How to Solve the Duplicate Manufacturer Description SEO Puzzle

If you’ve been in the ecommerce space long and selling products that you don’t manufacture yourself, you’ve probably been told about the issue with duplicate content, SEO, and how it relates to manufacturer descriptions. The question is, how do solve the problem in a way that doesn’t take up too much of your time and actually shows you results.

The Puzzle

If you’re selling products that are made by a manufacturer that other ecommerce merchants are selling as well, then you may just be using the product description that the manufacturer provided on your product page. The great thing about that is its an accurate description of the product that you didn’t have to spend time and money to write up. The problem with that is that most of the other ecommerce merchants who are selling that same product started with the same exact description…and more than would like to admit have probably just kept that. This is where you run into the “Duplicate Content” issue with SEO.

See, Google reads all of that content and when it sees that many different sites have the same exact text on their pages for the same exact product….it’s not going to list all of those pages in the results since they’re really not adding anything unique. So, what Google does, is it tries to find out which one is the original and which one it should show in the results. Now, maybe your site was the first one that indexed that description, maybe your site has a very high page ranking which will work into your favor, but for all of those other sites that weren’t the first in line there….you have a problem in order to ensure your listing shows up. This is the problem we’ll focus on fixing in this post so you can show up in the results and have those customers buy from your ecommerce store.

How to Help Solve It

Let’s get the obvious out of the way

Well, the first step would be to consider rewriting the product descriptions so the content is original to your site and Google no longer looks at it as duplicate content.  All of us know, this is most time daunting, and sometimes not practical.   Unless you have a nice pocket full of money where it makes sense to just dive in and do that for all of the products you have listed (and continuously do that for new product listings), then let’s focus our efforts here to get the most bang for your buck.  Start small and focused…and then go from there.

Get answers to these three questions:

  • What are your top selling products?
  • What are your highest value products?
  • What products are most likely going to stay on your site the longest?

Make a list or products which answer these three questions.   Where those three lists have products that overlap…that is your answer on where you should focus your time.   List those products out and have your team come up with knowledgeable and original product descriptions for those.   Start with 10, 20, 50….whatever makes sense with your bandwidth and budget…and do those well.   As you have more resources to spend on the effort, expand that effort.  This will ensure that you’re energy is focused on making sure you’re in the results for the products you can sell the most of for the longest period of time.

Now that we’ve covered the “duh” fix….what are some other fixes to bring the SEO value you’re looking for?

Product Page Q&A

There is an easy way to create original content specifically related to the products you’re selling created where you can fix this problem in a reactive way, by just naturally engaging your current customers.   The customers that are currently visiting your site are reading the product descriptions you already have in place…and they’re recognizing gaps in information that they want fulfilled before their purchase.   Given them an easy way to ask those questions by adding Ecommerce Q&A Software to your site, and let those Q&A pairs be on your product page in order to bolster the original content for that product.   These questions will match similar product questions that customers are asking through search, and you’ll be the one with the original answer.  This does two things, naturally grows search traffic to your store and also highlights information that customers want to see….which you can use as a guide to optimize your current product descriptions for SEO.

Product Reviews

Similar to product page Q&A, user reviews on products is a great way to generate original content that is specific to your site and from your customers, and having that boost the SEO value for your product pages.   The beauty of user generated content (UGC) is that similar customers think….well, similarly.  So, when one customer jots their thoughts down as a review….its common for other potential customers to be searching using those same terms and thoughts.   When Google sees that your site has original content that’s a match, boom…you get the desired result and those customers are introduced to your store in the results.

The above solutions is the place to start if you’re looking to solve your problem with manufacturer descriptions and duplicate content.   Use them as part of your overall SEO strategy, and as you continue to post new original content on your site and Google starts gobbling that up….you’ll see that it doesn’t take an unreasonable amount of work to get great results.

Are you an ecommerce merchant? Get more information about Answerbase Ecommerce Q&A Software.