Michael Cottam recently took us on a journey in his Moz Blog post, "Leveraging Panda to Get Out of Product Feed Jail." His journey was one of being a customer instead of the SEO expert, searching for the right replacement stopper to fix his bathroom sink.
What he runs into is the familiar product description from the manufacturer that doesn't measure up to what is needed. Many times, these descriptions will have errors or insufficient information to answer your questions. This causes a problem with customers, and it causes a problem with Panda, the Google algorithm designed to filter out weak content.
How To Improve Poor Product Info
Michael Cottam has a few suggestions for those who have a lot of weak manufacturer's product descriptions on our sites:
- add your own descriptions and reviews as clearly marked commentary, increasing your value as an authority
- ask for feedback so your customers have a way to alert you to problems
- see what customers ask on other sites (like Amazon) and address those questions
- create fitment/cross-reference charts for products - your site becomes an expert reference source
- provide your own photos and measurements
Each one of these ideas is born from frustration, the frustration of trying to find the right replacement sink stopper. Imagine how helpful your site would be to your customers if you offered quality content that made it easy to figure out which product is needed. It would improve conversion rate right away.
It also puts a lot of unique, authoritative content on your site to counteract the same product descriptions that all your competitors carry.
That additional content boosts your SEO.
Where Do You Start?
If you have a huge inventory with lots of manufacturer descriptions, your eyes probably are glazed over right now. But start where the questions are. Ask your salesmen and customer support people what keeps coming up and begin.
The question, "what is it like to be your customer?" is one that should be asked with every decision you make about your business. In the end, your business isn't about you - it's about your customers and their experience with what you offer.
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