Category pages are a thing of the past - product detail pages are the future

Photo by Daniel Niedermayer

Daniel Niedermayer

Chief Sales Officer, Retresco


Why content automation at scale is becoming essential for SEO

The Google Search Generative Experience (SGE) is on the horizon. This update is more than just a technical advancement: it will fundamentally change search. Google is on its way to transforming its search into a response machine à la ChatGPT. This should make searches even more personalised and relevant. Google's search should profoundly shake the foundations of Product Discovery, SEO, Rankings, and organic reach. Marketing, content and SEO teams in e-commerce and beyond are therefore well-advised to get to grips with the update.

Blog post on the topic: The future of blog posts belongs to product detail pages.

SGE is all about the buyer intent of individual users. This poses a challenge for marketing, content, and SEO teams, as thousands or tens of thousands of product information in Google Search must be organised to be unique and findable. Therefore, content must be tailored accordingly. This is all the more important as the discovery of products and offers is likely to partly shift to Google.

Google's new search: Revolutionising Product Discovery

Google uses artificial intelligence to summarise product content and answer individual user searches in its new search. The results are displayed in the form of texts, images, and product links. For marketing, content, and SEO teams, the launch has far-reaching consequences. High quality, varied, and in-depth product descriptions are more important than ever. The new search will deliver customised search results based on information retrievals, meaning that the relevance of product information for a specific query is determined by the quality and completeness of content found on the internet. "Classic" SEO keyword dropping should therefore lose its significance.

Marketing, content and SEO teams should therefore focus on optimising their product descriptions and comparable content to answer all common questions from potential customers - highly individually. The integration of FAQs and HowTos should help, as this type of information will still be generally considered when assessing relevance.

At the same time, the new search offers special opportunities for smaller and niche companies. Not least providers who specialise in a specific product or product category can highlight themselves by creating and publishing high-quality and informative content about their offers. But medium-sized and larger companies with a wide product range also have good chances of being found on Google, provided they fine-tune their offers for textual quality and variance.

Buyer Intent: Individual search interest as the key to success

In a world where buying decisions are mostly made online, it is more important than ever for marketing, content, and SEO teams to capture and understand individual search interest of customers. The buyer intent describes the intention with which potential buyers start a search on Google. At the same time, it is important to distinguish what phase of the buying process the customer is in and what information they need.

For companies, the goal is to understand buyer intent in order to create relevant content and tailor a precise approach from it. Because only when companies recognise the requirements of the customers can their products be found and customers be deliberately addressed and convinced.

The buyer intent can be divided into three phases on the Google search:

  1. Information search: In this phase, the buyer is aware of their needs or challenges, but they do not yet have clear ideas about a product. They search for information to inform themselves and learn - and find it through guiding product information or blog posts.

  2. Comparison search: Here, the potential buyer has already considered some products and offers and is looking for further information to make a decision. Typical content in this phase includes product comparisons and case studies.

  3. Purchase readiness: In this phase, the customer has decided on a product and is looking for information to complete the purchase. Detailed product descriptions and customer reviews are essential.

By understanding the respective buyer intent, marketing, content, and SEO teams can create relevant content to meet the needs of potential buyers and support them in the various stages of the purchasing process.

For companies that want to gain customers "at scale" through targeted SEO measures, it is essential to consider buyer intent. Because in the future, Google's search results will be determined even more strongly based on buyer intent. Marketing, content, and SEO teams, who align their product information and content accordingly, have significantly better chances of being highly ranked in Google search and therefore being found. The first step is to be found through unique content – and then convince the customer with rich information and convert them.

Product detail pages: Capture and tailor the buyer intent

With Google SGE, the search shifts from category pages or Product Listing Page (PLP) directly to product detail pages (PDP). Such pages should be appropriately optimised in order to be found on Google and lead to a purchase completion.

Compared to category pages, products and offers are described in detail on product detail pages. While category pages used to be central to finding product groups and then leading to specialist pages for the individual products, this function is progressively shifting to the respective product detail pages. Generic category pages with links to product detail pages, on the other hand, will lose significance. Only these product description pages will encourage customers to make a purchase and should therefore be optimised for text and varied layout.

Product detail pages are web pages or landing pages to describe and present individual products and offers. The details displayed usually include more accurate product descriptions, product attributes such as size or colour, prices, shipping information, customer reviews, and other relevant information that customers want to inform themselves about before making a purchase.

In the future, product detail pages will be the central element of a successful content strategy, as they give the final impulse for a purchase completion. Such pages should therefore be carefully texted and designed so that product information and qualities are easily and quickly discernible. Convincing product detail pages provide a genuine customer experience by optimally presenting products and offers. Marketing, content, and SEO teams are therefore well advised to publish a healthy mix of relevant information in the right dosage to bring the interest of customers to a successful conclusion.

Product detail pages should always aim to provide accurate and detailed descriptions of individual products and offers. At the same time, brand information, product messages, styles, or care instructions can be incorporated uniformly and consistently. By targeted optimisation, product detail pages will also be found after the launch of the Google update - and with consistently high conversion rates. Therefore, it is recommended to keep an eye on the performance of individual product detail pages through common analysis tools such as Google Analytics.

Product detail pages should also be provided and texted across channels, as customers are also on the move on social media, in the email channel, and many other marketing channels in addition to the online shop. Particularly important here is optimisation for mobile use by potential buyers. For example, it is advisable to significantly reduce the amount of text for smartphones. There is much less space available on mobile pages - and customers usually make their purchase decision with a few finger taps.

How to easily and effectively produce thousands or tens of thousands of product detail pages? The answer is Content at Scale: a content automation strategy that utilises generative AI to automate the creation of SEO pages on a large scale. The content automation platform, from Retresco combines GPT-based and rule-based creation processes to generate large volumes of high-quality, diverse SEO text in a short time. Simultaneously, once published product information can be kept up-to-date without significant effort. If the technical product specifications change, the marketing, content, and SEO teams can automatically update the respective product detail pages based on the new data. In addition, we avoid both duplicate content and blank information - this applies not only to the product detail pages but also to the relevant meta and title information of such pages.

Compared to conventional technologies such as GPT models, Retresco offers a significantly higher degree of scalability. At the same time, AI hallucinations are avoided because text templates, automated creation rules, and different versions of the text are organized and verifiable in one central place. In addition, human interventions are still possible at all times for all common languages ("Human-in-the-Loop"). With Retresco, such SEO creation processes are already completely automated in order to organise content automation easily and quickly into a scalable form. Automatically generated and approved SEO information simply needs to be confirmed by the marketing, content, and SEO teams to transfer it into regular scaling.

In short: Even with successful online sales campaigns, marketing, content and SEO teams would be well advised to review their SEO strategy and optimise it for Google's new search. This revolves entirely around product detail pages, their automated creation and updating at scale. A modern content automation in autopilot mode is the top choice here.

For questions about Google update and product detail pages, we are always at your disposal. Get in touch - our experts will be happy to get in touch with you!

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