SEO plays an important role in exposing your brand to potential customers. While showing up on the first page of Google doesn’t happen overnight, a robust content marketing strategy is one of the top ways to improve your rankings over time.
Let’s discuss some creative SEO strategies that leverage content marketing to attract more visitors to your ecommerce website.
Developing Your Ecommerce SEO Keyword Plan
When we began working with one of our ecommerce clients, a sweat proof undershirt company, it was clear they had hit a ceiling with their previous SEO keyword plan.
They had dominated the search results for the keywords that directly described their product, but that eventually led to flat ecommerce growth even with top rankings.
We developed a new and improved SEO plan to solve this problem.
April 2017 vs April 2015:
Some of you might have encountered these scenarios with your ecommerce site:
- You hit the ceiling with your current keywords in terms of the traffic you can extract from top-ranked keywords
- Your current keywords are too competitive and difficult to rank for with your fixed budget
- Your product pages and descriptions can only address so many keywords and you’ve maxed those out within the current real estate of your site
Our client had eclipsed the top rank for most of their primary focus keywords. They consistently ranked in the top two spots for terms like:
All the focus keywords were closely related to the product, described the product or directly related to the product's benefits.
The client's previous SEO company (who we displaced) was happy to only report monthly metrics that illustrated the top rankings. While top rankings for your ecommerce product are all well and good, let’s look at what happens when you don't expand your keywords and target market:
That’s the visual definition of FLAT.
Expanding your Ecommerce SEO Keyword Plan
So, how did we drive new keywords and grow organic ecommerce revenue by almost 200%?
We had to think outside the box and expand our keyword focus. We identified audiences who didn't know yet that there was a product that solved their problem and inserted ourselves into the conversation. Here are the top strategies we used to expand our keywords.
Research topics that relate indirectly to your product.
In this case, we looked to competing products that were well known. We identified several brands and related keywords that were generating a lot of impressions. Targeting competitors and the unique keywords they ranked for paid off. Each competitor offered different solutions that addressed the same problem, so it was natural and easy for us to address these topics by comparing the unique approaches of each solution. We didn't go around bashing the competitors. Instead, we kept the focus on education and informing customers.
Find topics that relate to the problem your product solves.
Here you want pinpoint keywords that potential customers might type in when they are on the trail of finding your product, but they don’t know exactly what to search for to find you. These keywords should cover pain points your product solves and the benefits your product brings to the consumer. For our ecommerce client in this example, we went after topics and keywords such as "sweat resistant," "pit stains" and "nervous sweating."
Cash in on broader topics that your target market is interested in.
If your product is a new type of horse harness, then at this level you want consider topics like equestrian fashion, horse barrel racing and horse trailers. We used topics and keywords such as "natural deodorant," "father’s day gifts," "gifts for young professional" and "antiperspirant toxins."
Once we had developed new topics and keywords, we needed to determine how and where we'd utilize them.
Marrying Your SEO Keyword Plan with Content Marketing
This is where your content marketing plan and team comes into play. If you have your sights set high for organic traffic and revenue, you must invest heavily into content marketing. Your content marketing team should focus on educating the user. You'll need to do extensive research and become an expert in these topics if you are going to take them on. Don’t skimp on the content and jump straight into promoting your product. That will not result in your pages ranking organically. It’s well known that long form pages are most likely to rank in the top spots on Google. Neil Patel cites research that says the average #1 ranked page on Google contains over 2,400 words.
Here are some examples of content you can use to implement your new keywords and increase organic website traffic.
Creating Ecommerce Resource Pages
We expanded our ecommerce client's site well beyond the product and started investing in educating the consumer on related topics and competing solutions. We called these “resource pages.” These are dedicated pages on the website that enable us to focus completely on our new keyword targets. These pages must not be buried. In the site and link hierarchy, these resource pages are just as visible as the product pages. They are linked directly from the website header. Unlike blogs, these pages bring the focus back to the primary product we’re selling in addition to educating the user on the topic of their interest.
Not sold on creating resource pages on your website? Even if you don’t strike gold on them getting ranked, look at the ecommerce conversion rate for users that visited the resource pages vs. all other users:
That’s a 100% increase in ecommerce conversions!
Your blog should be the life-force of your content marketing plan and one of the primary drivers of your new SEO traffic. Your blog allows you to branch out on your keywords and write about topics your audience is interested in. In this stage, your goal is to capture new users, educate them and obtain their information so you can continue communicating with them.
If you’re serious about driving increased ecommerce revenue through SEO, then you should be posting at least two blogs a week. Stay focused on your user, write high-quality, informative content around a topic that’s focused on a keyword you researched and you will be rewarded. Not every blog will rank, and that’s okay. If you stay focused and put in the time like we did with this client, you can have results like this:
May 2017 vs May 2015:
There are usually lots of questions about products that get purchased online. Use FAQs as an opportunity to answer as many questions as possible on your website. Users and customers are your best source of content marketing, so take their questions and answer them thoroughly online. You’ll naturally hit on keywords that other potential customers are searching.
Ecommerce Product Reviews
This is a concept similar to the FAQ. User-generated content is some of the best content you’ll produce. Encourage reviews and put them front and center on your website. In our client example, we have hundreds of reviews spelled out directly on the product page. This takes your product page from a couple hundred words to thousands. Moreover, it contains rich keywords through natural language directly from your users! If your reviews are hidden, move them into the light. If you don’t have many reviews, do everything you can to get them.
Stay focused, do the research, educate and inform and reap the explosive results!
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