You can devote a lot of time and energy to optimizing your WooCommerce website, and with good reason.
When you’re competing with thousands of other ecommerce websites, you’ve got to optimize your site for discovery by search engines and most importantly, make it usable for people! Ecommerce owners often put a lot of time into optimizing homepages and checkout flows, but what about your product pages?
It’s always surprising to see websites with impeccable homepages, yet product listings which need work. This happens a lot more than you may think. Our overall message here: give those product listings some attention!
Here’s how and why:
What does it mean to optimize product listings?
We could argue that for an ecommerce store, your product pages are among the most important. They’re where customers go to get information about your products before deciding to make a purchase. Those pages have a job to do, and they need to do it well.
When we optimize product listings, one aim is to reduce or remove possible friction for the customer. This means looking at anything that might cause them to hesitate over making a purchase and taking steps to fix it, from page performance issues to missing information.
Another aim of optimization is to ensure that your product pages show up well for search engines. SEO (search engine optimization) refers to any of a number of strategies designed to make your pages more visible to search engines, so that they are shown higher in search results.
Of those two broader categories of optimization, the one that is most often the cause of poor-performing product pages is friction for the customer. If you’ve put work into SEO across the rest of your website and you’re generating plenty of traffic, then poor performance is probably due to the customer having difficulty with the page for some reason.
Why is it important to optimize your product listings?
Why is it important to optimize your product listings? Because doing so will help you to sell more products. You can spend a lot of money on marketing to draw customers to your website, only to waste it if their experience of your site, including your product pages, is poor.
Optimizing product pages is part of the complete package for ensuring your website is ready to perform. If you’ve worked on your homepage, about page and checkout, why wouldn’t you give the same attention to product pages?
How to optimize WooCommerce product listings
Here are some of the best ways to optimize your product listings with WooCommerce:
Optimize your product images
First thing’s first, you MUST have images for each of your products. There are a surprising number of ecommerce sites out there with listings that don’t have a product image. Guess what? They’re probably not selling many of those products at all.
Your customers expect to be able to see images of your products because they’re not able to go into a store and pick them up. Your images need to be of high quality and show different angles – wide and close up – of your products so that the customer can visualize using the product. Images play a big part in buying decisions.
We say “high quality” images because sometimes the image quality is what lets the site down. Poor quality images can come across as amateur and put the customer off buying. High quality says “professional” and that you care about your products.
Another part of image optimization is ensuring that the images are the right size, both in terms of scale and file size for the page. They need to render well for the customer, while image file size should still be small enough that it doesn’t slow down page performance.
You can use more than one image – customers like to see this. Just make sure you’re not using so many that the page is too slow to load.
Spice up your product descriptions
It’s frustrating when you’re attempting to shop online but can’t find basic information about the product you are interested in. This is where detailed product descriptions are important.
Think about all the questions a customer might have about your product and endeavor to answer them in your product description. For example, consider things like:
- Materials your product is made from.
- Where it is made.
- Any guarantees or warranties.
- Size – including weight and dimensions.
- Any special features and where they’re located (such as pockets on clothing!).
You should also use SEO keywords in your product descriptions to make them more likely to pop up in search results. Consider what someone might search for when looking for your products and include those words or phrases in your description. For example, “best pants for winter hiking” or “conditioning treatment for frizzy hair.” Notice that the best keyword phrases often relate to a problem the customer is trying to solve.
While we’re on the subject of keywords, you should also complete the alt text and image name for each of your images. Alt text provides a description of the image for screen readers, so make it as detailed as possible. Your image name should also use keywords that help to describe your product, rather than “img12345.jpg” or whatever is automatically designated. For example “winter-hiking-pants-black” might be appropriate as the image name for black hiking pants that you sell.Make sure your product descriptions answer FAQs customers may have. Click To Tweet
Get more product reviews
Product reviews help your listings to show up in search results. They also provide the customer with “social proof” that others are using and enjoying your products. Many customers rely on reviews as part of their decision making process when shopping online.
How do you get more reviews? It starts by asking your customers to provide them after they’ve bought your products. You can use an extension such as Customer Reviews for WooCommerce to set them up for your pages. You can ask for reviews by:
- Emailing the customer and including a direct link to make a review.
- Including review requests on packaging inserts.
It’s important to show that reviews are genuine, rather than “bought.” Give clear directions for how to give a review and ask people to describe how they feel about your product. When people click on five stars but don’t write anything, it’s meaningless as proof for new customers. They want to know the particulars of why the customer rated it how they did.
Show product variations
Do you sell products that come in different colors or patterns? It’s important to showcase these in a way that makes it easy for the customer to see them.
The default WooCommerce setup allows customers to select a product variation that will change the featured image they see, but not the gallery images. They’d have to scroll through the gallery looking for different angles of their preferred variation.
You can make this easier by selecting a WooCommerce extension that selects images based on the product variation the customer chooses. This is a better experience for them and much more efficient than having to scroll through a gallery. For example, the Additional Variation Images extension, or Variation Swatches and Photos will help to clean up how variations are presented.
Show product recommendations and related products
Your product pages are an excellent place to showcase related items, or similar product recommendations. Sometimes the customer might be interested in the product as an add-on, or, if the product they’re looking at isn’t quite what they’re looking for, they might find what they need through a display of related products. This is a good way to keep them interested in shopping!
Using a plugin such as Related Products for WooCommerce will help you to set this up on your product pages. You can choose to set it up automatically by related category or tags, or you can make manual selections of related products for each individual product.
Here at CheckoutWC, we’ve created an optimized checkout experience for WooCommerce. However, in order to get customers there, you absolutely should optimize those product pages!
Take a look at the suggestions for optimizing your pages we’ve outlined here, or download our checklist from the link below to make a start on sprucing up those product listings.
With improved product pages, you should hopefully see more sales going through your checkout. Good luck!