Blogs by author "oicadmin"
When it comes to on-page SEO for ecommerce sites, optimizing for the right keyword is paramount. Ecommerce sites face an extra degree of difficulty when it comes to product-related keywords. This is primarily because product-related keywords are known to be profitable, and many marketers are investing heavily to be found on those keywords.
As a result of the keyword competitiveness found in various ecommerce markets, smart SEO's are going after more specific, long-tail search terms. So instead of optimizing an online shoe store for 'Saucony running shoes' (which is extremely competitive,) a more precise keyword target that might actually lead to high rankings is "Saucony progrid guide 3 womens running shoe," (assuming the online store carries such shoes.)
How did I come up with that lengthy, seven-word target? By using Google's suggested search feature, or autocomplete.
As you start typing "Saucony progrid guide," Google suggests the Progrid models 3, 4, or 5. After following through with a model number, gender is often the next filter suggested by Google. Based on our shoe store's "inventory," we will know that "Saucony progrid guide 3 womens" is our primary keyword target, with "running shoes" as the secondary long-tail target.
In a competitive keyword category, this keyword research strategy is highly effective to gain insight on the searching behaviors of common Google users.
Use Google Suggested Search for PPC Keyword Research
Using the Google autocomplete feature is also a great way to target keywords for ecommerce PPC advertising. In any ecommerce PPC campaign, typically the more keyword-specific you can get with your ad groups, the better. By utilizing suggested search, advertisers can bid with precision on highly targeted keywords using creative bidding strategies like modified broad match.
Using the above example, we could bid on dedicated ad group for the keyword phrase "+saucony +guide +3 +womens." (Using plus signs in front of keywords is modified broad match - a highly efficient form of bidding.) The only way our ad will trigger is if all of those keywords are used in a search query.
Based on the competition in the image above, we could apply some superb PPC strategies to really stand out from lazy competitors above (except for the one at the bottom.) Spread this bidding strategy across an entire product line, and you have yourself a very powerful AdWords campaign with highly focused ad groups.
Now can you create more relevant ad copy, but your quality scores are typically lower, resulting in lower bid prices. Additionally, you can make better use of Google's Ad Extensions features, which really spruce-up the ad at no additional cost.
This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Ecommerce SEO Specialists here at ClickCentric SEO. Connect with Tyler on Google+".
Whether you're an ecommerce paid search expert or a newbie to PPC advertising, learning how to do negative keyword research can help minimize unwanted clicks while maximizing return on ad spend (ROAS).
For ecommerce PPC advertising, adding a few negative keywords can drastically improve a campaign's efficiency. Because ecommerce PPC campaigns are often composed of tons of ad groups spread out over hundreds of products and categories, small discoveries can have a momentous impact.
In this article, I will share with you some insightful tips to do negative keyword research and how make your paid search expenditure more cost-effective.
Negative Keyword Research via AdWords
Negative keyword research is just as critical as the initial keyword research that starts the campaign. For product keywords, pinpointing negative keywords is key to ensure ad spend is invested in the right variations.
Adding negative keywords to your AdWords campaigns and ad groups tells Google which keyword variations you do not want triggering your ads. For example, if you sell 'mens swimming goggles,' you may want to add the negative keywords 'free' or 'reviews' to ensure your ads are not triggered under searches for "free mens swimming goggles" or "mens swimming goggles reviews."
If you are using broad, modified-broad, or phrase match keyword bidding, you'll need to determine which keyword variations are causing unwanted impressions and clicks. To do this, click the "Dimensions" tab in the AdWords interface (while in a certain campaign or ad group.)
In the filter option under the Dimensions tab, select "Search Terms." Here you'll see a list of the keyword phrases that have triggered your ads over given period of time (which is can be adjusted in the top right of the AdWords interface.)
This keyword data can be extremely enlightening, and often times shocking. The shock is primarily due to Google's definition of "broad match" - leading many PPC advertisers to use only exact phrase match or modified broad match. Once you've found unwanted keyword variations under the Search Terms option, you can add these keywords as negatives, under the "Keywords" tab. The negative keyword list is located at the bottom of the Keywords tab, underneath the actual keyword list.
