As content is one of the most important factors in on-site SEO, it is important to formulate the right content strategy.
Many articles on the web focus on product names or categories as keywords. Although this is not wrong, it does not provide a distinctive advantage in competition.
In this article I will provide a wider perspective. This will help you to outperform your competitors.
1. Target Keywords (Topics)
Target keywords are usually the names of your products or product categories (or services and service categories).
As these keywords are result-oriented, they will provide high conversion and you should give importance to this.
As this is a standard SEO implementation, many websites in the same industry often use the same or similar keywords.
For this reason, when you use these keywords, you will need some extra SEO power to get ahead of competitor sites.
While working on those keywords, you may also work on some additional and complementary tactics to elevate your website.
As the first step, you may go over your category names and consider creating subcategories for some product groups.
Let’s take women’s clothing ecommerce stores as an example. In many of these stores, you see product category names such as dresses, blouses, etc. They present different types of dresses in a single category and try to rank high for the “dress” keyword.
This is a bad idea.
Instead of this, you should consider creating subcategories such as party dresses, prom dresses, casual dresses, black dresses, mini dresses, career style, etc.
With each of these pages, you can present each target audience exactly what they are looking for and gain advantage in your SEO project.
If your website forms a new page when a visitor sorts or filters the products, you may target them separately. You may use -for example- “cheap prom dresses” when the page is sorted by the lowest price.
When you place all your dresses under a single category, you cannot match relevant products with the visitors.
As a result, even if you rank high on Google for a keyword such as “party dress”, the people who click this result and visit your website will see different types of dresses and they will probably leave your website in seconds. They will return to the Google search results and click on another result. This will significantly deteriorate your SEO ranking.
When your page content matches the perspective of your visitors and you present them exactly what they are looking for, you will observe a sharp decline in your bounce rate.
If you make your visitors happy, you will be making Google happy as well, and you will observe significant improvement in the SEO performance of your website.
It is a good idea to use blog pages in an ecommerce store to target the keywords that you cannot target with category or product names.
This will provide you flexibility and enable you to extend your reach using additional keywords.
For example, you may use blog posts such as “which sunscreen is the best for the beach?”, “what SPF should I use?”, or “best hand cream for dry hands”.
In addition to this, it is important to focus on the perspective of your target audience when selecting your keywords.
Let’s take hospital websites as an example.
The common mistake in these websites is to present the content using the corporate perspective, targeting keywords such as cardiology or urology.
People, on the other hand, prefer to use keywords such as stent or bypass when searching on Google.
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the perspective of the users and present relevant content using the keywords they prefer.
Note: When determining your keywords and categories, keep this in mind: all of these pages should contain sufficient amount of content. In ecommerce stores, this means there should be sufficient number of products. If you create pages having thin content just to target more keywords, this will harm your SEO project.
2. Keywords Related to Customer Shopping Journey
After preparing your keyword list using target keywords for an ecommerce store, you will be covering names of your products and categories.
This means that you cover the keywords such as air conditioners or XYZ (brand) 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner.
Now, you can concentrate on the customer shopping journey and add extra keywords to your list that will help you target the consumers at these stages.
You may consider these 4 main stages:
- Awareness (Discovery)
- Decision (Evaluation and Purchase)
The people in the Awareness stage are at the beginning of their journey and they are not in the process of buying products.
They are searching for information about a certain topic or trying to discover solution alternatives to a problem.
This means that you can use blog posts or information pages about these topics.
For example, people may be bothered by the heat at their homes. You may try to reach these people by targeting search queries such as “house too hot summer” or “house poor insulation”.
You may use blog posts such as “Why Is Your House Too Hot in Summer?” or “10 Signs Your Home Is Poorly Insulated”. You should provide valuable information on these pages and make people realize that buying an air conditioner is a quick and efficient solution.
For the Research stage, it is a good idea to match the perspective of consumers.
You may target search queries such as “cabin air conditioner” or “air conditioner size for apartment” and use information pages such as “Do You Need Air Conditioner for Your Cabin?” or “What Size Air Conditioner Do You Need for Your Apartment?”.
After providing valuable and satisfactory information on these pages, you may direct the visitors to relevant product pages.
For the Comparison stage, you may concentrate on your comparative advantages and use information pages such as “What Is the Best Air Conditioner for an Apartment?” or “ABC or XYZ Air Conditioner? Compare prices, pros and cons”.
This will enable you to target search queries such as “best air conditioner for apartment” or “XYZ Air Conditioner pros cons”.
For the Decision stage, you will be targeting consumers who are actively looking for products to buy, so you should target search queries such as “air conditioner online deals” or “air conditioner online shop”.
You may use information pages such as “Air Conditioner Deals 2020” or “12000 BTU Air Conditioner Shop Online, 20% Off” focusing on your campaigns.
You can benefit from this strategy even if you do not have an ecommerce store.
You may optimize your website for affiliate marketing purpose, or you may create demand for your physical store.
3. Target Audience
Determining your keywords based on your products or services is quite straightforward and many people stop at this point.
Concentrating on customer shopping journey provides additional value, but only few ecommerce stores focus on this.
Considering your audience and targeting the keywords that will match the perspective of these people will also elevate your SEO project and provide you competitive advantage.
Using this perspective, you may go the extra mile by creating pages for your target audiences such as college students, men over 40, single women living in big cities, or mothers.
On these pages, you may present tailored content for each audience and make sure that you quickly get their attention.
When you present relevant products on these pages, your conversion will be significantly high.
If you provide high value content and update the content regularly, you will observe that these pages will be generating sales constantly.
For a travel brand, in addition to the commonly used location-based pages such as “Prague vacation”, information pages such as “honeymoon vacation destinations”, “top 5 holiday destinations for single women” or “family vacation destinations” will increase the efficiency of the SEO project. You will be increasing the search visibility regarding these keywords. As these pages will perfectly match the perspective of the people in relevant target segments, they will generate high conversion.
For a toy brand, you may consider age and gender segmentation such as “toys for 1 year old boys” or “toys for 3 year old girls. They will be more effective and result oriented compared to targeting generic keywords such as “toys”.
On the website of a white goods brand, in addition to presenting the products in a standard format using technical specifications, content such as “dishwasher suggestions for single men”, “which washing machines are suitable for baby clothes” or “white goods suggestions for the newlywed” can be used.
Creating different pages for different segments will enable you to use specific keywords on each page.
When the users perform a search using these keywords, they will be interested in your search result and you will probably be having high click through rate.
When they click on your results and visit these pages, they will find exactly what they are looking for and this positive experience will also contribute to the success of your SEO project.
4. Branded Keywords
Branded keywords are the keywords containing your brand, company, or website name.
As these keywords represent the people who know your brand, branded search queries are highly valuable.
In addition to providing high conversion on your website, these search queries signal Google that your website is popular, and people desire to browse it.
If the people use your brand name with a keyword (such as XYZ Refrigerator) the effect will be even more.
For this reason, you should focus on branded keywords in your SEO project.
If your brand is popular, you will see the reflection here.
You may take some actions to increase the number of search queries including branded terms.
You may distribute cards at your stores, use your website address on packages, use it in email signatures, envelopes, letterheads, promote it at outdoor events, or use social media to create awareness.
If you present fresh and valuable content on your website, people will be motivated to revisit your site regularly. When they search your brand name and click on your site, this will positively affect your SEO performance.