What are the key elements an ecommerce product page should have?

Julian Byrne - Monday, December 21, 2020

Whatever components you place on a product detail page in your online store, you will wish them to form an engrossing, cohesive whole that helps inform your customers’ buying decisions.

Here, then, is a rundown of the elements you ought to include as standard on each of your ecommerce site’s pages that focus on a given product from the store’s inventory.

Photography

Naturally, when shopping online, customers can’t physically handle a product and turn it over like they would have the option of doing in a traditional brick-and-mortar store.

That’s why each of your product pages should include an array of photos – we would advise about six to eight – that capture the item from multiple different angles.

A price and call to action

The “call to action”, in this instance, would refer to that trusty “buy now” or “add to basket” button – which you would obviously wish to tempt the shopper to click.

As one major factor that could sway the buyer in that direction is the product’s price, you should display this prominently – possibly right near the call-to-action button.

A written description and specifications

Somebody somewhere might have coined the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but they certainly didn’t own an online store. Besides, you wouldn’t want as many as a thousand words in the textual description and specifications you include on a product page.

That’s because those descriptions should be punchy, specific and easy to understand. In other words, they should get straight to the point – although you should still be careful to include relevant keywords, which our SEO marketing experts can help you to research.

Reviews

Of course, you wouldn’t write these yourself but instead invite customers to do so. However, these reviews should still be given a special space on your product page, as they can constitute a form of “social proof” that backs up your own claims about the item.

Even if it’s a relatively new product that has attracted few reviews so far on your site, those reviews can play a big part in telling the product’s story.

Are you unsure about any aspect of optimising your e-tail store’s product pages to appeal more strongly to shoppers and search engine spiders alike? If so, don’t forget that the friendly and professional Piranha Designs team is always available for a chat when you get in touch with us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh.

How to get more of your casual visitors actually buying

Julian Byrne - Friday, October 23, 2020

While, here at Piranha Designs, we would certainly emphasise the importance of effective search engine optimisation (SEO) for attracting relevant traffic to your online store, the fact remains that it’s one thing to drive visitors, and another thing to get those visitors to become paying customers.

Don’t forget that a lot of your ecommerce store’s visitors won’t see your homepage first, but will instead land on a product page or even blog post via a Google search for a relevant term. They therefore won’t necessarily have any particular loyalty or affinity for your brand, or even recognise your brand... let alone know about your broader product range, promotions or brand values. 

So, how can you transform more of those only-vaguely-interested visitors into people reaching for their debit card when on one of your product pages? Here are some proven strategies.

Don’t depend on brand recognition alone

Sure, some visitors to your e-tail site, even from the moment you set up your store, may be people familiar with your brand’s brick-and-mortar shop – if you have one – or they may know the product brands you carry.

For a very significant proportion of those people you’re trying to convert into buyers, though, none of the above will be the case. So, you can’t rely solely on customers being drawn to a particular brand, whether it’s your own or the ones of the items you stock. 

A particular danger of a more brand-centric approach to the structuring and optimisation of your website, is that you might miss out on sales from those searching for specific product types or features, rather than brands.

Give the customer reasons to feel confident about you

While brands that are literally Apple or Coca-Cola might not need that many “proof points” to instil faith among prospective shoppers, we’re presuming your own store’s brand is nothing like as prominent. Imagine landing on a page of your site while not being familiar with your brand at all – would you buy from here?

The answer’s much likelier to be “yes” is you were to see immediately understandable signs of trustworthiness, such as an “about us” page to show the human face of your business, and a phone number to indicate your customers can easily contact you about anything.

A ‘live chat’ feature and the logos of any relevant industry accreditations or certifications could also really help to drum in the impression that your brand is thoroughly reputable and here to stay.

Make it easy for shoppers to choose

It’ll hopefully go without saying for you that the more barriers you can remove to someone buying from you, the likelier they will probably be to do so.

If, as we’ve covered above, a given would-be buyer doesn’t know your brand, the chances are that they might not know your specific products well, either... and that could make it difficult for them to select the item that would best suit them.

Wrong choices are bad news for both the buyer, who will likely be frustrated as a result, and the store, which will have to handle any associated returns.

