Ecommerce SEO: Core Content
Content is integral not only to the organic performance of a page and site, but to your consumer’s purchase journey. While the product and category pages are core content for any ecommerce site, there are many more opportunities to build out useful content.
Over the next couple years, we will see an integrated content experience where there will be fewer central content centers on sites in favor of content access points across the majority of pages. This means that content will be accessible from different page types such as category, product detail, and review pages.
For example, on Tire Rack’s winter and snow tires category page, you can find links to content right next to links sending users to shopping. While their content has a dedicated “home”, they’ve created multiple points of entry to the content from relevant pages.
Soon we will see that most of the content on a page is tailored based on a user’s experience. In the example above, if the user had looked at all season tires and winter tires, we should be showing content that compares the two categories rather than showing generic content on winter tires.
As such, it is important not to simply think of content as an article. Content can take on several additional forms including video, interactive content pieces, or even infographics (provided they’re actually useful). Providing multiple forms of content will help connect and engage with a wider array of users who prefer to consumer different content formats.
On your product pages, you need to integrate content in different ways in order to bring in traffic and then convert it. The sections below focus on different types of content that can be integrated across page types.
Product Descriptions & Specifications
Generally, you want to be as detailed as possible in your product details. This helps create topical relevance for search engines and equips users with the information needed to purchase the product. Typically, you should have a minimum of 200 words of content for the product descriptions.
Adding User Generated Content
You can also improve conversion and improve your organic performance by incorporating user generated content (UGC) onto your product pages. The added benefit of adding UGC to your site is that it helps fend off duplicate content problems (more on this below). There are two common ways to integrate UGC into your product pages: Reviews and Q&A.
When you add reviews to your site, you should never take reviews from other sites – this defeats the purpose of adding UGC to your product pages for SEO benefit. After a customer has purchased a product and had the opportunity to use it (typically a month or so after purchasing the product), follow up with them and ask them to leave a review.
If you add the opportunity for your users to ask questions about the product, email customers who have purchased the product asking them to answer the questions as they come in. Adding the ability for users to ask questions about the product creates very unique and compelling UGC that helps give people the confidence needed to purchase.
As mentioned earlier, we’re going to see the integration of content across a site rather than being concentrated in one place – this includes product pages.
On product pages you should incorporate related content to help consumers learn more about purchasing this type of product and to visualize themselves using the product.
Evo does a great job with this; they incorporate their buying guides into their product pages to help their customers make the right choice.
To help people make the purchase decision, you can feature content such as relevant buying guides. Note you should feature these content pieces, not copy and paste them onto the page. For example, on a miter saw product page, it would be useful to users to provide a general guide on buying a miter saw. You could also include an article on 10 inch miter saws vs 12 inch miter saws to help the customer decide which one better suites their needs. A review of the particular miter saw and reviews of similar miter saws would also be beneficial.
In addition to this purchase oriented content, you could also include how to’s and tutorials to make the user feel confident that purchasing the product will enable them to accomplish a task. While it is going to be difficult to feature every use case for a product, covering some of the most popular use cases would help improve the confidence in purchasing the product. Similarly, it will help visual consumers see themselves using the product.
Category pages end up being a significant source of duplicate and thin content as they typically have no real unique content.
From an SEO perspective, we want to integrate optimized content (content, <title>, H1) on category pages to help reinforce topical relevance and to stand apart from the competition. Again, it is a good idea to incorporate at least 200 words of optimized copy in order to help search engines understand what a page is about. If you’re able to incorporate more text this would be beneficial as it seems Google favors content heavy pages.
This is no small feat for many ecommerce sites. It’s best to start with the top category pages (by organic performance, revenue potential, and margin) if you’re unable to revamp all category pages.
In addition to the SEO opportunities, investing in category pages is a good opportunity to stand apart from competitors. As with the product pages, the category pages present an opportunity to create a rich experience where you can integrate content alongside products – This not only presents products to users but also serves to educate users to help them purchase the right product.
As with the product pages, we recommend incorporating everything from buying guides to how to’s.
Ecommerce Content Inspiration
Backcountry has done a great job of this. Their top level category pages (ex: snowboard page) integrates local guides, Q&A, video content on how to buy gear, and snowboard related blog posts. On some of their more specific category pages they have integrated relevant videos (ex: men’s down jackets page) or short content sections (ex: mountain bike helmets page).
While Sierra Designs should make a better attempt to put content on their sleeping bags page, they quickly display relevant products to users.
On the other hand, 5.11 Tactical incorporates SEO focused content to the bottom of the page (check out their backpacks page), but they could work to add content to engage and educate users.
- Write detailed and useful product descriptions
- Add user generated content to product pages
- Add relevant content and links to relevant content on product pages
- Add relevant content and links to relevant content on category pages
- Add 200+ words of optimized content to category pages