“I know I need SEO, but I don’t really know why. I mean can’t I just write something about my products and get more visitors and sales?”
...No, sorry not that simple.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has many, many elements to it some are easy to see like content and keywords but others like rel=, a page performance, or canonicalization also have a play in a site's SEO performance. But for now we will focus on the keyword.
SEO content comes in three basic fields: On-page content – the body of a page; search engine content, like the page title or meta description; and the underlying content, such as alt tags and file names. Each of these content fields are an important part of a page’s SEO. Though each is very different they all have one main point in common: the purpose of the page, the keyword(s).
Keywords are a tricky thing. Many people think that you can just pick a word and it works. Though this is not entirely wrong, the process of a getting a good keyword has a lot more to it, and depending on where the page is in it’s life, and it’s purpose, the process can change.
A simple look into a page’s life cycle:
The simplest page to find a good keyword for is a product page. The keyword starting list contains a combination of the company name/brand, product brand/name and/or the product type.
For example, lets pick Roots Phone Wallet Saffiano from their 2016 Love Blooms collection. At this point the page has not been created and we are looking for an optimal keyword/phrase to use.
The starting keyword list for this would look something like:
- Roots Wallet
- Roots phone Wallet
- Phone Wallet Roots
- Phone Wallet Saffiano
- Roots Phone Wallet Saffiano
- Roots Wallet Saffiano
- Saffiano Phone Wallet
- Roots Saffiano Phone Wallet
- Roots Love Blooms Wallet
- Love Blooms Phone Wallet
- Love Blooms Saffiano Phone Wallet
- Love Blooms Phone Wallet Saffiano
Since this is a product page (a third or fourth level site page) 3-5 keyword length is generally acceptable, where normally you do not want to go more than 3 words, thus each variation is usable. Now it is time to ensure you are not already using any of these keywords. This can be done by looking at your “used keyword list” or within your own site system. For this purpose, we will say just “Roots Wallet” is already used.
Now it is time to Google each keyword to see if you show up already, and to view the number of results (for this you can use normal Google Search or Google AdWords preview for geo-specific results). If the keyword brings up other products, you have then it is not a very usable new keyword, for you will be competing with your own products (non-product pages tend to be fine since it helps your dominate the search engine result page (SERP) page).
The next step is to see the traffic potential. There are a number of tools to use for this, but for accessibility I will use Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Here we can review the remaining keywords average monthly search and basic search tends.
*update June 30th Google AdWords Keyword Planner has updated its search volume reporting. Now a word will show its individual traffic with the addition of variant traffic. This means a word like "Dress" shows the traffic for "dress", "dres", and "dresses" in total for "Dress" avg. monthly Search traffic. Meaning if you are looking at all 3 words they will all have the same traffic volume for each: 300K. This can be misleading, the total potential traffic looks like 900K and not the real 300K.*
Once this is done we can see which keywords can provide traffic potential and which ones do not. Leaving “Saffiano Phone Wallet” as the ideal keyword to use for the new Roots Love Blossom Phone Wallet Saffiano Page.
But is this the end all option? Does it have to be “Saffiano Phone Wallet”? No, thanks to search engine algorithms any variation of this keyword can rank for this phrase and its variations. Meaning that words like “Phone Wallet Saffiano” or “Phone Wallet in Saffiano” or “Saffiano Phone Wallets” can be used and gain similar results.
I know many of you are thinking “Well I would have gone with "Phone Wallet Saffiano" at the start so why the extra work?”. The process of selecting a good keyword can be more complicated than many originally think and sometimes looks to be just extra work but is can be very valuable with products, like: MediNatura Homeopathic Wellmind Alertness Aid (100 Tablets) pills for mental fatigue, and stress-related irritability, where the keyword can be many things and the name alone may not be the most ideal way to gain the most traffic.
The more work and research you do about potential keywords the more likely you are to pick the most optimal word(s) for your page. But remember, good keywords are not just about the highest potential traffic, but also about relativity. The more relative a keyword is to the page's purpose, the better conversions and ranking can be. Thus 100 avg. visitors can be more valuable to you then 1,000.
(Keyword Selection - Part 2)
Authors disclaimer: Please note I have no personal or professional connection or affiliations with Roots or Roots Canada. Nor do I have any personal or professional connection or affiliations with MediNatura. The mention of these companies and brands are for example purposes only.
[Posted originally by Author on Linkedin]
By Bethny Card
As a Digital Marketing Specialist, Bethny is a strong SEO resource for Thinkwrap and our clients. She holds an advanced diploma in Advertising, and brings with her over five years’ experience working in the digital marketing field across Canada and abroad. Her dedication to her career and thirst for knowledge contribute to her role helping customers achieve omnichannel growth maximum ROI.