So, it’s in your interests to do everything possible to make choosing easy, first time out. That might mean including size guides, product comparison charts, help icons, and all of the specification details the customer will need to make the most informed buying choice.

With our search engine marketing (SEM) services here at Piranha Designs encompassing such key elements as keyword research, page optimisation, guest blogging and more, we can leave your store well-placed to heighten the proportion of casual visitors you convert into buyers. Feel free to contact us via phone or email for further information.

3 SEO changes you can make for your online store without spending money

Julian Byrne - Tuesday, September 29, 2020

You hopefully won’t need the Piranha Designs team to remind you of the importance of optimising your ecommerce store for the search engines to maximise its visibility online – but doesn’t doing such a thing require a certain amount of financial investment?

The short answer is no, not necessarily. Indeed, the following are ‘do it yourself’ SEO tips that online business owners can apply to their sites straight away, without spending a penny.

Improving title tags

All too many online store owners overlook the scope to easily optimise their site’s title tags, having simply accepted the default titles generated by their chosen ecommerce platform.

So, if the title tags for your site’s category pages, for example, are currently along the lines of ‘[Page title] – [Site title]’, consider what extra common-sense details you could incorporate to help both search engines and the human user.

Instead of making do with ‘Men’s – Joe’s Footwear’, could you modify such a title to something like ‘Men’s Trainers – Joe’s Footwear’ or even ‘Men’s Limited Edition Trainers – Joe’s Footwear’? Remember that Google typically shows the first 50 to 60 characters of a title tag, so you shouldn’t go beyond this for the lengths of your modified titles.

Scrutinising rivals

Consider who your competitors are in the organic search results, encompassing not just sites that sell the same products and services as yours, but also sites that may compete in an informational sense by answering questions frequently asked by your target audience.

Any sites taking up space on search engine results pages for queries that your brand is also targeting can be regarded as your SEO rivals.

So, look at what they’ve done in order to enjoy such strong search results. Are they embracing content themes that your site currently doesn’t? Is their site structured in a way that better targets certain strategically important keywords? What kind of user experience does each given rival brand provide – and is it more engaging than the one your site offers?

Answering questions like the above will then enable you to fine-tune your SEO strategy to be better aligned with what is actually likely to work for your brand.

Producing regular content

While we can certainly provide such services as blog content production and guest blogging as part of our search engine optimisation and marketing packages, there’s little to stop you producing your own content in the meantime, provided that you’re confident in doing so.

After all, you know your own brand’s products, services and industry better than anyone else. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “but I’m not a confident writer”, remember that “content” isn’t just words – the likes of product images, how-to videos and other graphics also count. A professional writer could then help to ensure it’s all presented even more effectively.

Nor do you need to be pumping out new content every day for it to be “regular” enough to help your site in the search engines. The weekly or even just monthly publication of new and unique content will be of benefit, provided that the content is of genuine value and usefulness for your target audiences.

These are just some of the steps that you can take with your site now to enhance its SEO prospects – so if you have any further questions about the possibilities, why not enquire to Piranha Designs today? We will be pleased to have a no-obligation discussion of your needs with you, and can also present you with a competitive quote.

5 tips for getting your category pages in shape for the search engines

Julian Byrne - Monday, September 28, 2020

The category pages on an ecommerce site are often overlooked from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective, despite the fact that they routinely already target and contain keywords that customers frequently search for. So, what further steps can you take to bolster your category pages’ rankings for those often highly competitive keywords?

Begin with the metadata

You can barely claim to have optimised your online store’s category pages if you leave the title tags and meta descriptions untouched. Such metadata will always be at the forefront of any responsible and informed efforts to improve SEO – so be sure to incorporate relevant keywords into them, and a ‘call to action’ (CTA) at the end of each meta description.Also try to keep the length of your title tags and meta descriptions within Google’s character limits – 60 and 160 characters respectively.

Use relevant headings

The title tag and meta description, while crucial to on-page SEO, are hidden away in the page’s HTML, and aren’t visible on the category page itself. The headings, though – with their tags like H1, H2 and so on – very much are clear to see on the actual page. So these, too, need to be relevant. A good rule of thumb is to use the H1 heading – which is typically the primary heading at the top of the page – to reinforce the theme you put in your title tag, referring to the overall subject of the entire page. This might be followed by H2 and H3 subheadings to represent supporting themes on the page.