You can add negative keywords on ad group or campaign basis. One of the best ways to add negative keywords appropriately is to implement the unwanted variations as a phrase or exact match. So if we wanted to eliminate all variations surrounding "free," we'd simply add the word free in quotes. This way, any keyword phrase that is searched with the word free would not trigger our ad.
After doing some negative keyword research, you may come to find out that broad match bidding is too ambiguous (and thus costly) for your ecommerce PPC efforts. Because broad match semantics are often extremely broad according to Google, you may want to pursue more precise bidding techniques.
Negative Keyword Research via Google Search
Another way to pinpoint unwanted keyword variations is through Google Search, specifically Google's suggested search or 'autocomplete' feature. As you go to type any keyword query, Google provides more specific recommendations based on popular search trends. These suggestions can offer insights as to which keywords you'll want to add to your campaign's negative keyword list.
For example, the suggested long-tail keywords that Google offers above gives us a good negative keyword insight. Perhaps we don't sell "swimming goggles with nose cover." We will then want to add "nose cover" to our negative keyword list for that particular ad group or campaign. Negative keyword research is something that you can do on regular basis. Just be certain that you're not eliminating keywords that might offer good traffic.
It's no secret that search engine optimization is a highly competitive industry – especially when it comes to ecommerce. With thousands of SEO companies out there to choose from, it's important for businesses to keep in mind what's really important in measuring the success of your SEO campaign. It's not top rankings. It's the number of conversions that come from achieving those top rankings.
Some ecommerce SEO companies are narrowly focused on working to gain high organic search rankings for their clients, but they're overlooking another essential element that seasoned ecommerce Internet marketers know plays an equally significant role in the overall success of the campaign – optimizing the website for conversions and not just rankings.
So what goes into the conversion optimization element of ecommerce SEO? First, we must define what constitutes as a conversion for the ecommerce website. The most easy to determine conversion is for a user to make a purchase from the website itself.
However, there can be other conversions that come from the website including email list signups, filling out a contact form for more information, or just enticing users to make a simple phone call. Granted, each “conversion” from the website can actually be categorized in different stages of the overall “Conversion Funnel,” as you're guiding users who simply provide an email address or phone number or ask for more information into an eventual sale, which is the ultimate end “conversion.”
So what are some ways that you can optimize your ecommerce website for more conversions? Below I'll list out several ways your ecommerce Internet marketing company should be optimizing your website for better conversion rates.
Conversion-Focused Product Landing Pages
Having a conversion-oriented landing page for your products applies to both organic SEO and paid search for ecommerce websites. Ecommerce SEO companies can utilize a variety of on-site and off-site SEO techniques (such as deep linking SEO) to get your product landing pages ranking high in the organic search results, but once a user lands on that page, enticing the sale is a must.
A conversion-focused landing page can have several helpful and interactive elements for the user. In the example below, this home brewing supplies website has a variety of great features that help sell this brewing kit to the end user.
Along with the typical product descriptions, images and availability, they've added customer product reviews, Facebook likes and a video describing what to expect from the brew kit. These are great conversion optimization strategies for the product landing pages.
Simple Product Navigation
The amount of products and product categories varies from one ecommerce website to another. Some sites carry only a couple dozen niche products, while other ecommerce sites have thousands of products that fall under one of a hundred different categories.
From a conversion optimization standpoint, keeping your products and product categories as concise and easy to navigate as possible is crucially important. Your users have to be able to easily find the products their looking for in order to buy them!
Other than condensing your product categories to the minimum number of categories necessary, there are certain website design elements that come into play as well that can improve the overall usability of the website. The site below is a prime example of an ecommerce site that is extremely easy to navigate.
