At Diztinct, our clients have experienced conversion rate increases up to 328% and a 203% spike in sales revenue as a result of proper product page optimization.
How to Optimize Your Product Page for Higher Conversions
Improve Conversion Rates Up to 328%
In our previous blog post, 6 Examples of Effective eCommerce Product Pages, we covered the importance of product pages and how strong design layout is conducive to increasing online sales. But layout is only part of the successful product page optimization recipe. Now, let’s talk about the other major ingredient: content creation. Your product page’s content is what turns shoppers into customers. Just as the product page is the most important part of any ecommerce website, the content is the most important of the product page itself. It is vital to the overall user experience of the website. At Diztinct, our clients have experienced conversion rate increases up to 328% and a 203% spike in sales revenue as a result of proper product page optimization.
PRODUCT PAGE OPTIMIZATION
Effectual product page optimization revolves around powerful content creation. Content includes the following:
- Product Titles
- Product Descriptions
- Product Photography
- Product Upsells and Cross-Sells
Don’t overinflate your product titles with random keywords.
A prosperous product title combines valid keywords while accurately describing the product in a short and concise fashion. Once upon a time, it was not uncommon to visit an online store and see product titles that were comprised of lengthy, unstructured strings of unintelligible words. This is known as spamdexing or keyword stuffing; blatantly obvious attempts to massage the search engines by cramming in as many related and unrelated keywords as possible. In 2012, Google modified their search algorithms to combat against spamdexing. Webmasters that implemented such “black hat SEO” tactics had their site’s search ranks lowered by Google as punishment. Because Google sits atop the world’s most popular and most-visited search engine, they, more or less, govern and enforce the rules of SEO. They have taken an aggressive stand against malicious marketing and have created a master list of principles and guidelines by which webmasters are expected to respect and obey if they wish to enjoy the benefits of Google’s search platform. That’s quite a sizeable list, is it not? Don’t despair, not all hope is lost. There’s a right way and a wrong way to create effectual product titles that play nice with the search engines.
THE RIGHT WAY
- Keep titles short and sweet. Limit your titles to only specify the most basic core information.
- Try to keep your character count under 75. This makes it easier for your title to read complete and as intended. In addition, this helps titles appear clearer to mobile users who are limited by screen resolution (such as older computers and mobile devices).
- If you sell a common item that is also sold by larger, more prolific name-brand retailers, take a second to understand how they write their product titles. If you match your product title exactly to theirs, you can have your product gain higher ranking by piggybacking onto their keyword search ranking.
THE WRONG WAY
- Avoid eBay/Amazon-style product titles. Google’s anti-spam algorithms can detect clusters of disposable keywords which may result in Google penalizing your website with a severe ranking drop.
- Spamdexing or keyword stuffing. It’s a good way to get yourself thrown in “Google jail”.
Keep in mind, page titles and product titles are separate from each other. A lengthier (within reason) page title can help you sneak in some valuable keywords that would’ve been otherwise limited by the shorter product title.
Heavy keyword-laden product titles are a no-go for search engines like Google, but you can still find a way to apply important keywords without raising the ire of the search engine police. The product description is the written piece that outlines and espouses the virtues of said product.
There are two ways to write substantial, informative, SEO-compliant product descriptions. One is to jot down a few descriptive paragraphs. This is where your creative writing skills will come into play. Write up a few sentences that accurately depict the product in a positive light. Be sure to summarize all of the pertinent information and unique traits; instill your shoppers with a desire to purchase the item based on truthful, factual information.
The second way is a bullet list. It’s a little less casual and not as fun to create, but it’s an efficient and effective way to highlight your product’s details while planting appropriate keywords. This can be beneficial in getting around screen resolution limitations such as in the case of laptops, smartphones. and tablets.
A SUCCESSFUL SEO-COMPLIANT PRODUCT DESCRIPTION INCLUDES:
- A summary of all of the product’s pertinent information and unique traits.
- Accurate and truthful depiction of the product’s unique traits and characteristics.
- In the case of a paragraph-style product description, compelling writing that engages and enlightens the shopper has a greater chance of resulting in a sale.
- For bullet list-style descriptions, separating each critical piece of information into its own bulletpoint serves two purposes: neatly organizing the hard selling points and adding desirable keywords without keyword stuffing.
Product photography is a form of commercial advertising; to meticulously photograph a product in an attractive, attention-grabbing manner that will generate interest. Product photography is an art, which is why there exist photographers who specialize in only shooting still photos of specific items. There are fashion photographers, automotive photographers, jewelry photographers, children’s toy photographers, even food photographers (I mean REAL food photographers, for restaurants and menus and food publications. Not that friend of yours who takes cell phone snapshots of dinner and uploads them onto Instagram). Expert product photographers understand light, angle, balance, and form–the same as any discipline of photography. But not all of us are master artisans, unfortunately.
