E-Commerce keywords are the shared foundation of advertising, SEO and on-site searches, which together make up for roughly 60% of product page traffic (with the hypothesis that about 50% of direct e-commerce site traffic involve an on-site search.). A successful e-commerce strategy comes with a strong focus on keywords and key phrases. In a previous article, we laid out a methodology that e-commerce managers can use to create a comprehensive list of keywords for their industry, as well as estimate their respective volumes: E-Commerce Search Keywords and where to find them?
In this article, we will see how this list can be used to effectively boost and monitor the performance of your products.
Which keywords should be on my product pages?
Once you have determined a solid list of keywords for your category, you need to sort them by relevance to your product(s). Not all keywords (especially long-tail keywords) are relevant to what you are selling. The rule of thumb is: will my product disappoint if it shows up for this search? For instance, if your products are not waterproof, you should not even use the word "water" on your product pages. Amazon, for example, includes conversion rate in its search algorithm: misleading consumers with deceptive keywords is a guaranteed way to tank your conversion rates and your search performance overall.
The best e-commerce keywords should be in your page titles
E-Commerce sites all have different rules as to how long product titles can or should be. The truth is that your product title is the single most determining factor that on-site search algorithms use to determine search ranking. So when it comes to writing them, you should have search performance in mind. The goal is to use many relevant keywords while keeping the whole title consistent and not-spammy. The way to do this is to use different types of keywords.
Try this recipe when building a product page title:
- Brand name + product name
- Best subcategory description keyword
- 2 to 3 differentiating features
- 1 or 2 compatibility or use cases.
See an example by Logitech.
Some may fear that long and complicated product names will get fewer clicks. I have discussed this point with Guillaume Suchet, who is the Global Online Channel Marketing Manager at Withings and this is what he said:
[Withings used to have short, marketing-oriented product titles like "Withings | Steel HR Hybrid Smartwatch." We later decided to switch to longer titles that included key features. This not only increased our search performance but actually also boosted CTRs. Shoppers are scanning for keywords in the search results, and long product names are actually better choices. — Guillaume Suchet, Global Online Channel Marketing Manager at Withings
Use long-tail keywords in your descriptions
The description for your products has a lot of functions; helping search algorithms rank your products is one of them. Although the primary objective is always to describe your products as accurately as possible, you should write product descriptions with search volumes in mind. Starting from your current descriptions, you should challenge every word that you have used to see if there isn't a better version (a version of the word that drives more search volume). If a word is repeated, you can replace it with an alias. That is especially true for category or subcategory names.
I also discussed this with Guillaume:
When Withings launched their products on Amazon.com, we initially used the same descriptions as on Amazon.co.uk. Quickly we realized that search queries in the US were not the same as in the UK. After a few weeks, we used the data from Amazon Advertising to go back and edit the product pages. This increased our search impressions in the US. — Guillaume Suchet, Global Online Channel Marketing Manager at Withings
Which e-commerce keywords should I monitor?
Your efforts to optimize your product pages for search should always be backed by a rigorous analysis of your search performance. In our article Monitoring the search performance of a brand, we explain how brands can monitor their Search Ranking Score on several queries to track their progress and prioritize their actions.
To accurately track your progress, you should have a list of queries that you are regularly monitoring at your top retailers. To get a balanced view of how search results drive sales, make it a priority to watch the queries that drive the highest volumes. But if you want to detect market changes before they affect sales, you should also monitor long-tail, low-volume keywords. We recommend that your list includes, by order of importance:
- your top category and sub-category keywords,
- popular sub-category keywords that apply to your competitors,
- all brands' names to see who is advertising on competitors' products (Amazon makes it easy),
- a selection of long-tail keywords to detect new entrants.
How BlueBoard can help
BlueBoard is about to release a Shelf Search Performance module that will allow you to track unlimited keywords at your top retailers, several times per day. Getting started to level up your e-commerce game by booking your Demo now!