BY BRETT HAMIL
Optimized content serves a different function than marketing copy. It’s time to write for the correct audience.
As a content strategist, I’m often astonished to see major brands leaving money on the table with under-optimized content. Considering what they’re spending on retail media, it’s surprising they haven’t done their due diligence to apply the basic principles of search optimization to written content, especially when the remedy is quick, straightforward, and free —if you know how.
Shoppers spend the least dwell time by far viewing titles and bullets—they spend vastly more time perusing carousel images, enhanced content (A+), and customer reviews. Bullets play a small role in conversion, but an outsized role in search ranking. Knowing this, it’s crucial we view written content through the lens of its primary audience: the algorithm.
The inner workings of proprietary search algorithms are kept intentionally opaque, but we understand their basic mechanism: product pages populated with keyword-rich titles and bullets are weighted with more relevance and thus show up higher in search rankings.
Optimized content is NOT:
- A reformatted version of marketing copy/conversion messaging
- A list of product specs
- Your brand story
Optimized content IS:
- accurate and descriptive copy that deploys an array of relevant keywords
- copy that fulfills platform guidelines and signals robust content tothe algorithm
Leveraging the algorithm as your audience requires a laser focus on the terms shoppers are typing into the search bar. Use a platform like Analytic Index or Helium-10 to get a list of keywords, which will include your product’s most relevant attributes, differentiators, ingredients, and use cases. These are the keywords your copy should incorporate.
Unlike other elements of the PDP, titles and bullets are indexed by the algorithm, making them prime real estate for discoverability. But that space is limited. While content may include elements of marketing copy and brand story, these are not critical to search optimization. Lengthier, less keyword-focused copy is best suited to enhanced content/A+ and long product descriptions, where it’s more likely to be read by the shopper to drive conversions and won’t use up valuable character limits in the optimization space.
Conversions arrived at through organic search are the brass ring of optimization, garnering the highest level of relevance from the algorithm. By writing content tailored to its preferences you can boost search ranking organically, independent of ad spend. Taking the time to optimize for the algorithm is foundational to long-term success.