Now that marketer has site architecture all set up; it is time to optimize to category and product pages. For most e-commerce sites, these two types of pages generate the lion’s share of traffic and sales. This makes sense if you think about it: someone searching for “red Nike running shoes size 10” is much closer to purchasing someone searching for “buy shoes online”. With that, here is how to keyword optimize the product and category pages.

A “Perfectly Optimized” Ecommerce Page

Let us examine an example of a “perfectly optimized” page from an e-commerce site.

Let’s break each of these elements down:

Title Tag: Add Modifiers Like “Buy”, “Cheap” and “Deals” to Get More Long Tail Traffic

You (obviously) want to use your target keyword in your page’s title tag. However, do not stop there. Adding “modifiers” to your title tag can help you show up for more long-tail searches. For example, let us say the target keyword is: “noise cancelling headphones”. Instead of making the title tag: “Noise Cancelling Headphones at Headphones R’ Us”, you want to add a word or two that people might use when searching for “noise cancelling headphones.”

Here are some standard terms people use when searching for products in Google:

  • Cheap
  • Deals
  • Review
  • Best
  • Online
  • Free shipping

So the title tag could be something like this:

Title Tag: Use Click Magnet Words like “X% Off” and “Lowest Price” to Boost CTR

Google likely uses organic click-through-rate as a ranking signal. Moreover, even if they did not, it still makes sense to optimize the title tag for CTR. That is because of Higher CTR=more clicks=more sales. Fortunately, there are a handful of words and phrases that magnetically move a person’s cursor to the result. Marketers call them “Click Magnet Words”.

Here are some of the best Click Magnet Words for e-commerce products and category pages:

  • X% off (“25% Off”)
  • Guarantee
  • Lowest Price
  • Free Shipping
  • Overnight Shipping
  • Sale

Here’s an example of these words in action:

Moreover, when you include these in the title tags (and description tags), you will find yourself with more clicks (which can mean more customers).

Description Tag: Include Phrases Like “Great Selection”, “FREE Shipping” and “All Our Items are On Sale” To Maximize Your Page’s CTR

The site’s description tag used to be an essential part of the on-page SEO. Even though that is not the case any more, the description tag is significant for CTR. Moreover, the title tag Click Magnet Words that are listed above also work for description tags. The only difference is that, with a description tag, you have more room to include longer phrases.

Here are a few examples of phrases you can use in description tag to get more clicks:

  • Get the best prices on ____ today.
  • Save X% off on ____.
  • All of our ____ are on sale right now.
  • Get FREE shipping on all ____ today.
  • Click here to see all of our exclusive deals on _____.
  • Great selection of ____ at the guaranteed lowest price.

Here is an example of how a description tag optimized for clicks might look:

Product and Category Page Content: Include 1000+ Words of Content and Use Your Keyword 3-5x

Optimizing products and category pages is one of the hardest parts of e-commerce SEO. Yes, you want to write high-quality content. However, unlike a blog post, you also need to keep conversions in mind.

Here are the three most crucial on-page SEO tactics that are recommended for e-commerce pages:

Optimizing products and category pages is one of the hardest parts of e-commerce SEO. Yes, you want to write high-quality content. However, unlike a blog post, you also need to keep conversions in mind.

Here are the three most important on-page SEO tactics that I recommend for e-commerce pages:

1. Write 1000+ Word Descriptions

Industry studies have found that longer content tends to rank best in Google.

The fact is this: Google wants to understand what the page is all about. Moreover, the more content the website provides, the better Google can do its job. Plus, the in-depth product page content helps customers understand what they are about to buy.

To be clear:

It might be impossible for websites to write 1000 words for EVERY page on site. If that is the case, I recommend writing long, in-depth product descriptions for the top 10-50 most important product and category pages.

For example, this Amazon product page for a KitchenAid mixer boasts 2,109 words

…Moreover, that is not even counting the reviews at the bottom of the page (which adds another 500+ words).

