Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread

by Nick · 93 comments

in SEO

Advanced SEO For Ecommerce: Maximizing Keyword Spread
  • Buffer
  • Buffer

Maximizing the search engine visibility of your eCommerce website, for qualified queries, is perhaps the most important role SEO has to play in selling products online.

The idea of keyword spread is similar to an approach taken by stock options traders called a condor option; you are essentially increasing your keyword opportunities while lowering your overall risk.
Condor stock optionBy spreading your search engine rankings for as many qualified keywords as possible you are exponentially increasing the probability that your site will be seen and hopefully visited.

And to be fair (and clear) this strategy is not just for eCommerce, but for the purposes of this post I am going to focus on selling online, looking at websites that are effectively ranking for eCommerce intent keywords from head to long tail.

The nuts and bolts of this concept is about making sure you position the right content, for the right time, for the right person. If you’re taking a strategic approach to keyword spread, then your visitors are getting the right page at the right point in the conversion funnel, based on their search behavior and intent.

Don't Pitch Me Bro!

Think of this as more of a keyword funnel where the top of the funnel is informational and navigational-based content; content that helps to inform the visitor, present them with facts, data, and options but does NOT pitch them.

You are then ranking content at the commercial investigation phase, helping users to quickly gain insights into how your product stacks up against your competitors, the pro’s and con’s (yes! The con’s too, I’ll come back to this later in the post), pricing information and availability.

The end game here is to take the Google approach to information experience; provide as much as possible as quick as possible so users don’t have to look anywhere else.

I realize this is counter-intuitive from an eCommerce perspective, why would you ever want to provide competitive information to a prospective customer?

Simple, if you provide them with all the information they need, not only are you building trust through transparency, but they have no reason to go looking elsewhere for it.

All the gimmicks in the world won’t force someone to buy who is not ready to make the purchase. I’m not going to pretend that the checkout countdown used by major online retailers like Ticketmaster™ (shown below) and Fab.com doesn’t positively impact checkout conversions, however, I will say that for someone who is not ready to make the purchase – it is not going to force the purchase and stands a better chance of feeling pushy.

ticketmaster_Checkout-countdown

Sustainable brands are built on trust and customer loyalty. Think about it. Why settle for a 1-time purchase when you have the opportunity to sell to the same customer every time they want a product you sell?

These types of relationships are built through transparency:

  • If you are not the cheapest, say so, then explain why.
  • If you don’t have fancy stripes, buttons, or a slick new design, talk about it.

Contrary to what many people seem to still believe; consumers aren’t stupid. If the information is important to them, they are going to find it.

Keyword Spread Opportunity

Taking a lesson from my days in Finance, you can lower your risk for negative returns from search by making sure to spread your rankings across more purchase-intent SERP’s. Similar to a condor option, the wider your spread on target traffic, and the higher your average position, the less risk you have on not making your target return.

You need to be building awareness and mind-share throughout the buying cycle.

Searcher behavior starts with initial interest and information gathering. As shoppers begin to browse more specific queries they move through the conversion funnel.

keyword-intent_query-type

Time For Some Ecommerce Examples

revzilla-logo

RevZilla is a Philly-based eCommerce company that sells a crap load of motorcycle gear.

They have done a fantastic job with their keyword spread, ranking for many of their target categories all the way from head to tail. They leverage this head term keyword authority to power rankings all the way down to the product level.

Best of all, they supplement their AdWords bids and campaigns to get your attention when their organic rankings are not as high. I imagine this is based on conversion rate; keywords that don’t have a high historical conversion rate are not a focus for organic, which is human capital intensive, and instead are just bid on in paid search.

Head Keyword: motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

motorcycle-jackets_Google

Body Keyword: mens motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

mens-motorcycle-jackets_Google

Body Keyword: leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google

Body Keyword: mens leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

mens-leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google-AdWords

Body Keyword: brown leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

brown-leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google-SERP

Wanna See What’s Really Cool?

The head term keyword authority that RevZilla has been able to build has allowed them to position themselves very highly for contextually related brand terms.

Brand Keyword: Alpinestars (click to enlarge)

alpinestars_BRAND_Google

Yes. You’re seeing that right.

Alpinestars is a major brand retailer, with a pretty large social following including;

Over 1.7 Million Facebook Fans

Alpinestars-Facebook

Over 66,000 Twitter Followers

Alpinestars-twitter

Yet their social profiles are being out-ranked in their brand SERP by a reseller, so for those who think SEO is dead, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Furthermore, this keyword authority transcends to more specific product category and product-specific search results:

Brand Body Keyword: alpinestars leather motorcycle jackets (click to enlarge)

alpinestars-leather-motorcycle-jackets_Google

Brand Long-Tail Keyword: Alpinestars GP-R Leather Jacket (click to enlarge)

Alpinestars-GP-R-Leather-Jacket_Google

Thank you to Peter Attia and John-Henry Scherck for sending along this great example.

asos-logo

ASOS is a UK-based online retailer of men and women’s clothes, they are also an SEO powerhouse.

