Ecommerce SEO

Tired of seeing big brands like Amazon or eBay rank above your site in Google search?

Just because you don’t have billions to spend on marketing doesn’t mean that you can’t earn top search engine rankings.

I Moved a Site From Page 4 to Position 1 in 4 Months and You Can Too

When it comes to your products, competitors crowd the search engine results page. Theres you, Amazon and all their merchants, and a whole host of other companies that are selling similar products as you.

Even if you sell your product on Amazon, your better off selling on your site, where you make the rules.  The first step to getting more search traffic to your site is to outrank Amazon. Its is not impossible, but it takes patience and a lot of hard work for several months.

Moving Up To Position One
Passing big brands like Amazon and eBay on the way to position 1.

If you want to take your site from the depths of the search results page keep reading.

Why Outranking Amazon Is So Hard

To rank above your competition, you have to understand how they got there. Amazon constantly ranks at the top of Google for three reasons.

Reason #1: Amazon Spends $3B (three billion dollars) Marketing their Website

A lot of this money goes towards building their brand and establishing trust with consumers.  There is no question that Google rewards trusted brands in the SERP (search engine results page).

Reason #2: Amazon Has A Ton Of Links

Many people naturally link to Amazon because the product is usually in stock. Being a reliable source of information makes Amazon a linkable website. Amazon also gives thousands of websites a little extra incentive to link to them.

Part of Amazon’s $3B marketing plan is to market their “Associate” program. This is an affiliate program in which Amazon pays their affiliates for sales that result from links (a paid link). In a lot of cases, these links are “do follow” which helps Amazon rank highly in Google. Either way,  Google seems to be ignoring this paid link scheme.

Men’s Health Is An Affiliate Of Amazon. I use Moz’s browser extension to see if links are follow or nofollow.

I used to think that Amazon Affiliates were just small bloggers trying to make an extra buck.  It shocked to see big “authoritative” sites like Mens Health and Woman’s Health deal out links to Amazon for money.  Men’s Health alone sends 2,000+ links to Amazon. Are all non disclosed affiliate links? Probably not. Are there some that are? Probably.  Paid links without a “nofollow tag” are a violation of Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

This paid link is passing PageRank from Men's Health To Amazon.
This paid link is passing PageRank from Men’s Health To Amazon.

The links on this page are affiliate links. Please note the affiliate parameter, also note the markup is missing a “nofollow” tag.

Reason # 3: Superior Information Architecture: 

Amazon has a team of geniuses that are constantly working to improve information architecture. If you have poor information architecture it will be difficult for people and search engines to find your products. The result: no sales.

Side Note: If you want to learn a LOT about information architecture (IA)  and user experience (UX), I strongly recommend checking out the report from Nielsen Norman Group. It is pricy at $500, but it taught me a great deal about IA and UX.

Despite Those Common Challenges You Still Can Outrank Amazon in Google

Here is a secret; my client doesn’t have $3B dollars to spend on their marketing. They also had a slew of information architecture issues and problems with content.  It didn’t stop us from moving up in the search engine rankings, and it shouldn’t stop you either.

We moved up the search rankings by building a niche brand.

Outranking Amazon for your product will take an integrated effort and a significant amount of time. This is why it is critical to focus on your most profitable products. Look at your gross margin and top sellers. Once you have that information you can focus in on a handful of products.

11 Ecommerce SEO Tips To Help You Outrank Amazon:

Due to a customer confidentiality (Non Disclosure Agreement), I cannot show you the exact strategy that I used for my customer. The StatGear: T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool Knife is very similar in that the product is sold on Amazon, the manufacturer, and several distributor websites. I will use this product to illustrate the concepts.

1. Develop a Keyword Theme For Your High Margin Products

People do not search the same way. I might search for “StatGear Tactical Knife” when looking for that product. You might search for “Auto Tool From StatGear.” Both keyword phrases should be considered in your keyword theme.

So many times, people only optimize for a single keyword phrase. Your better off including all the related keywords on your product page. This will give you more ways of driving organic traffic.

Keyword research is ongoing. You should always be looking for keywords that convert and refining your content.When you research keywords, you also need to consider keyword difficulty.

2. Focus On Keywords That Convert

The sooner you find out which keywords bring in sales, the more lucrative your SEO efforts will be. I usually set up two test ad campaigns in Google to get this data quickly. A Google Shopping campaign and a regular text based ad. 

Once you start running the ad campaign (and have conversion tracking enabled), you will be able to see the exact search terms that resulted in a sale.  You might learn that “StatGear Tactical Knife” sent you the most traffic, but “StatGear T3 Auto Tool”  brought in the most sales. If that is the case, you’ll want to focus more on “StatGear T3 Auto Tool.” Why rank for a keyword that doesn’t result in a sale? Keywords matter.

Same product, different keyword focus.

3. Write Keyword Rich Product Descriptions Focused On Buyers

Your product description needs to be your best sales copy. It needs to include the words people use when shopping for your product. Product descriptions cannot be duplicate content. You can’t just copy content from the manufacturer or another website. Concise copy focused on shopper questions about your product will build trust. Be sure to emphasize your converting keywords with headings or by bolding search terms.

