Black Friday falls on the 27th of November this year, with the vast majority of money set to be spent online due to the Coronavirus it’s important to ensure your product pages are optimised for search.
I’ve listed the things you’ll need to be thinking of when optimising your product pages in the run up to this crucial ecommerce period.
People tend to overlook the power of good copy when it comes to conversions.
But it’s important to remember that the text displayed on your page, as well as the photography and other media you use, play an important role in the user journey and as such on your conversion rates.
To create copy that tells a compelling story, do some research on your target audience for the product whilst thinking “what do they want to know?”.
If your product is technical with lots of numbers and figures, make sure to display that clearly, or if your product is more visual and creative, then be very descriptive with your language.
You can use the product content to target the long tail phrases. Start with your main keyword and think what else a user would search for when they were looking for something a bit more specific. Use Google Keyword Planner to find phrases related to your product that have search volume around them and utilise this in your content, it will give your products a better chance of ranking for a wider variety of search terms.
Having optimised meta data along with high quality content is key for e-commerce product pages, as this is what your organic traffic reads at the top of the funnel.
Below are the two key elements you need to have in mind.
The primary keyword goes first in the title, in most cases this will be the product name so you are matching your users search intent. Alongside this you will need the brand name and a call to action or unique selling point if you can fit this in
As we are talking about Black Friday you could also add in specific CTA’s for the duration, “Save this Black Friday” or “Don’t miss our Cyber Monday deals!” could increase your click through rates. This will take some forward planning and is very dependent on how many categories or products you have on your website. If it’s not feasible to add to all of your categories you could look into adding it your most visible.
Make sure your titles aren’t duplicate, too short or too long! These will be truncated by Google and means you are missing out on your sales message being displayed in full.
Each page should contain a unique, descriptive and accurate meta description.
Don’t be afraid to use sales language! Things such as “Discover why”, “Save by” and “Order today” are all great tools to increase click through rates and conversions.
Meta descriptions are written for human beings so think about the user first. The description should be written as an introduction to the page as that is what the user is reading when looking at your result in the SERPs. Also make sure that your keyword for the product is in the description as this can be bolded in the SERPs when using that term.
Although both the meta title and description are truncated this is still a great example of effective use of language. Argos have added a CTA, keyword and brand name in the page title, as well as some enticing language in the description, “discover all the possibilities” is a very aspirational phrase which can cause a user to click through.
Return and refund policy
Make sure that your return and refund policy are displayed clearly. Users want to have the trust signal of a great return and refund policy, even though this may take up space on the page, it’s important in terms of driving conversions.
If you have any relevant videos you can add to the page, this can be huge for your product. There has been research that shows users who viewed video on a product page were 144% more likely to add to cart than others.
Creating videos that show your product in action and letting potential buyers see the benefits can bring a much higher conversion rate, a well executed video can also have huge recall value.
Calls to action
Your calls to action should be the most eye catching part of the page, these are the buttons that bring conversions. Your most prominent CTA should be the “Buy Now” button, you don’t want to have too many other CTA’s as this will water down the impact of your conversion button.
Test your call to actions by trying different colours, words and positioning. There is no set way this should be done for each industry, so make sure you are constantly monitoring conversion rates and seeing which versions are successful. This kind of optimisation is a great candidate for some A/B testing.
Product imagery is what a user uses as a visual point of reference when on the site, there are multiple things you need to take into consideration when optimising your product pages, for both the user and the search crawler.
High quality imagery:
Gives off a strong signal that the product is quality. The added benefit of having high resolution imagery means Google may rank you in the SERPS (providing you include relevant alt tags). If you are expecting people to buy your products make sure they can see all the details!
With high resolution imagery comes a bigger file size, ensure the images are compressed correctly and being served at the size relative to their width on the viewport.
Multiple angles are important, if I was buying a t-shirt and could only see the front, I would be left wondering what is on the back. Ensure that each angle of your product is covered, so you aren’t leaving the user without any questions.
Let a user zoom in on your products, with the high resolution imagery you are using this should be no problem. This lets a potential buyer have a detailed look at all elements of the product you are offering.
Having your images cropped in the right way is important for the visual impact of the page. If you have imagery on a carousel and your product imagery goes from left-aligned to right aligned to centre aligned this creates a messy visual and doesn’t look like you’ve put thought behind your product imagery. Each product image should have equal matching margins away from other elements of the page.
Descriptive file name:
This is more for the search engines, but make sure that your product imagery is called something relevant rather than the item code! The added bonus of this is you may appear in the SERPS for a search result. You can see this in action here, the second image result for this nerf machine gun brought to you by Amazon. This could be your opportunity to appear on page 1 in organic search just through the quality of your images.
If you have product reviews available make sure you display them in a prominent position, as this gives the user a valuable trust signal. Always display ALL reviews, be it good or bad, if there is an issue with the product a user would find it anyway and having all reviews displayed shows confidence in what you are selling.
More than 60% of online shoppers would prefer to buy from a site with product ratings and reviews, so making sure your product pages have them is a great idea.
With the information you have on a product page you can use schema to leverage this into rich snippets to make your result in the SERPs stand out.
Taking an awesome piece of Lego as an example, we can see how well ASDA have used the product schema to create a search result which is full of informational rich snippets that will increase CTR.
The 5 stars and number of reviews are created using the Aggregate Rating schema. If you have product level reviews available then get them marked up! There are some great guides here on how to get started.
Over Black Friday you can have your price showing directly in the SERPs, this is a strong call to action as a user can already see what prices you are offering.
This enables the user to see if you have the product in stock. This is a much better experience for the user, as clicking through at the top of the purchase funnel only to find there is no stock is very frustrating.
All of these things together creates an environment which will guarantee an increase click through rate, meaning more conversions!
The URL a product page uses should follow a very simple structure, here are a few of the main points to take into consideration when planning your product URLs.
Keep them simple – The URLs should be clean and contain the main product keyword, try to avoid adding complicated SKU’s and querystrings as this can harm conversions.
Products URL’s should not sit within a category, this is often asking for trouble, as products could appear across multiple categories which causes duplication issues.
A 1 second delay in page load can result in a 7% loss in conversions. With so much traffic around the Black Friday period, it’s key that your pages load fast. I’d recommend using the below tools as starting point for bringing your page speed up.
Google Page Speed – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Pingdom Speed Tester – https://tools.pingdom.com/
GTMetrix – https://gtmetrix.com/
Test a few of your product pages and look for any issues, I’d recommend looking at your most popular product pages in Page Speed Insights and reviewing field data. This is real time user data from your users so is a much stronger data set than lab data.
In this image you can see the difference between field data and lab data.
With the vast majority of ecommerce traffic coming from mobile make sure your auditing your pages from a mobile device. This allows you to get a better understanding of what you’re converting users and Google are seeing.
By doing this you can also spot any differences between the mobile and desktop and make sure both experiences are as close as possible.