ASOS is dominating organic, and has what I like to call a complimentary AdWords presence. What’s most impressive about there keyword spread is that they successfully hold top results for ton of brand keywords:

Brand Head Keyword: ray ban sunglasses (click to enlarge)

ray-ban-sunglasses

Brand Head Keyword: nike trainers (click to enlarge)

nike-trainers

Brand Body Keyword: esprit chino shorts (click to enlarge)

esprit-chino-shorts

And it’s not just the individual head terms, look here are their keyword spread for American Apparel queries:

Brand Head Keyword: american apparel tshirts

american-apparel-tshirts_Google_Brand

Brand head Keyword: mens american apparel

mens-american-apparel_Google

Brand Body Keyword: mens american apparel tshirts

mens-american-apparel-tshirts_Google

Brand Long-Tail Keyword: mens american apparel vneck shirt

mens-american-apparel-vneck-shirt_Google

Wait, Notice Anything Strange?

Look closely at the Google shopping results for mens american apparel…

Yeah, no men. I can’t help but wonder if this is on purpose. And I know what you’re thinking – why on earth would they intentionally be displaying results for women for a mens query?

It may have something to do with this…

Google Display Planner mens american apparel

According to Google’s wonderful new Display Planner, it seems nearly just as many women may be searching for mens american apparel as men. Why not seize the opportunity to get some impressions for womens american apparel in case they decide they would rather be shopping for themselves instead :)

Thank you to Patrick Hathaway for the great example.

argos_logo

Last but certainly not least in my examples is Argos, another UK-based online retailer with a focus on home furnishings and toys (among many other verticals).

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the URL architecture, as it’s pretty long and messy, however, their keyword spread is pretty amazing; take for example:

Head Keyword: pan set (click to enlarge)

pan set_Google_UK

Body Keyword: non stick pan set (click to enlarge)

non-stick-pan-set_Google_UK

Brand Body Keyword: Tefal non stick pan set (click to enlarge)

tefal-non-stick-pan-set_Google_UK

Do you SEE that last SERP? Argos is outranking the brand for it’s own product, which is pretty impressive to say the least.

Thank you to Wayne Barker for the great example.

How To Maximize Your Keyword Spread

This goes without saying, but in order to approach increasing the spread of your organic keywords, you first need to have completed your in-depth keyword research and a deep dive SEO competitive analysis.

This data is needed to help you figure out which pages will be the best candidates for which keywords, as well as which keywords are your highest priorities.

Once you know who your competitors are, what types of content is ranking for your high value keywords, and level of signaling that you’re competing with; i.e. on page factors, back link profile, social signals, etc. – you are ready to take this further:

1. Expand Your Semantic and Contextual Reach

Google has begun to look not only for keywords on the page, but also for groups of contextually relevant words. To such an extent that there is a patent recently reviewed by Bill Slawski that looks at the potential for parameterless search.

What does that mean? Imagine if you will being out and simply holding down a button on your phone and simply speaking “search now,” and based on your personal preferences and geo-location, Google returns a set of results.

Going back to Google’s keyword planner, we are going to look at what other words Google believes to be closely related at the category and product adjective level.

To get started, choose your category from the drop down menu and add just your head keyword, for example here’s a look at the keyword ‘ecommerce‘ within the ‘business and industrial‘ category (click to enlarge):

keyword-planner_ecommerce

You can see pretty quickly from the image above that Google associates the keyword ‘ecommerce‘ primarily with software; every top-level term listed is related to software, solutions, a code base (such as PHP), etc.

If we add the word ‘optimization,’ this focus shifts to design and developers and completely away from software, with terms related to SEO and marketing starting to show up.

Let’s take a look at a query landscape that we have already become familiar with; motorcycle jackets – this time removing the category (click to enlarge).

keyword-planner_motorcycle-jackets

Not surprising, Google associates these with motorcycles, leather, and jackets. What is surprising is that Google also see’s this as closely contextually related to varsity jackets, bomber jackets (hey that’s a good term), and the keyword ‘biker jacket’ – which receives over 12,000 exact searches per month.

