Elite digital marketing
Author Victoria Affleck

Mar 04th 2019

Digital marketing executive. Creative wordsmith. Partial to a brew, or two.
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How to Write Great Product Descriptions for E-Commerce Sites

Reboot Line

If you want your online business to be successful, as with everything, preparation is key. By preparation, we mean search engine optimisation (otherwise known as SEO), which is vital to ensure visibility and the right traffic is coming to your website. To achieve this, you must tailor your content so that Google will help you rank on the SERP (search engine results page) and give your visitors what they want to see. But how can you do this? Continue reading to find out.

CONTENTS:

1. Use a mixture of short and long tail keywords

2. Take time on your meta titles

3. Do not duplicate content


1. Use a mixture of short and long tail keywords

When writing website copy for an e-commerce site, it is crucial to carry out clever keyword research – particularly when writing category descriptions.

As an e-commerce website, you are up against millions of other online stores and affiliate sites targeting the same keywords and hoping to rank in the number 1 spot, so it is vital to make yourself unique and stand out from the crowd.

Long tail keywords (containing three words or more) are proven to work for e-commerce websites. Let’s take Amazon as an example – the number one shopping site in the world – who makes a staggering 57% of sales from long-tail keyword searches. Although it may be incredibly difficult to outrank retailers like Amazon, using long tail keywords will mean you have got a good chance of ranking high on the SERP (depending on competition and search volume, of course) which can result in a 36.4% click-through rate (CTR) on Google if you reach the first page.  

As a result, it is key to ensure you are ranking on page one for the right keywords, to attract the right customers with relevant search intent. But instead of asking yourself “where do I want my product pages to rank?”, you should be asking yourself:

“How can I rank highly for relevant keywords when my competition is so high?”

Think about this carefully.

It is important to remember user intent when doing e-commerce keyword research; put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What kind of results would you want to see once you have typed the keyword into Google? Bear in mind that a product page shouldn’t really rank for informational keywords.

2. Take time on your meta titles

Interestingly, it’s all about including relevant buyer intent words on your website landing pages and product pages, to show Google what your website is selling. Adding basic buyer intent words into a page’s meta titles can go a long way when applied to thousands of product pages.

As a result, rather than the product title simply being “XYZ | Domain.com”, consider adding in words with transactional intent such as “buy”, “for sale”, “online” or “purchase”. Furthermore, it is also a good idea to add a location, which can be helpful for local SEO tactics. Therefore, adding the words “UK”, “London” or “Near Me”, for instance, can be particularly helpful.

For example: “Buy XYZ Online with UK Delivery | Domain.com”

- Don’t forget search intent

If a user types into Google “Product XYZ review” or “Best XYZ [year]”, they wouldn’t expect product pages to rank, as these words are often associated with commercial and transactional intent. Instead, the user would expect to see a number of blog posts (or landing pages) on the SERP, to help give them advice before they come to a decision about purchasing the product.

Consider answering these queries on the blog section of your website and use these posts as an opportunity to link to your own products. Not only are you creating potential for readers to convert to customers, but you are able to target the search engine results page using a variety of keyword types.

3. Do not duplicate content

Google's definition of duplicate content is as follows:

It is a common occurrence for websites to duplicate content from elsewhere on the internet, particularly e-commerce sites as they copy product information pages. Therefore, it is unsurprising that 25% to 30% of the web is duplicate content, according to Matt Cutts.

By pulling product or category descriptions from manufacturers’ specifications, you are running the risk of creating duplicate content. This is because almost every other e-commerce site in your niche will be doing the same thing. Indeed, it can be highly detrimental to your website’s visibility on Google, which is particularly harmful when you are relying on Google to bring in traffic to your site for business.

Contrary to popular belief, duplicate content does not cause web pages to be penalised, but it can have a detrimental effect on ranking, as Google is unsure which pages to prioritise. Instead, you must re-write the content to make it “unique” to your website, to show Google that you are giving them something different and offering something more to the customer, which in turn is likely to be rewarded with higher page ranking. 

It is worth noting that if the issue is within your own website, referred to as internal duplication, where multiple pages with duplicate content sit within your main site URL, you can give Google signals to indicate which URL is preferred to be ranked. This is known as “canonicalisation”.

- How can you check whether your content has duplication?

If you have a certain page that you would like to check, simply go to that page and copy a text snippet. Insert the exact snippet in Google using double quotation marks like this:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hsjaYj8MXaX5nzlxahVkX4M7qfy00HzNTZfx5W3BIHbZ6EukjdNcOw1oJxjopAs2V9h6faLxo4pOLdr2L-ZeSrCwfhAFrHzUjhc_mU1Ypmbrg4Rhmc-RgEs3QvWpeZ9jrndOQmxq

If several results appear in the SERP with the same terms bolded in the meta description, this means your content can be found at different URLs. In this instance, you must re-write the text to make it unique compared to other websites.


If you would like any help with writing your website category descriptions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our talented team of writers will be happy to assist you with e-commerce SEO.

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