Keyword Research for Business Decisions (and SEO)

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “Using Keyword Research beyond SEO.”

Keyword research is one of the foundational pieces of search engine optimization because it illuminates the exact words real-life customers use to search for the products we sell. But why stop there? The insights that keyword research provides can inform other many other areas of the business as well.

Keyword data is free and readily available via Google’s keyword research tool. This article is less about how to collect and analyze keyword data, however, and more about the various uses of that data. For a detailed account of how to conduct keyword research, see “Optimizing a Page for Search Engines, Part 1: Keyword Research,” my previous article on that topic. Once you have the data, it can be leveraged in all kinds of ways to improve your ecommerce site, your understanding of the customers, and inform business decisions. All it takes is an open mind and a little determination to make sense of the data.

  • Content Planning
  • Information Architecture
  • Market Research
  • Product Development

Read the article in full for more information on these other uses of keyword research at Practical eCommerce »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

SEO and Microsites: A Hard Row to Hoe

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “Why Microsites Make SEO Harder.”

butting headsMarketers love to spin off microsites for campaigns, e-commerce capabilities, mobile sites and more. It can be easier to create a microsite from scratch than just integrate a new feature or campaign into your existing website. But unless you’re working on a project that you don’t want associated with your brand, reconsider hosting it as a microsite on a new domain.

For SEO, it all boils down to authority. A new microsite on a new domain will have zero domain authority when it launches. It has no links, no shares, no domain history, nothing to tell search engines that it’s the new hotness. And while you’re certain that the content on this sparkling new microsite is amazing, the search engines will turn a blind eye until other sites link to it to confirm its worth and relevance to the wider world.

In addition, the new microsite essentially competes for the same organic search rankings and traffic that your primary site needs to win in order to drive leads or sales. In the beginning at least, the microsite will be very weak in terms of the domain and link authority required to win those organic search rankings. It will require a large amount of content marketing and link building work to strengthen the microsite’s authority to the point where it can rank. And those resources will have been used to essentially build a competing site that, if successful, will cannibalize traffic and conversions from your primary site.

Instead, the same content and resources spent on the microsite can be used instead to strengthen the SEO performance of your primary site rather than competing with it….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

Panguin Spies Your Panda and Penguin SEO Trouble Spots

Excerpts from my latest article at NBC 5 Chicago’s Inc. Well blog: “How to Use Panguin to Find SEO Issues.”

panguinGoogle’s algorithm updates can have a big impact on organic search traffic and sales. Now that the search giant has ramped up its algorithm tweaks to occurring an average of one to two per day, it can be difficult keeping track of them all. The recently introduced Panguin Tool simplifies this process.

Named for this year’s largest Google algorithm updates, Panda and Penguin, the Panguin Tool overlays a timeline of Google’s algorithm updates on your Google Analytics data. Panguin requires integration with your Google Analytics account to run, and unfortunately doesn’t yet work with other analytics programs….

Read the article in full at Inc. Well »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

KPIs for SEO: Measure What Matters

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “How to Measure SEO Performance.”

Search engine optimization may be a mix of art and science, but it’s as measurable and accountable as other online marketing channels. Knowing what key performance indicators to measure for SEO is the first step. Establishing a regular routine for monitoring and measuring performance will give you the ability to effectively manage your SEO program.

Most ecommerce sites will want to measure organic search referred revenue. Selling products keeps us fed and clothed. It’s what matters most at the end of the day — not rankings or visits or indexation or number of backlinks or anything else. Therefore, revenue should be the focus of your SEO performance. All the other metrics factor into the amount of revenue driven, but…

Read the article in full at Practical eCommerce »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.

4 Ways to Kill Your SEO Dead

Excerpts from my latest article at Practical eCommerce: “4 Fast Ways to Kill Your SEO.”

Search engine optimization experts usually focus on what you should do to improve your site’s organic search rankings. In this post, I’m asking the opposite question: What are the fastest ways to destroy your site’s SEO performance? Here’s a list of my top four mistakes:

  • Launch the New, Ignore the Old
  • Follow Your Gut
  • Buy Links
  • Seek Shortcuts

Read the article in full for descriptions of each of these SEO killers at Practical Ecommerce/a> »


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Originally posted on Web PieRat.