Incorporate body text

Not everyone actually likes the idea of using body copy on an ecommerce site’s category page, with some preferring to leave imagery of the relevant products to ‘do the talking’ by itself. However, if you want your online store to do well in the organic search rankings, you really can’t do without at least some text in the body of each category page, even if you merely settle for a sentence or two. Carefully choose just one or two descriptive keywords that naturally fit with the copy, and you won’t need to write paragraph after paragraph for your body content if you don’t wish to do so.

Aim for relevant link text

Some ecommerce stores attempting to optimise their category pages often end up committing the classic error of using link text – such as ‘click here’ or ‘find out more’ – that is useless from an SEO point of view.So, consider the opportunities you have with your link text – including in the aforementioned body copy – to send relevance signals to the search engines, such as by referring to specific products or subcategories of products.

Include links in the header and footer

Sure, your site’s header and footer are the same across your site, so you might not see this as a tip for optimising your category pages, so to speak. However, your site’s header and footer do represent useful space in which to perhaps incorporate links to some of the most valuable category and subcategory pages.With Christmas looming in just a few months, for instance, you might take the chance now to link to your festive-season category page, in time to attract the attention of both search engine spiders and human users on the lookout for the best deals on Yuletide gifts.Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the header and footer links; trying to link to all of your ecommerce store’s category or subcategory pages here will not come across well to human shoppers, and will be over-optimised from a search algorithm point of view.

If you would like to discuss your requirements in ecommerce website design or SEO marketing in greater detail, the Piranha Designs team is available at the other end of a phone or email inbox. Don’t wait any longer to get in touch with us in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh.

Do the physical locations of your ecommerce customers really matter?

Julian Byrne - Thursday, March 05, 2020

While some observers might think the answer to this question would be automatically “no”, geography does make a difference to ecommerce conversions – and there are various ways your own online store could make the most of the locations your customers are shopping from.

You’re probably already broadly aware of the counties, regions or even other countries where your shoppers reside. Buyers need to provide this information about themselves at the checkout stage, and it can also be seen in Google Analytics when Enhanced Ecommerce is enabled.

It’s much less likely, however, that you will have given much thought to how you could incorporate geographical variables into your marketing campaigns. By first knowing how to evaluate which locations are performing best with regard to such factors as sales, number of transactions and profitability, you’ll be able to target audiences with your marketing much more effectively.

As for what causes what might be very significant performance differences from one region to another, below are some of the factors to bear in mind – and how your brand might adjust its marketing approaches accordingly.

  • Marketing costs. It might cost you more to reach a customer from, for example, London, than from York, such as if you are running a Google Ads campaign. So, if you know your total sales and marketing cost for each region, you might calculate the relative cost per conversion for each of those localities, and therefore profitability. It may be that you get more transactions from your London customers, for example, but that your York shoppers give you greater overall profit.
  • Products. The products or product types of yours that are most popular might noticeably vary from one region to another. Even drilling down to certain product attributes such as colour, size and materials, you may see significantly differing preferences, which could have big implications for your regional marketing efforts.
  • Population. Touching a bit on what we said above, you might gain more sales from certain cities, towns or regions, simply because they are the most populous. That’s why you might gain greater insight into the true levels of demand for your products on a region-by-region basis, if you divide the number of customers in each region by its total population. When you do, you may find that you’re getting poor value for money out of your marketing in one locality, but that you could benefit from upping your marketing spend in other regions.
  • Household income. You’re likely to get a greater lifetime value (LTV) out of customers situated in geographical areas where the level of disposable household income is higher. So, checking which regions command the highest average household income could help you to direct your marketing towards more profitable localities. Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), for example, indicate that as of 2017, London had gross disposable household income (GDHI) per head of £27,825 on average; the equivalent figure for Wales, meanwhile, was a much lower £15,754.