The top level categories are very simple (Men, Women, Hike & Camp, Shoes, etc.) and every product category under those top level pages are listed on the flydown menus. This makes finding exactly what they want incredibly easy for the end user. Alternatively, the user can search for a product that they're looking for in the search box just to the left of the top level navigation.
To further the user experience, this website has included easy to use sorting features where the user can sort products by price, color, discount or ratings.
Offer Discount Codes and Other Deals
Online shoppers love a good deal. Once you've driven the user to your website, offering them a discount or special offer is another incredibly effective way to get that user to convert into a sale.
Design a compelling call to action that offers your website visitors a special discount code that they can use on their order to get a certain percentage off their total order. You can also lure a site visitor to place an order by offering free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount or for orders that are placed during a specific time period.
Showing special pricing on your product landing pages is also a great way to capture a sale and increase your conversion rates.
No matter what type of products your ecommerce website sells, it's critically important that you select an ecommerce Internet marketing company that understands the ins and outs of not only getting your website positioned well in the search engines, but also knows how to optimize your website so it drives conversions and ultimately a solid ROI for your marketing dollar.
Ecommerce SEO is long-term endeavor that demands a solid set of SEO tools and resources. In essence, having the proper SEO tools can reveal a world of insights and make process far more efficient.
Ecommerce stores can be extremely deep, making it challenging to prioritize SEO tasks as well as pinpoint SEO weaknesses. As a result, investing in the right arsenal of tools can be complete game-changer.
In this article, I will share with you three ecommerce SEO tools that can make optimizing your online store much easier.
Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explore is a web-based tool that was developed by the reputable team at SEOmoz.org. The emphasis of Open Site Explorer centers on link data, or information surrounding the backlinks of a particular domain. This includes metrics based backlink sources (such as the authority of the domain and the link). Open Site Explorer also offers insights on social signals stemming from Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.
As these off-page SEO elements continue to grow in importance, the data surrounding backlinks and social signals is immensely valuable for SEO's. Open Site Explorer is very popular tool that's free (with limited access to information) and very easy to use.
As one of the most advanced tools for ecommerce SEO, the SEO PowerSuite offers four different software programs that each target a specific sub-set of SEO. The programs included in the SEO PowerSuite help facilitate both on-page and off-page SEO, as well as keyword reporting and analysis. Below is a brief summary of each software program.
- SEO SpyGlass - This program will perform a scan of all of the backlinks directing to a particular domain. SEO SpyGlass will generate a report that includes valuable link data metrics about each backlink (such as the sources of backlinks, Google PageRank of the sources, backlinks' anchor text, etc.)
- Rank Tracker - Rank Tracker helps make keyword reporting much easier by seamlessly checking a domain's keyword rankings. The program compiles the results in a clean report that serves as wonderful deliverable to share with others.
- Link Assistant - Although any form of link building is now viewed as “gray hat SEO,” Link Assistant helps make your SEO link building hat a bit whiter. This program makes the effort of pinpointing relevant and quality link partners much easier.
- Website Auditor - Website Auditor will scan and evaluate the content and overall on-page SEO quality of a specified domain. This audit can help find issues of duplicate content, broken links, and other problems that may be hindering SEO performance.
SEMRush is a handy web-based resource designed for both SEO and paid search advertising. In addition to helping with keyword research and analysis, SEMRush is also a powerful tool for competitive analysis and developing sound SEO strategies.
After submitting a website's domain at www.semrush.com, you can view a wealth of metrics surrounding the site’s keyword rankings and overall presence in the SERPs. The tool offers valuable keyword data about each search query (or keyword phrase), such as the keyword's competition rating, average monthly search volume, and overall search trends.
Paid search advertisers can learn which keywords a competitor is bidding for in AdWords and the position of the competitor’s ads in the SERP (per keyword.) Similar to the other Open Site Explorer, SEMRush offers both free and paid versions. It's great SEO tool to do quick analysis on the fly and we highly recommend bookmarking the tool for easy reference.
