Every good ecommerce marketing strategy should include keywords and keyword research. Period. Whether you advertise with paid search or not, keyword research helps you lock down what your target market is looking for which in-turn makes everything from generating traffic to designing compelling promotional strategies much easier. So let’s break down how you can get started with keywords.
(Quick Tip: a keyword is a particular word or set of words that you build content around. The intention is that you will populate high on Google when someone searches for that keyword).
Step 1: Analyze Keywords
To assess the value of a keyword, you need to know which metrics to consider. These include:
Search Volume: This is the primary metric you want to focus on, as it indicates how many people are actually searching this particular keyword. This metric is usually displayed as a number of searches per month locally (i.e. in a specific country) or globally.
Competitiveness: If your promotion strategy is to create content that ranks organically on search engines such as Google, you need to assess the competition. Every keyword is a piece of real estate, so to speak, and a popular keyword is like a Malibu beach house. The more competitive the keyword, the greater degree of search engine optimization (SEO) required to rank at the top of the results.
Advertising Cost: If your online promotion strategy includes paid advertisements such as AdWords, you want to assess the average cost per click for each keyword to help determine which keyword is the most efficient use of your advertising budget.
Step 2: Optimal Word Choice
Now that we know which metrics to focus on, it’s time to address the most important part of keyword research: finding and analyzing the actual words that make up the keyword.
I’ll cover this portion with an example as it will better illustrate some of the nuances of assessing keywords within a particular promotion or campaign. Let’s pretend that you have an ecommerce website that sells medical supplies to individuals…
Now even if your website sold a large array of medical supplies spanning from wheelchairs to cardiac resuscitators, it’s better to focus on one specific niche at a time. There are a couple of reasons for this tactic:
Broader terms are usually more competitive, thus harder to rank for in search engines, and therefor more expensive from a pay-per-click perspective.
The more specific and targeted your audience, the better you will be able to tailor your message to convince a potential customer that they should purchase your product.
Most people are going to search for a specific need, so let’s say one of the categories of medical supplies you sell is related to treatment options for sleep apnea. You will want to target keywords specifically related to sleep apnea equipment, such as CPAP machines, BiPAP machines, and CPAP masks, instead of general keywords related to medical supplies. As you search for keywords related to this topic, there are a couple of general tips you will want to consider. And let’s get to that now…
A long-tail keyword is typically a keyword that has 4 or more words. Long-tail keywords are great because they are usually less competitive and more specific to what the individual is looking for. This allows you to better tailor your advertisement or content to fit their query.
For example, let’s compare the two keywords “best CPAP mask” and “best CPAP mask for side sleepers”. As you may or may not know, there are a large variety of CPAP masks that are designed to fulfill the needs of a large array of patient needs. So if you were going to try to answer someone’s query that is simply: “what is the best CPAP mask?”, it’ll be difficult as there are multiple factors to consider. But answering the query for “the best CPAP mask for side sleepers”, you will be able to provide a far more concise answer / recommendation that will likely lead to a higher conversion rate.
The one downside to long-tail keywords is that they usually have lower monthly search volumes, but I believe the advantages outweigh the cons. A more targeted keyword will provide you with a higher conversion rate, lower pay-per-click cost, and ultimately increase the success of your promotion strategy. Additionally, even though the long-tail keyword has a lower search volume, it may result in greater organic traffic as you’ll be able to rank higher in relevant search results.
Keywords that include “Best” or “Top”
Now here’s a word of advice: Instead of targeting keywords like CPAP mask or CPAP machine, you want to target “best CPAP mask” and “best CPAP machine.” These are powerful keywords as the use of “best” or “top” indicates two things about the user:
First, that the user has a buyer’s intent as they are searching for the best of a product, and if you are going to buy something, who doesn’t want the best?
And secondly, these words indicate that the user does not yet know which CPAP machine or CPAP mask they want. This allows you the opportunity to tailor your message to persuade the customer to buy your product over the other options.
Keywords that include “review(s)” or “vs”
One last piece of advice: look for keywords that allow you to pin one product against another. Examples would be” Dreamstation CPAP review, BiPAP vs CPAP, and Dreamstation vs Airsense 10. These types of keywords are very powerful as well due to the fact that the user has narrowed their search down to one or two products and is looking to find which one they should buy. The user is practically searching the exact product they want to buy, but the competitiveness to rank for that keyword is significantly lower than the keyword of the product name all by itself (e.g. Dreamstation CPAP).
Well that covers the basics of keyword analysis, along with a few helpful tips. If you integrate these strategies and overlying concepts into your search and analysis, you will have far greater success in targeting the correct market at an economical price, thus having a lucrative online promotion or campaign.
Who is Ben?
Ben Rose is an Affiliate Marketer and SEO expert. He’s the co-founder of multiple websites that generate over a thousand visitors a day organically.