Latest posts by Andy MacLean (see all)
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Ecommerce sites can be a haven for duplicate content. Many site owners wonder why it is that they can have such poor rankings and traffic when they have so much content. Much of the time its because the content that they rely on – the product descriptions – are not unique. In fact not only are they not unique seemingly everyone else selling the same product on the net has the same description!
Innocently copying and pasting product descriptions from the manufacturer/wholesaler is actually a really big mistake. Without unique content its going to be difficult to outrank your competitors and worse still in the days of Panda & Penguin sites with alot ‘thin’ content are going to suffer so although it can be a huge task it is important to re-write ALL product descriptions. Hotel aggregator sites, even big ones like hotels.com use the same old product descriptions as given to them or or copy/pasted from the hotels site.
There’s ways and means of doing this relatively painlessly. Mturk.com is a quick and cheap way of outsourcing your copy requirements though you may find you need to carefully approve work as english and grammar can be an issue. Theres sites like odesk.com where you find and hire freelance writers relatively cheaply.
Product Description Tips
Its well worth thinking about the phrasing and wording to use or to instruct writers to use in product descriptions. Things like ‘cheap’ ‘sale’ ‘fast delivery’ ‘rates’ ‘best’ are possible words that people searching for your products may use in the search query so get an advantage over your competitors who use copied product descriptions, use these terms and ensure you rank above them. The buzz terms vary depending on your niche. For clothing size words are good to use e.g. ‘xl’ or ‘size 10’. Spend some time thinking about what tag on words people may use in your niche and use tools like the Adwords keyword tool to help you https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool.
Dont just limit your re-writing to the description. Your page title, meta description, h1 & alt tags are all very important. Its advisable to use the ‘money’ keywords and variations in your page title (not too long!) and use your meta description as your sales pitch as this is what will determine whether people will click on your search result.
Another really nice way to to get super targeted traffic, if its applicable to your product, is to include product codes in content. Alot of people comparison shop using product codes. Furniture is a great example of where people use product codes. Often furniture shoppers go into a store, see something they like, then go home and Google the product code to see where they can buy it cheaper online. Clickthrough rates and conversion rates (assuming your pricing is good) are high from these kinds of terms and they can be relatively easy to rank for. Use of product codes in your content is also important if you have an internal search facility on your site. Its a missed opportunity if people search your site for the code of a product you sell if your search facility returns 0 results.