An Introduction to Keyword Strategy

You’ve built a big keyword list, but what are you supposed to do with it? Learn when and how to use actionable keywords in your online store to make sure your customers find you.

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You’ve started your online store and your SEO train is on track. You’ve done your keyword research and compiled a solid list of keywords that’ll please customers, searchers and crawlers alike. So…what happens now? Where do you need to put your keywords? And how can you use them to improve your site’s user experience and grow your audience?

The answer? Two words: Keyword strategy. With it, you’ll place appropriate trigger keywords in the right places so the search crawlers know what’s most important and relevant in your content.

To get started with keyword strategy, our first step is to give a brief overview of how search engines work.

 

How crawlers see your site

To understand how search crawlers rank your website, think of your store like a pyramid. Crawlers spend most of their time and attention on what’s at the top of the page, then slowly work their way down. That means your homepage title will receive much more attention than your site directory in your footer.

This applies on a page level as well, so your homepage will similarly receive much more attention than your Terms and Services page, since your homepage is front and center and your Terms and Services page is buried a little deeper. Think of it this way: The pages your customers find most interesting are the pages crawlers will find most interesting as well.

Now let’s dive into some specific keyword strategy techniques for your homepage and other pages.

 

Using keywords on your homepage

The homepage is the most important part of your website. It very quickly determines whether visitors will stay and take look around, or leave confused and unsatisfied. A well-constructed homepage acts as a directory, and effortlessly guides viewers to where they want to go. It does that by using keywords.

Here are some homepage optimization tips:

  • Write a catchy and relevant title for your website using a highly searched keyword from your list. Note: Keywords at the beginning of a title tend to rank better than titles ending with keywords, so try to get those keywords in early on.
  • Use keywords when building your menu/navigation. For example, if you sell gardening tools and supplies and you notice you get a lot of traffic from the keywords “indoor gardening tools” and “outdoor gardening tools,” consider naming your categories Indoor Gardening Tools and Outdoor Gardening Tools to make them easier for your customer to get to what they want.
  • Include variations of different keywords while providing your audience with useful introduction information to your website. Also be sure to show off other attention-grabbers, like current specials, your most popular products and a brief bio of what your store is all about.

 

Using keywords on other pages

While your homepage lures in potential customers, the rest of your pages seal the deal and sell your products. Whether customers head directly to product pages, special deal pages or take a peek at your About Us page, including relevant keywords will make for a pleasant user experience.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using keywords on other pages:

  • Provide well written product descriptions so your customers and search crawlers can connect each product page to your homepage and the overall theme of your website. These keywords also help lead ready-to-buy customers to the particular page.
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    Example:
    Self-watering small patio planters. Easy to install. Comes with seed-starter kit.”
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  • Use keywords in you’re About Us page to emphasize your experience and passion for your product, as well as shine a spotlight on what makes your company unique.
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    Example:
    “I’ve been a gardener my whole life. My family grew up growing our own fruits and vegetables and we hope to provide as much gardening knowledge as possible.”
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  • Use relevant keywords when creating special deals and product promotions according to the season and holiday.
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    Example:
    “Special Christmas Poinsettia Deal!” “Is the summer heat putting a dent on your watering bill? Check out our beat the heat water saving cactus and shrub specials!”
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    There’s a lot of keyword potential with every season and every product so make sure you edit and change according to what’s relevant. It also doesn’t hurt that search crawlers re-index fresh keywords and content.

In the end, the best strategy is to ask a friend to go through and read your website. If they think the content and keywords seem forced and out of place then search spiders will probably think so too.

 

As you can see, keywords are extremely important, both for your audience and for search crawlers ranking your website. While search algorithms may change, you can guarantee that the importance of keywords and quality content won’t. So stay focused on using relevant keywords and providing valuable content, and your store will be on the right track to grow.

 

About 

Reed Daw is the SEO Manager at Ice.com. He graduated from UT Austin with a BA in Corporate Communication and Rhetoric & Writing. Outside of the office, you can find Reed reading the works of Stephen King, enjoying fine-crafted brews, riding his bike around Austin and listening to live music.

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