Have you ever wondered how to get your item page to rank higher in Google?
It’s no secret that having a strong visibility in search engines drives qualified traffic and ultimately boosts sales. The way your item page is optimized for SEO has a huge impact on its ability to rank - so how do you do this?
Whether you’re creating a new item page or optimizing an existing one, read on for valuable, actionable tips and advice relevant to you.
First things first, what is SEO?
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through organic (non-paid) search engine results, such as on Google.
Ok, so how does SEO work?
Google has a complex algorithm that analyses hundreds of ranking signals to determine which search results to display for a given query.
While the exact algorithm is a well-guarded secret, many of the important ranking factors are known, and these are what SEO focuses on. Broadly speaking, these include technical and content elements, collectively known as ‘on-page SEO’, along with actions taken outside of a website itself, referred to as ‘off-page SEO’.
The team here at Envato look after the bulk of the technical and off-page SEO requirements for you, but did you know that optimizing your item page from a content perspective is primarily within your control?
To put your best SEO foot forward for your individual item pages, follow these 7 practical tips - Let’s dive in!
1. Identify relevant keywords
First up, you’ll need to do some keyword research to discover the most popular and relevant search terms currently being used to find items just like yours.
Think about the search terms you’d use. If it’s a WordPress theme for photographers, is it specific to portfolios? Perhaps it’s for weddings, or fashion? Is it minimal? Is it responsive?
To gather ideas, you can simply look at the suggestions Google shows you as you type in a search query. For example:
You can also check out the related search terms at the bottom of the results page for further inspiration.
Here’s another example, this time for stock music. Let’s say you’ve created a great music track for corporate projects, how would you describe it? Is it upbeat or inspirational? Is it background music to use in presentations? Or in videos?
Have a look at what Google suggests and select the most appropriate search terms:
There are also plenty of keyword tools to tap into to expand on this further and to see average monthly search volumes.
My top picks are Google Keyword Planner (you’ll need an active Google Ads account to see search volumes), Keyword Tool (you’ll need a Pro account to see search volumes) and Keywords Everywhere - this last one is great, it’s a free extension that displays keywords and volumes as you browse on Google.
- Select one or two highly relevant and popular search terms that accurately describe your item. E.g. corporate background music, background music for presentations
- Identify any relevant keyword variations related to your item. E.g. inspirational corporate music, powerpoint background music, music for business presentations.
2. Choose a unique, keyword-rich item name
Next, apply the main keywords you’ve just selected to name your item.
This is key - your item name will be used to populate the SEO Title tag, H1 heading and URL of your page, so it needs to be sound.
Title tags are displayed in Google as the blue clickable headline for a given search result. For example:
They have long been considered one of the most important on-page ranking signals for SEO.
Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a Title tag, so it’s important to keep your item name concise, yet descriptive, and containing your key search term.
H1 heading tags are also important. This is the main heading on your item page and provides structure and context to Google and users alike.
- Ensure your item name is short, unique and relevant.
- Include your main keyword.
- Do not repeat or stuff multiple keywords in your item name - this is against Google’s guidelines and may actually hurt your chances of ranking. Plus it creates a poor user experience.
3. Craft a compelling, keyword-rich description
The first paragraph (around 155-160 characters) of your HTML description is used to populate the SEO meta description of your item page.
Meta descriptions are the snippets shown beneath Title tags in Google’s search results. For example:
While meta descriptions do not directly affect a page’s ranking in Google, value lies in having a well-crafted and compelling description that positively influences a searcher’s click decision. Increasing a page’s CTR (click-through rate) can impact its ability to rank.
Think of this as your ‘elevator pitch’ - this is your key opportunity to convince searchers that your item is exactly what they’re looking for.
To see how your Title tag and meta description might appear in Google use this handy Snippet Optimizer tool.
- Ensure your opening paragraph is well-written, descriptive and enticing.
- Place this text at the top of your item description, before any images.
- Include a few of your chosen keywords.
- Reinforce to searchers you have exactly what they searched for.
- Highlight key features and points of difference where applicable (e.g. free support).
- Do not repeat or stuff keywords.
For further advice on naming and describing your item, please refer to our Item Title & Description Guidelines.
4. Add well-written, optimized text content
Google’s goal is to provide the most useful and relevant information to its users. For your item page to have any SEO value at all, it needs to be properly optimized with sufficient text content that is beneficial to searchers.
This is imperative - don’t make the mistake of relying on images for your entire item description! Google cannot read text inside images. Your content needs to be text to be seen. Google analyses this text to determine context, relevance to search terms and overall topical theme.
Placing text content at the top of your item description is also recommended, as this is given more weight by Google.
- Use text, not images, when describing your item.
- Ensure text is placed at the top of your item description.
- Aim for at least 100 words of unique, valuable, well-written and well-structured text.
- Include your chosen keywords and relevant keyword variations.
- Utilize subheadings and paragraphs to incorporate search term variations.
- Include your key selling points and benefits.
- Use keywords naturally - write for your audience first and foremost.
5. Optimize your images
Visual content brings a page to life while playing an important role in both SEO and user experience. Without proper optimization however, you’re wasting these valuable assets. Get this right and you could reap the ranking rewards, not just from traditional Google search but from image search as well.
Firstly, as explained above, Google can’t read images like it can text-based content, it needs clues. This is where file names and Alt text comes into play. Ensuring these elements are descriptive helps Google better understand your image and how it relates to the surrounding text and overall page.
Next, when using images to enhance your page you’ll want to ensure they’re optimized for the web. Images are the biggest culprits of slow-loading pages, and page speed matters - it’s been a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for quite some time.
The larger your image file sizes, the longer your page takes to load. This not only impacts the overall SEO performance of your page, bounce rates are likely to be high and, consequently, visits and sales will suffer.
Curious to see how fast your item page loads? Enter your page URL in to the Google PageSpeed tool for a look.
- Reduce the number of images used on your Item page.
- Compress images as much as possible to reduce the file size (without losing quality).
- Ensure appropriate image formats are used before uploading.
- Do not expect text inside images to be seen by Google.
- Use descriptive and keyword-rich image file names and Alt text.
- Use fast image hosting at an HTTPS address if possible.
6. Use Tags effectively
While tag usage doesn’t directly influence your visibility on Google, it’s still worth discussing in the broader context of a well optimized item page.
Tags should always relate to and accurately describe your item, potential users, subject matter, context and possible uses.
- Only use highly relevant tags
- Aim to use pre-existing, popular tags rather than creating new ones
- Ensure correct spelling is used
For more information on tags, refer to our Item Tag Guidelines.
7. Link between related items
The last tip we’ll cover off is internal linking. Google follows links on a page to discover new content, while also passing SEO value, or ‘ranking power’, between pages.
Get into the habit of linking between your related item pages where it makes sense and provides value. Not only will this boost your page’s SEO performance, you’ll also guide potential buyers to check out what else you have on offer.
- Link naturally between your related item pages.
- Include a relevant keyword in your link anchor text (link text) which describes the page being linked to.