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Darren DeMatas

Case Study: How An E-Commerce Site Increased Search Traffic By 1780%  

Darren DeMatas
Case Study: How An E-Commerce Site Increased Search Traffic By 1780%  

Today, I am going to show you the exact keyword research method I used to rank a medical e-commerce site for multiple high volume search terms.

We’re not talking about slouch keywords, either. Some of these keywords have over 3,000 searches per month. Not to mention, they now outrank authoritative medical websites like Mayo Clinic and WebMD.

No link building, no paid traffic, no social media, no dark-colored hats.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a BIG advocate of link building and content promotion. But this client simply didn’t have a WebMD budget, so advanced SEO was out of the question.

Despite having a decent backlink profile, my client’s organic traffic was flat and puny. How did I turn this site around by only updating one page? The Double Jeopardy Technique.

In this case study, I am going to show you exact process I used to put this e-commerce site on Google’s map.

How The Double Jeopardy Technique Skyrocketed Organic Traffic

For a long time, the only source of traffic for this e-commerce site was paid search. Since using The Double Jeopardy Technique, their site ranks in the top 3 for 46 keywords totaling over 16,000 searches per month.

Double Jeopardy Technique Spike

On top of that, their organic traffic increased by 1780% since using this technique. They also rank in the top 20 for over 128 keywords. This one blog post now accounts for over 93% of their traffic.

Organic Search Traffic Increase

Here are the exact steps you can take to use The Double Jeopardy Technique for your ecommerce site.

  • Step 1: Use Google Keyword Planner (GKP) to find informational keywords
  • Step 2: Find your base keyword with SEMrush
  • Step 3: Find your best content for that keyword
  • Step 4: Forum research
  • Step 5: Make your content an answer

Let’s take a look at each step in depth.

STEP 1: Find Informational Keywords Related To Your Product

If you’ve ever done SEO for ecommerce, you know how tough it can be to generate organic traffic that actually moves products. This is why the Double Jeopardy Technique starts with your product page. The trick is to use Google Keyword Planner to find informational keywords related to your product.

Add “Jeopardy Terms” Keywords To PlanAdd “Jeopardy Terms” Keywords To Plan

  1. Enter your product page URL into GKP
  2. Include when, where, why, what, how and tips as required terms
  3. Sort results by search volume
  4. Add relevant keywords to your plan
  5. Copy the keywords from your plan to your clipboard

This will show you the informational keywords that Google relates to your product. Time after time, I have been able to rank all these terms on a single blog post and send the traffic to a product page with an internal link.

Most e-commerce sites focus way too much on transactional keywords. You know, those super competitive terms like “Buy Product Name” that eat up all your PPC budget.

Content with informational keywords are:

  • Easier to rank for
  • Result in more traffic
  • Easier to build links to
  • Helpful to building customer trust

STEP 2: Find Your Base Keyword with SEMrush

Hopefully, you’ve copied over at least a dozen of keywords from GKP. Now it is time to check the keyword difficulty and select your base keyword.

Paste Your Keywords

Export Semantic Keywords

  1. Paste keywords from GKP into SEMrush’s keyword difficulty tool.
  2. Click on the least difficult keyword.
  3. In the organic results section, click on the first few listings.
  4. Export semantic keywords from top ranking pages.
  5. Check the difficulty of high volume keywords to see if there is a better option.

“feng shui office” makes a great base keyword in this example

“Feng shui office” makes a great base keyword in this example

Unfortunately, there isn't a magic formula for finding that sweet spot keyword. Unless you have a high domain authority, you want to avoid the most difficult keyword. The reason you want to do steps 3-5 is to understand how Google groups keywords together.

We also want to see if we can find better keywords that GKP missed. In other words, a website might rank for a keyword related to your informational keywords that have higher search volume and less difficulty.

STEP 3: Find Your Best Content For That Keyword

Once you have your base keyword, use Google site search to find which content has the best chance of ranking.

“Low Difficult Keyword” site:yourdomain.com

You want to find content that is not getting a lot organic search traffic. You should use SEMrush to check if any of these pages rank for keywords.

An old blog post that doesn't rank for anything is an ideal page. We’re going to kill that page and create a better version of it.

STEP 4: Research Forums

When people search on Google they have a psychological need. I think a lot of times, search marketers forget that. When you eavesdrop on conversations from real people, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what your content should accomplish.

