“I launched my swimwear ecommerce business and am wondering how I can improve the SEO for the product pages so that my site is more searchable on Google?”
This is a great question and perhaps one of the most common questions new ecommerce store owners ask about.
Because it’s one of the most common questions and because getting it right is important – especially when you are starting a new ecommerce site – there are hundreds of blog posts already highlighting these tips I’m about to show you.
So why write another post?
Because I’m going to show you specific examples that ecommerce site owners and marketers can use to improve how well your product pages rank.
Let’s get started…
To make it easier for customers to find you via search on Google, there are 3 points you will want to focus on. While fairly basic, these three points form an important foundation for your future search engine marketing efforts.
But just because they are basic, doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.
Prior to 2012, these three points alone could move an already well ranking site to the #1 spot on Google. Though not quite as powerful today, these three SEO steps still have the ability to move a product from the second or third page of the Google results to the first page – and that’s exciting to watch happen!
(Site note: If you are in a competitive niche, like tech gadgets or fashion, it’s going to take a bit more than these three steps to see a first page ranking.)
Before we dig in, I’ll be talking about “keywords” and “keyword phrases.” If you are not familiar with what these are, read this article.
The three points I’ll be covering are:
Part 1: Title Tags
Part 2: Meta Description
Part 3: URL / Webpage Address
Title Tags for Ecommerce Stores
A title tag is a brief description of about 70 characters in length that describe what a webpage is about. It is mostly used by the search engines, but visitors do see your title tag in the search results.
By default, ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce use the product name to automatically generate a title tag for you. If your product name is “Hot Pink Swimsuit,” then the title tag will be “Hot Pink Swimsuit.”
While having any title tag is preferred over not having one, using the automatically generated tag isn’t going to be good enough. To make it easier for visitors to find you, you’ll need to customize it a bit.
Thankfully, the above mentioned ecommerce apps allow you to customize the title tag on every webpage. (WooCommerce sites will need the wonderful, but free, Yoast SEO Plugin.)
3 Parts to an Excellent Title Tag
Remember when I said that title tags are mostly used by the search engines, but visitors do see the tags in the search results?
That’s important to remember.
While the “perfect” title tag doesn’t exist, there is a formula we can follow to help us create a tag that gets noticed by both search engines and potential customers.
The three parts to writing an effective title tag are:
Product name + Product descriptors/keywords + Business name
For this example, let’s say you are selling swimwear and your working a product called, “Wanderlust Earth Top.” If you let the website generate the title tag, you’d be left with the product name + the business name:
“Wanderlust Earth Top – Swimwear Company”
Of the five words in the title, only two give me an idea (albeit vague) of what I can expect to see if I click through to that page: a swimwear top. While “Wanderlust” and “Earth” may be relevant because they are the name of the product, they don’t help the search engine or visitor know what they are about to look at.
Add Descriptors (or Keywords) to your Title Tags
If you were the only website online that sold swimwear tops, the customer would search using those two keywords, they’d find your site, and you’d make a sale. But since you’re not the only site online, you need to define the product using keywords that customers are using to find a product like yours and add them to your title tag.
Here are some ideas of descriptors/keywords:
- Material: Cotton, polyester, spandex, or recycled polyester.
- Fit: Comfortable, padded, lined
- Cut: Classic cut
Looking at our example of the Wanderlust Earth Top, the product description highlights some of the features:
- Classic cut triangle top
- Flower print
- Comfortable top
- Recycled swim wear
- Fully lined
- Removable padding
With only 70 characters, you won’t be able to use all of the descriptors. But, you can determine which of those descriptors (keywords) are going to bring in more customers. This can be done using the Google Adwords tool.
The Google Adwords Keyword Planner will allow you to add the above descriptors and tell you how many people are searching for swimwear tops + one of those descriptors.
For example, “Recycled Swimwear” is actively searched for (and is searched for more than any of the other descriptors). With this information, we can begin writing our new title tag.
- Recycled Swimwear Top – Swimwear Company
- Recycled Swimwear Wanderlust Earth Top – Swimwear Company
You might also consider using keywords that describe the item:
- Flower Print, Classic Cut Triangle Swim Top – Swimwear Company
- Flower Triangle Bikini Top, Classic cut, fully lined – Swimwear Company
You’ll notice that the last two do not include the product name (even though I said the formula for a good title tag is to include the product name). In this example, the product name is so unique that it is unlikely people will be searching for it by name. But also because it is unique, if someone does search for it by name, Google will still return your page because the name will be in the headline and content. So in cases like this, it would be better for us to use keywords to describe our product. Doing so increases the chances that someone who has never heard of us will find us because we have the product they are looking for.