Those three letters are a hot topic for anyone with an online-based business. The problem is, a lot of people are not sure what the heck SEO means or what they need to do in order to write SEO friendly product descriptions.
For those of you who may not know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is the term used for writing web copy, product descriptions, blogs, and other content that will get your page found in the search engines like Google and Bing.
When you write copy that is SEO friendly, it helps to tell search engines that you are writing something that your reader wants to find. So, for instance, when someone searches for “handmade vintage style aprons” you would want to rank high for that search term if that is what you are selling. While SEO is constantly changing and the rules seem to be as abstract as a Jackson Pollock painting, you can learn some basic ways to make sure your content fits the bill and gets found. Below are four important things you need to know when it comes to having SEO friendly product pages.
1. Have a product description!
This may sound silly, but do you have descriptions for each and every product on your IndieMade.com website? Even if your products are truly unique and you feel the images speak for themselves, your page will be a lot of blank space to the search engines without a description, and you could be missing out on traffic to your site. Having good text is the first step towards becoming SEO friendly. If so far you haven’t been adding text to your product descriptions, don’t fear, you can read on for ways to add SEO friendly text to your product pages and watch your traffic increase!
2. Know your keywords
This is the time to do a little research and figure out what your customers look for when they are looking for your products! If you sell handmade yarn bowls, then it is easy enough to know that “handmade yarn bowls” would be a good keyword for you, but there are other keywords that would be important as well, some that you may not even think of right away. The best way to know your keywords is to do some research. Google has a great tool in their Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help you get started! There are other services available as well, but whichever way you choose to go about it, don’t skip this super important step!
3. Don’t keyword stuff
Now that you know your keywords, you may be tempted to write them a million times in each product description. Don’t! SEO is all about using keywords smartly, and search engines can tell when you are playing them. Back in the day people used to adhere to the belief of “the more the merrier” when it came to inserting keywords into product descriptions. People thought that if they were selling red canvas messenger bags a product description like this would be beneficial to their rankings: “Check out this red canvas messenger bag, you will love your red canvas messenger bag! Take your red canvas messenger bag to school, and also take your red canvas messenger bag when you travel”…You get the point, and it isn’t pretty, right? Not only is this terribly frustrating to your potential customers, but search engines know that this is a ploy to rank for a keyword, and you will get penalized for it.
4. Pay attention to the text in your images
Images are great places to include text, and this text will help you rank in the search engines! Start with the name of your photo. Instead of IMG_2952.jpg, which is likely similar to the file name provided by your camera, name the photo something that makes sense to search engines. If you are selling a wire wrapped sea glass pendent, your image will be found much more readily if the image name is wire-wrapped-sea-glass-pendant.jpg.
You will also want to include alt text for each image. Basically, alt text is the text description of your photo that is seen when you hover your mouse over an image online. You can add this text to help search engines know what they have found when they crawl your page. Use keywords in these alt text descriptions and you will find that your product pages will rank higher which means they'll be more easily found.
While SEO is a complex subject and we have just touched on the basics, taking these steps can help to improve your ranking and hopefully improve the level of traffic to your site. The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to writing SEO friendly product descriptions, or any SEO content for your site is to make sure that you have relevant content on each page of your website. While the search engine algorithms may change (actually, most definitely will change) the one thing that will always work in your favor is a content rich website.