Tuesday, November 03, 2009

SEO for Product Pages

It seems like so much of what is written about search engine optimization (SEO) assumes that you're writing a blog post, or a news story, or the next great "how to" article that's going to be syndicated far and wide on article marketing sites.

Sometimes that is what you're doing, but often writing for the web—and SEO—involves less glamorous pages like product or service descriptions. Of course, such pages are critical: no one will buy anything from you if they don't understand what you offer. It's just that, no matter how creatively written and carefully optimized, your "About Our Widgets" page is never going to make it to the first page of Digg. It simply can't compete with the latest Britney-Spears-abducted-by-a-three-armed-alien type story.

So how do you add life, and SEO value, to a product page? Here are four complementary techniques:

1) Use the words your prospects use. It doesn't matter if your product is technically more of a thingamabob than a whatchamacallit, if your prospects are searching for whatchamacallits, and that's the competitive set they place your product in, that had better be the term you're using. Use a keyword research tool to help identify which terms to use.

2) Tell a story. Incorporate the keywords you just identified into a compelling story that helps your prospective customers quickly understand how their life will be better once they buy your widgets. Be as specific as possible, and link to case studies to support specific claims.

3) Write detailed product descriptions, again incorporating keywords. The more detailed and vivid the description, the more appealing it will be to both human prospects and search engine bots.

4) Use pictures if at possible, and optimize the alt tags associated with the images, again using the keywords identified above. Photos and diagrams add interest and aid in understanding for your human prospects, while the alt tags communicate the value of the images to search engines. Also use keywords in the file names of your images.

As prospects work their way through the research process, from general how-is-this-problem-being-solved-today research to specific types of products or services, make sure that your content fits their needs—and that the search engines can find it.

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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