Why It’s Worth Investing in Optimized Product Content
Ever thought about custom search engine optimized product content? Or are you among those who simply copy the manufacturer's photos and information? This is common practice because it’s simple and quick. So why is this problematic? Because you are actually throwing away ranking and conversion potential. In the following article, we will explain why optimized product content is a worthwhile investment.
Optimized Product Content and Google Rankings
If you want to sell products online, they must be easy to find. This means that your own store site must be as high as possible in Google rankings and other search engines. Facts are facts: Users hardly ever look at page two, and non-optimized content on your product detail pages can have a negative effect on your rankings. There are two reasons for this:
1. If Shop A simply uses the manufacturer's content and images on its product detail page and Shop B does the same, Google will find it hard to differentiate between this almost identical content. In the worst case scenario, Google will assume Shop A has duplicated the content. Result: a poor ranking.
2. Non-optimized product content is very short, with many providing only generic information. The problem is that short content rarely provides relevant and detailed information – which is the content Google ranks as the most important. Therefore, optimized product content should be longer and include thematically appropriate synonyms related to the main keyword, thereby demonstrating so-called “keyword relevancy.”
Optimized Product Content and Purchase Completion
Search engine rankings are not the only reason it's worth optimizing product content because that can also result in abandoned purchases. In most cases, the final purchase decision happens directly on the product page, and if site users end up there with insufficient information, that's an issue. When visiting a store, the seller can answer your questions about the features and benefits of the product. In the online shop, your copy performs the same function, so it’s important for content to provide the same critical support to users during the decision making process.
What is optimized content and how do I create it?
Your optimized content ensures that your product pages can be found on Google and that it helps the user decide to make a purchase. So it must achieve two things:
1. You need to create content that Google considers relevant, containing appropriate keywords relating to the products you want to be found.
2. You need to persuade the user to purchase by attending to any lack of informative content.
For an online store with hundreds or even thousands of products, creating optimized copy is always a major task. In these circumstances, it makes sense to begin with the main products, the best sellers and those products with a high profit margin.
Optimize content in two areas: Firs, the meta data – the title tag and meta description – as it’s relevant to Google's ranking process. Secondly, the actual text on the product page, which is important for both users and search engines. Depending on your number of products and options, you could initially focus on just optimizing the meta data – or you could concentrate on the product copy and create semi-automated meta data.
What are the most important things to consider when optimizing meta data?
Keywords are especially important. Furthermore, understand the character or pixel boundaries available for the title tag and description. Offering an appealing snippet (or an entire page preview at Google) will help to persuade users to click on your entry in the search results.
Here's what we recommend for optimizing meta-data:
- Include the keyword you anticipate will be searched for in the title tag and in the description.
- Do not exceed the maximum limit of 155 characters in the description or you may lose important information.
- In the description, explain product benefits for the user to pique interest.
- Motivate users to click on the search result with a call-to-action.
How do I optimize product copy?
1. Create relevant content for Google that matches the searched-for information you anticipate.
- You can achieve this by:
– Optimizing the main keyword on your page
– Using synonyms relating to the main keyword
– Placing thematically related terms in the copy
2. Reduce the user's uncertainty about the purchase decision.
- You can achieve this by:
– Describing the user benefits
– Demonstrating that the product will meet his or her needs
– Presenting and explaining the product characteristics clearly
3. Build user confidence to increase their purchase motivation.
- You can achieve this by:
– Showing that you are very familiar with the product
– Answering the user's potential questions
– Customizing service facilities: Place secure payment options and other trust elements prominently on each product page.
Conclusion: There is no standard procedure.
There is no formulaic way to optimize product content. Each online store is different, and every audience has different needs. How much it costs can be limited by setting priorities and, for example, focusing on the bestselling ranges. However it is achieved, optimization is always worthwhile! Not only does it improve page rankings, but it increases online sales by building trust among users and influencing purchase decisions by positively communicating user benefits.
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About the Author
Dr. Beatrice Isgró is a Content Strategy Consultant at Eology GmbH, where she heads the online editorial team. A graduate linguist, she discovered a passion for search engine friendly content at Eology in 2012. Her work focuses on the planning, designing and implementation of text projects as well as on the development of content strategies. She also delivers workshops on copywriting and content marketing.