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How to sell better with SEO and e-commerce – Part II

We’ve already looked at how to write effective product descriptions, now it’s time to focus on keywords – the little lighthouses that will guide your audience to the information they’re looking for. Keywords when used correctly will help Google to understand what your web pages are all about so that they can be indexed in the right searches.

Getting creative with keyword selection

Because of changes in Google’s privacy policy it is now hard to extract information on keywords from analytics software with most queries appearing as ‘not provided’. While on-site search information can be a useful substitute there are a few other tricks that are able to provide a valuable insight into the keywords you should be using on your site.

The Google AdWords keyword tool is a powerful way of analysing the popularity of a keyword and how much competition there is for it in the search rankings. For keywords with a high level of competition it will be harder to make it to the top of their search engine results page (SERP), for lower competition keywords it will be easier though they tend to generate less (but more relevant) traffic.

To find out how keywords have performed over time and in specific locations Google Trends is another useful service. Trends simply displays the popularity of search terms over time in graph form, clearly showing whether a keyword is attracting more interest or is falling out of fashion. If it happens that your keyword of choice is not doing so well Trends will offer more popular alternatives.

 

Pin a tail to the keywords

When it comes to keywords there are two types – short-tail and long-tail. Short-tail keywords are basically one or two words in length and because they’re so common are very hard to rank for.

Long-tail keywords consist of three words or more and generally don’t need to be used so often on a page to help it rank well. Because long-tail keywords are more specific the pages they’re featured on are more likely to be relevant to the people performing the searches. And when it comes to ecommerce more specific is more helpful. For example if your niche is multi-coloured men’s footwear made from napped leather it’s going to be more beneficial for your customers that you rank well for the long-tail keyword “blue suede shoes footwear” than poorly for “men’s shoes”. This will help people find the shoes they’re looking for, and distinguish it from information about the song.

Searchers are also asking more questions than before so it also might be worth posing a question in the form of a heading. If you’re selling kitchenware people might be wondering “what is the best way to store jam” and your pots with the kitschy lids may be the answer they’re looking for.

The key is to approach the problem as a consumer and think of the question that your content is an answer to.

While taking this two-pronged approach will help with your SERP success it’s important to keep monitoring the performance of keywords to identify which ones are working and which ones aren’t, so you can make the necessary tweaks and improve your rankings. Even when one keyword is working well fluctuating tastes and search trends means that regular performance monitoring is essential.