Let’s take this a step further and take a look at what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite keyword research tools, the Display Planner, and for the purposes of this exercise make sure you set it to ‘Ad group ideas’ and then select ‘Keywords,’ it should look like this (click to enlarge):

Display-Planner_motorcycle-jackets

Ready for the cool part? Hover your mouse over the right side of the ‘Ad group’ and a blue arrow will appear:

DIsplay-Planner-Expand-arrow

Now click on the yellow-highlighted keyword on the right-side under ‘Ad groups’:

disply-planner-keyword-expand

And you will be be shown this list of contextually related keywords:

DIsplay-Planner-keyword-suggestions

Scroll through for a list of body and long-tail suggestions, right from Google, based on it’s search network inventory (driven by actual searches).

2. Conduct a Keyword Performance Audit

Go into Google Analytics and look at the historical data for organic traffic keywords for the past 6 months.

Look for pages with high engagement and low organic search traffic by sorting in descending order for both pages per visit and average time on site.

For a detailed look at this process please check out conducting a keyword performance audit >

3. Use Hierarchy to Pass Relevance From Parent to Child Directories

I know I talk about this a lot, but it continues to become more important. This essentially means that if your information architecture is properly supported by your URL’s directory structure, than you may be able to create relevance for certain topic keywords, allowing for authority to be established faster for new sub-directories in the future.

What’s important to consider here is that the higher-level pages stand to receive more PageRank and flow less PageRank to the lower-level directories. The good news is utilizing this approach gives you an opportunity to potentially establish more authority for the parent directories, thus increasing their potential to rank for more competitive terms.

AirBnB does this fantastically, where they actually use just microdata mark-up to show which root-level directories are both up-stream and downstream, leading to optimized search engine listings such as:

vacation-rentals-philadelphia-SERP_screencap

which is literally being propagated just from the microdata formatting in the HTML, and NOT from an internal link structure.

micro-data-mark-up_Localization

4. Optimize Pages for Specific Product-Attribute Keywords

Nothing frustrates me more than seeing websites where multiple pages are carrying the same page-level keywords in the page title.

Similar to the problem with duplicate content, if your title tags contain the same focus keywords, Google is going to have a harder time determining which of those pages should be ranking for the keyword, and you may be cannibalizing your own rankings.

I’m not saying to throw out keywords that should be used across several titles, such as your brand or the brand of the products – I’m simply talking about not optimizing titles for the same category and product-level keywords.

One of the best ways to spread your titles across your target keywords is to leverage the ability of many modern eCommerce platforms to create new views, for example RevZilla carries a number of brown motorcycle jackets, which you can get to by going to motorcycle jackets and then using the left-side navigation to filter by color, giving you this anchor URL:

http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle-jackets#v2-facets%5B%5D=339&page
=1&page_size=96&sort=featured&tab=all

What I would recommend to them instead, would be to use these color filters and create top-level directories for each of these colors.

Stop and think for a second about the naming conventions you have seen around other popular eCommerce websites, there tend to be a lot of opportunities to expand the reach of the products simply by creating new pages focused on 1 or 2 specific product attributes.

Lastly, remember when I said you should include as much content on your pages as is relevant to the searcher’s potential purpose, including competitor data? I bet you thought I was crazy.

But think about this for a second: If you include what your product does well, what your competitor’s product does well, and draw a line between the differences, you are not only getting more contextually relevant content onto your pages, you are preventing the user from having to go out and mine for that information.

You become the resource, and you build trust, so chances are even if they go to your competitor’s website to verify your information (which better be accurate) you have established a piece of mindshare that is likely to reflect positively on your brand.

5. Use Related Content in Place of Products

This is a very common problem in niche eCommerce. You are selling products that people want, but there is absolutely no aggregated search volume (or very low aggregate search volume) and you can’t justify building pages and links for a query that receives let’s less than 100 searches per month.

What do you do?

You build content for queries that surround the product but aren’t the product.

What does that mean?

Perhaps my favorite example is ReadyForZero’s page on budgeting tips. This is a fantastic example of an in-depth piece of content that is positioned to capture searchers at the top of the conversion funnel, focusing on informational intent queries, and educating visitors who obviously have a need for ReadyForZero’s money management products.

Wrapping It Up

The end game here is rank as highly as possible for as many qualified keywords as possible.

Look for opportunities to build new pages, better optimize titles and meta attributes to target language around the specific attributes of your products, and leverage your available technology to create new category and sub-category pages where appropriate.

Pay close attention the language Google uses not only in tools talked about in this post, but also look at the language that is on the pages that are currently in the top 10 results. What other words are helping these URL’s signal to Google that they are a good result for the query.

To take this a step further, you need to make sure that you are optimizing the right pages for the right queries. If the query is informational (like the ReadyForZero example, budgeting tips) make sure you are ranking a page that provides informational content. And likewise, if the query is transactional – you need to make sure that you are optimizing product detail pages.

