Picture this: it’s Friday night and you’re sitting on the couch in your comfy pants, glass of wine in one hand, phone in the other. Mindlessly scrolling. Then you suddenly remember that you wanted to order a new pair of lounge pants (one can never have too many).

You open up Google search, type in ‘buy comfy lounge pants’ and scroll down to the first option. You read through the product description that promises these will be *the comfiest* pair of lounge pants ever. The price is right. And free delivery! Click and done.

Right now, more people than ever are shopping online. They’re browsing on their mobile in between ad breaks for The Bachelor. Researching and comparing options on their desktop during their lunch break. And even doing price comparisons while standing in a shop.

Online shopping is getting more and more popular every year. According to the Australian Post 2019 eCommerce Industry Report, more than 73% of Australian households shopped online in 2018. And 2019 maintained steady growth in the number of purchases made online, with a solid 17.2% year on year increase. 

All that’s to say that online shopping is only going to get bigger.

And when it comes to how people shop online, search is by far the main factor. Search traffic accounts for somewhere between 40-50% of all traffic to ecommerce sites. 

So if you run an online store, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) [also known as getting your products to the top of the search engine rankings] is super important.

Okay so SEO might have a reputation for being overly technical and a bit *ahem* boring. But once you apply the basics of SEO for product descriptions, it can be a great way to bring more targeted traffic to your site.

How to optimise your product descriptions for search

1. Write unique, detailed product descriptions

Product pages should be thought of like mini landing pages. Not everyone who searches for your products will first land on your home page. A good chunk of your search traffic will come directly to a particular product. Which means that your product pages should have enough information there to help people decide whether what you’re selling is what they need.

So how long should your product descriptions be? There’s no magic number. If you’re selling a fairly straightforward product then you’ll get away with a shorter product description than something that’s very technical (or expensive).

But don’t just describe the product. Think about how the product will fit in your customer’s life. How can they use it? What else goes with it (yay for product upsells)? What’s different or better about it, compared to other stuff out there?

You should also include some bullet-point information on the main features and benefits. These should be easy for visitors to scan and get the most important information about the product.

2. Choose the right keywords

Let’s talk keywords. A big mistake stores make when choosing keywords is just to use the product name. But, unless people know what your product names are, they’re not going to be searching for it. And that cuts out a heap of people who are searching more generic keywords.

So think about what other words people might use to search for your products. In particular, think about those longer keyword phrases someone might use.

For example, instead of a keyword like ‘black dress’, we might target ‘long black evening dress’, ‘short black summer dress’, or ‘cute black tie dress’ for more targeted search traffic.

Once you’ve chosen your keyword phrase(s), make sure you use them in the product description, image alt tag, and meta titles.

Take a look at our last blog post to see how five different online stores use product descriptions to sell.

3. Optimise your meta title and descriptions

The meta title and description is the bit of text that shows up to potential customers in the search results.

While sometimes the search engines will just pick bits of information from your page to display, if you’ve optimised your meta description you can include keywords that will grab attention and encourage click-throughs.

4. Optimise your images

The images that you use for your product pages don’t just help to show people what they’re buying. They’re also important when it comes to SEO.

Don’t just upload your images with names like ‘img2039-2.jpg’. Like, that’s not going to help you. Instead, use image names that relate to the product. Think:

  • black-dress-with-ruffles.jpg
  • ruffled-black-dress-short.jpg
  • short-black-ruffled-dress.jpg

You should also include a description of what the product is in the alt tag. This not only helps screen readers understand your content, but it is also scanned by the search engine.

5. Use search-friendly URLs

Are your URLs something like awesomestore.com/shop/category/top-5387-de?

For the love of cute puppies, make sure your product URLs are search-friendly by incorporating your product names. Also, avoid using underscores (_) like this, and use dashes (-) instead.

6. Include product reviews

Gathering product reviews should be part of your post-sales process to help potential buyers make a decision.

But only will your reviews help increase your sales, but those reviews will probably include keywords that you hadn’t even thought of. Reviews, in particular, tend to mention specific problems and how the product solved them, so it can help you rank for non-product related search terms.

How to write your SEO product descriptions

Okay so let’s say you’ve just read this and are now feeling a bit overwhelmed about having to go through and optimise all your product descriptions?

Instead of trying to get it all done at once, I recommend focusing on the ones that are going to make the biggest impact to your business’ bottom line. That might mean your most profitable products, your best sellers or those you have the most stock of.

However you choose to break it down just get started.

And if you’re still struggling with writing your product descriptions, we can help. We’ve written thousands of product descriptions (no joke!) and can write clever, personality-driven product descriptions that are also optimised for search engine traffic.

Get in touch with us for a chat about how we work.