How to Optimize Content for Your Product Pages

This article is part of HostGator’s Web Pros Series. In this series, we feature articles from our team of experts here at HostGator. Our Product Managers, Linux Administrators, Marketers, and Tech Support engineers share their best tips for getting the most out of your website. 

Congratulations! After so much hard work, late hours, and countless cups of coffee, your website in finally online and the product or service you’re offering is finally available to the world. Now you can just sit back and watch the money come rolling in.

Ugh. If only…

Getting your business online is just the start of this wild and amazing journey. To make your product pages stand out from everyone else you need to take some time to focus not on fancy animations or SEO techniques, you need to spend time and energy on improving the user experience (UX) of your product page.

What is UX?

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.” – Don Norman, Cognitive Scientist & User Experience Architect

Regardless of its medium, UX refers to any and all interactions between a potential or active customer and a company. UX Designers create experiences with the end-users needs and goals at the top of their mind.

Technically this process of putting the user first could be applied to anything: doors, pens, health care systems, etc. It’s not limited to the context of digital fields like websites or apps.

When designing something with the intention of solving a problem for a group of people, you are in fact designing to improve the user experience.

So, UX applies to anything that can be experienced. UX Design considers all the different elements that shape this experience.

What are product pages?

Product pages explain the value of what you’re offering and based on the information and how you present the content user are better informed to decision if they want what you’re offering. It’s generally where people add something to their cart and buy.

It’s crucial that you spend extra energy and attention to this page of your eCommerce website. Here are six UX best practices to follow on your product pages.

1. Develop personas

Be honest: Do you truly understand your customer? Great product pages are designed from the ground up with a focus on empathy for user needs and goals. A great way to develop this understanding is to create personas for your website. Personas are fictional characters who represent either your current or target audience that your want visiting your website.

To create personas, you have to step out of your office or home and speak to real people who could use your product. This type of research allows you to create moments where you get to know your customers on a more personal level.

After talking to enough people, you will start to recognize patterns and themes around your customers needs, wants, and goals. Use this data to form insights on how to make your website (and what you’re selling) much for tailored for your audience. You’re no longer guessing what people want, but using real data to make informed decisions. This empathy building technique closes the gap between you and the people who visit your website.

example of a ux persona for book app
Example of a persona

2. Respect industry standards

One of the most trusted UX heuristics is Standards and Consistency. When designing any website or app, remember that the solution for your problem on how to structure or design something has probably already been created. Users have developed specific mental models on how to use and browse the internet.

An example would be purchasing something online. Nowadays it’s common to split your checkout flow into multiple steps (see Amazon.) This model of how things are purchased online are baked into our head and when we experience something different, we can get confused and may walk away without purchase.

There is a reason most product pages look the same, and for good reason. Users expect product pages to follow certain interface patterns and functions.

example of ecommerce product page from amazon
Common interface pattern for a product page: Image on the left, description on the right, and the button to checkout near-by.

3. Master your messaging & value propositions

Great product pages are not just well-written, but tell a story. To connect with your audience you may want to format your page into three parts:

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Describe how to fix the problem.
  3. Explain how your product or service can solve the problem.

This framework will give you the structure and place to start plugging in your messaging and value proposition. This flow is much easier to follow and it creates a journey that anyone can understand. Humans want to be sold a story that they’re at the heart of, one where they see themselves as the hero and your product or service is an extension of that hero journey.

4. Reduce the distractions

Another UX best practice to keep in mind when optimizing your product pages: aesthetic and minimalist design. This speaks to mindfulness around what you choose to display to your audience.

You may be tempted to throw lots of content or media on your page, but users can only process so much information at any given time when making decisions. Sometimes the best approach is to edit and test multiple variations of your page to see what the right balance is.

example of good ux on product page with minimalist design
By deliberately reducing the clutter on the screen, your customer can process only the necessary information required to make an informed decision.

5. Offer recommendations

Feel free to show products that compliment the product your customer is currently looking at. This saves the user time by not needing to leave the current page they’re on while giving you another opportunity to make more revenue.

A good strategy is to only show products that are either similar or go well with whatever product the user is currently looking at. This supports and reinforces how we tend to shop in the real world, where we browse multiple items in one experience.

Place your “recommendations” on the bottom of the page below the rest of the main content. You want to avoid looking too pushy.

6. Remember mobile habits

Typically we browse when out-and-about on our phone, but then make a final purchase either on our desktop or laptop. Studies show that 60% of internet users begin shopping on one device, but ultimately finish on another one. Support this multi-device behavior by allowing users to continue their purchase from any device.

Make sure your share options are easily visible and support not just the product but your entire cart if possible. Also, make it clear that if the user creates an account that their cart information can be saved to be completed later.

Get started these UX best practices for your product pages

Creating an online store is an exciting endeavor. You’ve got stuff to sell and you can’t wait for people to buy it. But for that to happen, you need to make your product pages stand out from the crowd, while following the UX best practices that create intuitive shopping experiences for your customers. Get started with these six tips, and you’ll be well on your way.

Brian Glover

Brian Glover lives in Austin, Texas and is the Manager of Product Design at HostGator. You can often find him hiking around Austin, catching up with friends on his porch, or gardening.