Growing regional/national brands to major international brands have a lot of questions about product description page (PDP) optimization.
How much can it be automated?
Does it matter if some of them have duality?
What do we do with variable products located on one URL?
Can I use the product descriptions provided by the manufacturer?
Then problems with product descriptions compound with larger product catalogs and more complex technology stacks.
However, with enterprise e-commerce stacks, you can also find opportunities to quickly automate and implement many product description issues.
This is where a PIM (Product Information Management System) can be a user experience and SEO dream.
In addition to product descriptions, PIM can help stakeholders influence user experience and bridge the gap between a user searching for products and searching for them to complete their purchases.
For many, PIM is just another piece of the tech stack.
But it can improve user experiences and enrich the PDP (product detail page) with important information from an SEO perspective as well.
For this article, I’m going to rely on a combination of the two, as companies in the e-commerce industry like Bain & Company have claimed that companies that improve customer experience with tools can increase revenue by up to 25%.
As Google works harder to improve user experiences on the web with Core Web Vitals, Speed, Mobile Friendly, EAT and more, using PIM to improve user experience can be about more than just adding keywords to a page.
Often times, PIM is also responsible for product images as well.
Sometimes this can be the function of a digital asset management system, but for this article, I’m assuming PIM handles it.
Automate product title tags and meta descriptions
PIM usually contains several product-related fields, including but not limited to:
- product name.
- Technical specifications of the product (colors, size, material).
- Product Description.
- Product identifiers (SKU, ISBN).
This information can be used to improve your title tags and meta descriptions.
While both items are actively overwritten by Google, they are still processed and cached by Google.
Although only the title tag is considered in the Ranking, the meta description is still important from a CTR perspective.
Using PIM can also help mitigate duplication issues with title tags and provide a better document information structure for Google.
You can do this by having the front-end (store-front) platform dynamically use the same information from the PIM as in populating the product description page template.
This information can also help Google serve content to very specific queries, returning URLs from your site that would not otherwise be in the Instant View index.
Including more information in your title tag and meta description also helps direct Google to more accurate rewrites of your title tag and meta description.
This helps you avoid accidentally giving the user misleading information and a negative search experience.
Automate product PDP descriptions
Many product pages consist of general product descriptions that are likely to be provided by the manufacturer.
Duplicate product descriptions are not usually a problem because the content of a PDP is more than just written words. It’s the entire page’s value proposition.
The goal is to make the repeating description a supporting element of the page rather than a focal point.
Google’s John Mueller confirmed that this does not cause a penalty scenario, which is only an issue when they don’t want to show multiple results by just listing the same content.
The way around this is to use PIM to add value.
For most “general” product inquiries, Google augments the search results to include a mixture of local and online results.
This means that Google has to decide to rank local or “best” sources with a duplicate value proposition.
Most PIMs contain stock data, and most businesses that operate both online and offline will have integrations that allow you to include the following information and items in PDPs:
- Availability in local stores (Which you can further customize if you sign in to show availability at stores near your specific location preference).
- delivery lead time For home delivery.
- time out for Pickup from the store.
This page gives another useful purpose and reason for Google to choose to rank your PDP over others.
Define categories and relationships
In most PIMs, you can define ratings and relationships with other products within the database.
This information, along with personalization elements, can then be used to create additional content blocks (and additional value propositions) on the PDP page, giving it additional value to the user.
You can also use these to encourage both upselling and upselling, improve average user order value (AOV), and help select the right complementary products.
For example, purchasing a lamp from the page that lists the correct lamp as a related product saves the user time and effort in locating (and searching for) the correct lamps.
Ratings and tags can also be integrated with most internal site searches, so making sure that main products and variants are correctly labeled and have accurate ratings can help users discover the product on your website.
PIM is an underutilized asset in an ecommerce SEO arsenal and can be overlooked or considered “not part” of the marketing toolkit.
Including PIM stakeholders in marketing meetings with those responsible for extracting PIM information in your e-commerce storefront can help you find opportunities to improve the SEO value of your product description page.
It can provide additional opportunities to improve user experience, conversion rates, and AOV as well.
The more specific and descriptive your product pages are, the better Google and other search engines can determine their relevance to queries from searchers who are too eager to find products like yours.
Use the tips above to maximize the value of PIM to your organization by putting it to work for your SEO goals as well.
And if you’re just getting started with ecommerce SEO or are looking for a best practices checklist to make sure you’re making the most of all the opportunities, you’ll want to check out Ecommerce Product Page Optimization: 20 Do’s and Don’ts.
- Google offers retail search for e-commerce websites
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- Ecommerce Marketing: The Ultimate Guide
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