Blog items tagged with "keyword-research"
Local SEO is in a different ballpark compared to ecommerce SEO. Sure there are commonalities in handling on-page optimization and link generation, but more times often than not, the core strategy concepts are different.
One highly effective local SEO strategy is to target very niche and selective keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank. Also known as hyper-local SEO, or niche-targeted SEO, this concept goes after the low hanging fruit, while progressively working toward larger keyword targets.
This hyper-targeted approach can easily be applied to an ecommerce site. Because the ecommerce search landscape is often saturated with authoritative competitors, it's vital to pick niche and go after it hard.
Example: Local SEO for Surgeons
Click Centric SEO (which is a branch of the OIC Group, Inc. family) has sister company that focus on local SEO. But more than just local SEO, this company has finely-tuned its SEO practice to provide local SEO for surgeons.
The company is called Optimized Surgeons. As you may predicted, Optimized Surgeons has tailored its off-site SEO resources (link gen sites) to be highly relevant on surgery, particularly breast surgery. Additionally, the team's copywriters freshened-up on their medical jargon to incorporate phrases like "our surgery practice" and "satisfied patient outcomes".
By crafting a niche business model in local SEO for breast surgeons, Optimized Surgeons can get equally targeted with thier own advertising and lead generation. By leveraging Facebook's demographic targeting capabilities, ads can be exposed to numerous professionals with breast surgery credentials.
Putting These Ideas to Work
Putting these ideas in motion will depend on the way in which you approach ecommerce SEO. That is, do you provide ecommerce SEO services, or are you optimizing your own ecommerce site or affiliate site?
Hyper-Targeted SEO for Ecommerce Sites
If your optimizing your own ecommerce site, you need to get super targeted as to what your website is all about. Okay, so you offer shoes. What style of shoes? What brands of shoes? Who wears these shoes? Men? Women? Athletes?
Don't try to optimize your ecommerce site for "men's shoes" because you'll be insanely challenged to realize profitable rankings. Instead, think of a specialty ecommerce store that's optimized for "triathlon running shoes for men" or "women's wide toe box shoes".
Hyper-Targeted SEO for Ecommerce Sites
If you're an ecommerce SEO service provider, than you can apply this hyper-targeted framework to the types of ecommerce stores that you serve. For instance, perhaps you could carve a niche in ecommerce SEO services for footwear retailers. Or maybe men and women's clothing. It might sound a bit ridiculous to narrow the focus of your SEO business in such a way.
But when it comes to providing a quality SEO content marketing, it only makes sense. Not to mention, the growth and expansion of the web is only make generic market segments even more saturated. So adopt some of these hyper-targeted SEO strategies into your ecommerce practice.
As provider of ecommerce SEO services, how many times have you heard this:
"One keyword we would really like to rank for is 'Samsung TVs'" (or some other extremely competitive keyword.)
And you're probably thinking "Oh sure. That will only take us about 2 years to see page one of Google."
You know it, and you wish your ecommerce SEO clients did too. Short-tail ecommerce keywords are insanely competitive. So much so that, more often than not, these competitive keywords are not even worth your time and energy.
What your ecommerce SEO strategy needs is solid list of low-competitive long-tail keywords that are actually attainable and will drive your clients profitable traffic. But finding these golden long-tails is not an easy task. You need to drill, and you need to drill deep.
In this article, I will share with you a couple of my favorite resources and go-to techniques to uncovering money-in-the-bank long-tails that generate results and keep clients happy.
Have a Purposeful Direction
Before you actually start doing your long-tail keyword research, you'll need to have a clear idea of the keyword category you're going after. This is done by analyzing the site, its relevancy and authority, and its current rankings on the keyword category of interest.
As a result of this analysis, you can gain a better understanding of which keyword categories are actually attainable. It also helps to get some feedback from your client, so you keep them happy. Between the ecommerce site and the client's primary areas of interest, you can determine a purposeful direction for your research.
In our example, we know that the client is interested in ranking for "Samsung TVs," and after our analysis, we've concluded that site is relevant on (and ranking in the top 50) for "Samsung TVs" and a few related terms.
Seeing Samsung.com and few heavy hitters ranking at the top of page one, I can conclude that it's going to be near impossible to actually rank in the top 3 for "Samsung TVs." Thus, I commence my long-tail keyword research using the following resources.
Play with Google's Suggested Search (or Google "Autocomplete")
One of the best resources for long-tail keyword research is Google's suggested search or "Autocomplete" feature. Here I will start typing in my core keyword, "Samsung TVs", and see what Google offers me.
Because the client has competitive prices and sales on Samsung TVs, I am immediately drawn to the suggested search around "Samsung TVs on sale." So, I go down that road.
Simply by adding the word "on" to "Samsung TVs on" I see a few more potential options from Google's autocomplete. If it was black friday, "Samsung TVs on black friday" would make for a nice press release or article. The keyword that really jumps out is "Samsung TVs on sale this week." This is because the client does, in fact, do a rotating sale per week on a different Samsung TV. Boom.
So, I add this to my list of potential long-tails to target, and later do some competitive analysis around that term (more on this below).
Take a Look at "Searches related to..."
At the bottom of each SERP, Google shows "Searches related to (whatever keyword you searched)." Here you can play with all types of keyword variations and explore new ideas.
Click on any links to show the SERP for the given keyword. You can go down all types of roads that might be aligned with your ecommerce SEO goals.
Poke Around on Google's Keyword Planner Tool
Although many ecommerce SEO's start their keyword research using Google's Keyword Planner Tool, I typically use this tool at the end of my long-tail research. The Keyword Planner Tool will often display an abundance of very competitive keywords that I am simply not interested in. My true purpose for using the tool it see how popular my potential keywords are.
I can see that "Samsung TVs on sale this week" gets 20 searches per month (which is very approximate, and a number that I shouldn't depend on.) However, this is enough information to tell me that the keyword is legit and worth exploring further.
The Keyword Planner Tool can help come up with good ideas for ecommerce SEO; however, I think the tool has greater value for PPC advertising. Nonetheless, check it out and see if it helps aid your research.
Compile Your Findings and Review Your Competitors
Keyword research for ecommerce SEO extends far beyond finding relevant keywords with legitimate search volumes. Like any good approach to keyword research and selection, assessing the competition is important to yield a successful outcome.
After you have a list of potential long-tail keywords, you should take the time to search each phrase one by one to get a lay of the competing sites. If you're dealing with Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and other big time retailers that are dominating the top 5, you might want to scratch the keyword.
However, if there's only 1 or 2 big time retailers up top and a few other random sites that don't appear to be specifically optimized for the long-tail, then we might have a good shot.
You can take your competitor review to the next level by performing a backlink scan, analyzing domain-level metrics (indexed pages, PageRank, Alexa Rank, etc,) and assessing the extent of keyword optimization for the URL that's ranking. This might seem a bit heavy, but hey, this research is critical if you want to ensure your SEO energy is invested in the right keywords.
The Last Word
In short, ecommerce SEO is no walk in the park. Big budgets are usually involved in most ecommerce SEO campaigns. And you don't want to spend months and months trying to get in the top 5, only to learn later on that the top ranking sites are incredibly authoritative. Don't be lazy. Do your homework, and rank on, my friend.
About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO analyst at Click Centric SEO. Tyler is well-versed in multiple facets of organic search marketing, particularly link building and content marketing strategy.
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.)
About the author
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.
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+".