Lastly, what are some of your favorite eCommerce websites that are killing it in terms of search rankings for head through long-tail keywords?

About Nick
Nick is the VP of Digital Strategy at W.L. Snook & Associates, Co-Founder of I'm From The Future an ecommerce consultancy, and the author of this SEO Blog. Follow Nick on Google+.

Follow me on Twitter · Visit my website →

{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Victor July 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

After seeing the Condor option being explained, for some odd reason I was expecting a disclaimer about the stocks you own. Great stuff as always Nick.

Reply

Nick July 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Hahaha, I’m saving these for a later post :) Thanks Victor.

Reply

Anthony Pensabene July 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

i like the sentiment of leveraging content for related products. i did a quick run of ‘motorcycle jackets’ via ubbersuggest and noticed a number of features/benefits are offered as popular queries (ex: ” ” with spine protection, with patches, with spikes).

sometimes it’s hard to sell clients on content, so showing them another angle of strategy, which consumers help illuminate, is a good place to start.

Reply

Nick July 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

It’s one of the last few strategic content approaches that I haven’t seen taken to scale, but makes so much sense, especially for eCommerce where it’s important to build mindshare early in the buying cycle.

Those ubersuggest’s are perfect examples of contextual keywords that should be included at the category and sub-category levels. Agree 100%, thanks for sharing your thoughts Muse.

Reply

gaz copeland July 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Great post Nick and trying to spread your traffic across keywords is definitely something which is really important for eCommerce stores, or any site for that matter.

One thing which struck me, maybe because I do a lot of work with very small eCommerce stores is that a few of the examples are extremely big brands with high domain authority. For them it’s pretty easy to drop in an extra few categories, add the odd keyword here and their and get rankings easily.

Is there anything you think small stores with not a huge amount of authority should be doing more often to improve their keyword spread?

Reply

Nick July 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hey Gaz – Thanks for commenting and the nice compliments :)

I think smaller eCom websites can compete at the content level. Creating resource content that provides potential solutions to a product-solved problem, without promoting the product; being genuinely helpful with the intent of answering a question, can create huge wins for small shops.

We have a piece we did last year on how to winterize your parking lot, it made no mention of any of our products (many of which would make it easier :) ) but instead focused on the process and tips from people who have done it many times before – with the end goal being to create trust and increase our visibility among a segment of our target audience; people who own and manage parking lots.

Reply

Gareth July 18, 2013 at 3:50 am

It used to be a lot easier for smaller sites to compete with brands in longtail serps, but the brand tweaks in Gs algo have made it a lot harder in my opinion. Still worth the fight though :)

Fredrik July 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Gave many good ideas, great post that every ecommerce owner should read.

Reply

Chris Rodgers July 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Great article Nick, my first time on your site. This is interesting and particularly relevant, our company site is ranking very well and not getting the conversions we had hoped, were doing some tweaking to improve conversions but need a much larger target keyword group to go after now. Question, do you find it difficult for the domain to remain relevant for core keywords once you start adding more diverse keyword groups and then the related content?

Reply

Nick July 16, 2013 at 6:56 am

Hey Chris – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Actually not at all, if anything, the more authority you are able to establish for body and tail keywords that contain your root head keyword(s), the more overall relevance you are building for the root keyword. I actually, generally recommend approaching keyword-focused optimization in reverse, from tail to head. I go into more detail in my post on keyword research.

Cheers!

Reply

Mooki July 15, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Amazing information. Nice research Nick. But how can we help small business with very limited budget for adward.

Reply

Nick July 16, 2013 at 6:58 am

Thanks Mooki.

I realize I’m beating a dead horse here, but you need to find ways to optimize content that solves your customers problems and answers their questions. With AdWords (or almost any paid media for that matter) you’re push marketing, which still works – but IMHO, pull marketing is more successful and tends to create longer-term relationships, which mean more sales.

What are some of the core, everyday issues your product or service helps to solve?

Reply

Rajesh Magar July 16, 2013 at 5:53 am

Hi Nick,

Was lengthy but full of informative. Keyword intent segmentation is really evolutionary concept and really essential element for successful campaign.

Reply

Nick August 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Thanks a lot for reading Rajesh, you may also want to check out a post I wrote from a little while ago that talks more in-depth about keyword segmentation: http://getstat.com/blog/search-intent-conversion-optimization

Reply

Matthew Steffen July 16, 2013 at 7:01 am

Nick, You have mentioned some impressive points in your article. This will definitely helps SEO professionals to learn advance SEO tactics. Thanks for your helpful strategies.

