Organic Keyword Research & Value Analysis

At the heart of every successful organic content strategy lies a successful keyword research effort. Keyword strategies are tailored to both the sales strategy and the page type. As the graphic below illustrates, a Buyer’s Guide might be optimized for search volume while product detail pages put more emphasis on keyword value.
Organic Keyword Research
Keyword Research is the nucleus of any organic content strategy. Since only the 10 best search results typically get a click-through, getting to page one requires a keyword comparative competitive analysis. It’s not enough to just find the best keywords. The process requires identifying the best opportunity to dominate page one. While some use automated keyword research services, eZdia consistently outperforms automation using its Intelligent Automation strategy that empowers keyword research professionals instead of replacing them delivering better quality with optimal efficiency.

How to build an Organic Keyword Research Strategy for eCommerce sites

There is a lot of science in search engine optimization (SEO). The science of SEO is critical but is really designed to improve a site’s potential. It’s the art of SEO, however, that takes a site from establishing its potential and elevating its SEO strategy to realize that potential. Keywords and the keyword research process employ both art and science to build a content strategy for any given page of the site. The keywords become the focal point of the page and these phrases have been carefully chosen to accomplish very specific objectives. Customizing a keyword strategy into a rallying cry that the content team can embrace requires as much art as writing the content itself. This article outlines the range of organic keyword research considerations that can be used to target organic search traffic and ultimately help design a keyword research strategy for any eCommerce site.

Volume vs. Value

The first lesson for anyone learning about keyword research is to understand a metric called average monthly search volume (AMS). This is a number that purports to measure the number of searches done in an average month across the globe. The higher the volume the more potential to bring traffic to your site. These are tempting words to aim for but are they really the best words?

There are a few problems with an approach that exclusively uses search volume to drive the keyword research strategy. Here are the considerations eCommerce sites should employ.

Evaluate AMS Quality. AMS estimates are notoriously imprecise. While this is difficult to prove, it’s true that no two sites ever seem to agree on search volume. This is not the best data in your research arsenal and thus there is a risk of over-weighting its value.

Conversion Optimization. Search volume tells you nothing about search intent and if you even want visitors from these searches. eCommerce sites are trying to attract searchers that are actively considering a purchase. Looking for keywords that can convert an organic session into an organic order drives up the conversion rate., is a critical optimization strategy for eCommerce sites.

Cost-Per-Click. The cost-per-click (CPC) of a given search query is a reflection of what the market will bid for a search phrase. CPC is a live view of the value of any one search phrase. There is a limited supply of paid search slots and no marketer will knowingly spend more than a click is worth and there is no better source of data than that provided to paid search. Thus, the CPC represents the value of a keyword.

After much testing it’s clear that eCommerce sites can generate more total sales when they employ ALL of the above considerations when building a keyword research strategy when the goal is to sell stuff.

Buying Journey Keywords

Lots of organic traffic always feels good but at some point someone’s going to ask if these are just lookers or if they are buyers. We love those Google search clicks, but are these searches part of a buying journey? eCommerce sites want to win at the bottom of the sales funnel when buyers are close to buying. That doesn’t mean they can’t bring traffic into the top of the sales funnel to connect with buyers early in their journey, but the first priority for eCommerce is product-level and category-level optimization. There are a few approaches to determining the transactional value of a keyword like the CPC value above. Some sites help you understand if a keyword typically appears with Google Shopping results at the top of the page as an indication that this is an eCommerce word. There’s another way to target transactional words. While Google is optimized for engagement (time on site), Amazon and other marketplaces are optimized for conversion rate. Type in a keyword phrase and you are likely to see the products that convert most frequently for a given search phrase. As you type a keyword into Amazon it also starts to suggest phrases to you as if it is succeeding at reading your mind. These suggestions are appearing because these are keyword search phrases that convert the most. By searching and analyzing these type-ahead recommendations, a keyword research strategy starts to emerge and these are keywords that we know are likely to convert into sales.

Keyword Competition

If there were no competitors, then keyword research would be much easier. The very largest sites seem to have an unfair advantage to any SEO that has tried to elevate a site in a crowded and competitive field. Getting to page one is a combination of your strategy, your strength and the level of competition. Competitiveness is more than one number. Google Adwords will offer a number designed to represent the competitiveness of a keyword in the paid search universe. Rank tracking software does something similar but instead of reflecting bidding competition, they attempt to evaluate the overall site strength that’s winning for any one keyword. Try to go beyond these numbers and click through to look at the content itself that’s winning the search result. Read it. Can you do better? If not, pick a different keyword.

Conclusions

Organic keyword research is essentially the content game plan for any one page. It helps prioritize and focus the content around a strategy that’s designed to generate eCommerce sales. Successful sites will find ways to be visible throughout a prospects journey. Most purchases aren’t done with a single search but instead it’s a search journey that typically starts broadly and narrows at the point of purchase. Keywords drive the content creators to prioritize and focus the content around the search phrases that matter the most. The more content on the page, the more keywords any one page can support. Longer content, in general, puts more context on the page and can both broaden the search viability of a page, but also improve its authority. Sites also should consider targeting different phases of the purchase journey. Once captured the content itself is much more than just a strategy for driving organic traffic to the site. Well researched content should help acquire, engage and convert searchers better and improving on each of these metrics ultimately creates a site that search engines will view as stronger.
eZdia’s offers a free Keyword Competitive Analysis for eCommerce sites.
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