Content is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. So, if you’re looking to boost your E-commerce store’s sales, it’s well worth focusing on.
When used well, content can help to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), build your brand authority, earn you new customers, and increase your traffic.
You might have already been publishing some blog posts or guides on your site but, if you’re looking to scale your content, keyword research is an important step you could be missing.
By conducting proper keyword research, you can reach wider audiences and hit your sales goals. Here, I’m going to share my top tips to help with that.
What is keyword research?
If you’re looking to maximize your SEO efforts without breaking the bank, conducting keyword research should be your starting point.
The process will help you to figure out what your ideal customers are searching for when they’re looking for your services or information that’s relevant to your business.
By strategically creating content based on the target keywords you identify, you can give your website a boost on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are a lot of different tools you can use to conduct simple keyword research, like Google Keyword Planner. Simply plug in a term relevant to your business and you’ll be given a list of popular keywords and phrases that you can build your content strategy around.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to answer questions your potential customers may be searching, take a look at AnswerThePublic, which will give you a list of relevant queries you can address.
Now, here are the steps you need to take to carry out effective keyword research that will help you scale your website content.
Carry out some competitor keyword analysis
You should be constantly looking to improve your E-commerce business, and keeping one eye on your competitors can help with that. If you’re specifically concerned about similar businesses out-ranking you on the SERPs, it’s smart to carry out some competitive keyword analysis to figure out why this might be happening.
For information on how to do this, check out Loganix’s guide on how to conduct competitor keyword analysis. This outlines how to identify your competitors and work out which keywords you aren’t targeting but should. It also explains how to analyze all of the data you’ll be presented with, and how you can take advantage of missed opportunities. Creating content inspired by your competitor keyword analysis will help you to get one step ahead.
Consider the intent behind popular searches
There might be a slightly different intent behind similar internet searches, and you need to keep this in mind when creating your content.
For example, someone searching for “blue sneakers” is likely looking to make a purchase. Meanwhile, someone searching “how to style blue sneakers” is probably looking for informative advice. You need to consider the intent behind a search before writing any content, so you can ensure you’re targeting the best possible keywords on each of your web pages.
In their guide to E-commerce marketing, Pixpa stresses the importance of targeting the right keywords with both your content marketing and product page copy. You should avoid any overlap as much as possible.
The three main types of intent are:
- Navigational, when someone is trying to locate a certain website
- Transactional, when someone is looking to make a purchase
- Informational, when someone is looking to learn something or wants the answer to a question
Going back to the sneakers example, you should stick to transactional keywords like “buy blue sneakers”, “blue sneakers on sale”, and “blue sneakers for ladies” on product or category pages. Then, if you decide to create content around styling them, it’s best to focus on targeting phrases like “blue sneakers with jeans”, “how to wear blue sneakers”, and “blue sneaker styling ideas”.
Think about targeting local keywords
If your business has a physical location, or a lot of your customers are based in a particular area, it’s a good idea to target local keywords. And you can use this technique when scaling your content.
As the name implies, local keywords contain location-specific phrases that generate results based on where the searcher is based. So, for example, if you searched “where to buy a dog near me”, the results would be determined by your geographical location.
Let’s take a look at a business that is doing a great job of targeting local keywords and reaping the rewards.
Hasbrook & Hasbrook is a personal injury legal firm that serves Oklahoma City. They may not rank worldwide or even country-wide for “personal injury attorney,” but they don’t need to.
Instead, they rank on the first page of Google for “Oklahoma” keywords with a collective monthly search volume of 9,130, according to SEMRush. They’ve achieved this by targeting Oklahoma-specific keywords on all of their service pages, as well as in the guides they publish on their website. It’s very clear where they’re based, so search engines like Google are far more likely to recommend the company to people performing relevant searches in the area.
Local SEO is a huge marketing trend for 2021. So, if it makes sense for your business, start investing more of your time and energy into climbing those local SERPs. And, if you would like to learn more about this area of digital marketing, check out Roadside Dental Marketing’s guide to local SEO, which will walk you through all of the basics.
Look for keywords that highlight customer pain points
When conducting your keyword research, look out for any indication of your customers’ pain points, and create content that addresses them.
For instance, if you run a healthy meal delivery service, look at what kinds of recipes your ideal audience are searching for, and put together some guides that satisfy their needs. Or, if you sell pet products, look at the most frequently asked questions about dogs. Do people need a guide to potty training a puppy or how to teach them to walk off their leash?
FreshBooks is an accounting software company that’s done a great job of creating content and helpful tools that address their customers’ biggest pain points.
For example, “invoice template” receives 166,000 searches, according to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. And, because FreshBooks’ customers are primarily small business owners and freelancers, it’s likely a large proportion of their audience is searching for help with invoicing, so they’ve created free invoice templates to help. The company now ranks in the third position for this very popular search term, which just goes to show that this tactic can work wonders.
Or take a look at how Headspace, a mindfulness and meditation service, offers a free trial to their customers. A Google search for “meditation online” brings up Headspace as one of the first results, and people will be very tempted to give it a try as it requires no financial commitment to get started. Meditation can be hard to get into but, by offering a free trial, Headspace gives their target customers the chance to figure out whether the practice is for them, risk-free.
Offering free content that addresses your customers’ pain points is a great way to lure them in — if they like your stuff, they might stick around to make a purchase!
Think about different stages of the customer journey
People at each stage of the customer journey will be searching different keywords to find the information they need. And, if you want to drive more traffic to your E-commerce site in 2021, you need to be creating content to suit all of them.
People at the top of the sales funnel won’t even be sure that they need your products or services, so you should be creating content that will convince them they do.
Service Provider Pro does a great job of this with their guide to why your agency should have a client portal. It covers all of the basics and benefits, ultimately allowing the reader to come to their own decision of whether they actually need this kind of tool for their business. This catches people early on in the customer journey.
Because this guide from Service Provider Pro is so helpful, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression. This means, if the reader does eventually choose to go down the client portal route, they’ll be far more likely to enlist the company’s help.
BarkBox, a company that provides subscription boxes for pets, tries to catch people in the middle of the sales funnel with their content. They create monthly theme reveal blog posts, which can help to get people excited about the treats their pets could soon receive if they decide to subscribe.
If someone’s weighing up their pet subscription box options, or they’re specifically interested in BarkBox, they might come across one of these blog posts when looking for information. And it could be just enough to convince them to sign up.
Finally, Urban Outfitters provides its customers with post-purchase content through their styling guides. For instance, they have a UO Community Blog post, which provides advice on how to style five different graphic tees.
If someone is browsing Google for advice on how to style a graphic T-shirt, it’s most likely because they’ve already bought one. So, Urban Outfitters isn’t necessarily trying to make more sales with this type of content. Instead, they’re creating a sense of community and showing their customers that they still value them long after they’ve checked out, which can help to build loyalty.
When you’re carrying out your keyword research, think about what kinds of phrases are being searched at different points of the customer journey. If you can create content that caters to people at different stages, you should be able to direct a lot more high-quality traffic to your site.
E-commerce SEO is incredibly important and, if you want to climb the SERPs, you need to be creating high-quality content based on thorough keyword research.
By using local keywords where appropriate, thinking about searcher intent, considering your customers’ pain points, and creating content for every step of the customer journey, you’re sure to cover just about all of your bases, reach a wider audience, and make more sales as a result.
Author bio & headshot:
Adam Steele is the Founder and COO at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner for agencies and marketers. We build easy-to-use SEO services that help businesses scale. If you liked this article, please check out our SEO guides and templates on the blog.