10 Min Read
Opening the digital doors to your first eCommerce store is a moment that you will never forget. But that’s not to say that your audience won’t forget you. Through each stage of your businesses life cycle, it is critical that you are vigilant when writing content for eCommerce. Especially when you have your sights on a high-performing eCommerce SEO campaign to drive sales.
When considering eCommerce SEO content, you should always produce quality material that resonates with your audience. You may have heard that content is king, but it’s also shop clerk too. Quality content writing for eCommerce websites not only drives high-converting traffic to your website, it also is the difference between an abandoned cart or a completed purchase.
Rather than waiting for mega weekends such as Black Friday to stimulate sales, embrace our eCommerce content writing power guide below and be on your way to healthy growth all year round.
There is a fine line between writing eCommerce content for SEO and writing for your audience. While many believe you should write for SEO to acquire traffic first (and then modify gradually to improve your conversion rate) we believe you can do both at the same time. The internet is littered with thousands of websites that make critical eCommerce SEO mistakes. However, by following these 7 simple rules, you can be sure that your eCommerce website is not one of them.
eCommerce affords customers the luxury of not having to visit a physical store. However, for some industries, the lack of using your senses to make an informed purchasing decision can be a hindrance. Unfortunately, when selling online, you cannot offer the feel, smell or weight of a product through your website. Yet, you can satisfy most initial questions with full and rich product descriptions.
In fact, Wordstream has a list of awesome product descriptions that you can completely use to get your creative juices flowing.
Beyond accurate product specifications, your eCommerce product descriptions should be creative and suggestive. The idea here is to leave no mystery about who you are and what you are offering. This is also a great way to improve your SEO keyword density for increased opportunity to rank well on Google. Your product page layout should be structured to have 2 product descriptions:
By doing so, your product page will benefit both Google and the user. The short description will be used as hard-hitting, sales-driven content to drive conversions. Then, the long description at the bottom of the page can be used to add a few keywords here and there or even answer commonly asked questions to improve your organic visibility.
Commonly, eCommerce writers perform the cardinal SEO sin of using manufacturer descriptions for product content. While it makes sense to add content from your product manufacturers, this will cripple your rankability. Firstly, there will be hundreds of other websites with the exact same content. Secondly, manufacturer content is not written with SEO at the of mind and thirdly, well, it just sucks to read.
Duplicate content is useless for SEO. As such, you should use a duplicate content checker to ensure the content of your website is written as uniquely as possible. Be sure to check your product category pages and also check whether your product is not duplicated across too many categories. If all categories are indexed on Google with full description content or large excerpts displayed, this will cause duplicate content issues. Furthermore, with some eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, you may struggle to write lots of category content without pushing the products too far below the fold. If your theme displays category content at the very top of the page, you may want to speak to a Shopify SEO professional to find out how to navigate around the fight between SEO rankings and website conversions.
Remember, Google will likely only rank 1 page per keyword. Therefore, if many pages on your website are using the same keywords, you will naturally confuse Google as to which page it should rank. This is also know as keyword cannibalisation.
Speaking of keywords within eCommerce content descriptions, what keywords are you targeting, and how has that been working out? Many of our clients are surprised by what detailed keyword research uncovers for their eCommerce store. If you’re just starting a menswear shop, the likelihood of you ranking immediately for ‘meanswear’ or ‘mens polos’ is limited to none. Therefore, before you get to a stage where your website is powerful enough to rank for these terms, you might want to consider longer tail keywords such as ‘mens cotton white polo shirt’.
When selecting target keywords for your eCommerce store, always pay attention to market demand. You should hunt for SEO keywords that people are frequently tapping into the search engines when you write headlines, title pages, and product descriptions. After all, you don’t want to pursue keywords that no one is searching to find.
Once you have found highly searched keywords that indicate the searcher is ‘in-market’ for your products, tastefully add them into your product descriptions and product titles. You should never overstuff your page with too many keywords. This is a big no-no and a surefire way to cripple your user experience and rankability.
We also recommend adding keyword variations to your descriptions such as:
Not every online shopper has the same research behaviour. As you will see from the shortlist above, all 3 are slightly different search queries but are indicative that the searchers are looking for the same product. Therefore, by sprinkling a variety of keywords within your product descriptions, you are more likely to acquire traffic for a variety of related keywords.
