You may have an incredible line of products on your eCommerce website, but what are your product pages doing to sell your products? In order to maximize your conversions, each one of your product pages should be optimized by taking advantage of the best eCommerce website design practices.
Optimized product pages are important because they are often all the users will see before deciding whether or not to purchase your product. If you offer a lackluster user experience, they aren’t likely to check out your home page or other well-designed areas of your site. In fact, they will probably just hit the back button.
If you are serious about generating more sales for your eCommerce business, you need to treat every product page with more care than simply uploading a grainy photo and leaving a one-sentence description. This guide will show you how to build a product page that converts using proper design and marketing elements.
Fulfilling User Expectations
When constructing an optimized product page, you need to constantly be aware of whether or not you are fulfilling user expectations or not. You might think you have designed a beautiful product page, but the value of a page is determined by how well it can be navigated by the user, not by how nice it looks.
Case in point, if your page is cluttered and confusing, this can have a dramatic impact on whether or not it converts. Confused users rarely make purchases, and are far more likely to abandon their carts, if only for the fact that they are picking up signals of unprofessionalism and possibly insecurity.
When a user clicks onto your website, it’s your job to fulfill their expectations. The page should be designed intuitively, with minimal spam and easily viewable options and details, just like a landing page. Never leave your user in the dark, otherwise, they will abandon ship quickly. Every time a user views a product online, they want to be reassured that they are in good hands and that the product in question will be exactly as advertised.
You don’t assuage those fears by uploading a single low-res stock photo of your product or bombarding the users with popups and ads. Ask yourself, if a person were to find themselves on one of your product pages without having ever heard of your brand or without ever seeing your homepage, would they be likely to click the buy button?
If the answer to that question is anything but a confident “yes!”, we have some work to do. In order to meet those customer expectations and create an effective product page design, there are several points that need to be addressed.
The Key Elements of a Product Page
A well-made product page consists of several important elements that come together to form a coherent message. The ultimate goal of any product page is to ultimately sell the product, but it’s not as easy as simply displaying a product and providing a “buy now” button. In most cases, you need a delicate balance of marketing, SEO, and eCommerce website design in order to properly bridge that gap and convert a viewer into a customer.
Before a user even sees the product page, it needs to be designed with the proper SEO conventions in place, otherwise, it’s unlikely to be favored enough by the search engines in order to rank. This means everything about the page from the ground up needs to be properly optimized from the ground up, including the URL.
The URL of your product should be descriptive but not full of filler words. Most importantly, it should consist of a relevant longtail keyword for the product in question along with any important descriptors, if applicable. Aim for descriptive yet succinct URLs for the best possible SEO results.
The next most important aspect of your product page is, of course, the product title and description itself. The title should reflect exactly what the product is with little embellishments and filler, while the description can elaborate more on the specific details and purposes of the product.
Your product description should include a specific keyword you want to rank for in relation to the product that it is describing, and include plenty of relevant information that the user may want to know. This is where you want to be ahead of the competition in terms of content. Your product description should cover all of the parameters of the product as well as uses and benefits, just as you would optimize copy for landing page conversion.
Not only does this inform the reader but it gives the search engines something more to work with. Everything with SEO is contextual. If the search engines are crawling the page and they don’t find enough information to conclude that it is related to the topic or keyword you are trying to rank for, the page will be considered weak or thin content and will not rank.
Another area where store owners commonly struggle is in their product photos. While everyone can’t be expected to be a professional photographer just to get some decent content for their website, it’s easier than ever to get high-quality photographs for your products.
Today, most cell phones come equipped with a camera that’s decent enough to take incredible photos in a well-lit room. With every passing year, the Internet becomes more visual and media-dependent. Often, a set of great product photos will do more to sell your product and assuage the fears of potential customers than any amount of text.
Not only this, but great photos also rank exceptionally well on Google. The search engines are constantly looking for the best possible media that describes or illustrates a particular keyword or topic. If all of your competitors are relying on tiny low-resolution pictures that look like they are from the Stone Age of the Internet, you might be able to get a clear advantage simply by uploading two or three high-resolution images with the proper file name and metadata.
As you are uploading photos to your website, always keep in mind that the file name is extremely important. Avoid whenever possible uploading photos with names that include random strings of numbers and letters. Ideally, you want each one of your product photos to contain either the name of the product itself or a specific relevant longtail keyword. Once the photo is on your website, you also want to make sure that the relevant metadata is also filled out, such as its alt-tag.
All of this information plays a role in how Google interprets what it sees on your website. A photo with a proper name provides context, which is huge once you understand that it’s Google’s job to help its users find what they need as quickly and with as little hassle as possible. If a user is searching for a product and happens upon two images side by side in Google, and one has a clearly written file name that describes the product, and the other has nonsensical alphanumeric mumbo-jumbo, chances are the user will click the one that looks safe and professional.
One highly overlooked area of many product pages would be the interlinking. How are you helping your users find exactly what they are looking for throughout your site? Once a user clicks onto one of your products, how easily can they find related products through links in the product description as well as through secondary navigation or breadcrumbs?
