This article is designed to give a basic understanding of how you can make the most of your Kick-Start SEO package, by optimising your products for the ultimate relevance in search engines.
By optimising your website and products using these methods, you are going to give yourself the best chance of being found over time for relevant searches in Google.co.uk and other major search engines.
These rules and tips are general and may need tweaking on a per-site basis depending upon your product and market.
The product title is the most important part of your product information. The title affects the URL of the page for that particular product; for example, a product named “Sony HD TV” would have the URL: sony_hd_tv_PXXX.html
Therefore, you should try to ensure that the product titles are correct before anything else, because editing the product titles at a later date will change these URLS. When a URL changes, it will drop from Google as will all the history associated with it. The new product URL will then be seen as a completely different product by Google and have to start the process of gaining recognition again.
Spending some time making product titles perfect from the beginning will remove the need to change them later and reduce any negative SEO effects.
NOTE: No product should EVER have the same title as another product; this will cause conflicting relevance on the site as a whole.
The biggest weakness in product names is generally how the relevance is indicated to Google. Titles should be descriptive in order to be displayed for the most search results (variables of key phrases that users might type that are relevant for your product).
“Sony HD TV” is not descriptive. A descriptive title would cover:
- Any model number of a product
- Any unique features of the product that a user might search for
- Any alternative name/keyword that the user might search for
- Any descriptive features of the product that a user might search for (size, colour, weigh, power etc).
These factors combined would give a better descriptive title such as:
“Sony Bravia KDL-37EX723 37” Full HD 3D LED TV with Skype in Gloss Black”
This covers people searching for:
- “Bravia HD TV”
- “Sony 3D TV”
- “TV with Skype”
- “3D TV Gloss Black”
- “Sony Bravia 37 LED”
NOTE: Always try to aim for a maximum title of 63 characters (including spaces); any characters after this will be ignored by Google.
The key is to focus on keywords that a user will search for ONLY.
For example, a bad name would be:
- “Sony HD TV – Fantastic Product At Excellent Value”
- “Sony HD TV – Order now and Save £39.99”
These are unhelpful and should be saved for promotional banners, or product descriptions.
Another common mistake is adding the descriptive parts of the phrase towards the end of that title. This is illogical as Google will see the order of relevance decrease towards the end of a long title.
“Sony Bravia KDL-37EX723 37″ Full HD 3D LED TV with Skype in Gloss Black”
Extremely Relevant Very Relevant Less Relevant
This is logical, as this product would not be relevant to search results if someone typed:
- “Gloss Black”
- “Black Skype Gloss”
These Less Relevant phrases only become relevant as part of the descriptive “long-tail” search, as supplementary keywords. Therefore, they should always be at the end of a title.
Improving Alternative Phrase Relevance
A real example of this was a client selling an inflatable toddler seat for swimming pools.
The original title was: “Toddler Swimming Pool Seat with Hood”.
This is a perfectly adequate title, but we had to consider the potential alternative phases that a user could be searching:
- Toddler / Baby
- Seat / Ring
- Hood / Canopy / Shade
The title was therefore changed to:
“Baby/Toddler Swimming Pool Seat/Ring With Shade/Canopy/Hood”
This product title is over optimised, but has resulted in a sales increase of 23% for this particular product, from natural SEO increases and improvement in Google Shopping.
Once your product title is established, it is easy to establish your META Description.
NOTE: The META description should never be larger than 150 characters (including spaces).
Again, making this relevant to the search is of key significance. The META description is seen by search engines immediately underneath the title of the page.
It is imperative that the META description includes the full title of the product, in order to increase relevance to that particular product; however, the META description can also be more customer focused to help you drive a sale.
“Purchase Sony Bravia KDL-37EX723 37” Full HD 3D LED TV with Skype in Gloss Black with My Store Name”
However, remember you have room to sell to your customer here, provided you have used fewer than 150 characters, so this would be the ideal:
“Purchase Sony Bravia KDL-37EX723 37” Full HD 3D LED TV with Skype in Gloss Black with 5 Year Warranty Included and Free Delivery – With My Store Name”
NOTE: No product should EVER have the same META Description as another product; this will cause conflicting relevance on the site as a whole.
Obviously, the longer the product title the less room you have to be creative – so as a minimum ensure that the product name is here.
META Keywords are NOT as important as most people think, but relevance is vital.
The most common mistake with META is the desire to cover as much as you can, and introduce broader phrases, but this will NOT help you – it will make your primary keywords less relevant.
META keywords should be used to create four key phrases for each product that are relevant to that specific product only not the range of products. For example:
“Sony Bravia KDL-37EX723, Sony Bravia 37” TV, Sony Bravia 3D TV, Sony Bravia Full HD TV”
“Sony TV, Sony TVs, Bravia TVs, 37” Tvs, Cheap TVs, Discount TVs“.
The latter will not help you as the phrases are not relevant to that specific product in question.
TIP: If in doubt, leave META blank and it will use the PRODUCT NAME as standard – which is substantially better than guessing if you’re not sure.
NOTE: No product should EVER have the same META Keywords as another product; this will cause conflicting relevance on the site a whole.
As explained above, a client was selling a toddler pool seat as a swimming aid. The META keywords were as below:
“Toddler Pool Seat, Toddler Swim Seat, Toddler Pool Float, Baby Pool Seat, Baby Pool Float, Baby Swim Seat, Swimming Aid, Baby Swimming Aid, Pool Swimming Aid”
There are too many phrases here and they are not all relevant for this product.
Phrases that are relevant to the product are: Toddler Pool Seat, Toddler Swim Seat, Toddler Pool Float, Baby Pool Seat, Baby Pool Float, Baby Swim Seat – But there are too many.
Phrases that are less relevant to this SPECIFIC product are: Swimming Aid, Baby Swimming Aid, Pool Swimming Aid. These would be more relevant to a category of products as the phrases are more general.
This is a very common mistake.
The product description is your chance to sell the product to the client.
With this in mind, don’t worry too much about search engines or you’ll put off your customers with keyword-rich descriptions that make no sense.
Rules for description:
- Make sure that the product name is in the description twice where possible, the second should be in BOLD. This increases relevance of the product.
- Ensure that the description is as detailed and helpful as possible. Smaller descriptions work against you as the volume of unique content is reduced.
- Descriptions MUST be unique for each product, or you will suffer with the problem of duplicate content in Google and other search engines.
- With these rules in place, you will be ready to sell your products!