A common misconception with content is that it is limited to text. Content encompasses anything that is digitally produced, making written content for eCommerce websites just the tip of the iceberg.
By adding images and videos to your product pages, you will be providing your users with an immersive experience. Images and videos will also bridge any gaps that you find within your long-form content strategy. Business owners can get a little bit shy when it comes to imagery and video, but there is so much content potential.
Perhaps your product is created in an edgy studio space, or your packaging has a creative flair. Any and all unique selling points should be captured and communicated through your content.
When adding images to your product pages, be sure to name the file as the exact product name and also add an ‘alt tag’ to the image. If you are using WordPress or WooCommerce, you can easily add ‘alt tags’ to your images en mass via the Media Library. Don’t forget to be very literal with your alt tags to ensure they are both relevant to the image and your target keyword. For example: “Sennheiser True Wireless Earbuds Grey”
If you are running out of ideas for your own content, a great way to increase word count and add high relevancy to your product pages is to showcase testimonials from your customers. Not only do customer testimonials help new customers make informed decisions, but testimonials also are superb at acquiring LSI keywords.
An LSI keyword stands for latent-semantic-indexing. In short, latent-semantic-indexing is Google’s way of better understanding your content through conceptually related terms. As explained above, not everybody searches on Google in the exact same manner. Whereas you will often use the same tone of voice and language throughout your descriptions, your customers may use synonyms and other tones of voice within positive reviews of your products. This means that your pages may start to rank for related keywords that you have not even thought about covering.
As Google continues to promote EAT (Expertise, Authority & Trust) as it’s primary ranking factors, positive reviews on your products will also ensure that your pages are seen as ‘trustworthy’ as voted by your customers.
While it would be lovely to think that visitors search for a product, land on your website and make a purchase, this is not the case. When shopping online, users typically spend more time researching about products than they do actually purchasing them. Therefore, by building a blog with tips, tricks and how-to guides about your products, you will not only be helping your visitors make informed decisions but will also rank much stronger online for keywords associated with your products.
You should explore content types such as:
A major component of excellent on-page SEO is to internally link to your own pages with supporting content on other pages. Therefore, should you write a guide on ‘top 5 Christmas gifts for dad’ you can provide short descriptions of each product and then link to those products on your website. By internally linking to products across your website, you are providing a great user experience and also assisting Google to understand the hierarchy of your website.
As a final note, great content gets shared. Should you proceed to write an absolute power guide or even product a video on a certain topic, the likelihood that this content will be shared is very high. In turn, you get free advertising as your website visitors become your Marketing Managers.
For those who do not know, speaking URLs are “SEO friendly URLs”. This means including product names and relevant information in your URL. It is very important to create such URLs for all of your product pages. They should be easy to read and as short as possible. A common SEO mistake with eCommerce URLs is to include numbers, SKUs and stop words such as ‘and’ within the URL. Anonymous IDs are NOT the way to go!
Some good examples of clean URLs include:
Another way to structure your product page URLs is to strip all categories out of the URL. Google loves short URLs and the hierarchy structure of old is not all too applicable today. If it makes sense to keep your category URLs then do so. However, if your product URLs already mention category names such as (/mens-white-polo-shirt) then there is no need to add (/mens/mens-white-polo-shirt) beforehand.
In summary, taking great care and spending time on your content is the only solution to success. While you have probably seen quick hacks and shortcuts online to acquire traffic, the fact is, there are no shortcuts. The very best websites on the internet take the time to understand their audience and write eCommerce content to that effect. Yes, use any tools available to speed up the process, but don’t just take a shortcut for time sake. Whether you are writing content for a BigCommerce SEO campaign or something more complex like Magento SEO, remember that this should take time. All good things in life come to those who work hard and wait.
If you are struggling to nail your on-page SEO, you should check out our super guide on the anatomy of on-page SEO best practice. By following these simple steps, you are almost guaranteed to see huge uplifts with organic visibility. Alternatively, you should also check out our infographic on the anatomy of high-converting landing pages. Once your website has mastered on-page SEO, your next step is to improve your conversion rate.
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