Optimizing Your eCommerce Product Pages and Category Pages for Search Engines

Posted April 12, 2017 by   in Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, eCommerce Website, SEO, Web Design Strategy

“Build it, and they will come.” – Not True.

Believe it or not, many online merchants of are of the mindset that if they list hundreds of products on their ecommerce store, that search engine traffic will tumbling into their store.  This is far from true.

“Build and optimize it, and they will come.”  – Patience is a virtue.

To be seen as a credible website in the eyes of Google, your website must be technically sound and adhere to what’ s expected by legitimate websites. Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical component for any ecommerce site whose success depends on attracting organic visitors.  It takes time, but if done right, overtime you will see great success.

Optimizing an ecommerce website is usually more complicated than doing SEO for a typical B2B website. There are typically hundreds of products of pages and many category pages that need to be optimized.

Improving the optimization of your ecommerce website is a continual process, and you should consistently stay current with SEO best practices and closely monitor Google’s algorithm updates.

Learn More About Improving Your eCommerce Store’s Product and Category Pages for Search Engines


To get you started with some easy SEO “wins”, here is a list of tips to get help your products optimized and ranked in the search engines:

Monitor Google Webmaster Tools / Search Console

google-search-console-logoOn at least a weekly basis, clean up any 404 and 403 errors that are shown for your website in Google’s search console.  Google doesn’t like websites that have a bunch of pages that can’t be found. Map, write and implement the 404 and 403 errors showing in Google Webmaster Tools. Permanently 301 redirect expired these forbidden urls. Preferably redirect them to a related product, category or brand URL.

Write Unique Product and Category Descriptions

Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Reprinting product descriptions from manufacturers is duplicate content.  Bring your product descriptions to life by telling a story. Raise the quality and uniqueness of your content by personalizing it to solve your users’ problems. Add information, images, video or suggestions to your content.

Treat category and brand pages as individual home pages. Add unique content to your category and brand pages.  Without unique, useful content a category page is really just a list of products. A category and brand page with unique, useful content is going to out-rank one without it.

Optimize Key Elements on Product Pages and Category Pages

Optimize your product page for one keyword or keyphrase that has good search volume. In order to optimize a page, you need to ensure that page has the keyword / keyphrase  in strategic locations, including:

  • The page title
  • Sub Headers (H2)
  • Product descriptions
  • Image file names
  • Image alt tags
  • Meta title
  • Meta Description
  • URLs

Internal Linking Structure

Good information architecture, website structure and internal link architecture are critical to rank new product pages well. A good internal link architecture with the right anchor text will get your new product pages indexed and ranked quickly. A good internal linking structure will aide in website navigation, define the architecture and hierarchy of a website and distribute page authority and ranking power throughout the website.

Spending the time and resources to make every page on your ecommerce website truly unique, is worth all of the sweat and equity put into it.  If you focus on creating unique compelling content that provides users with an fantastic shopping experience, both Google and your shoppers will reward you for it.

Looking for more help on optimizing your ecommerce store?  The tips we listed above are just a few of the essentials needed to optimize your online retail store.  If you are struggling with getting started, don’t hesitate to reach out– we would love to help!