How to do SEO for boring products

By SEO for boring products, we mean SEO for products that are really hard to write exciting content for. Products that need a thousand words to describe all tiny details and small print, but are, in the end, just car insurances, paper clips or emergency exit signs. We’ve all had times when we just could not come up with the right, engaging content. Sometimes it’s really hard to write something that makes sense about a product, from your own perspective. In this article, we’ll explain how to approach SEO for boring products!

First: get the basics right

Regardless of what product you’re selling, you always need to make sure that the basics of SEO for your site are right. That means that you’ll have to put some decent effort into:

  • keyword research
  • site structure
  • technical SEO

You’re in luck. At Yoast, we offer SEO courses for every one of those aspects. Or you could start out with our Basic SEO training and take it from there. And if you are using WordPress, install our Yoast SEO plugin and we’ll cover a lot of these basics for you.

Are your products boring, to begin with?

Sometimes we feel like a product is boring, but in the end, it really isn’t. You’re not selling insurance; you’re selling safety. You’re not selling paper clips; you’re cleaning up or organizing a messy office desk. A hammer isn’t used to drive in a nail; we’re using it to hang a painting.

If you look closely at the goal of your product for the end user, you might find that, even though your technical specs might be boring, there is still an engaging story to tell. SEO for boring products could be less about the product itself. Instead, the focus should be on the purpose of the product. That’s just the first step. Don’t be modest about your products, but look at them from your customer’s angle.

Think about the product category, not the product itself

Even with the purpose of your product in mind, we understand that it’s incredibly hard to write engaging content for every one of your 1,500 types of screws. Yes, some may have other uses than others, but in the end, a screw is a screw. When it’s hard to optimize every single product page (but not entirely impossible), you could take a closer look at your category page instead. The same rules apply: look at your product category’s purpose, not at the actual products.

Content ideas for boring products

Content for SEO for boring products could be just informative. But it could also be content that people want to link to and share on social media. So, perhaps you could think along the lines of more entertaining content, like a funny product video. Or you could even use memes to promote your products. We see a lot of those nowadays, right?

Besides that, keep in mind that your product page isn’t the only place on your website that’s suitable to inform people about your product. You could have general pages about your company that are suitable for product promotion. And what about your blog? Your blog is an excellent spot to talk more in-depth about your products. We do the same on our blog, talking about our courses and plugins. A blog is obviously awesome to help with SEO for boring products.

Some content idea suggestions

Check social media and your competition for ideas

What is the competition doing? You are not the only one in your niche or industry, so you’ll probably get some good ideas on what to do and what not to do. See what the competition is doing, see if something similar fits your brand and create your own stories, blog posts, product pages based on that. Learn, but don’t imitate. Improve what your competitor is doing.

Talk to your users

Talk to your users, get their stories and share them with your audience so they can relate to that. Relatability is a trigger for a lot of people. If you can relate to a story about a product, then the product already becomes more appealing. And it’s not necessarily because the product appeals to you, but because the person or the story is relatable. Think similar social groups, age categories, etcetera. Talk to your users, tell their story about your product. What have they gained by using it, what did it bring them? How did their benefit after purchasing your product or reading your website?

Write an extensive how-to or manual

People are always looking for how-tos, right? How to use travel insurance? How to fix a sink that’s stuck? So, that can be an idea – to write how-to articles/manuals that guide people to use your product and tell them what they need to do. If you are selling travel insurances, your visitors may want to know what they have to do when they actually need that insurance. Will it be hard to reach you and talk to you? Probably a lot of them want to know how to do that upfront.

Add videos

Perhaps even more than written articles, people watch videos. It’s becoming a norm nowadays to watch videos about a product you’re going to buy. That’s especially true for purchases that will cost a chunk of your money. Reviews and unboxing videos are two very common types of video people seek when they want to know more about a product. People like to see other people sharing stories, so feel free to ask your customers to create reviews and unboxing videos. From a brand point of view, you have product explainer videos and instructional videos. If you can provide people with instructional videos before your customers do that themselves, then you’re already winning.

