How to Improve SEO in Fashion ECommerce and Online Retail

Learn how to ensure product visuals improve SEO in fashion eCommerce and online retail for higher organic traffic and conversions.

5 Tips to Improve SEO in Fashion Product Photography

Looking for ways to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with your fashion product photography and videos? In this post, we’ll share 5 tips to boost SEO in fashion eCommerce and online retail. Discover the challenges and why SEO should always be a top priority, including how to optimize visual content for the web.

SEO is how brands increase website sessions, and we all know that with more sessions comes more sales. In fact, 80% of significant purchases begin with an online Google search. By taking advantage of effective SEO practices, we not only make our pages easier to find, we increase organic traffic and ultimately conversions.

However, ask any SEO specialist, and this can be easier said than accomplished. After all, there are a lot of moving parts that go into optimizing visual content for SEO. There is page optimization, use of image alt text, file naming practices and more. We’ll cover all of these below, with 5 tips to boost SEO in fashion eCommerce and online retail.

The ghost mannequin effect on a shirt and jeans.

1 - Improve Page Load Times

First and foremost, page loading times are crucial for SEO, especially in fashion eCommerce. Imagine trying to compare jackets or footwear online, but images either won’t load or slow the page to a crawl. In this case, will you calmly wait for the images, or are you more likely to take your online shopping elsewhere?

The answer to this is pretty straightforward. When all it takes is a simple click of the back button and another google search, we’re definitely shopping elsewhere. This is the world we live in today. Consumers have endless webshops and retailers for fashion at their fingertips. If your page underperforms, it’ll be buried in search results by more “optimal” pages.

Also, the lower page speeds, the higher the bounce rate. What this signals to search engines is that the link is less trustworthy, which in turn lowers the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranking. This means it’s crucial to optimize the size of product visuals, whether it's still images, spins, or product videos.

With product photos, JPEGs and JPG often work well, providing both the quality and file size to optimally showcase products. Obviously, the smaller the file size, the quicker the page loading, but you don’t want to sacrifice on quality. Generally, at PhotoRobot we recommend file sizes after compression that are no larger than 4MB.

Recommended files no larger than 4MB

Want to check the speed of your page? There’s a free tool for that. Run the URL through Google’s Page Insights Tool to measure the current speed of your site.

2 - Use Alt Text for All Product Photos

Another way to improve SEO is to utilize image alt text on all visuals not on shopping pages. This includes images in blogs, about pages, company info sections, etc. The goal is to ensure maximum accessibility for the visually impaired or those with low internet speeds. It also enables search engines to identify a page for people using text-only browsers or screen readers.

Here are a few tips on how to write image alt text on your pages.

  • Keep alt text brief and to the point. Often 5-7 words is enough to describe an image, for example: “elegantly dressed man in a suit and tie”. If you need to include even more information, use image captions to expand further.
  • Consider character limits for each alt text. Generally speaking, there shouldn’t be more than 120 characters, although less is often better. It’s important that it’s short but also descriptive enough for algorithms to rank the content.
  • Be careful of “keyword-stuffing”. Algorithms will detect if a site is trying to “game the system” by stuffing content with keywords. Beware of how many target keywords you use in the alt text.

3 - Create a Keyword-rich File Naming Convention

Often overlooked, another aspect of creating an SEO-friendly website is how we name image files. Search engines crawl not only the text (and alt text) on your page. They also scan any imagery to identify its content, and to determine its value to the site.

For this, it’s important to agree on a file naming convention from the start. Any structure you choose should be both relevant to the products and also scalable for extended operations. File names should be brief while likewise thoroughly describing the product or image.

In general, file names should consist of only 3 or 4 words so search engines can better identify the content. Most platforms will also only allow lowercase letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores, so avoid using spaces and other characters.

Image showing short file naming, e.g. "casual wear".

4 - Utilize Product Videos and Spins

In the SEO business, increasing time-on-page on non-shopping pages is a crucial factor to gaining recognition from search engines. The longer users stay on the page, the more valuable algorithms will deem the site. 

One way to increase time-on-page is to showcase brand & product videos across non-shopping pages. It might be a small product video featuring your latest line of fashion, footwear, or whatever clothing you’re selling. Perhaps it’s a video for the brand’s “About” section.

It can also be product spins in GIF format, or interactive 3D models. In general, sites generate more time-on-page from product content consumers can watch or interact with. The higher the quality of content, the more consumer engagement you’ll get from each page.

Spin image of shirt and jeans on invisible mannequin.

5 - Make Use of Social Media Marketing

Social media has become a significant SEO tool for distributing product content. Not only that, but with it brands can build a strong online community, with insights into what audiences want most. Brands can monitor factors such as post performance, users reached, time-on-page, and other valuable information.

Also, forming a connection with consumers across all platforms where your products appear is crucial. By simply responding to questions and comments, or sending a thoughtful response to a negative review, brands establish credibility. They look more professional overall, and in general tend to drive more traffic to their websites. All of this while boosting awareness and trust in the brand.

To get better performance from visual content for social media, experiment with high-quality photos, packshots, spins, videos, and 3D models. The more engaging, the more likely consumers will share your content across the web. Just be sure to create a style guide and follow it across all platforms where your product appears.

Graphic of social media platforms.

For Additional Fashion Product Photography Tips and Tricks

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