2. Sprinkle Your Keywords (3-5x)

Once you have written in-depth product descriptions, it is time to ensure that you have used the target keyword 3-5 times in the content. This has nothing to do with keyword density or keyword stuffing. You include the keyword a handful of times to help Google understand what the page is all about. For example, if the target keyword were “6-quart crackpot,” you would want to ensure you have that exact phrase in your product description at least three times:

Pro Tip: Google puts slightly more weight on keywords that appear at the top of a webpage. So ensure that one of the keyword placements is at the top of the page (for example, in the first 100 words of your product or category description).

3. LSI Keywords

The latest Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words and phrases that are closely tied to your primary keyword. For example, let us say you were optimizing an e-commerce category page around the keyword “slow cookers.” Terms closely related to that keyword include:

For example, let us say you were optimizing an e-commerce category page around the keyword “slow cookers.” Terms closely related to that keyword include:

  • Crock-Pot
  • 6 quart, 4 quart etc..
  • Timers
  • Pressure cooker
  • Manual
  • Recipes
  • Stew
  • Soup
  • Programmable
  • Stainless steel

See how that works? Here is how to find (and use) LSI keywords specifically for e-commerce SEO.

Step #1: The Amazon Eyeball Test

First, head over to Amazon and search for a target keyword. Then take a regard terms that appear multiple times on the category page.

…or product page for that keyword.

Pro Tip: If you have a competitor that outranks you for your keyword, use this same process on their site.

Step #2: Google Keyword Planner

Next, enter the target keyword into the Google Keyword Planner. Then take a look at the keywords that Google suggests to you:

Step #3: Sprinkle These In Your Content

Finally, sprinkle the LSI keywords that make sense into your product or category page content.

URLs: Use Short, Keyword-Rich URLs

Our analysis of 1 million Google search results found a clear correlation between URL length and rankings. Specifically, we found that short URLs tend to rank higher on Google’s first page than long URLs.

An e-commerce site, URLs are probably going to be longer than other sites. That is because the URL will include categories and subcategories in the URL. For example, https://example.com/category/ subcategory/product.html However, that does not mean you want the URLs to stretch out to 50+ characters. That is because long URLs confuse Google and dilute the impact of the keywords in URL. Here is an example of an unnecessarily long e-commerce product page URL:

(Not only is this URL a mile long, but it contains unnecessary junk like, “product ID.300190600”). Speaking of using SEO-friendly terms in the URL, you also want to make the URLs keyword-rich. For category pages, include a 1-2 word description of that category: https://example.com/kitchenappliances

Follow the same process for subcategories. Only this time, the subcategory will come after the category in the URL: https://example.com/kitchenappliances/slowcookers Then, for product pages, include just the target keyword for that product, separated by dashes (“-”). https://example.com/kitchenappliances/slowcookers/6-quartcrockpot

Pro Tip: Some e-commerce sites do not use categories and subcategories in their URLs. For example, instead of https://example.com/ kitchenappliances/slowcoach/6-quart-crockpot, the URL would be https://example.com/6- quart-crockpot. This makes the URLs shorter and more keyword dense. I do not necessarily recommend this, but if that is how you have things set up, it is not going to hurt the rankings.

Internal Links: Liberally Link to High Priority Pages

One of the beautiful things about e-commerce SEO is that internal linking can do almost automatically. That is because the site’s navigation usually creates numerous natural internal links:

That said, strategic internal linking is an e-commerce SEO best practice. So it would help if anyone spent some time on it. Specifically, anyone wants to internally link FROM official pages TO high-priority product and category pages.

For example, let us say anyone just published a blog post that has generated many backlinks. Moreover, you also have a product page that ranks #5 in Google for “moleskin notebooks”. You would want to add a keyword-rich anchor text link from that post to the product page.

Implement Product Review Schema to Get Rich Snippets Displayed in Google

If you want an easy way to stand out on Google’s first page, look no further than rich snippets. Moreover, e-commerce sites have the opportunity to get one of the most eye-catching rich snippets out there: reviews. Here is an example:

How do you get these awesome snippets? By implementing Schema markup on e-commerce product pages. Schema is a unique code that gives search engines (like Google and Bing) a deeper understanding of your page’s content. Here are the types of markup specific to reviews.