How do I scale my eCommerce business with keywords?

6 tips for finding and using the right keywords to increase online sales

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Without a doubt, global eCommerce is on the rise, due in large part to the pandemic. According to U.N. trade and development experts UNCTAD, the eCommerce sector saw a dramatic rise in its share of all retail sales, from 16% to 19% in 2020. Online business-to-consumer (B2C) sales for the world’s top 13 companies reached $2.9 trillion in 2020.

For small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses, to rank the highest in the search engines and be competitive in some very highly cutthroat retail segments, you need to have a keyword search strategy. It would be great if you could just describe a blue men’s shirt, organic shampoo, or comfortable dog bed as exactly that. However, with all of the products out there competing for valuable space in the online marketplaces, you need to work that much harder to be the first to gain a potential customer’s attention.

Here are five ways to use keywords to help scale your business:

1.   Do your homework

Use the various search engines to see what comes up for your products. Click on what comes up first, second, and third, and then look closely at the product descriptions. What words are used most often? How can you incorporate these words while differentiating your product? Also, search the various marketplaces for those same keywords so that you can understand what consumers see when they search.

2. Take advantage of keyword research tools

There are many keyword research tools out there. Some of the most-used options include:

  • SE Ranking: SEO search designed for small and mid-sized businesses.
  • Surfer SEO: Uses the power of artificial intelligence to rank content.
  • Semrush: Grow organic traffic with easy SEO tools and workflow.
  • Ahrefs: An all-in-one SEO toolkit with Google keyword research data.· Mangools: A low-cost, simple keyword research tool.
  • SEO PowerSuite: Provides rankings, on-page, backlinks, and reports all in one easy-to-use toolkit.
  • AnswerThePublic: Gain consumer insights to generate keyword ideas from search engine autocomplete data.
  • Moz: Discover, prioritize, and build lists of keywords.
  • Google Keyword Planner: A tool that will help you find the keywords that are most relevant for your business.
  • Google Search Console: Help improve your eCommerce website’s performance.
  • Google Trends: Explore what the world is searching for with a free keyword tool to check for popular search queries.
3.   Consider search relevance

Even if you find a keyword with a high search volume, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your site or products. “Kim Kardashian” may rank as a high search word, but if you’re selling widgets, that keyword may generate traffic to your site, but it won’t convert to sales. With keywords, limit the opportunities for customers to feel duped about a product that they purchased.

4. Target long-tail keywords

These are lengthy, highly specific keywords that are generally three or more words, or questions or phrases. So rather than using the generic search term “shoes,” you can rank higher by being more specific with something like “blue Nike shoes.” Long-tail keywords are especially valuable to online sellers since they are often used by people who are already further along in the decision-making process for purchasing. That means that a person looking for “shoes” might just be curious, but a person searching for “blue Nike shoes” is already determined to buy them.

5.  Decide which eCommerce pages to optimize

Your home page and product pages give you the most space for keyword optimization but they’re not the only pages to consider. Think about using category pages, blog posts, or alt tags to help increase search engine rankings and drive traffic to your products.

6. Avoid keyword stuffing

Google defines keyword stuffing as loading a webpage with keywords or numbers to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. Filling your site’s pages with out-of-context keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking.

By doing some competitive research and using targeted keywords on your website and in online marketplaces, you can better scale your eCommerce business.

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