By ITQ Digital
Product landing pages are arguably the most important aspect of an eCommerce site, as usually they’re where the customer decides whether or not to make a purchase.
And because they’re so important in a user’s buying journey, it’s even more crucial that you get them right. Knowing this, many eCommerce businesses opt to copy one of the market-leading names in online retail – Amazon.
But we’ll stop you right there as, on the whole, this isn’t necessarily the right answer.
We’ve seen many store owners make this mistake, missing out on the need for these essential pages to be both creative as well as uniquely functional. And we know what you’re thinking – Amazon pages are far from exciting, yet they’re successful. But we’d argue this is down to other reasons, not how they look and feel.
Because ultimately beating Amazon isn’t about doing what they do well – it’s doing what they do better, and in a way that’s right for your specific business, branding and customers.
That’s why, ahead of next week’s webinar on outranking Amazon, we’re taking stock of product pages, specifically what’s needed to encourage users to press that all-important “buy” button. Because while we know content is important in creating a great product page, what about design?
In today’s blog, we’ll take a closer look.
Why are optimised product pages important?
We’ll start by saying that, where eCommerce sites are concerned, just about everything needs to be optimised, both from a user and search engine point of view.
Gone are the days where business owners can slap together some information and an unintuitive buying journey with a good product and still expect to see sales and traffic. Competition in the eCommerce world is far too stiff for that to work anymore.
And what that boils down to is, if a product page isn’t simple to navigate, you’re essentially pushing your customers into the arms of your competitors whose product pages are easy to use.
With an optimised product page, you’re looking at higher conversion rates, because the number one goal of the page (and its information and layout) is to push people toward the “Add to Cart” button.
This also makes a big difference in terms of rankings. When talking to the folks at Blink, they often say that SEO can’t be isolated from other marketing channels. The difference between position #9 and position #1 for competitive terms is often based on user engagement. Usually, the best-ranking sites deliver the best content and experience for their visitors.
So, what contributes to an optimised product page? Let’s start by looking at it from a UX point of view.
UX-optimised pages have all friction points removed or addressed on them, so that there aren’t any barriers to the customer pressing the “Add to Cart” button.
We’ve found some of the top friction points include:
- Missing/hidden information on delivery costs and times
- Lack of clarity as to whether prices include/exclude VAT
- Lack of specific imagery for all product options (e.g. colour)
- Missing dimension data
We know what you’re thinking – obviously product pages need all this information. But you’d be surprised at the amount of sites that fall foul of resolving these and many other friction points.
Meanwhile for SEO, the most important starting point is user intent. Both search engines and users want a page that satisfies their specific query and does so succinctly, and that doesn’t require them to gloss through information they may not think is relevant.
This means it’s crucial that your page meets this demand effectively. Typically, intent is broken down into informational searches (think blog content, how-to guides and other long-form resources), commercial pages (non-eCommerce business sites), navigational (local businesses or contact pages) and transactional. It’s very much the latter we’re focusing on here.
One of the biggest mistakes in eCommerce SEO is mixing up informational and transactional searches. Let’s take Kuru Footwear as an example.
Kuru is a US-based DTC brand that sells shoes that relieve foot pain, in particular plantar fasciitis. They’re a great business and have a strong presence online, particularly in organic search.
So, let’s take one of their biggest keywords – “shoes for plantar fasciitis”. Here are the results for the top five positions in Google (US).
As you can see, these are all informational searches – longer-form content, rather than a direct eCommerce search.
However, if we amend the phrase to include “men’s” or “women’s”, we can see that the intent—according to Google—changes from informational to transactional. Below is a sample of these phrases where Kuru is ranking first with their product page.
Overall though, intent is really about solving a user’s problems. This should be the guiding hand when optimising a product page – does it answer any questions they may have? Does it show them that they can trust your business?
Blink are firm believers in focusing on a great product description rather than being driven too tightly by on-page SEO. This is something they’ll cover in more detail in our upcoming webinar.
Top components of a great product page
For both UX and SEO, there’s a lot that goes into creating a great product page. Each component needs to work together to make a cohesive layout that’s both unique to your site and brand, and recognisable to the user.
While how this works and what this includes will depend heavily on your specific business, for users in particular there are five standards to every good product page.
- Images – Imagery on a product page should be clear, bright and large. Ideally it should be of the product and the product alone. There can also be some alternative images that show the product in situ, like the one above for luxury homeware brand Cologne & Cotton. We can’t stress the importance of product imagery enough – if you get everything else about your site right, but your product imagery is poor, your conversion rate will still be suboptimal.
- Product price – The positioning and size of your product price is critical. The price is best in a larger font compared to the rest of the product description.
- Sense of urgency – If you can, create a sense of urgency that’ll push customers to purchase your product. This can be achieved by signposting stock quantities or special offers/delivery rates that’ll be ending soon.
- Product description – The product descriptions should be succinct, and should align with the tone and style best suited to your target customer. Do not use the manufacturer/supplier’s product description. This has negative implications for both your brand and SEO rankings, as Google doesn’t take kindly to duplicate content. Tabs also work well to keep pages looking tidy while allowing for more helpful information to be included on the page.
- Reviews – Adding reviews or trust guarantees to product pages is more or less imperative in today’s eCommerce world as they provide helpful social proof for potential buyers. You’ll ideally want product reviews on each product page and customer service reviews in the header/footer of your site.
Videos are also incredibly effective when placed on product pages, as research shows that customers are more likely to buy something when they’ve seen a short, well-presented video on the product’s page. These can be difficult to come by, but pay off when done well.
And then, of course, there’s the call to action.
On a product page, this will typically be the “Add to Cart” button, or something similar. In its most basic sense, the call to action should be big and clear (within reason, of course), and ideally fit in with the rest of the website’s branding.
Its colour should match well with the rest of the website’s style (although we’d recommend avoiding the colour red for a CTA), while still standing out. The wording used on a call to action is important, too – you’ll want to think this through, as it’ll depend on what you’re selling and where you’re selling it. For instance, “Add to Cart” works well in the US, but not so much in the UK.
It’s like we said – product pages are incredibly nuanced, but with the right approach and insights, they can make all the difference both to a website’s sales and rankings.
We’ve only scratched the surface here in terms of what goes into a great product page and how it can make a huge difference in outranking Amazon. For more on how this fits into the wider picture of outranking market leaders, plus insider tips on making strong product pages and close looks at successful ones, tune in for our webinar in partnership with Blink SEO next week. You can register here.
About ITQ Digital
ITQ Digital is a UK-based eCommerce optimisation agency with a 20-year track record in helping businesses with online turnover of between £0.5 million and £20 million to grow online. ITQ Digital work especially well with owner-managed online businesses and those with growing pains and operational challenges.
Our partnership with Blink SEO brings together Blink’s outstanding skills in digital marketing, PR and SEO with our development skills in Magento, Shopify WooCommerce and AEROCommerce – the perfect combination to help businesses outrank Amazon.
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