The sitelinks extension in Google AdWords is a powerful way to help maximize the real estate of your paid search ads. In essence, the sitelinks extension enables paid search advertisers to display links to certain pages within the website.
During the early stages of testing, Google claimed that ads that included sitelinks experienced an average of 30% greater click-through rates. Additionally, for more broad-based keyword targets, sitelinks can also help facilitate conversions by taking users to a more specific landing page (a big bonus for ecommerce advertisers.)
The advantages of using sitelinks continue to grow. Now, Google will display "enhanced sitelinks" on select keyword searches that are very relevant to the advertiser.
Currently, enhanced sitelinks are automatically generated by Google, so they may vary in appearance. Nonetheless, you'll want to take advantage of sitelinks and try testing this Google AdWords ad extension. Below I show you how to do it.
Setting-Up Sitelinks Extension
Upon creating a new campaign, you'll want to enable the checkbox under the section "Ad extensions" that reads, "Sitelinks: Extend my ads with links to sections of my site."
For existing campaigns, click into the "Ad extensions" tab in the main AdWords interface of the campaign. Next, choose to view the Sitelinks extension, and proceed to set-up a "new extension."
Each sitelink that you implement should have a unique landing page, in addition to having one ad to match each sitelink. In order for the sitelinks to work properly, users must omit the "http" when entering URL's.
Depending on how keyword relevant the query is to the site, ads may display two, four, or six sitelinks. Mobile ads will show a maximum of two sitelinks.
Google suggests keeping the text for each sitelink short and concise to maximize the number of links that can be displayed in each ad.
Last Word on Enhanced Sitelinks
Enhanced sitelinks are in their early stages of adoption amongst advertiser. They will only appear in ads that are directly above the organic search results, otherwise known as the premium placements.
Paid search advertisers can increase the likelihood that their enhanced sitelinks will be displayed by improving their Quality Scores and/or increases their max bid. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies on leveraging sitelinks and other ad extensions in Google.
In today's global market of SEO professionals, it's not easy pinpointing who to pick for ecommerce SEO services. Many SEO's come across as legit experts and can pitch a sound search program. But the truth of the matter is there are many misleading SEO mischiefs who fail at providing the best practices of ecommerce SEO.
I've been in the organic SEO profession for almost 6 years now. And although that's not a lot of experience compared to some SEO experts, I've learned that this industry is full sleazy scumbags who churn and burn their clients. In some respects, these sketch-meisters have given the organic SEO profession a bad name.
The good news is these unethical SEO service providers are dying breed thanks to the diligence of the Google Webspam team. In short, Google is constantly evolving the practices of ecommerce SEO, and as a result, only the strong service providers are surviving.
So if you're on the hunt for a professional ecommerce SEO company that you can trust, in this article I share with you three cues that define solid ecommerce SEO services. These hints will help you recruit a credible, honest, and capable team of SEO experts to optimize the web presence of you ecommerce site.
Custom Content Creation
One of the best indicators that a search company is offering solid ecommerce SEO services is if they provide custom and quality content creation. As most of us know, content is still the king of organic search marking, however it's the context that's changing.
Although still important, keyword rich webpages (inside pages of the core site navigation) are not as effective in the SEO game as they used to be. It's rather the content that you market and share that holds the most meaning for SEO and inbound marketing. This entails quality blog posts and articles, images and infographics, videos, and other forms of rich media. Content that's highly relevancy and offers value, such as educational and informative product profiles, wins the game for SEO.
Your ecommerce SEO service provider needs to get intimate with your brand and offering, enabling the creation of top-notch content.
Social Media Integration
In accordance to creating superb content is promoting and sharing the content with your audience. This underscores the essence of incorporating social media marketing with your organic SEO and content marketing strategy.
Google's search engine algorithm is continuously changing, and one aspect that's evident is the impact social signals (Likes, +1's, Shares, Tweets, etc.) are having on web ranking.
As a result, incorporating social sharing icons on your content is key to maximize your ecommerce SEO potential, especially for product pages.
