information, as well as product prices and status information, appear on search engine results pages.
If you want consumers and search engines to reward you, then keep knowledgeable on ecommerce best practices with SEO for product pages and regularly check, improve and optimize your site to stay up-to-date on Google’s algorithm updates and provide a satisfying shopping experience for consumers.