When we draw attention to the above geographical factors, we aren’t saying that other demographics – such as age and gender – aren’t important. Those factors should be considered by ecommerce site owners as well, and can provide even greater insight into the customer buying patterns that help the savviest merchants to direct their marketing expenditure more effectively.

Give the Piranha Designs team a call now, whether at our Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh offices, and we’ll be pleased to have a chat with you about our various website design, SEO and marketing services that could make a significant difference to your brand’s success in 2020.

Are you adequately considering how and where customers use your mobile ecommerce site?

Julian Byrne - Friday, February 21, 2020

A key element of the website design process, is that of broadly assuming various ways, contexts and settings in which someone might use the site in question. But have you given enough thought to how these scenarios may vary when it comes to visitors to your mobile site?

Generally speaking, any given time someone visits your mobile ecommerce site, one of three scenarios is likely to be the case: they’re probably waiting for something to happen, on a break at work, or relaxing at home.

These different situations have varying implications for users’ experience of the site, why they are visiting in the first place, what problems they are looking to solve, and how you can capture them.

What do we mean by ‘waiting for something to happen’?

You’ve probably found yourself in this situation plenty of times yourself, when you’ve suddenly come up with an idea for something, and performed a Google search for a related term.

In this scenario, the user is only typically focusing for about five to 10 minutes, and isn’t interested in actually buying a product – or at least, not right now. Instead, they’re simply putting together a mental list of ideas, perhaps including potential stores and products for their given problem.

To appeal to these visitors, then, you’ll need to provide them with obvious opportunities to connect with you – via social media or email, for instance – in ways that don’t involve actually purchasing a product.

Then, once they have connected with you in one or more of these ways, you will be able to more easily reconnect them on future occasions when they are considering buying.

Then, there are those work break-time situations...

Many of us are familiar with those potentially dull break or lunch-times in the office. We want a bit of inspiration or escapism – something to lift the boredom after a tough work shift or conversation with a colleague. A person in this scenario is looking for something to excite them, and that they can follow up on later.

This type of visitor to your mobile site probably won’t have a specific goal in mind. So, you might engage these potential customers with something like a ‘new ideas’ or ‘discovery’ section of your site, regularly updated with new products or suggestions.

...and those idle moments at home

Finally, there’s the kind of visitor who ends up on your site during what may be the quietest time of their day. Think of those people who may be sat in front on their sofa at home with a football match in the background, but who’re also idly browsing ecommerce stores on their smartphone, looking for that product they may have been recently thinking about.

Now, this is the type of customer who is likely to be interested in actually buying in the moment. So for you, this situation may well be about completing the sale, instead of merely relieving their boredom or giving them some inspiration.

Such customers are likelier to ‘go in for the kill’ with a purchase if your site is quick-loading, responsive, informative and convenient to use. So, don’t just focus on optimising loading times – also make sure you have a facility for capturing and updating reviews, of both your products and your site in general, that will help to move the relaxed visitor closer to that ‘buy’ button.

When such reviews are further complemented by an easy-to-refer-to list of accepted payment methods for a purchase and the ability to ‘save’ a shopping cart, you’ll be maximising the probability of the chilled-out shopper at home actually buying.

Remember that if you have any other questions or concerns about how your brand can get the most out of its own mobile e-tail presence in 2020, the Piranha Designs team is always ready and waiting to provide advice from our offices in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh. Or why not request a competitive quote for our complete ground-up mobile website design service?

How might you tweak your mobile site search this festive shopping season?

Julian Byrne - Friday, November 29, 2019

This time of year is inevitably one when ecommerce sites like yours will be flooded with traffic from those looking to purchase Christmas gifts – and do you know what feature will particularly help them to narrow down the options your store offers, thereby taking them one step closer to converting?

Yep, that’s right; a ‘site search’ function. Indeed, even if you have such a facility on your site already, there’s always scope to improve it – especially if a large proportion of your visitors are discovering your site via their smartphones.

Mobile site search isn’t quite the same as desktop site search

Now, it’s important to appreciate that getting your mobile site search right doesn’t involve simply doing all of the things you would do to improve your desktop site search, merely on a smaller screen.

After all, there are certain issues applicable to mobile site search that don’t apply, as strongly or at all, to desktop site search – particularly given the frequently ‘on the go’ nature of the mobile experience.

