Optimizing product descriptions for SEO will help educate potential customers, encourage purchases, and improve your ranking in organic search results.

With more than 90 per cent of all global searches happening on Google, it’s important for retailers to make sure they rank high on the world’s most popular search engine.  This is what will get you noticed and open the door to more visitors and more sales.

Optimizing your product pages for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to build awareness about your e-commerce site and make sure it’s visible to the widest possible audience. This includes writing robust, clear and persuasive descriptions with relevant keywords on all product pages.

SEO product descriptions defined

An SEO product description is a product description written with SEO best practices front and centre. SEO is a digital marketing strategy to help businesses improve their rankings on search engines’ unpaid or organic results pages. SEO for e-commerce is a strategy tailored to online retailers to help their online stores rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) to generate more organic traffic. Optimizing product descriptions for SEO will help educate potential customers, encourage them to buy and improve organic search results.

Tip: SEO product descriptions aren’t limited to your e-commerce site. You can also use them on online marketplaces, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instragam, which allow brands to create product catalogues and Google’s Merchant Center.

Benefits of SEO product descriptions

  • Higher search engine ranking.
  • A better user experience.
  • Increased sales.

Six best practices for writing SEO product descriptions

1.   Put your human customers – not search engine web crawlers – first

Ensuring a great user experience is key for Google’s algorithm and the core of an effective SEO strategy. When it comes to SEO for e-commerce specifically, this means providing  customer-centric, high-quality product descriptions that users will find useful. For example, provide information on pricing and sales, stock availability, links to related products, customer reviews, awards, and delivery and returns information. Highlight the most important features of your product in a bullet point list. Don’t stop with words. Include other elements, such as product images and videos, live chat and social sharing buttons.

Tip: Make your SEO product descriptions are concise, easy to read and employ an active voice. Include a clear call to action at the end, such as Add to cart.

2.   Use the keywords and phrases people are using to find your products

A strong keyword strategy is a key aspect of SEO and will help more people discover and visit your site. For maximum impact, use keywords that target searchers/potential customers who have indicated they are ready to buy based on the search terms they’re using. There are two types of SEO keywords:

  • Short-tail keywords are general in nature, include one or two keywords and are impactful because lots of people search them.
  • Long-tail keywords are much more specific and can consist of more than 10 words, which means they are used less.

Once you’ve identified your keywords, use them strategically in the product description’s body copy, in the URL, in the title and alt image tag.

Tip: There are several free online research tools to help you find the best keywords for your business, including Keyword Tool and Answer the Public. For a fee, Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs will both suggest and analyze the ranking and traffic potential of keywords.

3.   Use your brand voice

Understand who you are as a brand, your values, personality and your voice. All aspects of your messaging – including product descriptions – should be approached as a conversation between your brand and your customers and written in a tone that reflects your brand’s unique personality.

4.   Add schema markup to your descriptions to boost your search rankings

Rich results (also known as rich snippets) are designed to help users find what they need quickly. Google generates rich results based on the way a page is structured and presents information. Applying HTML tags or schema markups that provide additional information about the content produces rich snippets. These can include product markup snippets and review snippets, for example.

Another type of rich result is a featured snippet. This is a short excerpt of relevant, informative content on a web page that answers users’ questions. Featured snippets are made up of a concise excerpt, the page’s title tag or meta title and URL. Google pulls these excerpts to help searchers find what they’re after and highlights them on SERPS by placing them ahead of the first organic result. 

5.   List and prove your value proposition

How will your product help your potential customers?  This is important because it shows people why they should choose your product. The key word here is show. Explain how the product works and what they can expect and include any facts and numbers that can back up your claims. Link to customer reviews to build trust.

6. Tap into AI writing tools

Jasper AI, Copy AI, Writesonic, Frase.io are a few of the growing number of free and paid AI-powered writing tools with product description generators that make it fast and easy to write SEO product descriptions. Do your homework to find the right tool to fit your specific needs and budget. Be sure to verify the information before posting it.

Strong SEO product descriptions take effort but they’re worth it to help your target high-intent shoppers find you. The key is to put your customer first and follow the best practices that will capture the attention of search engines.