Keyword research for marketplaces – prioritization

Marketplace SEOSEOEcommerce
By Yuval Ginor, Nov 19,2023
Keyword research for marketplaces - Prioritization

By following the initial keyword research for marketplaces, your keyword list should contain dozens of keywords and keyphrases. But how do we decide which to keep and which to discard? Now we get to a crucial part of the keyword research for marketplaces - prioritization. There are a number of criteria by which sellers can prioritize their keywords. 

Keyword Relevance

The relevance criteria measures how close and connected the keywords in your list to the products on offer. Naturally, the keyword must be at the very least somewhat relevant to the product, otherwise it is a waste of precious space. 

It is helpful to go over the list and grade each keyword according to its relevance, so you can then sort the list to go from most relevant to the least. This will help you prioritize which keywords are better to choose.  

Search Intent

As we discussed, recognizing shoppers’ search intent is crucial, and sellers should take it into account when compiling their keyword lists.

When reviewing the list, you should figure out exactly what people intend to find when searching for these keywords. Is there intent to purchase a specific product? Are they simply looking for information, or are they just browsing?

Google can be a great tool for this task. Type in the different keywords into Google, and see what type of results come up. If the top results direct you to product landing pages or obviously commercial websites, and of course product listings, then you can be certain that the keyword implies transactional intent. However, if the keywords lead you to mostly articles and blog posts, then it is likely the people who use these keywords have more of an informational intent, and are not yet ready to purchase.  

Once more, go over your keyword list and add each word’s search intent.

Search Volume

Search volume is an important criteria that measures how much traffic can certain keywords generate potentially. There are plenty of online tools out there that provide you with exactly this type of information, for instance Google Keyword Planner. Simply type in your keywords and see the average monthly traffic they generate, Then, write down in your list the search volume for each keyword.

It is important to keep in mind that these tools provide information about prior performances of keywords, and not a future forecast, and that volume level may change from time to time - some heavy volume keywords may decline, and less popular ones might increase in volume. 

It is also worth remembering that we want to attract potential buyers, and not just visitors who click in and out. So, if there is a low volume keyword you think is highly relevant for your products, it may be better to include it anyway. Remember that volumes can change dramatically. 

Keyword Difficulty

When it comes to high volume keywords, the competition is fierce, especially if you are a new seller. Since many sellers want to use them, it is quite difficult to rank for them compared to low volume keywords. 

In order to measure keywords’ difficulty, we can use Google Keyword Planner one more time. When searching for keywords, besides their search volumes, the Planner will also provide estimation as to how competitive a certain keyword is, meaning how difficult it is to rank for it.

However, the numbers Google Keyword Planner shows are based on paid advertisement. In order to get more organic volumes, other keyword research tools may be used. It might be worth investing in such tools only to help you in your initial keyword research.

Short- and Long-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords are most often relevant to broader categories that usually generate high search volumes. They tend to be shorter and more general. For example, “Sneakers” or “Smartwatch” are highly sought short-tail keywords. 

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are much more specific and narrow, and usually contain more words to form a keyphrase. Since long-tail keywords are much more specific, their search volumes tend to be lower than short-tail keywords.

So , the long-tail version of the short-tailed “Sneaker” may be “Nike Air Force 1’s sneakers” or “Adidas red sneakers”. In the case of “smartwatch”, a long-tail version may be “Apple Watch Series 8 smartwatch”. 

As you can see, there are pros and cons for both short-tail keywords (high search volumes but much more difficult to rank for) and long-tail keywords (lower search volumes, but more product specific and much less competitive and much easier to create content for).

Using long-tail keywords presents a great opportunity to generate more organic traffic of interested shoppers. So don’t forget to include relevant long-tail keywords in your list, and not just shot-tail, high search volume ones.  

Measuring Your Keyword Progression

Once you complete steps of the keyword research we discussed in the previous article, you should end up with a list of relevant keywords to include in your listings. 

It is important to remember, however, that keyword research is not a one time thing. Rather, in order to better meet their customers' needs, sellers must keep adjusting and optimizing their keywords and keyphrases over time. But in order to do this effectively, sellers must begin with measuring how their keywords perform, so they know what adjustments are necessary. 

There are several online tools sellers can use to track and measure keywords’ performance. Google Search Console is one such free tool that allows you to do exactly that - measure traffic and performance so you can optimize listing more efficiently. Google Search Console provides information about traffic generated by keywords, click-through rates, rankings, etc. 

Google Search Console is a good place to begin measuring your keyword progress, but being a free tool, it has its limits. Users cannot track and measure specific keywords, only a partial list of traffic generating keywords is provided, and information about the competition is scarce. That is where other online tools come in. There are tools that allow you to keep track of performances of specific keywords, give you access to historical performance data, and provide much more insights about the market. 

It is recommended to add the data gleaned from these tools alongside your keyword list, so you can track the performance of keywords by traffic generated, conversion rates, rankings, etc. Once you collect enough data, it is time to move on to optimizing the keywords. 

Final Words

Despite all the changes taking place in the e-commerce world over the last years, keywords have always maintained their importance. Keywords are still a significant factor in SEO, and knowing which ones to use is critical for online businesses. That is why one of the critical parts of the keyword research for marketplaces is prioritization.

Keyword research enables sellers to understand not only which keywords and keyphrases are relevant to their listings, but also how the keywords perform in terms of traffic, conversion rates and competition levels. 

In order for keyword research to be effective, sellers need to figure out what the shoppers’ search intent is in using the keywords, and make sure their content matches that intent. For instance, when the search intent is informational, a product listing might not convert, but informational content on the subject that suggests links to product solutions may do the trick. 

Once your keyword list is complete, you will need to track and measure their performance over time, in order to see which ones are the most effective. Then it is time to begin optimizing your keywords.

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