E-commerce Keyword Strategy: How to find the business value of a single keyword

seo keyword formula leannewong
June 23, 2018 Leanne Wong 10 Comments

Imagine you’ve got a thriving e-commerce business.

Or you’re planning to start one and you’re brainstorming what keywords to rank for.

Keyword strategy is foundational in any online business, more so for e-commerce.

Start your keyword research process with these 2 critical questions:

  • are these keywords worth pursuing?
  • what business value would I get if they ranked on page #1 on Google?

How to Calculate the Business Value of Ranking Position #1 on Google

Understanding what business value you’ll get ranking #1 on Google helps decide if those keywords are worth pursuing.

You probably have a product or service on your website that you’re targeting to rank for specific keywords.

The question is what keywords should you target?

Is there enough margin in these products to demand the amount of time and effort to rank on Google?

And will they drive relevant traffic to increase your leads, conversions and bottomline.

These are questions we’ll analyse in this post.

But first, let’s establish a few very important concepts in keyword strategy.

seo ecommerce clicks

Our goal is to aim for keywords that can drive relavant traffic to our site. So ranking highly on search engines for those keywords will bring us business value in conversions, leads and sales.

Let’s get crackin! It’s gonna be great, I promise you.

Formula: Business Value of a Keyword

formula keyword

E-commerce Keyword Strategy

Running an e-commerce business is no easy feat.

There’s tons of overheads, inventory management and marketing involved.

To survive online, you need Search Engine Optimisation.

SEO is one of the most cost effective marketing strategies as it can deliver hundreds of targeted leads per day to your business for free.

Having a solid keyword research strategy is foundation to that success.

Case Study 1: Online fashion e-commerce store

Let’s say I’m selling knitwear and women clothing, like Australian fashion label Rowie The Label.

Their products are sold at an average price of of $139.

rowiethelabel

Lets say the cost price of each clothing is $40. Thats inclusive of material and product costs per unit.

To start their business, they’d need 200 units of clothing material.

Plus warehouse rental costs and other variable costs. Their total cost set at $10,000 per month.

Step 1
ecommerce business
Step 2
profit margins and seo

Step 2 here is very important. We are reverse engineering the no. of visitors we need to attract to hit our target.

Assuming only 5% of visitors purchase, which is fairly realistic. We need to attract 1,440 visitors to our website. Meaning 1,440 clicks.

Step 3
keyword strategy search volume

Final step here is my favourite, as it brings everything to light!

We’ve got our answer.

The following seed keywords most relevant to their e-commerce business:

ecommerce keywords fashion seo

And what will be enough visitors to give you a good return?

This keyword “summer dresses” with avg. monthly search volume of 4,800.

That’s their money keyword which has the highest potential to rack in the most traffic.

Takeaway: Start your keyword research strategy by calculating how much business value they bring.

General rule – higher the search volume, higher the CTR. However, not every keyword decision should be made with search volume criteria.

We’ll explore this in the next section.

But first, let’s apply our methodology on another case example.

Case Study 2: Business selling digital products

Digital products or informational products are more straight forward.

Because there are no upfront costs like inventory and profits are almost 100% yours/

So if you’re a travel blogger and one of the products you’re selling is ‘Film Style Lightroom Presets‘ – $19.

movingjar-travel-blog

And the main keyword I’m targeting: “lightroom presets” (avg. search volume = 3200).

Keyword business value in terms of visitors and CTR

We can find our business value for “lightroom preset” keyword very quickly.

Step 1: Find the no. of clicks

0.3 x 3200 = 960 clicks 

Step 2: Find the estimated no. of purchase visitors:

0.05 x 960 = 48 purchase visitors 

Profit: purchase visitors x selling price per unit

48 x $19 = $912 🙂

ahrefs keyword explorer seo travel blog

Detailed explanation:

Remember 30% CTR for pages ranking on position #1.

For the “lightroom preset” generic keyword, that means 960 clicks from 3200 search volume.

That’s about 960 unique visitors every month to your website.

And if 0.05% of those visitors convert into paying customers, you’d make $912 every month from my product sale of lightroom presets ($19 each).

Pretty neat.

Now, if only life always turned out like a mathematical formula.

Problems with keyword selection based on search volume

  • competitive landscape and keyword ranking difficulty
  • potential to rank for long-tail keywords

Analysing Competitive Landscape of Keywords

Measuring keyword competitiveness will show you how much effort it’ll take to rank on Google.

It’ll also help you decide whether those keywords are worth pursuing.

If I type in “lightroom presets” on Google, I get 16,800,000 search results.

keyword-research-business-competition

That’s 16 million results, which presents tremendous opportunity.

Also note that there’s paid AdWords advertisement too.

The thing is, the more search engine ads on the page, the less visibility you’re going to get as an organic result page.

But if we get more specific and type in “film lightroom presets”, our results are way lesser.

film-google-keywords

Notice the multimedia results ranking such as videos.

The more multimedia results present, such as videos or images, shopping, they reduce the amount of clicks organic results get.

That’s natural. People are more drawn to image-based results, especially if they’re ranking very highly in position 1-3.

Thats our initial competitive analysis of the keyword landscape. The next part is more advanced and looks into backlinks, and keyword difficulty.

Using Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to Assess Ranking Difficulty

Ahrefs is fantastic as a backlink analyser tool, but its keyword explorer tool is also pretty useful.

I entered “lightroom presets” and it returned a keyword difficulty score of 39.

That’s pretty darn difficulty to rank on Page 1 for this keyword.

How so?

If you look below, it suggests that I’ll need backlinks from 53 websites to rank in the top 10 for this keyword.

Keyword Difficulty based on No. of Backlinks
lightroom-preset-keyword
Top 10 Ranking Pages in SERPs
ahrefs-backlinks-presets

The top 10 ranking pages are looking very strong. They’ve got high domain authority mostly in the 60 – 70 range.

And they’ve got hundreds, if not thousands of backlinks pointing to their website.

This is a monster of a competition for the keyword, “lightroom preset”.

How to strategically beat your competition with related keywords

It won’t be a breeze in the park, but it’s also not impossible.

They key here is to be strategic and choose your battles. Do this by choosing low competition keywords that your fiercest competitors also rank for.

Ahrefs does a fantastic job at generating these relevant keyword ideas.

Step 1: Click on the dozens of ‘keywords’ your top 3 competitors are also ranking for
keywords-organic-report

Step 2: Go to the ‘Organic Keywords Report’
ahrefs-example-seo

Step 3: Export relevant keyword ideas related to your topic
ahrefs-example-seo

Now you can find related keywords which you can target, which are nice long-tail keywords such as:

  • lightroom presets free
  • lightroom filters
  • lightroom presets for portraits
  • best lightroom plugins
  • free lightroom presets wedding

These are proven and tested long-tail keywords that have ranked my top competitors on page 1.

They’re also driving hundreds of targeted organic traffic with decent search volume.

Take Action: Build Your e-Commerce Keyword Empire

Voila! Hope this keyword strategy has helped some of you thriving and aspiring entrepreneurs with building your e-Commerce business. Let me know how it went for you 🙂

10 People reacted on this

  1. These are such great reminders of the importance of building a strong keyword strategy. I love all the graphics and examples you give along with your tips and advice. Thank you so much for this!

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