Reply

Nick August 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for reading Matthew, let me know if you have any specific ideas or questions.

Reply

AdMamu July 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

Excellent article, wonderfully written.

Thanks so much for all your efforts.

Reply

McAllen Web Design July 16, 2013 at 7:44 am

The McAllen Search Engine Optimization firm at Imagine It Studios provides you with a portfolio of the SEO work they have done for some of their clients.

Reply

Peter Swanson July 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Thank you for the useful information here. Will definitely be useful for future projects. :)

Reply

Al July 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Well, I’ve learned alot about keyword spread.. Thanks for informative info..
Regards, Al…

Reply

Joey Montano July 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Phenominal post. This should almost be standard practice on a mass scale (since this is ecommerce we are talking about). But I really hope more SEO practitioners read this blog article since this is incredibly in-depth and it’s always great seeing new ways to do keyword analysis as well as seeing real websites implement great content and SEO.

I’m always a big fan of providing steps 1 through conversion as an SEO *cough*brandbuilding*cough* philosophy, great job Nick. I’m a big fan of your stuff

Reply

Nick July 18, 2013 at 8:40 am

Thanks a lot Joey.

Are there any cool tricks you use to get moving with keyword research or on-going analysis?

Reply

Bibiano Wenceslao July 17, 2013 at 1:48 am

Another great post, Nick!

It’s been quite a while since the last time I did keyword research for a client, and I’m yet to try the Keyword Planner which as I just recently knew is bound to replace the long-standing Keyword Tool. Maybe a golden guide from you in the nearest future about utilizing this new tool including the Display Planner? :D

Here’s my question: Is content freshness a necessary factor for Ecommerce sites to get better visibility in the SERPs? I mean, when all product pages are set, the only parts that change are the product review sections which I think isn’t much to be considered activity nor supplementary content. Is a blog necessary then?

Cheers!
@bibianowency

Reply

Nick July 17, 2013 at 8:09 am

Thanks a lot Bibiano! I love your SERP competitor scraper!

The keyword planner is pretty nifty thus far, but I’m still only scratching the surface… I need to keep playing around with it to see what cool new functionality it offers and if it really is better.

I think content freshness and QDF signaling is always an important consideration, and you raise a really good point. Besides product reviews, and the off chance that you are going to have natural social signals being created from product pages, it’s really tough to keep product detail pages fresh. I tend to focus most of my eCommerce efforts on category and sub-category level pages, with product pages really only seeing new content from technical specs, guides, videos, and as you mentioned reviews.

One thing we do at Traffic Safety Store, which is a bit of a different animal as the sub-category and product-detail pages are essentially the same (this was done due to the nature of shopper behavior for our products) is to not only add new pictures, on a semi-regular basis – monthly, but also we wrote a small script that rotates through a database of customer reviews that are segmented by product category. Also, in the near-future we will be implementing recent blog posts links on these pages that are also segmented by product category, so as not to have the same set of internal links on all pages.

And while I realize this may upset some people, I’m of the opinion that you don’t necessarily need a blog, but you do NEED to be creating content to support your customer’s search behavior all the way through the funnel, whether those are pages or post – they need to be there to compete in today’s market.

Cheers!

Reply

Bibiano Wenceslao July 19, 2013 at 12:35 am

Hi Nick,

All great points (even evernoted your reply)! I’m definitely picking up a lot of new stuff here. What took my attention most was when you stated “this was done due to the nature of shopper behavior for our products”. I didn’t give much focus to taking a reactive approach to improving pages before and will reconsider it now.

Thanks for the generous guidance man!

Cheers!
@bibianowency

David Rothwell July 17, 2013 at 2:52 am

Excellent article!

You can also derive a *ton* of extra keyword research from running Product Listing Ad Campaigns via Merchant Center (as some of your Shopping images show), and also Dynamic Search campaigns in Google AdWords.

Then go and ransack your Search Query reports for a universe of keywords that people are using to show up your ads and pages.

From Dynamic Search campaigns, AdWords can then also show your individual urls and their title, since these campaigns are correlated to Google’s organic index of your site. They can also indicate opportunities like breadcrumbs. This is where PPC informs SEO, and again illustrates how complementary they are.

Contact me for more info if of interest.

Reply

Nick July 17, 2013 at 8:00 am

David – Thanks for the comment; yup – that’s another little talked about way to get a big jump start on identifying qualified queries and gleaning some behavioral data.

I had never thought about using the terms to potentially inform your directory structure for breadcrumbs, that’s pretty smart.

Cheers!

Reply

Pramod July 17, 2013 at 4:32 am

It took me an hour to read this awesome post …It would certainly help me in the future.

