How the Best Ecommerce SEO Teams Optimize Product Descriptions

Jen Saunders
Reading Time:7minutes

Ecommerce is a beast. It requires utilizing specific tech tools, expert teams that know which data to study, and how to read various metrics to optimize specific components to ensure ongoing revenue gains. Ultimately, many ecommerce businesses utilize a custom Growth Stack to grow their business–a set of tech tools and strategies specifically created to attract your ideal buyers, with a firm understanding of your business and its products.But the growth stack is not necessarily an ideal fit for all businesses, namely those with shorter sales cycles and products with low price pints. But whether you use the growth stack, or running two strategies alone make the most sense for your business, working with a digital marketing agency that offers ecommerce SEO is going to be critical simply because more than 90 percent of consumers go to Google when looking for product-based or service-based solutions to their needs, as well we to learn more about their pain points. 

Regarding ecommerce SEO, optimizing product descriptions is one of the most challenging tasks to do, and one that is most often ignored. Many brands like to keep product descriptions short and to the point. Unfortunately, Google’s algorithm is not designed to rank pages that are “short and to the point”. The search engine favors product descriptions that describe what the product is, who it’s for, how to care for it, and who it’s not for by suggesting a different product. Product pages also need to link to pillar pages that contain more information, and these pillar pages should link to the homepage. Then, main product pages and product pages should be bolstered by a cluster of blogs. This article will explain how to create these various steps to successfully optimizing product descriptions as independent landing pages, as parts to a pillar page and cluster strategy, and as critical components to a growth marketing stack.

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How to Optimize a Product Description

Product descriptions need to go beyond the limitations of simply describing a product. You can use whimsical language and describe an item in playful language, but Google’s algorithm (and your buyers) look for more than fancy vernacular. The product must talk about the ways it can be used, the problems it resolves, and who it is for. Here is a perfect example; see the product description below for an ecommerce business that sells luxury sweaters:

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This product description does an amazing job at beautifully describing the product’s pattern. It also mentions the garment is 100% cashmere. But after doing much research, your average buyer who is willing to invest in cashmere want to know a number of other things when making a purchasing decision, and since many search queries are specific to these things, being more informative will also sit well with Google. If the following points were added to this product description, it would be perfect for buyers and for the search engine:

  • The sweater is warm, yet light and breathable enough that you can wear it year-long
  • State where the cashmere came from and how it was purchased (the owner travels all over the world to source the finest materials)
  • How to clean the sweater and care for it
  • Product description recommends to buy a size bigger than what’s normal, but it should also offer an alternative product within an anchor text that takes buyers to that specific product page
  • The link to the other product should also be surrounded by language that explains who the product isn’t for, and offer a link to the other item as a solution for those buyers

That said, here is what an ideal rewrite might look like that’s ideal for SEO and for user friendliness (note the anchor text is in bold):

The is a men’s sweater made of 100% cashmere hand-selected by the company’s owner on his 1018 trip to Nepal. Its pattern is subtle, yet playful boasting undulating strips of color that are highlighted by subtle diamonds woven into the solid band across the chest. Tiny ridges between the bands lend even more texture. Available in Earth or Blue. 100% This sweater is sized slightly smaller, so order one size up if you are on the high end of your size range. This sweater is easy to care for. Gently hand-wash it in warm water with a soft detergent for delicate materials like Woolite, and gently ring it out before laying it flat on a towel to air dry. Then store it folded in a breathable box with moth repellent. If you are allergic to cashmere we recommend our  earth line alpaca sweaters  for men. 

These sweaters are hypoallergenic and offer the same, soft silkiness of cashmere without the allergic reaction, and they are more affordable without losing the luxury factor. Finally, the best part about wearing this cashmere sweater is that it can be worn for formal and casual occasions, and due to its lightweight and breathable material, it can be worn in the dead of winter, as well as on an evening out in the summertime.

As you can see, the rewrite of the product description shows buyers its features, who it’s for, who it’s not for, it offers an alternative selection, and it boasts a number of selling points to hit on various consumer needs.

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Why does Optimizing Product Descriptions Require Links?

Keep in mind that links are to websites what arteries are to the human body. As out arteries pass oxygenated blood through our systems to ensure healthy organs that lend to a healthy body, links send SEO juice to various product pages and pillar pages, which then link to the homepage thus feeding all the major parts of a website with life-sustaining fuel to help increase rankings and the site’s domain authority.

While product pages may be at the bottom of the website totem pole, they are also arguably the most important because from these people can directly convert form leads to paying customers. So you can rank a pillar page that educated and nourished buyers with the right information they need so that when they clock on a product page they are ready to buy, or you can rank individual product pages and get faster, more direct conversions thus shortening your sales cycle and improving your revenue earnings. Here is the general order:

  • A product description has a “Buy Now” button
  • Product description also has a link to an alternative product that offers different features for a different buyer
  • Product description links to the primary product page (in this case, sweaters for men)
  • That primary product page will link to the homepage (the most powerful page on the website)

Now the homepage, primary product pages, and individual product pages are all connected through an internal linking strategy where search juice can flow free thus creating a positive user experience where buyers can find what they are looking for, and thus stacking data so Google can understand what the website is about, and who it’s for.

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Optimizing Product Descriptions Requires Creating a Backlink Portfolio

Another way to rank your product high in Google’s SERPs is to create high quality content on relevant domains with links pointed back to your product pages and primary product pages. These will be guest posts, and it will require striking up relationships with webmasters for each domain. Here are some steps to follow, and best practices for doing this time-consuming endeavor:

  • Find domains that are directly relevant to your products. In the case of alpaca and cashmere sweaters, other domains could be dedicated to fashion, travel, sustainability, and alpacas.
  • Locate the editor or webmaster; see what he has written about, and note which topics get the most engagement from readers.
  • Write to that editor; tell them which articles you loved, and offer him a free article to publish as a guest blog that clearly addresses the topics his readers care about.
  • After the blog is published, create a second one and state how often you would be willing to contribute. Express that all you ask for in return is a link back to your site.
  • Specify the link will be natural and non-promotional, and that it must be a “follow” link.
  • Make sure you get to choose the anchor text, and ensure it contains the target keyword of your choice.
  • Ecommerce SEO considerations need to be made throughout the guest blog, but in a way that reads naturally

As you can see, this is a time-consuming task and one that requires expertise in ecommerce SEO. This is why it is highly advantageous to work with an ecommerce growth marketing agency that knows how to read the right data, offers custom solutions for various business models, and that uses ecommerce SEO to drive traffic to every level of the funnel, while boosting your rankings. When these things come together, your sales targets will continue to take a direct hit year-after-year with ongoing improvements made to your bottom line.

Learn how Ecommerce SEO and Our Growth Stack Might Garner Higher Sales?

Simply download our FREE guide on the growth stack, give it a read, and see if it makes sense for your business. If it doesn’t, an ecommerce SEO play with paid media might be your answer. Just give us a call, let us learn more about your customers, sales cycle and products, and together let’s define a winning custom strategy that will help you become the dominating brand in your industry.
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Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.