Social media integration entails much more than just slapping up some icons and calling it good. Ecommerce social marketing is an exhaustive endeavor in itself, but it pays considerable dividends in retaining customer loyalty, as well as honest credibility in your ecommerce brand.
Because social media is having such a profound influence on Internet marketing, many companies specialize solely in social marketing services. Yet some ecommerce SEO providers incorporate these services in their arsenal as whole - which can help bring unity to various online marketing strategies.
Focused on Conversion-Orientation
What separates sufficient ecommerce SEO companies from awesome SEO providers is their ability to optimize the site for greater conversions. With online stores battling the fierce competition for customers, web traffic from SEO is often times just not enough. A powerful organic SEO strategy will encompass conversion rate optimization, or CRO.
The main focus behind conversion optimization for ecommerce sites is to generate compelling calls-to-action that lead to successful conversion goals. This can be a simple as a more visible "Add to Cart" or a graphic that shows a sales incentive.
Your ecommerce SEO service provider should go above and beyond to ensure that you site is producing sales, not just traffic. Some organic search marketing experts might disagree with me on this one, but I strongly feel this is the cornerstone to providing excellent services and keeping clients happy.
SEO for ecommerce sites is by far one of the most challenging and perplexing areas of search engine marketing. It's very important that you get very familiar with what your prospects are offering so that you invest in quality ecommerce SEO services that yield sustainability results and desirable ROI.
About the author This article was written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our SEO experts here at ClickCentric SEO. Tyler is highly engaged in all aspects of ecommerce marketing and offers a wealth of knowledge in the SEO profession. You can contact Tyler directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Connect with Tyler on Google+
The ad extensions feature in Google AdWords is must-utilize for ecommerce PPC advertisers. Not do ad extensions help to enhance the appearance and coverage of an ad, but they are also free to implement.
It's important to understand how use AdWords ad extensions appropriately, especially if you're doing paid search advertising for an ecommerce site. There are five main ad extensions that you can leverage for you PPC campaigns. These include:
- Location Extensions
- Product Extensions
- Call Extensions
- Sitelinks Extensions
- Social Extensions
In this article, we are only going to focus on the three most ecommerce-relevant ad extensions. These are product, sitelinks, and social extensions.
Prelude to Using PPC Ad Extensions
First and foremost, it's imperative to understand that ad extensions are implemented on a campaign-wide basis. This is important to keep in mind because PPC campaigns are often times set-up with only a couple campaigns containing a number of vastly different ad groups.
Like ecommerce PPC management as whole, you want to be a specific and targeted as possible. Before implementing any ad extensions (particularly sitelinks or product extensions,) make sure that it will make sense across all ad groups in the campaign. If not, you may need to do some PPC optimization or campaign segmentation.
Tip for Using Product Extensions
Product extensions are one of the most powerful options for ecommerce PPC advertisers. These ad extensions are not to be confused with Google Shopping Listings, which are often seen in the top right of the Google search results.
Product extensions are ideal for more branded keyword-based PPC campaigns (not so much campaigns targeting specific products.) The idea is, when a Google users searches for a certain brand or product category of that brand, you as the PPC advertiser can leverage product extensions to offer them more specific options.
Take advantage of product extensions for popular, top selling items. This can drastically facilitate sales by minimized the conversion funnel. Think of like this: if the user clicks on a product extensions link, they are mostly likely interested in purchasing that exact product.
Tip for Using Sitelinks Extensions
As preached by many experts and Google Ads instuctors, Sitelinks offer endless opportunities to get creative with the presentation of your ads. You can use sitelinks in a similar manner as product extensions by taking Google users to more specific landing pages. However instead of adding sitelinks for products, you can leverage promotions, such as clearance or seasonal sales.
What's great about sitelinks is that they offer tremendously flexibility for ecommerce PPC campaigns. Additionally, sitelinks can help expand your ad's real estate coverage in the paid search listings. It is important ensure that you're bidding enough so that your ads are seen in the top, premium listings (typically top 3 ad spots.) Ads that are not in the premium listings will no be able to show the sitelinks.
