Today, I’m going to share five eCommerce on-page optimization tips. But first, let’s talk about why they matter, because it’s important that you understand what you’re up against. Some of these tips ask for a lot!
By 2020, there was approximately 24 million eCommerce sites in the world, according to digitalcommerce360, with more being added daily. Of course, not all 24 million are in your niche, selling your particular products, but you should get the idea that standing out from the crowd is of utmost importance.
So, the question is, dear reader, what are you doing to stand out?
Sure, you can do coupons and make sure they end up on all the coupon sites. Or you could do one of those flashy, almost-always-false “Jill from Chicago just bought these jeans” banners at the bottom of your site. Maybe your “Buy Now” button can blink people and say, “Get this look!”
…or maybe not.
Instead of quick gimmicks that may or may not work, consider the eCommerce on-page optimization tips below that really can make a difference.
5 eCommerce On-Page Optimization Tips That Really Work
Of course, plenty of people and companies promise to make sure you “stand out from the crowd”. -And sometimes they may have you wondering, “What did you do that was different?”. I’m going to share the big secret, and I want you to really pay attention, because you’ve probably already heard – and dismissed – what I’m about to say.
The big secret… is your content. Your content – from your images to your descriptions and how you display them can make all the difference in how your product pages convert.
Hear me out, try these 5 tips below on a few product pages, and see if it doesn’t make a difference to your bottom line.
1. Protect your images.
“But Lacy,” I can hear you saying, “what if I want my products to be shared on Pinterest or Instagram?” That’s fine. Calm down; we love social media. But brand them. When you put up a product picture, check off the following:
- Does it have a proper file name? The filename, for the less technical, is what you see on your computer. You want it to say something like: productname-productcode-brand.jpg. For example, Amazon has the ASIN, or Amazon Standard Identification Number, that it uses in conjunction with its product catalog.
- Does it have an alternative text? When you upload it to your website and product page, your alt text should follow the same naming conventions as your file name: Product Name, Product Code: Brand
- Does it have your logo on it? Unless there are issues with the product brand guidelines (for example, you’re drop shipping and the manufacturer guidelines doesn’t allow it), you should never have a product image without your watermark or logo.
2. Map keywords to each page.
Yes, this may mean thousands of pages. No, that doesn’t change the recommendation. Remember, these are eCommerce on-page optimization tips – and on-page means the actual page. Not just the site as a whole, but individual pages.
Start with the most prominent pages – the ones that sell the most. Are there terms that you could rank for better than what you’re currently ranking for? The likelihood is high. Many people make the mistake of going for the gold – the huge money makers.
For instance, trying to rank for “women’s shoes”. In my search, there are over 4.4 billion results for women’s shoes. If you have a category page that specifically targets this term, you’re probably not ranking for it – or at least, not anywhere in the top ten. Who is? The big department stores that have been around since the Mayflower came to America… and Amazon.
So how do you get around this powerhouse of success?
With the long-tail keyword. You have a product page selling a pair of women’s shoes, but that shouldn’t be your keyword. Think of the descriptors. What kind of shoe is it? What color is? Is it a women’s white 2” wedge, size 6 – 10? Is it a comfortable walking shoe in multiple colors for athletic women?
I think you get the point. From category pages to specific product pages, make sure you know what the target keyword is for that page, and then use it.
3. Description, description, description.
How many times have you come across a product with a very mundane description? Amazon is pretty famous for some of their more… non-descript… descriptions.
Imagine you had some golf clubs, and your visitor has only your written description to understand the product, what it’s for, and what it looks like. Would “golf clubs” do the trick? It’d be great if it would, but that’s a hard fail.
In fact, there are five types of golf clubs, and you can bet even the average golfer would want to know if they’re buying a putter or an iron. They’d want to know if it’s a 3- or 5-iron. Is it a muscleback, blade or cavity-style iron? What does it feel like to use? For those who are new to golfing, what would you tell them it was used for?
Remember that each page on an eCommerce site is a stand-alone landing page. You want visitors to see your search engine snippet, click the link, see the product, and buy it right there. No more pages to go to in order to buy, other than the checkout page, perhaps.
Your description can make – or break – a sale.
Don’t miss out on important information! Learn more about writing a description, as well as other helpful product page optimization tips.
4. Craft the search snippet.
You have your keywords, and you have your page, but you may need to do a little work to get people to click on the search snippet.
There’s a reason I used the word “craft”, and that’s because you really need to take your time. Figure out what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it in as few words as possible. Depending on the product type, the title might be easy. The women’s shoe example above is perfect. “Women’s White 2” Wedge” is only 22 characters, which leaves you with a whole 37 more characters you can utilize for your brand name.
The description is a bit harder, but the key is to balance marketing and search. You don’t want to keyword stuff, and you don’t want it to all be sales with no key term. Plus, remember that – if you’re not a well-known brand – the search snippet could very well be a person’s first impression of your company and offerings. That’s a lot of weight on 159 characters.
We’ve written a lot about this topic, but my all-time favorite article (written in 2010) is still accurate and helpful. If you’re have problems with these essential search pieces, learn more about how to write great meta descriptions and titles.
5. Ensure mobile friendliness.
While there are plenty of other tips for optimizing your eCommerce pages, making sure they’re optimized for mobile is extremely important. Case in point: we had a client who got some mobile traffic, but never got any sales. Desktop traffic was highest, but mobile was at least 20%; that’s a significant amount for not a single sale.
Diving into the mobile site, we found a few serious issues that made mobile purchases impossible. We fixed the issues and then sat back to see what would happen. Amazingly, our client’s mobile traffic began to pick up, but their sales did also. A year later and mobile is their number one converting platform.
Now, maybe your website won’t get as high a conversion rate on mobile as our client. However, there are many digital touchpoints and channels for the modern visitor, and more than half of online visits start on mobile. By the end of this year, mobile eCommerce sales are projected to be 45% of total eCommerce sales, according to Business Insider. Make sure your website is ready, with as tight a mobile presence as possible.
Final Thoughts on eCommerce Optimization
If you’re not getting the conversions you think you should be getting out of your site, the five eCommerce on-page optimization tips above have the potential of giving you a big shift in traffic and sales. The important part is not to skimp or cut corners. A truly optimized – and optimal – site, is one that is treated with TLC. You know, like it really is your livelihood. Also, take a few more moments to read more about shopping online and conversions. Another oldie, but still relevant, and still helpful.
If you don’t know where to start in your eCommerce optimization, go to the experts. Level343 LLC has been in the business of moving clients up in online ranking and conversions for as long as there has been an Internet to rank and convert on. Contact us to get started with an audit and find out what’s stopping your site – and business- from positive growth.