A blurry, oversaturated, blown-out, or otherwise unattractive product photo detracts from the professional quality of your website and undermines your company’s credibility. To be frank, it’s just plain amateurish. If your web store acts as a seller for another company (IE: you don’t produce your own product, you bulk-purchase goods directly from an outside vendor), the vendor(s) may grant you permission to use their official product photos on your website. This is the best course of action. It saves time and, depending on the product up for sale, your photos will match those of other, more prominent retailers. It also adds credibility to your website, your company’s branding, and the merchandise itself. Most current production merchandise, regardless of vendor, will have some kind of professional product photo supplied by its manufacturer. The extreme exceptions are rare, boutique items and unbranded, private label goods that are either so obscure or that they dangerously teeter on the brink of copyright infringement and other trademark law violations.
However, if your only option is to photograph the items yourself, take solace in knowing that it is not as burdensome as you might think. Ideally, if you’re going to be photographing product, you should invest in some photography supplies. Lights or lightboxes, light stands, light diffusers, small telescopic camera tripod stand or base, a quality digital camera, and digital photo editing software for your computer. A search through YouTube will bring up many “how-to” instructional videos on the topic of shooting your own product photos (such as
this one). These will garner you the best results, but there is another way to capture quality images using guerilla-style photography.
- It doesn’t have to be 100% professional-grade, but an uplevel DSLR digital camera is adequate for shooting product photos. If this is not an option, most modern smartphones pack powerful micro digital cameras as standard equipment. Cell phone cameras have advanced greatly since the days of grainy, over/undersaturated 1 megapixel optics. Whether you choose to shoot with your phone or an actual DSLR camera, get to know your camera’s macro settings. The macro setting allows for extreme close-up shots without losing detail or clarity. This is how most small items are photographed. If your camera features stability control or shake reduction, be sure to switch those on if you’ll be shooting without the support of a tripod or camera stand.
- Avoid using the camera flash. Camera flashes are typically strobes of high-intensity xenon light; the extreme light can give your photos an overexposed look that cannot be corrected with photo editing software. Cell phone cameras (with the exception of some Sony and Nokia models) normally use LED flash. LED flash can wash a photo in a cool blueish hue which is difficult to resolve if you are not an experienced user of digital editing software. Don’t shoot with such direct, intense light. Normal indoor lighting will suffice on the condition that your home or workspace uses, at least, 5500K temperature fluorescent or LED lighting (learn more about color temperature here). The standard tungsten incandescent light bulb burns warmer, yellowish-light that can oversaturate reds and give your photos a yellow to orange wash. A color temperature between 4000 to 6000K temperature range will yield results closest to natural sunlight.
- A collapsible photo box or photo light tent diffuses light to prevent hard white spots from appearing in your photos. This, of course, is if you’re working with a photography kit with full lighting. If you need to rely on just the ambient light of your home, office, or workspace, use white paper or white cardboard as a backdrop and as a display surface. It will reflect light back into your focal area and diffuse it enough as to not create the hard white spots. Items with glossy finishes may still show signs of occasional hard spotting, but it will be greatly reduced with this method.
- Learn to use digital photo editing software. Adobe Photoshop, by far, is the most widely used program for artists of all skill levels. If you are new to the program, YouTube also has a bountiful collection of video tutorials or you can find step-by-step instructions online.
As stated before, photography is an art. Everyone has their own style and approach when it comes to art. This section’s purpose was only to give you some helpful pointers on how to create impressive-looking photos with minimal experience. Even if you’re not naturally-artistic, this is a skill that can improve over time, so long as you take the time out to explore, experiment, and discover your own techniques.
UPSELLS & CROSS-SELLS
So now that we’ve ran through the major ways to optimize your product pages, there is one last nugget of useful advice to share with you. This one has the power to turn simple sales into large quantity purchases, thus netting greater income and larger order value. Let’s take a moment out to talk about upsells and cross-sells.
Example of upsell items.
Example of cross-sell merchandise.
Upsells and cross-sells are suggested supplementary or accessory items that upgrade a purchase. These can be items of a related brand, theme, type, or style and are helpful for customers making bulk purchases. Upsell items are typically higher-end and more exclusive alternative items of related category. Upsells can also be add-on purchases, such as additional warranties. Cross-sells tends to be items that are related to the main object and intended to be purchased altogether as a kit (IE: party plates, party cups, party napkins as cross-sells for a plastic party tablecloth). When assigning upsell merchandise to a master product, don’t just throw any random product in the mix. Any upsell or cross-sell item should carry some association to the product it references. Most web stores offer about 5 optional upsell/cross-sell slots per product but we suggest adding 10 to 15 in case the available quantities of your supplementary items diminish. That way, when the out-of-stock secondary item hides itself from the list, a substitute item will already be queued to take its place until sufficient stock is replenished. The point here is to not bombard the shopper, but to advertise that options are available for the shopper to accessorize and enhance their initial purchase. Another advantage you can gain by offering upsells and cross-sells is that they let your shoppers preview the other types of merchandise you have for sale in your store. Shoppers browsing your online store are not likely to visit every category, subcategory, and every single piece of merchandise you have available to sell. Upsells and cross-sells give your public a glimpse as to what they can expect to find, including products they might not know you even have available.
To learn more about how Diztinct can help you maximize the impact of your product pages in order to improve your conversion rates and increase your online sales, feel free to contact us or read about our services. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook.