Content tips for eCommerce websites: pages, products, and pictures
Your eCommerce site should now be taking shape, after
our first blog article on getting set up online. This time around, you’ll find some ideas on how to produce a higher quality of content that will make your goods more appealing to customers.
You don’t have to be a wizard with words or a dab hand at design to craft an eCommerce site that makes your wares and your business look good. So, make sure you’ve got a cuppa to hand and then get ready for 10 minutes of tips that will help your business for years to come.
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Perfect pages - optimising for search and real people
Remember: chances are that if a customer is on your site, there’s a high chance that they are either buying or looking to buy. It’s up to you to make the sale with engaging content.
Your product page should be your packaging and salesperson, and if it doesn’t deliver the basics, then you may not make the sale. No pressure! But here’s the good news: it doesn’t take too much work to create a near-perfect page. Just make sure to include essential info in all the right areas:
- Page title
- Heading 1
- Page content
- Meta description (or short description)
Most important of all, the pages should be named pretty much as specifically as possible. For example, if you are selling a dress like the one pictured below, you don’t want to opt for something as simplistic as “Orange Women’s Dress”. You should follow the lead of the example:
Using something more descriptive and specific gives you much increased “
long-tail keyword” potential, which makes your page less likely to be the seven millionth result for “Orange Women’s Dress” in search.
Next up, as a general point, try to make all of your page content as unique as possible. Whether you’re in need of content for your products, or the categories they fall under, don’t be tempted to take a supplier’s content and use it as your own.
If any of your competitors use duplicated content, and you follow suit, you’ll more than likely find your page ranks behind theirs. Even worse, the page could even be left out of search results entirely for being judged a copy of other sites.
As we’ve already discussed, you should gather all of your products under relevant categories. But to ensure that your site performs as well as it can, you shouldn’t view these pages as placeholders that sit between your products, getting in the way. Oh, no!
Your category pages should serve as a store guide or a sales assistant, taking your enraptured reader on a magical mystery tour of everything that your site has to offer. And you should optimise them for search, too.
For example, if you run a classic car website, don’t name a category something like “Parts”. Call it “Austin Healey Spare Parts” or “Austin Healey Used Parts” - try to make your category names as specific as your products.
It won’t only increase the chances of attracting search by itself, it’ll also make it easier to determine which category you should attach each of your products to! Because 9 categories all called “Parts” could be a bit tricky to navigate around.
Finally, to the content: use your category page copy to help your customer find what they want. Or to find what they need, even if they don’t know about it yet! With a well-placed link or recommendation, they could be adding more to their shopping cart than they had bargained for!
Compelling copy - writing good text content
Cast your mind back to our last eCommerce article (you did read it, didn’t you?) - you’ll recall that we recommended you to write down answers to the five classic questions about your products:
- Who - uses the product?
- What - benefits does it provide?
- When - does a customer need the product?
- Where - are they used or from?
- Why - is it better than the alternatives?
Your answers should provide you with the bare bones of how to write your product page content. The rest of the details should include all the basic facts about your product, including features such as:
- Colour and size
- Design or style
- Unique selling points (or USPs)
Now take all the information you have, and ask yourself “who am I selling to?” and “what will make them want to buy?”. Use the first question to determine the tone of voice you should write with, and the second to figure out what are the best points to highlight.
So, if you are selling designer dresses, probably keep your tone classy and professional while selling on elegance. If you sell fancy dress clothes, then keep things light and friendly while marketing on the fun factor. For an excellent guide to writing top copy, consider stopping off at our partner Ecwid’s blog and discovering
how to write awesome product descriptions.
You don’t need more than about 75-100 words for your products. Your categories can be slightly longer at about 100-150. The goal of writing all this content is to reduce the risk of your site being penalised as having “thin” content. Websites with low quality or thin content were the main targets of Google’s Panda algorithm, which was initially released in 2011 and continues to be developed to this day.
Inspiring imagery - selling with a spectacle
Last, but by no means least, we move cheerfully onto the topic of website images. Unless you were born blind or are entirely unaware of people’s preference for films and TV over books since about Nineteen-Canteen, then you’re probably aware of the masses’ love of imagery.
And visuals are certainly vital: text does work particularly well for search engines, but people would far rather see an inviting image that shows them just what they want to buy.
Our good friends over at Ecwid wrote this excellent guide on
photography tips to showcase your products. These include:
- Using effective lighting
- Maintaining consistent style
- Using varied angles
- Showing products in action
- Getting experimental
If you’re one of our beloved Trendzer customers, it’s worth remembering that you have the Aviary photo editor available as part of your website package. So, you can use our blog guides to get some ideas on
subject, colours and space; or on audience, style, and framing; and hopefully you can turn out results like the below:
Matching picture colours and styles brings an extra level of professionalism to your site design
One last point on images: it’s important to make sure that you name and label all your images appropriately. If you have an eCommerce site like our Ecwid feature that uses the product name as an alt tag, then you’ve won half the battle! If not, you’ll need to look up your user manual and learn about “alt tags”.
But either way, a really good technique to help search engines index what your images are about is to name your pictures descriptively. For example, the “beige hamster dish” that we looked at before should have a name like “beige-hamster-dish.jpg”, not “55e82f276dbe1.jpg”.
If you take product pictures for your own site, make sure to go through them renaming the files appropriately. Correct filenames and alt tags can help pictures of your products to be returned in search engine results pages (or SERPSs), particularly image-driven ones like the below:
Time to get busy
If you’ve been doing all of the above and all your products have a beautiful, well-labelled picture, and informative names and descriptions. Well done! And if your category pages all take your customer on a journey through your online shop as well, your work is done here. Pat yourself on the back, and make a mental note to check on the third and final part of our eCommerce series.
But if your website has some products that have very basic page text and hurriedly added images, or category pages that simply feature a row of product pictures, you’ve got work to do. Make your way through your pages checking our handy list:
- Home page - features a business description with USPs of your company?
- Home page - has text links to categories or top products?
- Category page - is named for search (e.g., “pet accessories” not “accessories”)?
- Category page - has text links to popular products or ones you want to upsell?
- Product page - has detailed product name?
- Product page - features product description of at least 75-100 words?
- Product page - has an attractive product picture with optimised filename and alt tags?
Adding some garnish
At this point, we should probably point out that your site is more than just products and categories. For example, you should display your user terms and conditions to reassure customers of their rights and your authenticity. Trust is important in eCommerce!
Take a look through these ideas for other pages that may benefit your site:
- Terms and conditions
- Delivery policy
- Special / seasonal offers
- About us / company profile
This last idea can be really helpful on an eCommerce site, where the pages often lack the kind of content that people want to bookmark and share. A blog page can deliver extra traffic to your site without making your product pages overly text-heavy, which could potentially deter mobile shoppers.
Your blog could be about any number of things. A clothing website could talk about style trends or clothing care tips. A site for pet food and accessories could talk about care tips, pet training and behaviour, or general animal lover stories.
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Ultimately, the goal of your blog would be to entertain or inform, while providing content that people will happily share with the world - and sharing your website while they do it! A good blog will build trust and expand your shop’s reputation online.
Next time - maintaining your eCommerce site
That’s all for this week. Our
next eCommerce blog article will look at how to maintain your eCommerce site successfully, including some best practice tips for off-page success. So, bookmark our blog page, follow us on
Facebook, and keep an eye out for our updates!