Tip for Using Social Extensions
Social extensions are connected to an ecommerce store's Google Plus page. This extensions is very powerful for brands that have a strong Google Plus following. If your ecommerce site doesn't have very many followers, the impact is less powerful.
With social extensions, the ad will simply shows how many people have +1'd the brand's Google Plus page. What's nice about this ad extension is that you can use it make side-column (non-premium) ads standout more in the search results. Social extensions will also give your ecommerce store an added level of credibility by showing how many people have endorsed your business on Google Plus.
By taking advantage of AdWords ad extensions, you can leverage a powerful tool to help maximize your search exposure while increasing the effectiveness and conversion potential of your ecommerce PPC campaigns. It's great feature for web presence optimization and bring about the outcome for you paid search advertising efforts. For more insights, we suggest checking out the blog at YisooTraining.com for loads of tips and information.
Guest blogging is growing into a very popular and highly powerful resource for ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO). The diligent work behind guest bloggers enables ecommerce brands to expand their online presence and reach new audiences. More importantly for ecommerce SEO, guest blogging allows search engine marketers to diversifying the link portfolio of their websites, while generating link popularity from relevant, high-authority sources.
Guest blogging offers three key benefits ecommerce SEO. These include:
- the ability to generate link popularity from new, more authoritative blogs
- opportunities to expand the reach and audience of your great content (benefiting both inbound marketing and online brand building)
- the potential to create new business relations and create synergy with other web marketers
Generate Authoritative Link Popularity
For most ecommerce SEO marketers who exploit guest blogging, generating popularity is the primary intentions for their work. Inbound links that stem from keyword relevant and authoritative blog articles are a huge factor in gaining top search engine rankings. And the more quality links that you can produce from a number of different blog sites, the more diverse your ecommerce site's link portfolio will appear to Google.
Before sending over a guest post to a blog owner, it is important to agree on the terms for adding links in your content. In most cases, owners of related blogs will not accept articles with links that conflict with the products or services they offer. Most blog owners will also balk on posting content with links that do not make sense, and are purely there for SEO.
Also make sure that when adding links in your guest articles to avoid over-optimizing the link anchor text. It's important to acknowledge the new standards of ecommerce SEO and that Google's Penguin update will penalize your website with too much exact phrase match anchor text. For this reason, you'll want to incorporate a blend of links with varying anchor text (such as your domain URL or phrases like "click here to learn more.".
Expand Your Content's Reach & Audience
One of the greatest benefits of guest blogging is the ability to your best content in front of a new audience of readers. Many blogs have a strong follower-base of loyal readers who look forward to new articles that offer insights and value. If you can land opportunities to write for popular blogs of the like, you can greatly expand the reach of your content, as well as the visibility and awareness of your ecommerce brand.
A powerful technique to maximize the branding impact of your guest blogging efforts is to ensure you include an author bio at the end of the article. This tells interested readers who produced the content and where they can go to connect with the author (whether that's a social media profile or a website.)
Create New Business Relationships
The work that stems from guest blogging demands diligent outreach to blog owners and content managers. Whether you plan to do some guest blogging for your own ecommerce SEO efforts, or on the behalf of your ecommerce clients, reaching out and creating new relationships can provide a wealth of benefits beyond SEO.
Creating new relationships via guest blogging can lead to lasting and meaningful connections. If you offer exceptional content to your hosts, you can position yourself as a trusted guest blogger with a significant degree of expertise and credibility in your industry or profession. Building a strong reputation amongst a valuable community of authors, business professionals, and web marketers can open the doors to a number of amazing possibilities.
For virtually any product-related keyword search, the Google results are overwhelmed with authoritative competitors. This makes it nearly impossible for small retailers to take-on a successful ecommerce SEO strategy.
The good news for small online retailers is that the rules of ecommerce SEO are changing. In a nutshell, Google+ is helping to level the playing field. How, you might ask?
