Retail Page Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about increasing your natural search placement.  The higher a web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that a user will visit a site.  Many people think that SEO is strictly related to how well your website ranks in the search engines.  But the same principals apply to how well your items rank within a website.  Each retail dot com site uses a “site search” function and each retail website is searched by Google.  The same SEO principals that apply to your brand site web pages apply to the retailer’s product detail pages.

Anytime you do a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, or any website the results you see are based on a complex algorithm designed to provide you with the most relevant results based on your query.  Natural placement is a given – it’s just a matter of how high up in the rankings that you get; but your page will eventually get listed in the search engines, it’s not an option that you turn on or off.

Take Amazon.com – there are literally millions of product pages, how does your product page stand out from others in the search?  Over the last several posts we’ve written about descriptions, titles, A+ pages, images, videos, and widgets.  Even without all of these additional content opportunities,  your retail page is going to be crawled by the search engine spiders and receive a rank.

Over time a good retail site will override the basic SEO principals and focus on things like:

  • The number of times your item page is looked at (Glance Views)
  • Sales history
  • Ratings
  • Like ratings
  • etc

But when you first post and for a period of time the question is, how do you increase your rank?

Ensure useful, information-rich descriptions

The key here is to provide high-quality content for your pages. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, the content will attract consumers. In creating a helpful, information-rich description, think about the words users would type to find your product, and make sure that you actually include those words within the copy.

Really think about your keywords

These are the programming keys that search engines use to decide if a page is important to index.  Most people think of keywords as individual words.  While these are important it is also important to think about the phrases that consumers use to describe your products.  These phrases are referred to as “long tail keywords”.  For many pages more than half of the search traffic comes with long tail keywords instead of from shorter one word phrases.

Keywords need to include all the relevant product terms.  Things like SKU #, features, etc.  And most importantly the keywords need to be written, as the user would type them.  That means including common spelling errors and plurals if relevant.

So, how do you find the right keywords?  One tool we use to come up with keywords is the Google Keyword Tool.  This free application allows you to type in one keyword and receive hundreds of similar keywords or phrases that a user might type to find your products.  In the example below I searched for shoes and received over 800 ideas for similar search terms.  You can even sort the results to see which keywords have the highest amount of monthly searches.

Another way to find good keywords and content is by “spying” on your competitors.  Spyfu.com is a free tool that will give you traffic information, keyword terms, and other important information about your competitors.  Simply find a popular item detail page and use Spyfu.com to see what keys are driving the traffic to that page.

So, as we said on the first post in this series of articles, “Content is King”.  Think about the words users would type to find your products, leverage tools to figure out the best content, and be sure to use every character allowed in Descriptions, Bullets, Titles, and the Hidden Keywords sections of setup sheets offered by the retailers.

We welcome your input and look forward to the conversation; click here to leave a comment. For an overview of the purpose of this blog take a look at the initial post here.

This article was written by:
Anthony Vitro, Sage Tree Sr Account Executive

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