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The 7 Essential Elements of Great Product Pages

Your ecommerce business hinges on having great product pages. Not only do they get the most traffic, but it's where shoppers make decisions about what to purchase. Product pages mean business; that's why it's critical that you cover your bases.

Here are the most essential elements that we think matter most in creating great product pages.

1. It's all about speed.

One of the most important features of a great product page (and, really, a great website) is performance. Much has been written about how load times affect bottom lines. It's a de-facto requirement to have a highly optimized site that is both flexible and lightning fast. Every millisecond matters. As Brad Frost says, "Good performance is good design."

2. The mobile revolution is here. To stay.

With more and more consumers using mobile devices to shop online, another one of the most important elements to consider when evaluating a good product page is the responsive experience. How does it look on a mobile phone? And on a tablet? What's the experience like adding an item to the cart or browsing through product images? And, of course, how fast do the pages load on the mobile device?

Along with a fast site, a responsive experience is now a baseline requirement for businesses on the web. According to Internet Retailer, "The mobile revolution has reached another milestone: Consumers now spend more time interacting with online retailers on smartphones and tablets than they do on desktops and laptops."

3. Good metadata equals findability.

The ability to find products is key to driving shoppers to your site, and one of the key ways to do this is with solid metadata. You really want Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Wanelo, Google, etc. to know that your products exist. There are some simple things that should be built in to your pages and included in your HTML head and body tags. At a minimum, you’ll want to consider making sure your pages include Open Graph tags, tags, tags for Twitter Product Cards, and Pinterest Rich Pins data. Here are some helpful templates from the folks at Moz on product metadata.

Canonical URLs are another thing that you'll want to have in your product page metadata to ensure that your products get indexed most effectively. Without going into too much detail, Canonical URLs are a single, primary URL that links to your product so there aren't duplicate links of your products being indexed by search engines. These duplicate links just end up wasting everyone's time and mucking up your analytics.

4. Trust and warm fuzzy feelings create return shoppers.

It's important that your shoppers feel like they trust your site. A good About page, Return Policy, Shipping Info page, and easily accessible Contact Info are key to shoppers feeling comfortable purchasing from your site. Avoid, as much as possible, any "gotcha" experiences for your shoppers like unexpectedly high shipping fees or a no-return policy.

5. A picture is worth a thousand clicks.

Photos are everything when it comes to ecommerce. Spend time making sure your product photography is Ansel Adams worthy, and make your product photos not just interesting but create the kind of images that people will want to buy, share, and collect. It’s also worth spending time on product videos. Data shows that video helps to increase conversion. Adding short videos that highlight your products and even show your products being used or worn can be a key differentiator. Etsy has a helpful blog post on the topic of product images.

6. Write copy that is direct, detailed, and conversational.

Now that you have good product photos, it's important to have a good product title, description and any additional useful content for each of your products. You want your products to be shared by people, so you need to write the kind of information that people will want to copy and paste when they share your product.

7. Make it easy to share and go viral.

Last, but not least, is shareability. You want to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to share your products, whether on their desktop, tablet, or phone. Give them intuitive options to email the product, Pin it, Tweet it, or post to Facebook, Google+, Instagram or SnapChat.

Of course, there's a whole lot more to good product pages, but these are some of the things we often see missing and some of the things we're looking to solve with Reaction Commerce. We'll have more to share on all of the items listed above, including some examples of compelling and inspirational ecommerce experiences around the web.

We're building all of these details into the platform from the start so that you, the business owner, don't have to worry about things like speed, mobile experience, and good metadata. This is what we mean when we say we're building a "Marketing First" platform. We want you to spend time creating compelling product pages and then posting them to your shops with great images, video, and content. Then, we want you to watch as the magic happens and shoppers find and share your products.

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