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Content on product pages and product category pages

We generally advise adding at least 300 words to pages you want to rank with, since the amount of text on a page has a positive impact on the page ranking. But it can be difficult to get those 300 words, especially for online shop owners. Some products just don’t offer the inspiration for lengthy pieces of copy, even though they’re an important part of your site. In this Ask Yoast, we’re using two questions from readers to discuss a strategy to rank the right pages of your online shop!

Let’s take a practical example: what should you do if you have an eCommerce website with multiple pages about different types of pants? You can do your best to optimize these product pages. But how do you write 300 words for each product page in that case? And is it even worthwhile doing that?

Felisza Nichols was wondering the same thing:

“I want to know if having less than 300 words for your product page is bad. I have a clothing store and it’s difficult to write 300 words about a pair of pants.”

Watch the video at the top of this post or read the transcript for the answer!

Things to consider when optimizing product pages

“That’s something I can relate to, especially if you sell a hundred different type of pants. The funny thing is, on a store, the 300-word length is probably quite a bit. The question is:

A. Should you have that much text on the page or is there a lot of other content on a page that you could count in as well, so you could do with 150 or 200 words?
B. Should you really be optimizing for this specific product or should you be optimizing the category page for which it is usually a lot easier to write 300 words than for the product page.

So the question you have to ask yourself is twofold: 

A. Should I optimize the specific pants page? Or should I optimize the category page?
B. Could I get away with 150 or 200 words because I have a lot of other content on the page? So, if you have a lot of images or technical information about the product then you can usually get away with less content.

The biggest thing I would say is: optimize the category page and don’t optimize the individual product pages that much.

Good luck!”

Ranking with product category pages

So, as we’ve seen, ranking your shop category pages, rather than individual product pages, can be a good strategy. But this also means these category pages need a sufficient amount of text. You also still want products on that page to catch the eye. Let’s discuss some options for dealing with that!

Stefan Wohlert emailed us this question:

Should I start with a long introduction on my shop’s category page? If I write 400 – 500 words, the actual products will be pushed down a lot.

Watch the video or read the transcript for the answer!

Adding content on product category pages

“This is a question we get a lot. You want content on those pages to be able to rank. At the same time, your products are more important than your content. Now I would suggest having a couple of hundred words up top and then maybe allow people to continue to read by going to the bottom of the page and having a button there that takes them there.

You can play with this. You can also do different tabs. This was a big no-no in the past, but with the advent of mobile, Google has actually started indexing both tabs, even the non visible ones, because on mobile this actually makes sense. So you can play with this, see what works, see what makes your ranking change and then make it as good as possible. I would keep up the 400, 500 words per page, though. That’s a very good thing. Good luck.”

Read more: eCommerce SEO checklist »

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