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SEO Strategy – Defining Keywords for your Ecommerce Store

This is article is part of PrestaShop’s Guest Blogger series. Its content was created by Jordi Ordóñez, a PrestaShop Community member (jordiob) and the owner of Barcelona-based website http://jordiob.com/

This is Chapter 1 of 3 of Jordi’s Advanced PrestaShop SEO Series

Defining your keywords

One of the problems we find when working on our SEO strategy is that we use the wrong keywords for our shop

Common mistakes when choosing keywords:

  • To choose generic keywords that we’ll never be able to position for growth
  • To compete on branded keywords against the manufacturer (big mistake, you’ll never win this battle)
  • To overload our website with 50 or 60 keywords to position, which is nearly impossible and a problem if the Google algorithm classifies us as “keyword stuffers”

So to for your SEO ship to reach port you must know which direction to follow. That is, thinking about a strategy before SEO-izing your Prestashop.

In other words, it’s no use optimizing your Prestashop for SEO if you don’t have the right keywords to position, especially if you don’t know what return those keywords will give you (yup, the famous ROI)

Let us take the spyglass and ask “Where’s the dough?”

What type of keywords?

It is important to define what type of keywords your business has. On this post we’ll try to put some light with an example based on a page specialized in selling tires located in London.
The reason for defining our keywords in the world of tires would be based on the following Q&A’s:

Q. What do I sell?
A. Tires

Q. How will people find me?
A. Most of them will find you on Google and, basically, they’ll use category (tires), product (road tires), by manufacturer (Pirelli tires) or questions (which tires are best for the road? Which tires are the best for my off-road car model?)

Q. If I get involved in the “tires” battle, can I position myself based on those criteria? 
A. It depends on the competition and the effort you have to make to compete with them

Q. Will I get a good margin on each sale?
A. That’s up to you! It’s commercial margin. Do the math!

Q. If I don’t think any of these keywords are viable, what should I do?
A. Look for a viable market niche then, for example “Pirelli competition tires best price”

Now that we have answered these questions, let’s move on and learn how to best position our keywords for our SEO Strategy.

Positioning Keywords

The rule of thumb when choosing the keywords for our market is to position ourselves in what we sell best and what we know best in this case, Firestone tires and Pirelli tires.

I’m going to sell mainly in the UK and I’m located in London. Is there a market?
Probably, yes, but the big question is: is there a demand on Google?

To find out, we can use the Google Adwords keywords tool. We must focus on monthly local searches (United Kingdom). On your Adwords panel, go to Tools and Analysis > Keyword Tool.

Modify filters and set them to “locations: UK”. On “Word or phrase” type “Firestone tires, Pirelli tires” and let the big G work the magic. Ouch! Important! Select “match type = Broad”

Use the suggested keywords tool to see which keywords fall within your “type” of keywords. Focus on the keywords that have local searches + mid-low competition. Never go for the high competition words if you don’t have the money or time – especially the money.

These two are not easy to position keywords, so let’s have a look at the suggested ideas. Seems that we’re in trouble, 500 out of 800 keywords are highly competed for. So we go for the medium competed, in this particular case that means keywords with 100 to 4,000 local searches per month. We find:

Pirelli p4, Pirelli tires review, Pirelli p4000, Pirelli p6 four seasons, Pirelli supercorsa, Pirelli diablo, Firestone reviews…

Finding the pattern

Seems that there is a pattern: the branded keyword + model and branded keyword + review. Yeah! We have a pattern to follow. Not just a strategy for Prestashop’s product data sheets (branded kw + model) but also a content strategy (blog, social networks) consisting of writing reviews.

But let’s go further than this. Is there also a specific pattern for long tail searches featuring location? We use the selected keywords + United Kingdom, London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Brighton… and, yes, we have a match: Pirelli England and Pirelli London.

So we’ll try to position the following 6 keywords which means 6.590 local searches per month in the UK:

Why 6? Working on and optimizing more keywords may be considered suspicious by Google: optimizing too many keywords is bad.

So our keyword type is:

  1. pirelli diablo
  2. pirelli uk
  3. pirelli supercorsa
  4. firestone reviews
  5. pirelli england
  6. pirelli tires review

So now that we have a strategy, let’s get down to business and optimize your product data taking your goals into account.

Updating keywords

What can we do on our Prestashop eCommerce once the catalogue is updated and SEO friendly? Products are not (mainly) updatable, so there’s no chance that I can send any new content to Google.

Oh! Wait! In addition to this strategy we can feed Google with content, which means having daily/weekly updated stuff on our domain. Yes, I’m talking about a blog.

The ideal scenario is to separate it from your online shop www.yourtiredomain.com/blog and to keep it updated weekly (at least 2-3 posts per week).

Considering our keywords, our content strategy on the blog should be tire reviews that we can post on the blog and spread on social media (focusing our efforts in Google+ and YouTube. Yes, because they’re owned by Google).

Don’t leave yet, there’s more

What else? We can create landing pages using Prestashop’s CMS tool and the blog. How? It’s easy, choose a topic and start typing.

Here is a great idea on how to create content: think about scenarios as a customer.(following info on this great post written by Xavier Colomés at ConversionGarden.com http://conversiongarden.com/2013/01/cro-scenarios-framework/).

Let’s figure out how your customer will find you, for example, typing on Google “what are the best Pirelli tires to drive in London?” Well, not this. This: “best Pirelli tires to drive London?”. So you can work on a CMS landing page strategy focusing on answering these questions. Your CMS-landing page could be “Looking for the best Pirelli tires to drive in London?” and then talk about it on both the CMS-landing page and on your blog posts.

This is also a good strategy to fight the “(not provided)” Google Analytics metric. “Not provided” hides the keywords used by users (logged on Google) to reach our website so, if we know that 30% of our users are coming from Google to our Prestashop and then placing an order (Conversion metrics in Google Analytics) we can determine whether a keyword is good or not for our business.

Always remember, SEO strategy should be conversion-oriented since it’s all about selling. Your SEO strategy should evolve depending on the money that your “keyword world” is generating so, work on it and keep on analyzing your keywords’ ROI!

Keep in mind:

  1. Common sense: you won’t cover all keywords
  2. Analyze VERY CAREFULLY what your competitors do
  3. Use the tools: Google Analytics and Prestashop statistics tool to analyze what’s going on in your “orders” tab and where the users are coming from. Of course, focus on Google + Keywords.
  4. Always create valuable content for the user. Google as well as users will prefer valuable resources and content so, take a deep breath and start (never stop) writing.

 

  1. Author: cocothecat

    Date: July 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I think also looking to target long tail keywords is a good long term plan for marketing

    • Author: benjamin utterback

      Date: July 24, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Hi cocothecat, I also agree and I’m sure Jordi will as well. Let’s get him on board. Thanks for the read-through and feedback!

  2. Indeed, it is a great strategy. The longer the tail, the higher the position :)

  3. You think that you are not able to use a writing service of the best quality? That’s not true just because that is simple.

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