Regards,
Pramod

Reply

tea July 17, 2013 at 4:38 am

Totally agree with Joey. There are just too many articles about SEO and the most of them are blabla. This is definitely a great piece.

Reply

Barbara M Fowler July 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

Amazing. I learn so much from your posts.

Reply

Jim Thornton July 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm

You’re a boss. This jawn could have a big impact for a local client trying to compete with big national brands.

Especially given their on the ground access to local information/market conditions relevant to the area. Employing that in content strategy top down.

Reply

Nick July 18, 2013 at 8:45 am

Haha Thanks Jim – I feel the same way. Often times I will talk to people about putting in the work to do the research, go through the creative process, and create foundational, evergreen content that fills a need. And I’m often met with hostility that small companies just can’t do this.

I think that’s bullshit. You don’t need a big budget or a large research team to create something useful.

To your point, local companies with access to local information, market conditions, and knowledge of town history and culture gives them a huge advantage. Thanks again Jim.

Reply

Sachinn July 18, 2013 at 3:05 am

Nick,
That is an awesome post. Great keyword stratergies.

Reply

Yoav July 21, 2013 at 2:43 am

Great post Nick! It’ll take me some time to digest all the info/tips that you present here…

Do you have some examples of sites that present their competitors data/pricing as you suggested in the beginning of the post?

Much thanks
Yoav

Reply

Nick July 23, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thanks Yoav!

A great example was actually given by Rand Fishkin at Mozcon this year; http://www.hellosign.com. In addition Mint.com does a fantastic job of walking user’s through benefits and how each function stacks up to their competitors like quicken, quickbooks, etc. https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/

Reply

SEO Services Utah July 22, 2013 at 2:41 am

Yes I fully agree with this. This gives a latest idea and I think the most important factor is to promote eCommerce through SEO.

Reply

Gervais Group July 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

Great Post! Honestly, the worst sites that kill your SEO efforts are the spammers. You just have to do as was said, maximize as many keywords as possible! For more SEO insight, visit http://www.gervaisgroup.com

Reply

Christopher Mills July 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Nick, cheers for the post, a most interesting read with some excellent examples. I’ve had massive success with an eCommerce website in South Africa using a very similar approach to what you’ve outlined above, so for anyone who questions this approach, don’t!

Reply

John July 25, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I really really love the tips you have discussed in your article. Hopefully those will work on my ecommerce site that I handle now that has a Magento CMS.

Reply

joysam July 26, 2013 at 4:09 am

The local search engine optimizations tips discussed by you in this post are very helpful for successful SEO and capture more visitors towards your website along with boosting your website to page one on Google. SEO Colibri Tool providing you the complete check on your website and it do super easy integration with Google Analytics in just 30 seconds.

Reply

Spook SEO July 28, 2013 at 8:31 am

Prioritizing the longtail keywords first than the main keywords has also worked well for me. I’ve found it WAY EASIER to rank for the head after I’ve done several long tail keywords.

Nice post nick! Got tons of golden nuggets there!

Reply

Expiring Domains July 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

I agree with Spook SEO. If you can start out ranking for long tail keywords it makes it a lot easier to then rank for you main keyword. I give your site a nice boost!

Reply

Hitta läcka July 30, 2013 at 1:36 am

That’s really great , Thanks Nick I’m glad you enjoyed the post :)

Reply

Danielle August 1, 2013 at 12:22 am

This article is amazing! One thing I have trouble balancing is optimizing a product page for long tail, vs keeping it conducive to the shopper. What is better:
- Optimized product page, but with some limitations for on page optimization
- Using on-site wordpress install/content management system for product-guide style page with better on page optimization

Reply

Nick August 1, 2013 at 7:25 am

Thanks Danielle :)

That’s sort of a chicken and egg question. IMHO optimize your product page to rank as highly as possible for queries related to that specific product, including the product name, the product benefits, and any product attributes (think features).

Wordpress is a great tool for building top of the funnel content, so comparative content that would help you position your search results for competitor products, solution-focused content (when people are searching for solution to problems that product solves but are not yet aware or ready to search for the product itself), and even content that supports the commercial investigation phase; providing information on how your product stacks up to the other options in the market – and not just direct competitors, but other potential solutions, giving you a chance to build mind-share early in the conversion funnel.

