In a recent Google SEO office-hours hangout, a participant brought up questions surrounding the ranking of product pages. Their blog content ranks high, but product pages are still struggling to make it to the SERP.
Google’s John Mueller addresses these concerns.
The Question: Why Are my Product Pages Not Ranking?
The participant asks Mueller the following question:
So I’m doing SEO for an e-commerce website, pretty new, around 8 months old.
And it’s not a huge website. It’s got 30, 40 products in total. We sell green tea and herbal tea online. I’ve been seeing some movement with the efforts that we put in, regular back-linking process, on-page SEO, structured data. We are working a lot on our blog section because that’s where we see a lot of other competitors are doing. So I think the efforts we are making there are falling into place. It’s just that the products page, they don’t rank well. They don’t rank at all.
Google faces many challenges when attempting to crawl and rank product pages. Duplicate content from similar products, lack of SEO-optimized product descriptions, and image-heavy pages are only a few of the obstacles crawlers come up against.
Mueller agrees that ranking product pages is uniquely difficult, stating, I think that’s always challenging. And I don’t think there is a simple trick to make that happen.
Mueller goes on to elaborate on a few ideas he has for improving product page rank.
Utilize Google Shopping Feed
Mueller first brings up Google’s Shopping Feed, which allows users to add products at no cost. These products are then shown in the Shopping search results and occasionally mixed in with the regular search results.
Your Google Merchant Center account is the key to organizing your product information and giving Google everything it needs to get your ads in front of your intended customers.
Internally linking low-ranking pages from high-performing ones transfers link equity from one page to another. So if you have a blog page that ranks well on the SERPs, use it to your advantage.
With regards to the…products themselves, if you’re saying that some of your content like the blog posts are ranking well but the products aren’t then sometimes you can help that by making sure that there is clear internal linking between those things.
So the pages where you are seeing that they’re working out well, make sure that there’s really a clear linking from those pages to your actual products.
While this may seem simple enough, Mueller goes on to share strategy tips for optimizing these links:
If you have really long kind of blog posts that are ranking, the challenge there might be that it’s very tempting to link to a lot of different products from there. And by linking to a lot of different products, you’re kind of saying well, everything is a little relevant but nothing is really relevant. Whereas if you link to a few products from those pages then you can…really say…these are really important products.
Mueller encourages being selective with which products you choose to link to. Prioritize linking to products that bring in the most revenue, sell quickly, or are customer favorites. Then, given time, those product pages have a good chance of moving up on the SERP.
Consider the Competition and Remember: It Takes Time
The participant explains to Mueller that he is already implementing those practices on his website. Mueller encourages him to keep moving in that direction and reiterates the importance of linking strategically.
Mueller also states:
It’s sometimes just…the competition is quite strong and it takes a while to…grow. Even if you’re doing all the right things, it still takes time to grow and rank against larger competitors that have been around much longer. A strong SEO strategy will yield results, so have patience and don’t give up.
Mueller explains utilizing your Google Shopping Feed, placing internal links strategically, and giving your site time to grow all key components when increasing product page rank. Implementing these practices with skill and patience will give your products the boost they need to make it to the top SERPs.