How to Use Ecommerce Product Descriptions to Improve SEO

July 25, 2014 Rieva Lesonsky

improve your seo

If you’re like most ecommerce website owners, you’re ignoring one of the most valuable tools at your disposal to improve SEO, drive traffic and increase sales. I’m talking about the product descriptions you post on your ecommerce site. If you’re just putting in the product descriptions that manufacturers provide, you’re not taking full advantage of the power of product descriptions.

Copying and pasting product descriptions from manufacturers is a common mistake small business owners make. But in fact, this is just about the worst thing you can do. Why? Because since all retailers get the same product descriptions from manufacturers they buy from, that means there are hundreds or even thousands of competing ecommerce sites using the same product descriptions. This can actually lead Google to penalize your site, hurting your search engine rank.

So what should you do when it comes to product descriptions?

  • Create unique, original product descriptions instead of relying on the manufacturers’ descriptions.
  • Make sure that the product description copy is optimized with relevant keywords that you want your website to rank for. This will attract customers looking for what you sell.
    • Strike a balance between explaining product details (features) and describing the benefits to the customer.
    • Use relevant keyword phrases throughout the product description copy. This will help search engines recognize the page’s relevance to potential customers’ search queries.
    • Don’t forget about product images. They should have keyword-rich alt attributes.
    • Take enough time, but not too much. Aim for product descriptions of at least 80 words. This is enough to cover key features and benefits, as well as work in crucial keyword phrases, but not so long that it’s overwhelming.
    • If you want to add more to the product description, consider a bulleted list of additional features and benefits that the customer can view if he or she wants to (“see more” or “see less”).
    • You can also break product descriptions down by using a main product description, then creating tabs shoppers can click on to view additional detail such as “Product Specifications,” “Materials,” “Dimensions,” “Size/Weight,” or other important information that customers may want to know.

Writing original product descriptions is an art that can take a while to learn. The trick is to write copy that appeals to humans, while also using keywords that make it attractive to search engine spiders.

You may want to use an experienced online marketing copywriter with experience in SEO to write product descriptions at first. Have the expert write product descriptions for important items, such as your highest profit-margin items or big-ticket products. Learn from his or her work and practice until you can write unique, compelling product descriptions on your own.

Web.com can help you rank higher on search engines.

Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

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