Reply

Dålig lukt August 3, 2013 at 6:30 am

great post and amazing information , thank you :)

Reply

Termografering August 4, 2013 at 1:22 am

This is amazing post Nick ! Thanks a lot for sharing this with us :)

Reply

Globalee August 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Right place, right time, just what I was looking for as i am about to launch a new category structure, most of the things I do (being a one man band) are trying to mimic and understand what large brands are doing with their onsite seo. As they have a big budget, pulling it apart and just trying to get an understanding of their site structure can be useful for small seos who dont have the time or money to employ professionals to do it. One question I have is about “Nothing frustrates me more than seeing websites where multiple pages are carrying the same page-level keywords in the page title.”

Can you tell me what you mean by this? thanks for the great article … cheers, Lee UK.

Reply

Nick August 7, 2013 at 9:00 am

Thanks for the comment Lee.

Sure, when multiple pages are targeting the same keywords (not the brand mind you) they are competing against each other and cannibalizing their search results. If there are 2 pages both targeting ‘example keyword’ than you are doubling your efforts to built contextual relevance and page authority for that keyword, essentially competing with yourself. Make it as easy as possible for Google to align contextual relevance with your pages, it is not doing you any favors by putting ‘example keyword’ in the page title of every page within your category, instead if there is 1 page that is a best fit, than that is the page that should be dedicated to that keyword.

Does this make sense?

Reply

Globalee August 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Yes it does make sense, but say for example i have a category “Vitamins”, and a subcategory called “vitamin C” with several vitamin C products in this category each on its own separate page and linked to from this parent category, can i optimize these product pages for, lets say, product page 1. “food form vitamin C” and another product 2. “High strength vitamin C” and another page title optimized for 3. ” vitamin C powder”.

Or am i canablising the word vitamin C?

thanks, Lee

Reply

Nick August 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Hey Lee –

I probably wouldn’t create product pages for pages that aren’t products, but food form and powder seem like products – which would work, but for a keyword like ‘high strength’ I would probably do a content piece, like a comparison page or a blog post, that stacks up a number of products and goes through the benefits and attributes of the products that make them high power.

I hope that makes sense :)

Reply

joanna August 9, 2013 at 10:24 am

thanks, just wonder where to add the Microdata Markup in magento cms page, search online everywhere, but no luck

Reply

Nick August 9, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hey Joanna –

I’ve found 2 good resources for you:

  1. https://www.revitalagency.com/blog/add-product-schema-microdata-to-magento/
  2. This one is a paid plugin (only $45) that will help make this integration easier: http://www.magentocommerce.com/magento-connect/snippets-test-6050.html

Cheers! :)

Reply

Reddy August 13, 2013 at 2:16 am

The article gives us a profound reading on seo blogging. Now I’m eager to start a blog by myself. Thanks for the article.

Reply

Värmeläckage August 15, 2013 at 3:02 am

Too much of Google Now is US-centric at the moment. I realise that they are a US firm and that it’s their most important market, but they trumpet all of their developments to the wider world, but then don’t make them available.

Reply

Kate Upton August 20, 2013 at 5:57 am

I’ve read your blog post on this topic and it was really very informative and helpful for me. thanks a lot for sharing this article. I will definitely visit your blog again.

Reply

Marc Wolff August 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
It’s the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!

Reply

ghevan phòng August 21, 2013 at 10:08 am

Very good post and amazing information advanced SEO, thank very much!

Reply

Jared August 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

SEO for ecommerce sites has gotten harder with all the changes going on. It has pretty much become a pay to play situation for some sites.

Reply

Nick August 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Jared – Yup, especially with the widespread adoption of AdWords PLA’s… it’s at the point where if you’re going to attempt to compete in organic search, you need to leverage all opportunities to spread out your keyword visibility, otherwise it’s simply too costly.

Reply

Leandra August 25, 2013 at 8:11 am

Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

Reply

Nick August 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Hey Leandra –

Actually I know of a few options, in terms of integration with Wordpress via a widget you should check out WP to Twitter, but an even easier solution is to use something like Twitterfeed, which takes an RSS feed (like your blog) and automatically tweets every time there is a new post.

I actually use Twitterfeed for a few of my blogs and really like it. Thanks for the comment.

Reply

Alison August 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

SEO for Ecommerce is a topic which is close to my heart… Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?

Reply

Nick August 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hey Alison – Best is to hit me up on twitter or use the simple form on my contact page :)

Reply

En ucuz ÖNlükler August 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Reply

Shoaib Marfatiya September 3, 2013 at 2:23 am

Amazing Blog
Thanks for sharing with us Nick

Reply

Sallie September 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

Awesome! Its genuinely awesome piece of writing, I have got much clear idea about from this post.

