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I am currently having a major headache in how to organise Product Variations, on an eCommerce site I am working on.

The eCommerce site sells a variety of Canvas Prints. Each Canvas Print is available as:

  • 3 Piece;
  • 5 Piece;
  • Stretched;
  • Gallery Wrapped;
  • Framed;
  • Oversized/Large.

I would like to target Keywords, such as:

  • 3 Piece Canvas Prints;
  • Stretched Canvas Art;
  • Framed Canvases;
  • Gallery Wrapped Canvas Paintings.

If I do not include these Keywords, within the respective Product Page Titles, would I be doing my SEO efforts a great disservice?

I have thought about creating multiple Categories, for 3 Piece, Stretched and Gallery Wrapped etc and then modifying each Product Name as follows:

  • 3 Piece 'Name of Painting' Canvas Print;
  • Stretched 'Name of Painting' Canvas Print;
  • Gallery Wrapped 'Name of Painting' Canvas Print.

My hesitation is that this would not only create a great deal of duplicate content but could also result in dividing up all of the link equity from any Back links.

As such, I am thinking of just simply giving having one Category Page. For example:

Canvas Prints > Floral & Botanical

Then having the Product titles, simply as:

  • 'Name of Painting'

Then talk about all 3 variations on each Product Page, Child Category Page and Parent Category Page. In other words, assign h2 Tags to content about Gallery Wrapped and Stretched Canvas Art etc.

Would this approach allow me to compete for Product Variants, such as Gallery Wrapped and Stretched Canvas Prints, even though these variant Keywords do not appear in any Parent or Child Category Titles or Product Titles. Not to mention top reference of them within the URLs?

In other words, could referencing such Keywords within the on page content, compensate for a lack of reference within the Product Titles and/or URLs?

Maybe there is a better approach?

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It isn't possible to put every possible keyword into your existing page titles.

Using keywords in prominent places (such as headings) on multiple pages on your site is a decent way of getting some rankings. Especially when people search for something in the title along with those keywords. For example if somebody searches for "bird stretched canvas print", they may well land on your "ice bird of tenerife" painting page because you mention "stretched canvas print" somewhere on the page.

However if somebody is searching just for "stretched canvas prints", Google may not find any of your pages to be a great match. How is Google going to choose on of your pages for such a query? If you don't use the keywords in the title and many many page use the keywords in a similar manner, Google isn't going to think you have a good landing page and will probably prefer other sites.

Creating variants of all your painting pages won't help. As you note it will lead to lots of duplicate content. It wouldn't solve the problem of having too many pages that are similar for Google to choose from.

If these keywords are worth ranking for, you should ask "What do users who search for them want?" It may mean creating some new pages, even some informational pages. Users might want to know the answers to questions like:

  • What is a stretched canvas print?
  • Where can I buy stretched canvas prints?
  • How are stretched canvas prints created?
  • What sizes of stretched canvas prints are available?
  • Which pieces of artwork are most popularly bought as stretched canvas prints?

You could create great content around all of these questions. You could handle it them FAQ style with many per page or create several articles. Each page you create could have an "advertising" section where you show several examples of art available as stretched canvas prints along with "All 500 pieces of our artwork is available in stretched canvas prints. Shop now>>."

At the very least you should have a page that explains the different framing and print options. Users need such a help page linked from near where they can choose those options on every page where they can buy art work.

  • Apologies for the late response. I was thinking of adopting an approach, as you suggested. The problem being, when looking at the SERPs, I noticed that most of the results simply detailed the Products they offered. I have not come across a site, anywhere near structured, the way I am considering. As such, causing doubt in my approach. Would I be right in thinking that if I included information about Frames, Size Options and Available Canvas Panels in each Product Page, would this send relevancy signals to its Parent Category. As such, helping the Category rank for such broader terms? – Craig Jul 27 '18 at 0:25
  • I've never seen terms used on one page help another page rank. Search engines don't map the hierarchies of your site to assign value like that. At best it would help the individual pages rank. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 27 '18 at 0:32
  • Are you saying that you have not seen any evidence of internal links offering contextual relevancy signals, in the same way that some believe external links do? – Craig Jul 27 '18 at 2:27
  • Links are a different story. External links with anchor text certainly help relevancy and rankings. However internal link text doesn't seem to help much, nor does using terms on different pages from the ones that you actually want to rank. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 27 '18 at 10:35
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Google and Yahoo do not use meta keywords, so if you omit them you are not going to face any SEO penalty.

  • 2
    It's asking about titles, rather than meta keyword tags – Max Jul 14 '18 at 6:26

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