“feng shui office” makes a great base keyword in this example

“Feng shui office” makes a great base keyword in this example

Real People With Real Questions

Search marketing is about matching up your page with your customers’ intent. You can’t understand someone’s intent by simply crunching keyword data. Since most of our keywords are in the form of a question we can type them straight into Google to find answers.

"base keyword" inurl:forum

For narrower results,

"base keyword" “how” OR “what” OR “why” OR “tips” inurl:forum

Forum research helps you:

  1. Understand how real people talk about your topic.
  2. Learn about your customer’s pain points.
  3. Fill in gaps in your own content with ideas from passionate people.
  4. Humanize your content.

STEP 5: Update Your Content

Google wants to rank content that matches search intent. Their business depends on this.

For my client’s site, most of the content was already written. It was just in the form of several thin blog posts that lacked any keyword focus. This is where The Double Jeopardy Technique comes in.

We’re sending the same content to Google to judge for a second time. On this trial, you’ll have a better defense (improved keywords and customer insight).

If writing isn’t your thing, hire a freelance writer. The important thing is to send them the base keyword, semantically related keywords, questions your content should answer, links to any forums and your current content to repurpose.

Once you get the content back from a writer, you want to:

  • Include the base keyword (only) in the URL.
  • Include your base keyword in the Page Title, H1.
  • Include semantically related keywords in other headings and body copy.
  • 301 redirect the original blog post(s) to the new page.
  • Add a link to your product page in the first 100 words.

In this case study, I actually redirected several thin (250 word) blog posts to the newly written article. This helps avoid keyword cannibalism and consolidates PageRank.

Over To You!

When you focus too much on transactional keywords, you’re missing a golden opportunity to get search traffic from potential customers. The Double Jeopardy Technique is the fastest way to find informational keywords for your products and update a weak e-commerce blog.

I’ve used the same tactic on three other e-commerce sites this year alone. It works. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts on this tactic in the comments.

Want to learn more about ecommerce content marketing? Check out my free course.

Darren DeMatas is the Director of Digital Marketing at The Molehill, a web software company. Darren has over a decade of PR and SEO experience and an MBA in Internet Marketing. Darren is a Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer and Google AdWords Certified. Follow him on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and check out his blog.

Comments

2000 symbols remain
SeoKungFu
which what where and how ? - why not !
Christina Boyes
Christina Boyes
Another great post, Darren! For those of you who don't know his blog already, I strongly suggest you take a peek at http://intertwinemarketing.com.... I've yet to read an entry that wasn't incredibly useful.
Kathleen Garvin
Kathleen Garvin
"The Double Jeopardy Technique" - I like it! In-depth but easy-to-follow process, Darren. Thanks for sharing!
Brian
Why would you remove my previous comment??
Kathleen Garvin
Kathleen Garvin
Brian
Hi Brian, can you repost your comment?
Brian
Kathleen Garvin
Hi Kathleen.
The essence of the comment was why did the author linked to a freelance
writer's web site that even not even finished (some "[CALL TO ACTION]"
phrases on the page doesn't look credible). Also, is the author promotes
this copywriter? If so, why it isn't clearly stated so? This looks really odd, if not to say more.
Christina Boyes
Christina Boyes
Brian
Hi Brian,

I'm going to back Darren up on this one. Anthony Sills is a solid writer - and then some. I've run into his work a few times online, and every time, it's a piece I've thoroughly enjoyed that performs well.

As a copywriter myself, I'll let you in on a little secret - most of us spend more time working on other people's sites (at least, those of us who make a living at this...) that we let our own slide. We also make frequent updates, changes, and test new ideas on our sites.

Take a look at his portfolio if you really want to know what his work is like, and if it's worth it.
Darren DeMatas
Hi Brian.

I linked to the copywriter that I used to write the ecommerce blog post that resulted in the increase of Traffic.

I sent him my keyword research, notes and links to the other posts that I was killing.

I've also used Anthony on other projects as well. He has written on several sites, including Copyblogger.

The point of the article was to share the exact steps that I used. I felt that including the actual copywriter I used was a part of the process.

No there is not much helpful content on his website, but he understands the technique.

I hope this is the transparency that you were looking for.

Thanks for reading!
Kathleen Garvin
Kathleen Garvin
Brian
Got it, Brian. Thanks for reposting!

We appreciate your feedback, and you have a valid point. We'll do our best to be more transparent in the future.
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