Reply

Justin September 11, 2013 at 7:19 am

Hi Nick,

I enjoyed this post, it was extremely detailed, well thought out, and very useful for all the eCommerce designers and SEO’s out there. I’m currently working on a eCommerce site for a client, and it’s a little hard to get keyword data, because the industry they are in, which is adult toys, intimate apparel, etc. has very limited data, for example, auto suggest completely stops once I hit the second word and they can tell where I am heading with it. I tried the Keyword Planner, but that only has data for very general phrases. I guess it’s trial and error on this one!

Reply

Nick September 11, 2013 at 8:39 am

Hey Justin –

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Adult stuff is freaking hard! I had a few adult projects back in my college days before the competitive landscape got completely swallowed up by mega-millions advertisers. If I can offer a tip, it would be to depart from keyword tools and instead focus on two key ares to get your keyword intelligence:

1. Competitive analysis; look at the words, phrases, and on-page placement for the site that are currently ranking for keywords related to the niche/segment you’re looking at, and
2. Pay close attention the words used in text ad copy as well as the companies whose display ads are served when you search for certain terms

Not much, but I hope that is helpful.

Cheers!

Reply

Carey Nowell September 13, 2013 at 8:59 am

Content management is the process through which you can add new optimized content to your site. These methods can assist them to rank high in search outcomes and as a result offer greater probabilities to appeal to buyers and make larger product sales of their merchandise. SEM, search engine marketing is mainly about content that you have uploaded on your website.

Reply

Lester September 16, 2013 at 4:03 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about advanced SEO. Regards

Reply

robin tiwari October 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Really well researched content over here for e-commerce webmasters , SEO turning into content marketing and Guest blogging only , one can gain Quality Back links only investing valuable time and spreading positiveness in websites not spams. Using Call to action Images and well designed landing pages will be returning huge effect in seo for ecommerce.

Reply

Vadim Kotin November 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Great Post, This is one of the most elaborated e commerce strategies, really well done, thanks for sharing this kind of valuable information

Reply

Mia November 15, 2013 at 5:21 am

Really well investigated material over here for e-commerce website owners , SEO switching into material marketing and Visitor writing a blog only , one can gain Quality Backlinks only making an investment time and growing positiveness in websites not spams. Using Proactive approach Pictures and well designed squeeze webpages will be coming back huge effect in seo for e-commerce.

Reply

Spook SEO November 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

Like the usual, you never fail to give credible information in your write-ups. I really like it when you talk so precise and so specific about this matter. In the SEO business, you may think that you have heard all the things already but in fact, you have not.

Reply

Spook SEO November 26, 2013 at 4:05 am

Hi Nick!

Awesome post you got here. You just shared a very detailed and useful post for all the eCommerce designers as well as for those people doing SEO. Yes indeed. Maximizing the search engine visibility of our eCommerce website, is the most important role SEO has to play in selling products online.

Reply

Greg Smith December 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

We’ve had good success using Google’s keyword research tool to discover the keywords our customers are using to search for our products and then making sure those keywords are present in our title tags and on our product descriptions. Great post!

Reply

Spook SEO December 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

More than spending your money in a SEO knowing the content and reaching it clearly to the readers is more important. The usual misconception of this is that we we already puchase such we consider that we will make it as the hot topic. This article answers the queries of the users out there the truth of SEO.

Reply

Leonida December 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Can I simply just say what a relief to discover someone who really understands what they are talking about with respect to ecommerce. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you are not more popular given that you surely have the gift.

Reply

Angel Joe January 10, 2014 at 12:56 am

Maximizing Keyword Spread Great post.

I am trying to apply the same thing on my website but it is too difficult to me.
Can you tell me more about it from where to start.

Regads
Angel

Reply

Adam Methew January 23, 2014 at 12:48 am

Nick great post. You describe amazingly. A little difference between eCommerce and portfolio website Seo is that. In portfolio website marketers promote services and in eCommerce marketers promote services with products.

Reply

Joshua Schmidt March 23, 2014 at 12:19 am

Great post there Nick. Is it possible not to have a blog and still rank for specific keywords for ecommerce sites without minimal or zero external SEO?

Reply

Nick March 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Joshua – By “external SEO” are you talking specifically about link building? It really depends on how competitive the SERP’s for that vertical are, but clean on-page optimization is still critical to winning, IMO.

Reply

Peter Brown April 23, 2014 at 2:47 am

Hi Nick.

Incredible, information i think it’s really helpful for SEO webmasters.

Reply

Mark Bowers August 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I love SEO-Conversion.
Believe it or not, good writers just naturally provide it. While Nick’s insights and others comments will boost results through the dark-fiber roof.

HEY – I am looking for a individual/team who can build me an e-commerce brand like http://www.BrilliantEarth.com

Please recommend. I will audition all.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 8 websites link to this post }

Previous post:

Next post:

my script