Proper interlinking helps reduce confusion and translates into more sales. A user may find themselves on one of your products through a Google search but it may not be exactly what they are looking for. With the proper links in place however, they will be able to easily navigate to the right product through contextual linking.
For example, having a section underneath your product for “related products” or a section for products that users often purchase alongside the one they are looking at. Including links in a product description to relevant products is also useful and helps with conversions. A user will feel more confident in a certain purchase if they know that they can find other helpful or necessary items in your store related to the item they are already looking at.
Finally, the last ingredient for any successful product page is customer reviews. These days, social proof and trustworthiness are everything for an online business. When making any kind of purchase online, no matter how small, most users will seek out reviews before anything else. The presence of reviews on a product page communicates several key pieces of information for the user. Namely, that other people have actually purchased an item from this website before without any dramatic repercussions, and that the product in question was as described.
Before making a purchase online, most users need a certain level of confidence in your brand or website before clicking the buy button. Reviews provide automatic confidence boosters by plainly showing that real people not only made transactions on this website, but those transactions also played out without any problems. Whether or not the reviews are good is another story, but it is ultimately up to you to make sure you are delivering a solid product that will meet customer expectations.
Reviews also provide information for search engines, and it’s a well-known fact at this point that Google prefers websites and products that have reviews, especially positive ones. The more something is trustworthy and vetted online, the more Google will prefer it. SEO is about more than keywords when it comes to products. The trust factor has to be there, otherwise, Google is not going to place a lot of weight on your page because the users are going to shy away from it instinctively.
Always enable reviews on your products and encourage your customers to leave them. Regardless of the chances you have of receiving the occasional poor review, they are critical to a successful product page that converts.
Using Psychology in Conversion
There are a few other elements of any great product page or online store that should be considered when designing for maximum conversions. When you are putting together your product page you always want to keep in mind the perspective of the user and how they may perceive the value of your product or worth of your offer.
One way in which value is often generated in eCommerce is through the use of a limited time offer. Whether you only have a certain number of products in stock, or you are only offering a particular product at a certain price for a set period of time, these facts should be made known to your prospective customers. This creates a sense of urgency and plays on their FOMO, or “fear of missing out.”
A limited time offer scenario can be utilized in many different ways, such as through a running ticker at the top of a product page or across the whole website depending on the scenario. If the offer is product specific, you may decide to place the announcement in the product description itself. Regardless of how it is implemented, presenting your users with a limited time offer can be extremely effective, because you are creating a scenario where their reluctance to buy may result in them never being able to obtain the product, or at least not easily or anytime soon.
This falls into the greater tactic of manufactured urgency. While you don’t want to overdo it, all eCommerce websites should utilize a bit of manufactured urgency when necessary in order to spark engagement and sales. Manufactured urgency is any kind of tactic, such as a countdown timer, limited time offer, sale, buy one get one free deal, or “offer ends soon” banner that you use to push conversions.
Too much manufactured urgency can be off-putting and spammy, yet when used correctly it can have extremely effective results in terms of conversions. People don’t want to feel like they are missing out on a good thing, and who can resist a good sale? Generating urgency can also spark word of mouth activity, as scenarios involving sales, special offers, and countdowns spread like wildfire on social media.
The last important element to pepper into any great product page or online store are calls to action. If every product page doubles as a sales page, then you can’t forget to always encourage action. As simple as you may think it is, calls to action get conversions. Oftentimes online, people won’t commit to an action or even remember to perform the action unless they are told to do it.
Just having a “buy now” button is not enough. If you really want to make that sale, you have to encourage your customers to take action whenever possible. While you don’t want to sound desperate, there are plenty of opportunities for calls to action throughout your product pages, including the description, photos, sidebars, banners, and more. Don’t be afraid to customize your “add to cart” or “buy now” buttons to add a little punch. Use CSS rollover animations, witty copy, or a call to action underneath the button itself. Always encourage the users to take action rather than merely hoping that they will.
How to Make Your Products Irresistible
While you may be tempted to leave your products with low-res images and weak descriptions, you’re going to want to touch on these points and ensure each of your products has the proper elements in place to increase conversions. Once you understand what needs to be done for all of your products, you then have to go through the process of implementing these tactics for all of your products.
This can admittedly be a monumental task, which is why you may want to consider letting a professional eCommerce website design agency like us do the heavy lifting for you. If you’re serious about making money online, optimizing your website for conversions, and running a successful business, you have to take your product pages seriously.
1DigitalⓇ can help you create product pages that convert. Our team has extensive experience working with eCommerce stores on a variety of platforms and niches, and understand exactly what it takes to help a website get to that higher level. Through professional user-centered design practices, precise SEO campaigns, and rich eCommerce knowledge, we can help you get the most out of each one of your product pages. If you’re interested in getting those conversions, let’s talk. You can get in touch with our team right here at 888-982-8269.
- Matt Lovett
- May 20, 2020