How many times have you read how to increase your e-commerce sales? And how much advice on how to acquire customers have you come across?
If you read any user behavior study in e-commerce, you'll see that all of them show between 60% and 80% of organic traffic comes from search engines, and mainly from Google.
There is no doubt that SEM plays an important role in gaining traffic to your website because you don't have to wait for the content to be organically positioned in Google. However, SEM can set you a trap as most of the keywords are getting super expensive and they can eat your entire sales margin.
Keywords Matter More Than Strategies
A lot has been written about the complex world of SEO, which is always in constant evolution and subject to trends set by Google itself. As a guide, this meeting of experts in SEMrush is highly recommended in which they give useful tips on this subject.
The lesson is that this link between user traffic, SEM and SEO suggests how essential it is to use a careful study of the keywords in the marketing content of a business.
When talking about the importance of the content for a company, experts usually highlight the content in blogs, AdWords ads and social media. It's certainly a valuable practice, but often leaves the most important content of all to the side: the information of product pages. Keywords alone wouldn't be anything without correct, extensive and detailed product information, since this represents more than 90% of the content seen by users and Google's spider.
The quantity and the quality of the content of product pages is crucial for the generation of traffic: if the information doesn't contain the appropriate keywords, it won't appear easily in search results, even though you use them in your blog or on Twitter. Those words must not be included all together in every page, you should distinguish which products belong to each group of words, and the search trends of your target market should also be monitored. Let's remind ourselves that, like in everything else, it's the quality of the traffic what is important and not the quantity.
Which Kinds of Keywords You Must Include in a Product Description
Obviously, the first step is to find the material that you're going to use to get your gold. That is to say, how to discover quality keywords that are being used in your sector, and which you are not using. In order to obtain better results, it's best to investigate which are the word families related to your products and which are less well-known but useful, instead of banking on a few typical, general keywords which are highly competitive in your niche. This will also let you compete with more affordable keywords and filter quality traffic.
It's also important to perform a benchmark analysis, so you can design the perfect product sheet in the sector you are working. For this purpose, you can visit similar websites and analyze how they do it, or you can apply a study of keywords so you know which ones to include.
There are certain words that must be included in a particular product description, which is why it is crucial to have good knowledge of the essential specifications and attributes in your industry. But technical information isn't enough: the descriptions also have to be competitive, including original texts that are not penalized by Google to make your products stand out among thousands of similar ones.
Google solutions like Trends, Analytics, Search Console or Keyword Planner have to be included in this study, but there are many other tools that can complement that information. For example:
- SEMrush: The best way to compare how your organic traffic is flowing in relation to your competitors, as well as the results of organic keywords.
- BuzzSumo: An analytical tool used to find which contents and influencers are working better in a specific topic or sector.
- Keyword Tool: A highly effective engine for finding keywords related to a topic and for gathering suggestions made by Google on a keyword at a particular time.
- Bing Webmaster Tools: Up to 20% of global searches are made through Bing, which is why it's best to pay attention beyond Google and study which keyword optimization is recommended by the competition.
- Moz: By using this explorer, you can carry out a metrics analysis of any link. It also contains specific multiple analysis like the localized SEO of a company.
- Redirect Path: This new tool lets you detect errors in redirection and HTTP headers on any website.
Some of the tools that will help you discover keyword opportunities.
But it's not advisable to only pay attention to the actions of anonymous users. Your target users are an endless source of information, which is why these tools must be added to the study of specific audiences to investigate which topics they are commenting on, the existing demands and which trends are growing among potential buyers in your niche.
A Practical Example: Product Descriptions in Fashion and Shoes
Fashion e-commerce is the perfect example of a “never do.” As you can see below, despite being the third industry which is most dependent on product information, it's the one which scores the least in a benchmark analysis for their product descriptions.
Source: 2015/2016 Shotfarm Product Information
For example, in the case of an online shoe store, the descriptions have to include essential attributes in this kind of purchase, and we rarely find them nowadays:
- The most common words are linked to gender and age: “women’s shoes,” “men‘s shoes,” “boy‘s shoes,” “girl’s shoes” and “baby shoes.”
- The best results offered in this case are by shoe type: “dress shoes,” “wedding shoes,” “vintage shoes” and “boots.”
- The most specific words, as the descriptions will have to be very descriptive regarding: the variety of materials (leather, synthetic... ); the numbering of sizes (which also affects the system used in each region or country); the generic name of models; the decoration and accessories (laces, sole, tongue, interior lining... ); the shapes (width, flexibility... ); the type of care and cleaning, and other important characteristics for the buyer (for example, “handmade,” “ecological,” “vegan,” “sustainable,” “anti-allergic,” “antiperspirant”... ) and always corresponding to the reality of the product.
But the experience can be even more complete by including keywords which are less used but useful for customers, covering trends that can respond to localized searches or linked to current trends. For example, if the e-commerce shoe site sells Oxford models, it's important to include descriptive words so that a related search can be made, especially if a user doesn't know or remember the name of the model like “die cut,” “dress,” “elegant,” “decoration,” “holes” or “gentleman.” Besides these, supplementary words are also significant: even though you only sell Oxford models, you can include “Blucher,” “Brogue” or “Derby” as part of your group of keywords, as these are the names of other similar models. So, whoever is looking for a pair of Brogues or Derby can find your Oxford model and see that they would also be another option for them to buy.
Often when we talk to companies in the fashion industry, they tell us that there aren't so many keywords, but what we see is that you can find inspiration everywhere. Here is a table on how you can develop that keyword research:
There are many ways to come up with great keyword ideas.
Tools to Simplify and Power your Content Management
These tasks mustn't only be in the hands of the marketing team, they should start at the beginning of the company's value chain, and include all data sources relating to the products. For an error-free performance, it's essential to use a software tool such as PIM (Product Information Management), which takes care of searching gaps in the product descriptions, and localize terms and attributes which have been omitted, or are not being well used. Thanks to this PIM system, the e-commerce catalogue won't only have complete product descriptions which are updated every day, they will all be synchronized and ready to be linked to any channel and customer search strategy.
The job of rewriting and retouching the catalogue doesn't finish after the launch of a product or collection. There are always amendments, additions and discoveries of new words that cause the product information to be adjusted simultaneously in many channels. A PIM system guarantees that these updates are made instantly and simultaneously for all channels and thousands of e-commerce descriptions. This creates a win-win situation: the SEO suggestions can be rapidly incorporated into the database of the site, and your shop will always be up to date regarding the most trending terms.
But you're not going to crack nuts with hammers either. If your catalogue is small, you don't need a PIM system, but if you manage a large volume of data, it's worth taking a look at some of these tools at least:
Some of the PIM Vendors available in the market
If you visit e-commerce sites regularly, you can see that product content is largely forgotten. And let's not forget that it is the centre of the business and the most important e-commerce metrics: the traffic generation and the conversion.
Not only traffic: Remember that product content is the most important cause of abandonment after cost and delivery time.
Have you ever found it difficult to come across a product with the keywords you were using? And how many times you landed in a product page with missing information like the resistance, weight or color of the product? These are clear signs of lost opportunities due to poor product content.