SEO: Focusing on your keywords

An entire book could be written on keyword distribution for e-commerce websites; however, as the aim of this post is to cover the first aspects of optimizing a eCommerce store, we cannot go into too much depth. Instead, we’ll focus on three major considerations when choosing where to place our keywords within a eCommerce store:

Purpose: What is the purpose of optimizing this keyword?

Relevance: Is the keyword relevant to the page we have chosen to optimize it for?

Structure: Does the structure of the website re-enforce the nature of our keyword?

Google Keyword Planner

The reason for selecting keywords to optimize on our eCommerce store must always be to increase our revenue. It is true that (generically speaking) optimizing keywords means driving visitors to our site, but in the case of an eCommerce site, the deciding objective—the true justification of any SEO campaign—must be growing the number of sales. We should then make sure that our visitors not just visit our website, but visit with the intention of purchasing something.

The keywords we have decided to optimize must be applicable to the page we are optimizing them on. The page, therefore, must contain elements specifically related to our keyword, and any random material(s) must be kept to a low level. Driving potential customers to a page where their search query is unrelated to the content not only disappoints the visitor, but also lessens their longing to purchase from our website.  Commonly this will lead to an extremely high bounce rate (over 70%).

The structure of your site must supplement your chosen keyword. Competitive phrases, generally broader phrases with the highest search volumes, are naturally the hardest to optimize (simply because the competition is too large). These sorts of keywords require a strong page to effectively optimize them, don’t hope to rank very high for these broad terms anytime soon, it will take months if not a year to get some traction on the internet (an example “hockey sticks”). By and large, the quality of a page is related to its level or tier within the URL.  Case in point, the home page is ordinarily seen as being the strongest page suitable for high search volume broad phrases followed by a tiered structure of categories, subcategories, and finally, product pages.  Focus on matching those important terms on your homepage, then categories, and so forth.  You can focus on keywords as you progress through your site, just make sure to build foundational tactics to hit all sections.

Use this as a simple rubric:

 Top Tier pages: broad phrases

Middle Tier (category) pages: less broad phrases

Third tier (product) pages: very distinct phrases and keywords