The world of e-commerce business has become extremely competitive. I can bet, no matter how unique you may claim your services or product to be, there is essentially going to be a lot of tough competition, making it inevitable for you to market your business in every possible way.
Your objective of undertaking marketing activity should ensure two things:
1) Let as many potential customers be aware about the product or services you are offering
2) Ensure the product is promoted well, so that the customer is interested in buying it from you.
As so many ecommerce businesses are selling the same product as yours, it is important that potential customers are able to find you on the Internet. But, the challenge does not end here. As it is also essential that customers find you, before they are grabbed by your competitor. To achieve this, you need to have the right keywords chosen for your e-commerce website.
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Why are Keywords so Important?
Keywords are nothing but the words or phrases that people use to query search engine, while they are looking to find something on the Internet.
For instance, a customer who is looking for e-commerce websites selling watches is most likely to query the search engine by typing “Buy watch” in the search window. And when he does so, the search engine will lead him to websites that use the same keyword for describing their website.
So, if you desire that customers are able to find you on the Internet, it is important for you to choose keywords for your websites. Your keywords should exactly or at least closely resemble search queries that most potential customers are likely to make to reach to an ecommerce website like yours. And, this is just a simple explanation – you need to keep many things in mind to choose effective keywords for your ecommerce website.
5 Steps to Choosing Optimum Ecommerce Keywords
The most efficient way to go about choosing the right keywords for your ecommerce business is to take a step-wise approach.
# Step 1: Understand how customers are reaching you currently
Use the Google Analytics tool to understand which keywords are leading customers to your website. If you find these keywords relevant, you can look forward to having your SEO team work on them so as to further improve your ranking.
The other way to know more about how customers reach you is to ask them directly. You can post a survey among your existing customers and offer them incentives for filling up the survey prudently. The survey should basically seek information on what are the keywords they typically use to get to ecommerce website like yours.
# Step 2: Do your own research and be creative
Creating your own keyword list is not a big deal. You just need to have some common sense and an understanding of the customer and the industry. Apart from your own creative list of keywords, there are several keyword tools available which will offer you a long list of potential keywords.
However, as these tools are automated, they do not understand your context completely and many of the suggestions in the list would be irrelevant. You will need to apply some good judgment and intelligence to clean this long list of keywords. Once this list is ready, merge it with the list you got from Google Analytics and customer surveys.
Step 3: Analyze the Keyword List
Google’s Keyword Tool (now Google Adwords Keywords Planner) has been driving SEO campaigns for years as it provides all necessary details for choosing the right keyword for your site. The tool is very simple to use and it gives you vital statistics that will help you shortlist the right keyword for your business.
The laundry list of keywords that you would have generated using the keyword tools, customer survey and internal brainstorming, can be fed to the Google Keyword Planner to understand the search traffic associated with each of these keywords.
Apart from the search traffic, the Keyword Planner would also guide you on the potential competition attached with the keywords. If you own an e-commerce website that sells watches, and you want to know how many people search using the keyword “buy watch”, Google Keyword would not only tell you the number of searches made with that keyword, but also provide other valuable data related to the use of the keyword.
Once you are done with a basic search of the Google Keyword Planner, you would have a list of keywords that are quite frequently used by people and you can also gauge the competition level around these keywords. You may then brainstorm with your SEO team, to shortlist the ones to be used for your website.
The SEO team will weigh the search volumes against the competition to decide on the keyword that would promise most customer visits to your website. If the competition is high and the search traffic associated with the same keyword is also significant, you will have to weigh the cost of making it to the top in terms of search results against the prospects of more potential business volumes.
Step 4: Sort your Keyword list
Keywords that you have short-listed can be sorted based upon which stage of purchase a consumer/potential customer is. The buying process starts with a problem or a need (need a television), followed by information seeking, comparing alternatives, evaluating options and finally ends with making a purchase. During each stage of the purchase, the customer would be using a different set of keywords.
In the first stage, when the consumer identifies a problem and looks for solution, he would use keywords that describe his basic problem like “buy a television or” or just simply “television”. The next stage of purchase is getting information on what are the various options and the keywords used would be “Sony Television” or “LG Television.”
After getting the desired info, the consumer would like to compare the options and the keywords used would be “LG television review” and “Sony television customer review.”
The penultimate step before finally making the purchase, is to evaluate the option and the keywords generally used would be “the best or the cheapest television.” This would be finally followed by the purchase and the keyword used would be “buy Sony H350 television.”
Your short-listed keywords should be categorized as per the stage of purchase in which a consumer is.
Step 5: Categorize the pages on your website too
The next step after sorting your keyword list is to follow the similar methodology with the various pages on your website. The first step is to decide which pages you want to optimize.
So, once you have this list ready, categorize these pages such that each category reflects a stage in the buying process of a consumer. Use the sorted list of keywords to assign to each of these pages. Assign one primary keyword and a couple of supplementary keywords to each page.
Having done all of these things, you have organized a very good keyword campaign that would increase the efficiency of your SEO efforts multi-fold. You now need to keep a track of your search results based on this final keyword list. Communicate these changes in your keyword list to your content creation and link building team, so that they can modify or optimize their efforts accordingly.
Given the huge number of pages and keywords involved in an ecommerce website, the challenge for the SEO team is much greater, but so are the opportunities too.