Companies looking to get their industrial products or manufacturing parts listed on a new website know that a good web catalog can be the key to sharing out technical data and product information. It’s so easy to provide your customers a downloadable spec sheet with everything an engineer would want.
While that’s a great solve for reducing the impact on pre-sales engineering support for their products, don’t forget the bigger picture. A new product page is the perfect opportunity to put yourself in the best position to drive more traffic to your website.
Since product pages are very narrow, often focused on a single product, they are great sources for organic search traffic. I’m talking about free sales leads coming as a result from someone’s Google search.
The challenge is turning those seemingly boring product pages into something that will work to your advantage. There are a few common mistakes that if avoided, can lead to increased web visitors and potential warm sales leads. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common SEO mistakes commonly found in online parts or components catalogs.
Bad Title Tags
Web page titles are a core signal to Google’s search algorithm. They highlight the relevant content of a webpage. The title tag shows up as the text on your web browsers tab when you open a new webpage. It’s also shown as the big blue text headline at the top of a Google search result. If you miss the mark here you’ll be in trouble.
All too often I see product pages that don’t have the best title tags. They’ll have a very simple description, or even just the company name. You need to take the opportunity to use several different terms or keywords that a potential buyer may be searching for.
Great things to include in a title tag include
- Part Name
- Part Number
- Description of the color, material or other attributes of the product.
Remember, it’s going to show up on Googles search results as big blue text as well. To make sure very single character is visible try to keep the page title to 70 characters or less.
No Call-To-Action, Where Do I Go From Here?
Imagine this, you search for a part you find exactly what you are looking for, but you have no idea how to contact someone to buy the thing. Can you believe this happens in today’s world? It does.
I was recently assessing a website for a client, and right next to the product it said, “contact the plant for details”. That was it. No phone numbers. No email addresses. No link to somewhere to find a phone number or an email address.
Make it easy for someone to get in touch with the right person that can field a sales inquiry. Provide a phone number or email address, or if you aren’t comfortable with that provide a web form that will send a request directly to a sales reps inbox. Try to remove any barriers that keep a potential prospect from quickly getting help from your sales team.
If you want your product page, or any content marketing piece to result in an action, make it easy for your vistors to take the next step.
Terrible Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are your chance to talk about your product and what it does. Of course you can talk about how much a gear weighs, or how many pound-feet of torque it can withstand. But people don’t necessarily search for product specifications.
Potential customers search using natural language. They often search for terms related to the final application for a product. Consider an oil pump.
If I was running a machine shop and had a busted milling machine I might be looking for a new oil pump. A quick search of Google for oil pump returns a first page full of oil pumps for cars and trunks. Makes sense. Not a single return for a milling machine oil pump.
Type in the phrase “milling machine oil pump” and you’ll get a host of relevant search results.
The point is I’m searching for where I’ll use the part of product, not just the function of the product. Consider dropping a few sentences describing the best applications for your product or manufactured part into the product pages. These small gems can drive great organic traffic.
Really Bad Site Navigation
Really bad navigation can be frustrating for anyone. There is nothing that will get you more bounces than confusing a visitor with a crazy navigation scheme.
We’ve all been to some website where the catalog search and filter features are terrible. You know what I am talking about. The sites where you filter your list and then you can’t figure out how to back out of what you just did. It’s a mess. Don’t be like them, make your site clean and intuitive.
Don’t assume your current navigation works either. Talk to some of your best clients and ask them how they navigate and use your website. Ask them what works well for them and what needs to be improved. You may uncover some easy changes that will make your website orders of magnitude friendlier to your customers.
The goals of good navigation isn’t necessarily about optimization for a single page. A good navigational structure can impact pages per session. The more pages someone views, the more likelihood they convert to a customer.
No H1, or H2 Tags (Sub Headings)
Finally, make sure you call out keywords and key themes as sub headings. You’ll recognize this as easily scannable sub headlines in page copy that separate thoughts or content. Like the title of this section for example.
Use one H1 tag per page, and try to use several H2 tags per page.
You’ll want to be sure to try to use some target keywords in your H1 and H2 tags. Again, these should be words and phrases that potential clients and sales leads would be searching in order to find your product online.
If this is getting a bit too deep into HTML jargon talk to the team that manages your website. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
There you have it. A quick list of things to avoid the next time you’re adding new products to your online catalog.
Until next time, keep on marketing!