SEO is the art and science of allowing search engines to find, index and understand your website and its content. Once you have this covered, you need to convince search engines that your content is the the most valuable, in its niche, to a search engine user (i.e. a potential buyer).
Since your content sits on a website run by Envato, we look after the first part for you (and we’re continuously trying to improve). However, the ability for your individual item to appear and rank in search engines is largely within your influence.
Here are my top 4 recommendations to optimize your item page:
1. Make your item name 34 characters or less
Your item name is used to populate the Page Title (also known as the Title Tag). The page title is the sequence of words that you specify to appear as the headline for a page in search engines. For Google, this is a specific length of 512 pixels or 50-60 characters depending on the characters and capitalization used.
The Envato Market site automatically appends your item name in the page title with “- Category Name | Market Name” to give the item context. This takes up approximately 26 characters.
Your item name should avoid containing the term of the category it’s part of, seeing as Envato already does that for you. Make sure your item has a unique name and includes specific describing words.
Here’s an example: I created a new WordPress Plugin that I thought was awesome so, I named it, “Kate made a WordPress plugin because she could”.
Here’s what that looks like as a search result:
There are multiple issues with this, the first being that, because it’s too long, it is truncated in search results.
Secondly, it actually doesn’t tell you what my plugin does using the type of descriptive language search engine users look for.
I’ve also wasted a bunch of characters by using the term ‘WordPress’ when my title will contain that automatically.
Here’s a more effective version of a title:
“Kate’s Responsive jQuery Plugin” is 31 characters long so the page title doesn’t get cut off.
I inform users what the item is, in the terms they’re more likely to search for, like “responsive” and “jQuery”.
Think about the terms you’d search for if you were looking for a solution for your own web projects and use them when describing your item.
Here’s a tool you can use to help you craft a more effective item name.
2. Make your opening description 156 characters or less
The first 156 characters of your item description are used to populate the meta description. These are the words that are used under your page title in search results.
This is your ‘elevator pitch’, your big opportunity to convince users that they should click on your result.
How do you do this? Reinforce that you’re relevant and going to give them exactly what they searched for.
So let’s say that my item description currently looks like this:
CURRENT VERSION 1.0 (see Change log at the bottom of this page)
Are you using plugins? Kate’s team is super happy to introduce to you their new WordPress Plugin. With Kate’s Awesome new plugin, bloggers finally have all tools they might need, at hand!
It’s going to look like this in search engines:
It’s not very compelling, is it?
And this part isn’t just for search engine audiences, this is about capturing those when you share socially, in Envato search results, and on your item page too.
Instead, strive to keep it short, descriptive and to the point:
Kate’s Responsive jQuery Plugin for WordPress comes with 6 months included support and is compatible with Bootstrap, WooCommerce and Shopify.
In this case, I’ve just told users exactly what I offer and why they should be interested.
You can launch into your extended sales pitch in your next paragraph. Your first sentence should have them hooked!
As with the page title, you can use this tool to craft your item’s meta description/first sentence.
3. Reduce the time your page takes to load
Google announced way back in 2010 that site/page speed was a ranking factor. Google is all about consumer experience and engagement.
Considering that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries (as of May, 2015) this becomes even more pertinent: Research shows that 47% of users expect a page to load in under 2 seconds. 40% will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds. That’s a lot of potential buyers to lose before they even get to see your product. This is equally relevant to both mobile and desktop. While your item may not be designed to be downloaded or worked with on mobile, 46% of potential buyers use mobile devices exclusively in their research and consideration process.
So what can you do to help your item page?
- Use words, not images with words, in your item description.
- When you do use images, make sure they’re compressed as much as possible without losing visual quality before you upload them. Here’s a great guide.
Here’s a great example with a 2.5 second load time
Here’s a poor example with a 6 second load time
Here’s an EXTREME example with a 45 second load time
You can test your item page load time here.
4. HTTPS image hosting
Announced as a ranking signal mid last year, HTTPS has been officially added to the Webmaster Guidelines. There is no grey area anymore – if you’re not HTTPS, you’re not playing by Google’s rules, so we’d strongly recommend that images you link to from your item description pages are hosted at a HTTPS address. We’ll be migrating all of the Envato Market pages to HTTPS in coming months.
If you’re hosting images from your own website, speak to your hosting provider about purchasing a SSL certificate.
For more a more detailed look at this topic, check out the following resources:
Send me your SEO Questions in our Forums this week!
I’m Kate, the Organic Search Manager at Envato. I’ll be taking your SEO questions in the forums this week until Friday and I’d love to chat more about helping you optimize SEO on your item pages. See you in the forums and I hope you enjoyed the above article and found it useful!