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Empty product pages could be the reason why your customers do an about face and leave

by Tim Rimington | May 17, 2012

I spoke to a customer yesterday who asked what she could be doing to improve her website’s position on Google, and how she could lift sales. Her online shop is a recognisable brand and the site’s design crisp and sharp. So what’s wrong?

On first glance, the site comes across as very slick but when you probe deeper into its product pages it becomes obvious that it lacks content.

The client’s product photos are sharp and professional, so why aren’t the images enough to lure customers? I cannot think of a product example where photos are enough to convince customers to make a purchase. Video may be an exception but text is an important requirement for product pages in an online store.

The products I viewed yesterday featured up to 4 photos per product but I still had questions. What material were the products made from? What were the dimensions? What benefits could I expect from paying the almost-double price of its closest competitor? What environment was each product best suited for?

Not only did I have a bunch of questions, but also search engines weren’t giving the pages much attention either; there wasn’t enough information (zero in fact) for search engines to index, and this is likely to be the reason why the site is ignored by search engines. So, a double edged sword: customers weren’t getting enough information and search engines weren’t treating the product pages seriously because there was no quality information for search engines to serve up to its users!

If your product pages feature a product title and little else, you must add sufficient text to back up the product. Have you ever watched an unenthused sales assistant standing in front of a bemused customer, motionless and almost silent as the customer repeatedly asks questions about a product? Working in retail for many years, I have, and it wasn’t pretty! Customers would sometimes place the product back on the shelf and do an about face and walk out.

If you have empty product pages then you’re likely experiencing the same effect. With so many questions left unanswered, your customers (and search engines) are likely doing an about face and walking away.

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