Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 3.93.75.242

Forum Moderators: buckworks

Message Too Old, No Replies

SEO for narrow-focus e-commerce company

URLs, Title Tags, H1s and Product Names - Best Format

     
2:44 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 26, 2018
posts: 2
votes: 0


Hi Guys –

I’m really hoping you can help me. I’ve recently joined an e-commerce company as a content writer and am to write product descriptions, landing page content, long-form blog posts, etc. All is good there. BUT… I think there are HUGE flaws in what they are doing with URLs, Product Names, Title Tags, etc.

To protect the company’s reputation, I’m going to use a made up company to explain what’s going on and hope some of the experts here can provide guidance.

Company Pseudo Name: WallyWatches.com
Sells wrist watches. Assume that 90% of people use search term “wrist watch” rather than just “watch.”
Company sells 10,000 different styles of watches.

PRODUCT NAMES
In order to avoid duplicate content and to not be seen to be keyword stuffing, the product names do NOT contain the words “wrist watch.” Instead, they are named according to the image on the watch face, e.g. “Bright Sun,” or “Red Barn.”

PRODUCT URLS
The Product Names are incorporated into the URL, so URLs for every single product take the form of:
WallyWatches.com/red-barn.html
Note that neither “watch,” nor “wrist watch,” appear in the URL.

TITLE TAGS
For the product pages, title tags take the form of “Red Barn – Rustic – Shop by Category”

H1
The product names also serve as the H1, so no mention of “wrist watch,” or “watch,” there.
<><><><>
The company’s SEO expert has been with the company for a very long time and has a very close relationship with the owner. The SEO guy is adamant that we not include “wrist watch” in the product names or in the URLS (not even for new products going up that would have no external links pointing at them).

He has agreed to change the title tags, but some will include “watch,” some will include “wrist watch,” and others will include “time piece,” depending upon how many characters, when added to the product name, will equal 70.

As for the H1, he’s agreed to add the term “watch,” to each of 10,000 SKUs, but not “wrist watch,” (which is 90% of searches).

The SEO guy tells me that it is unimportant to have “wrist watch” in our product names, might even be detrimental to have the term in there as it could be seen as keyword stuffing, and an absolute no-no to have them in the URLs (even for new products).

He says that we have plenty of content in each product page that identifies the product as a wrist watch. That our poor search results will improve as I contribute unique descriptions for each watch. That we have “category pages,” for different product groupings and those pages have great content and rank well in search results. Note: We do… but far fewer people search for “Rustic Wrist Watches” than do “Wrist Watches.”

Currently, for the search term “wrist watch,” we show up on page 3 or 4. All of our competitors, including newer businesses, businesses with fewer products, companies just not as good as us are kicking our butts. They all use the term “wrist watch” in their URLs, Product Names, Title Tags, H1s, etc.

Most of them have worse descriptions than ours (one uses the exact same description for every product). Many of them do have more links than we do… but not all. SEO guy tells me our poor results are mostly due to not enough links… so I have to write content that other sites will link to.
<><><><>
Your thoughts? Please!
Thanks,
4:11 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 16, 2003
posts:1958
votes: 14


I'd agree with your SEO - your category level landing pages should be targeting the more generic terms and starting to overlap the optimisation on product pages could potentially confuse things. I.e. you don't want one product out of a hundred ranking for "wrist watch" - that scenario starts funnelling traffic to individual products rather than spreading it more evenly across all.

Presumably you have a good top level page optimised for "wrist watch"? Maybe the homepage or a main category page?

With regards the URLs, while I don't think there's any downside in including the main category keywords in product URLs, for the size and scale you're talking, having them all much shorter and tidier is probably preferable, so again agreeing with your SEO. It's unlikely that your competitor's performance is related to the keywords in their product URLs.

For copywriting, there's nothing wrong including the main category level keywords in the copy for individual products (it's logical to do so), but I wouldn't call it a SEO thing and I wouldn't avoid doing so for any "SEO reason".

Keep in mind for a 10k+ product site, the actual copy optimisation is a relatively small piece of the puzzle. The technical side of SEO is much more impactful and needs to be managed carefully, which is why I'd imagine your SEO is implementing these policies.

What he's probably trying to avoid is random product pages screwing up existing generic category keyword rankings.

tl;dr your SEO seems to know what he's doing. :)
4:53 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 26, 2018
posts: 2
votes: 0


Hi Marketing_Guy --

Thanks for that. It makes me feel better and that I'm not wasting my time. I'm just concerned that every single one of our 30 better-ranking competitors uses the full term "wrist watch" in their URLs, Title Tags, H1s and on-page product names and we don't. The analyst in me identifies a correlation, and I was jumping to the "causation" conclusion... so your experienced opinion is greatly appreciated.

And, yes -- we do have content rich / optimized category pages and other landing pages that do well. It's just that most people don't search for specific categories of watches, they search for watches. I was thinking that getting "wrist watches" on the individual product pages would "add juice" to the site as a whole... never thinking that adding "wrist watch" would get any individual product to rank on it's own.

Again... thank you.
8:54 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 9, 2001
posts:5838
votes: 163


so I have to write content that other sites will link to.


Here be dragons.

Create content with the goal of reaching and serving your prime target audience, not just gaining links for the sake of gaining links.

It would be all too easy to write link bait that ends up making it less clear what the site is about. A page of light-bulb jokes might help your cause very little either for SEO or for watch sales.

Focus on relevance and quality, and keep a clear picture in mind of who your best prospects are.
9:37 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 26, 2018
posts: 2
votes: 0


Hi Buckworks -

Thanks for your input. Hey - I'm a content guy - it's what I do (and do fairly well).

I'm not an SEO guy, however, and was concerned that there were major flaws in their conventions for URLs, Title Tags, H1s/Product Names that just cannot be rectified with all of the high-quality content in the world.

I get a bit alarmed when 30 companies are doing X and ranking ahead of us for the most important search term and we, who are a much better company but doing Y, are on SERP 4.

With y'all telling me it's okay, and that content will solve all matter of problem regardless of meta info, I'm good to go.

Thanks!
11:52 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 9, 2001
posts:5838
votes: 163


flaws in their conventions for URLs, Title Tags, H1s/Product Names


Even if you're right about that, don't jump to the conclusion that it's necessary to rework the whole site. Focus on a few pages at a time, and work to improve how they show in some commercially useful searches.

A higher rank is obviously desirable, but edits that improve how your listings look when users see you in the search results can be just as valuable. Better titles and descriptions can draw more traffic even if your rankings don't change ... and are often easier to achieve.

Spend some time in the Google Search Console to review what searches you're currently getting action for, and check those searches to see how you look as well as how you rank. You might spot some easy candidates for CTR improvement.
11:57 pm on Mar 26, 2018 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 9, 2001
posts:5838
votes: 163


Hey, we forgot to say WELCOME to Webmaster World!

We hope you find that it's a productive place to hang around! :)