In essence, the social connections you create on Google+ can directly impact the search results the individuals who have you in their circles. For an ecommerce brand, social authority via Google+ correlates directly to SEO performance.
How Social Authority Influences SEO
The major shifts occurring in the SEO realm stem from Google's Search plus Your World. This is designed to deliver more personalized search results that correspond to users' social connects and activity.
From a big picture perspective, Search plus Your World is a quality control measure to deliver better and more relevant search results, all while reeling-in more people into its social media platform.
Search plus Your World is the basis for which social authority impacts organic SEO and search. The fact of the matter is, building more followers on Google+ can result to better visibility in Google search. Below is an example of how this works.
In one of my Google+ circles I have an online retailer called ProSwimwear. This ecommerce store sells a wide range of gear and apparel for swimming and triathlon. While I was searching Google for "compression clothing" I was shown a Google+ post by ProSwimwear in #6 spot.
Because I have ProSwimwear in my Google+ circles, and because my keyword search was very relevant to ProSwimwear's post, Google displayed their post in my personalized. search results. Also notice how this listing is very pronounced and includes an image rich snippet.
The online retailers that get on Google+ sooner than their competitors can earn a big advantage for their ecommerce SEO campaign. Because Google+ is still in its early stages of growth, the brands that start establishing a loyal following can earn greater authority for SEO later on.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is an ecommerce SEO expert at Click Centric SEO. Tyler offers over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession and works with clients on local and national level. You can connect with Tyler on Twitter or Googe Plus.
In today's evolved search space, product keywords can be insanely competitive. High authority retailers and affiliate sites are practically owning organic search, making it near impossible to earn profitable search exposure.
But don't get too discouraged. Your ecommerce SEO strategy can be a successful one. You need to be mindful (and logical) when selecting keyword targets, and set realistic goals of where you envision your site ranking.
A good SEO practice centers on realizing which keywords are attainable, and which should be avoided. For some really great keyword targets, sometimes it's just not plausible to rank number one. As a result, one must choose wisely and leverage creative means to be found.
Do Keyword Research to a "T"
Keyword research for ecommerce SEO should be an exhaustive effort. This includes more than solely using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Although the AdWords Tool is a good place to gather metrics and insights, you'll want to perform some SERP analysis on you prospective keyword targets.
SERP analysis is simply assessing the competitive nature of the Search Engine Results Pages of your prospective keywords. Here you'll want to look at the top listings in the organic search results to get a feel for how well optimized each listing is. In addition to the more obvious indicators of optimization (e.g. the inclusion of keywords in the page title and meta description,) it helps to know metrics like each listing's Alexa rank, indexed pages, PageRank, and inbound link portfolio.
You can get real crazy doing this SERP analysis, and often times, getting crazy and thorough will only give you a more accurate projection of where your site stands against the competition. A great tool to make this analysis easier is the SEO Quake plug-in. This gives you insights about each listing directly from the SERPs.
You can further narrow down your specific long-tail keyword targets by using Google Suggest Search, or "Autocomplete" as research tool. This will give you an idea of the typical search behaviors of users who search more detailed keywords.
I typically save this stage in the process for the keywords I am pretty certain we'll be targeting. This helps choose the optimal naming convention or structure of the keyword's semantics (e.g. brand name, product model, model number, etc...)
Get on Google+, STAT!
The evolving standards of ecommerce SEO are rooted to socializing on Google+. In a nutshell, the social activity and connections that your brand makes on Google+ can directly influence your connections' search results.
As you can see in the image, the listing from Proswimwear.com is actually a Google+ post. Because I am following Proswimwear, and because I searched a very relevant keyword query with respect to their Google+ post ("TYR discount",) Google is feeding me personalize search results based on my social orientation.
The takeaway for an ecommerce company is this: get on Google+ ASAP, and start growing your following. The larger social audience you can earn on Google+, the greater potential you'll have to be seen in their search results (so long as you stay diligent at posting relevant, valuable content.)
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