This blog is brought to you courtesy of a great question from Fred. Since we’re all mature adults the example Fred gives isn’t even slightly amusing, right?
I am in the process of building a website in the health and beauty niche which will eventually have many individual inner pages. I will be selling, as an affiliate, lots of different products.
My question is: when I research the meta data as per pp 31 – 46 of your book, do I use as the main keyword, the product name or its function. For example, there is a product whose brand name is Bowtrol and it is for colon cleansing. Do I use Bowtrol as the main keyword or colon cleanse or research both and cherry pick the best keywords, descriptions etc.
Awesome question Fred! Like many SEO questions this one is deeper than first appears, because it’s really as much a question about what sort of customers Fred’s business is targeting rather than just a technical or strategic question about SEO. But to add some complexity we also have to take into consideration competition (for example is “Bowtrol” a highly competitive search, whilst “Colon Cleansing” is easy pickings?).
And as always with marketing questions, there are 2 answers:
- It depends
But that’s not particularly actionable, nor does it provide a very long blog post. So let’s take a step back and look at how we choose these keywords.
When choosing target keywords, you want to take into consideration three things:
- Which words your customers are using to find you (best consult the Google Adwords Keyword research tool, as competitors sometimes get this wrong)
- Competition levels for each word
- Commercial intent of each search. E.g. people searching for exact product are more likely to buy than those researching possible solutions to their problem. But these guys are also likely to be more price driven, so you have a customer selection consideration to make based on the business too.
So if your customers are clued up about what they need and they’re just looking for the best price on a particular brand or product, using that brand name works well. If that’s a very competitive market with lots of similar vendors, then optimising for the solution to their problem can be a good choice, and you should make sure the site contains plenty of educational information to satisfy the researchers and present your products in the best light.
As you can see, there’s no real single answer and you’ll notice successful competitors doing both options. My advice would be to do the research and pick the highest popularity searches with manageable competition.
Let Your Customers Answer This Question…
You can of course choose to hand this question straight back to your customers, and pick up some tasty data in the process.
Using Adwords you can set up campaigns targeting all your potential keywords. By integrating conversion tracking (placing a small piece of code on a conversion page like a Thank you or Checkout Complete page and setting up the relevant bits in Adwords), you’ll be able to see a lot of useful information:
- Which keywords produce the highest volume of sales. These are likely to be the most SEO-competitive ones as the search volume is highest. They also show which keywords have the most potential for high volume sales.
- Which keywords produce the highest conversion rate. These are likely to be the customers that, for whatever reason, identify best with your business and website and can be a good market to target for easy high return marketing.
- Which keywords have the lowest cost per conversion. These might be low-volume but can produce the highest ROI marketing for you indicating that you should be taking a big swing targeting ads and SEO on these words.
Accept that it will take time to identify and hone the keywords you are targeting. There is not one set of ‘right’ answers and the best target words for your business will be a function of your competitive advantage, products & services and the content of your site.
Constantly testing and challenging your marketing assumptions is the best way to widen your online customer attraction net so commit to making the most educated decision to start with and tuning over time.