SMX Overtime: Managing your e-commerce category and product detail pages
E-commerce expert Tony Verre answers questions from SMX West about using product description feeds, reviews and URL structure.
Last month I spoke at SMX West about managing product detail pages on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Walmart and others during the “SEO For E-commerce Category, Product Detail Pages” session. My co-presenter, Jill Kocher Brown, and I fielded a number of questions during the session. Here’s a few more I wanted to follow up on.
What is your opinion of D2C companies sending all of their product descriptions, etc. out via feeds to their wholesale partners to use? For example. Samsung sending all of their product descriptions via feed to Best Buy?
I think this is perfectly fine. Standardizing and optimizing product content across retailers (with the same content) will provide a consistent and great user experience for the consumer, which is the most important aspect. I have not seen Google penalize the DTC website or retailer websites for near-identical content. But, if this is something that worries you, I also think it’s acceptable to create a less-robust version for retailer syndication and create a more robust and optimized version for your DTC website.
Reviews – does it matter if we use reviews we collect and control vs. leaving the reviews open on the page?
No, I don’t think it matters; however, I would prefer to leave reviews open the product pages to capture as many reviews as possible. That said, moderation and verification of reviews are key and essential. Every review should be moderated for quality and can, hopefully, be verified as a genuine shopper. This doesn’t mean that if the reviewer leaves a bad review, you don’t post it.
Have you seen an e-commerce brand employ FAQ schema on their product detail pages as a competitive tactic to push big brand competitors further down the SERP’s like Amazon, Target, etc.?
I haven’t seen this as a tactic used by brands, and I haven’t seen organic results expand with FAQ content. Using FAQ schema should be employed for two reasons: one, the mark-up will help make the product page a more viable candidate for the Answer Box results to provide the answer to the user’s questions, and two, it will help search engines digest this content better.
Do search engines use reviews and ratings for SEO purposes or its solely for customer information improving convergence?
In my opinion, search engines are absolutely using reviews and product ratings to assess “best”-type queries where consumers are looking to make comparisons. Especially as the consumer query becomes more specific about long-tail characteristics and features.
Does your e-commerce URL structure need to match your inspirational/educational URL structure? Ex: category/color/style
If you can, I would. Clearly, there will be business cases and rules that won’t allow for this. But your consumer search behaviors and need state work will also clue you in where this is more critical and necessary for some product sets than others. For example, in the beauty category, you would want to adopt a URL structure that accentuates the brand and color and style for hair color, but for hair tools, going that deep isn’t necessary.
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