Yesterday, I got a call from a highly frustrated e-commerce marketer: “We have a smart in-house SEO and our platform is solid. The problem is, our product pages aren’t ranking. What are we doing wrong?”
I surfed over to their site and noticed a major problem. Their product content was pulled directly from the manufacturers’ copy.
That may not sound like a big deal. But it is. Here’s why.
Imagine that you’re an e-commerce retailer selling, say, a high-end ergonomic office chair. And let’s say that you upload the exact verbiage that appears on the manufacturer’s site (which is the “official” product description).
Sure, this sounds like an easy way to go. After all, rewriting or “tweaking” thousands of product pages sounds like a daunting task. But here’s the problem …
Chances are, many of your competitors are using the exact same strategy—and their Web page copy will read exactly like yours. Exactly.
Suddenly, seeing prime search engine rankings is that much harder. You’re not just competing with other companies that sell the same product. Your company is competing in the search engines with hundreds (or thousands) of companies with the exact same sales copy.
Who do you think is going to be No. 1 for that product search? Unless you’re the manufacturer, it’s probably not your company; your site sounds the same as everyone else. Heck, your product page may not even position in the top 100 search results with that strategy.
The “winner” will be the company that spent the time to wordsmith its content—and make its product copy “pop.”
A huge untapped opportunity for a plethora of e-commerce sites is revamping (or significantly tweaking) their product copy. Think about it: Product-label copy isn’t keyphrase-rich. It’s not constructed to maximize its search engine ranking potential. Nor is it necessarily targeted towards your customer base.
In short, it’s great as offline product copy. But for online … not so much.
The key is to spend time writing your product copy in a way that pops off the page. You need to include the product specs and features, yes—and that may mean using some existing product copy.
But it also means having a savvy content marketing strategy in mind so your product copy does well with search engines and your customers.
Here are some things you can do:
1. Include user reviews. Reviews provide fantastic user-generated content, and they often naturally use the main page keyphrases (for instance, people would probably include a brand/product name like “Kodak EasyShare C180” in their review). Reviews provide your company “free” additional content that’s a huge value-add to your site visitors. Plus, keyphrase research shows that people search for “product review” keyphrases. Why not give your customers what they want to read?
2. Want to keep the product spec copy? Give yourself the best of both worlds. Include the product copy, but add some paragraphs to make the page keyphrase-rich, benefit-heavy and unique. You don’t have to wax poetic and write more than 1,000 words. Depending on what you’re selling, a paragraph or two is ideal. But those paragraphs can have a tremendous effect on your rankings and conversions.
3. Are certain products highly important to your bottom line? Completely rewrite those product pages. Yes, it’s a pain and yes, it can be expensive. At the same time, you’re ensuring the product copy is laser-focused towards your target audience. Companies that have created product pages from scratch often see better conversions compared to pages that weren’t rewritten.
4. Create a compelling, clickable title. Remember that your first opportunity isn’t when a customer hits your site—it’s the search engine results page. If you create titles like:
… you’ll probably see better clickthroughs than with a title that reads:
5. Don’t forget to weave in benefit statements. Remember, buying anything—from a new office chair to heavy machinery—means appealing to “what’s in it for your customer.” Focus your product copy on how your product will help your prospect. Will it save them money? Help them work more efficiently? Increase revenues? Penning specific benefit statements can transform your so-so copy into a high converting powerhouse.
Altering your product copy can seem overwhelming, especially when you have thousands of SKUs. But with the right content marketing strategy, you can have content that “pops” off the page—and see top-positioned content that converts like crazy.