On a desktop site, for instance, it’s likely that any site-search feature will include a visible, open search box, like the one that greets you whenever you load up Google. But on the much smaller screen of a mobile, this may be an ill-advised use of limited space, thereby making it wiser for you to simply include a search icon – usually a magnifying glass – for the visitor to tap.

Another thing that’s really important with mobile site search is to ensure everything loads nice and quickly. Many of your smartphone-wielding visitors may be using the often iffy Wi-Fi connections in public places like bus and railway stations, so it’s a good idea to optimise the images that appear in mobile search on your site to be as lightweight as possible.

What other steps might you take to optimise site-search results?

There’s a lot more than the above that you can do to make the mobile site-search experience on your site feel as effortless and convenient as it should be.

The search results page should certainly be one key focus for optimisation, given how slow and cumbersome these can often be on mobile. Good tips here include restricting search results to 20 items at a time to shorten loading times, while also enabling endless scrolling.

The latter means that instead of the shopper needing to load a new results page once they’ve reached the end of those aforementioned 20 items, a further 20 items will automatically appear as they scroll down.

Oh, and you might want to eliminate relatively superfluous information, like ratings, from your mobile search results as well. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to just stick to absolutely essential information here, such as the product name and price – again, in the name of bolstering usability and loading speeds.

There’s so much more that we could do for your site experience

As mobile continues to play an ever-more fundamental role in how prospective customers engage with ecommerce brands like yours online, it’s never been more crucial to refine every last detail of the experience your site gives to smartphone and tablet users.

This is precisely what we can help you with here at Piranha Designs – so why wait any longer to contact us about our knowhow in the finer points of ecommerce and mobile website design?

The benefits Google’s BERT update could bring for your ecommerce store’s product pages

Julian Byrne - Thursday, October 31, 2019

It may be easy to become overwhelmed by the abundance of acronyms in the world of SEO (‘SEO’ itself being just one of them), but that doesn’t mean Google’s recently released BERT algorithm should be ignored.

Indeed, this particular open-source update – its letters standing for the rather catchy Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers – could be a particularly significant one for your ecommerce site’s product pages, given its focus on better understanding the intent of search queries.

So, what does BERT actually do?

Reading the above, you may wonder whether BERT is the replacement for RankBrain, which was Google’s 2015 effort to understand searcher intent. As it happens, it isn’t a replacement, with the two instead working simultaneously to decode what a user means when they perform a particular search, and giving them more relevant results accordingly.

While it isn’t the only thing that BERT does, a particular strength of the update compared to previous ones is the more sophisticated way it evaluates prepositions like “to” and “with”.

Among the examples Google provided of how BERT makes a difference was the query “2019 brazil traveller to usa needs visa”.

As human readers, we can easily understand that the person performing this search was probably someone from Brazil enquiring about how to obtain a visa to the United States. However, search results pre-BERT would also provide pages for US citizens interested in travelling to Brazil, which would obviously not meet the requirements of this specific searcher.

What should all of this mean for your ecommerce site?

Such an improved understanding of prepositions could have real positive implications for an ecommerce store wishing to attract more targeted traffic through long-tail queries.

After all, users looking for particular products online often include many specific details in their queries. Searches that use lots of such details and prepositions – for example, “red record player with speakers” or “basswood window shutters with green finish” – are likely to yield a higher proportion of truly relevant results now that BERT has arrived.

Now is the time, then, to consider how you can adjust your ecommerce site’s SEO to make the most of BERT. This should be the case across not only the product detail pages themselves, but also the filtered product grids that arise on your site due to the wealth of product attributes, such as colour, size and material, that you allow shoppers to toggle between when searching.

By citing a greater number of more specific attributes on your product pages and elsewhere around your site, you can help to put your ecommerce store in a strong position to tap into the power of BERT as you look to the busy festive shopping season and beyond.

In fact, why not have a more detailed discussion about this and other aspects of your site’s SEO with our search marketing professionals here at Piranha Designs today? It’s easy to contact us via our Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh offices, and it could help to make a big difference to the effectiveness of your brand’s online presence in the months and years ahead.


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