Create a user story and start storytelling

Storytelling is effective and you see it more and more. Social media is excellent for this, but your blog also provides a solid base for storytelling. We mentioned before in an article about testimonials that “stories have a positive influence on a customer’s perception of a brand, as well as the willingness to purchase. Stories can affect behavior, given that the story resonates with your visitor.” And you can craft that story to your own needs, as long as you keep it natural. All and all, create a story people can relate to!

Top 10 tips and other awesome ideas with your product

Get creative and think outside the box! We know this is easier said than done. But you’ll be surprised by the number of content ideas you can think of if you think a bit outside the box. The top 5,10 tips type-of-content can be a good starting point. In the case of the travel insurances, the top 10 tips for travels to <insert country> and travel checklist are great ideas that will attract visitors. Again, check the competition and learn from them.

Good luck optimizing

SEO for boring products is about making a product less boring by focusing less on the product and more on the visitor/customer and the reason they need your product. These stories, combined with a solid SEO base and an engaging social media strategy will help you a lot.

The last thing we want to mention is that there is a real opportunity here. If you manage to make your SEO efforts for boring products work, if you manage to create engaging content for products that you thought were dull and uninteresting, this is going to give you an edge over your competitors. You are not alone in finding it hard to come up with that content. All your competitors are probably struggling as well. Get creative! Good luck optimizing.

Read more: Product page SEO »

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9 Responses to How to do SEO for boring products

  1. Frank Umeadi
    Frank Umeadi  • 5 years ago

    Good day, Michiel Heijmans and thank you for this post.
    I recently launched an e-commerce startup, for educational research consultancy. I saw the Yoast Woocommerce plugin and I’m wondering if it adds extra SEO benefits to my website so that I can make a decision. Can I know the benefits of the plugin since I’m selling mostly project topics and materials?

    Thank you!

  2. stephni
    stephni  • 5 years ago

    The last thing that I would like to mention, is that there is a real opportunity here. If you manage to make your SEO for boring products work, if you manage to create engaging content for products that you thought were dull and uninteresting.

    • Rajeev D
      Rajeev D  • 5 years ago

      Hello Michiel,
      Thanks for sharing valuable informative articles. Content is always king for boost-up SEO and if content is unique and people can read thoroughly SEO surely improve.

    • Iris Guelen
      Iris Guelen  • 5 years ago

      We totally agree, Stephni! It’s a great way to stand out from your competitors.

  3. Sonia
    Sonia  • 5 years ago

    The more difficult content is to produce of a certain item the greater the opportunity there is. Difficult content will not attract a lot of people and a few people who will accept to bare the pain to produce that kind of content will benefit tremendously.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 years ago

      Thanks for the addition, Sonya. Agreed!

  4. Aranya Janthorn
    Aranya Janthorn  • 5 years ago

    Mensen hebben geen zin en leven te gehaast om veel tekst te lezen , ik vraag mijn klanten waar hun interesse naar uitgaat als ze mijn site bezoeken.
    Ze zoeken de prijs en het adres , de vakantie is kort en willen niet te veel tijd besteden aan tekst op een website.
    Daar ben ik het afgelopen jaar achter gekomen door het te vragen. Het is voor elke branche verschillend denk ik.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 years ago

      Hi Aranya, Goed dat je het direct aan je klanten vraagt, zij kunnen je natuurlijk het beste vertellen waarnaar ze op zoek zijn! Wat uitgebreidere teksten, bijvoorbeeld op een blog, kunnen je wel helpen met je rankings, wat je dan ook weer meer traffic en uiteindelijk meer klanten zou kunnen opleveren. Succes!

  5. Lisa
    Lisa  • 5 years ago

    Michiel, these are some great opportunities to write content about boring products. One of the best content ideas was the “will it blend” series. Cought a lot of attention and backlinks..