4. Create A Strong About Us

PR Pro’s call this “boilerplate” text.  You need a great about us page on your website, but you also need a really short version of it (140 characters) and a 150-ish word version of your about page. This should reflect your brand and your product offering. If StatGear is an important brand for your ecommerce site, you might want to include it in your boilerplate. This short version of your “about us” will end up on directories, forums, and niche sites.

5. Find Content Rich Websites In Your Niche That Link Out

Hand curated directories and blogger round ups can build traffic and links within your niche.  These sites are often looking for content that serves their niche. Before you can get your website in front of their audience, you have to find the site owner first. Here are some search queries that can help you find niche directories and round-up opportunities:

Use Google search to find niche opportunities.
Use Google search to find niche opportunities.
  • “Your Product/Category” + resources list (“Fire Rescue Tools” Resources List)
  • Your Product/Category + Directory (Rescue Tools Directory)
  • Your Product/Category + Websites (“Rescue Tools Websites”)
  • Your Product/Category + “suggest * URL” (Rescue Tools “suggest * URL”)
  • “Your Product/Category” + Round Up (“rescue tools” roundup)
  • Type those keywords into Google and look for quality sites that cover your products.
Niche directory for links.
A simple Google search resulted in an opportunity from a niche site. The domain authority (49) shows it is a trusted site.
I would reach research this site and see if they covered my rescue tool already. If not, I would ask them to.
I would research this site and see if they covered my product. If not, I would ask them to.

Get ready to send some personal emails and ask them to mention your website. Make sure your pitch is on point and not spammy.

6. Seek Product Reviews and Giveaways

This is one way Amazon is getting links. The article on Men’s Health was a product review round up. Find websites within your niche that have an audience (check comments, shares, etc) without a ton of ads. The presence of a lot of ads and pop-ups is usually a good indicator of a low quality site. You can also use MozBar or Ahrefs to check the sites domain authority or domain rank. You can find sites that allow product reviews by using the following search queries in Google:

  • Your Product/Category Review (Fire Rescue Tool Review)
  • Your Product/Category Giveaway (Fire Rescue Tool Giveaway)

These sites are already doing product reviews or giveaways, so they might be really happy to get your email. There are endless variations when searching for link opportunities. Hopefully, this will spark some more ideas for you.

7. Buy Ads On Sites With Converting Referral Traffic

Check your Google Analytics and see which sites are sending you traffic. Pay extra attention to referral traffic that results in sales. Contact the site owner and ask them about advertising options. If you pay for links, make sure you add a “nofollow” tag. We are after the traffic, not the “link juice.” When you buy ads on a website try to work directly with the website owner. Build a relationship with them.

8. Use Product Remarketing On Google AdWords

Create attractive banner ads and show them across the Google display network to people that have already visited your product page. No this wont help you with SEO, but it will help to build brand recognition and trust.  Not only will potential customers be reminded of your company, so will bloggers and site owners.

Remarketing ads is a relatively low cost way to build brand awareness and drive qualified traffic.

9. Find Forums within Your Niche

The StatGear: T3 Tactical Triage & Auto Rescue Tool Knife looks like it is for EMTs and Fire Rescue Folks. Use advanced search queries to find EMT and Fire Rescue Forums. Some of these forums might be members only – so please don’t try to join a Fire Rescue members only forum if you are not a Firefighter.

You can read the forum to see what they talk about and what they think of brands/products you carry. Some forums will allow resellers to join the forum with a small fee. This fee is worth it if you plan on interacting with the forum members. I am not saying to spray links all over the place. Use the opportunity to introduce yourself:

“I am from XYZ company and we sell rescue tools, I wanted to join the forum to understand what type of tools you like using for your job.”

Most forums have an “introductions area.” The worst thing you can do is pretend to be one of them. Anytime I do forum marketing for clients, I plainly say:

“My Name is Darren, I help company XYZ with marketing. We sell XYZ, Im here to do market research.”

You would be surprised how many people actually want to help when you ask.

A good way to engage a new audience in a forum is to ask a poll question. Keep the poll focused on products. Just make sure to search the forum to see what kind of questions get activity and don’t redo a poll question that someone else did.

After listening, you might notice a few questions or concerns about your product. Use your market research and create a buyers guide that addresses those questions.

10. Get Links From The Manufacturer

If you are reselling a product, check out the manufacturer’s website to see if they have a dealers page. If they do, give their sales rep a call and tell them to add your site. It is one of the easiest win-win situations for ecommerce sites. You want to sell more of their stuff, and they should have no problem linking to your site to help you do that.

11. Internal Link Building

This is probably one of the most under used SEO techniques I’ve seen. Anchor text are the words that are hyperlinked to a web page.  By using keyword rich anchor text internal links throughout your site, you can help users and Google find your top products and categories. I wouldn’t recommend using the same exact anchor text on every single internal link. You can overdo it.

In general, Google is far more forgiving about internal links than external ones.  Avoid penalties from Google, by keeping your internal links relevant. Mix up your anchor text to include phrases from your keyword themes. Good breadcrumbs can go a long way.


Are you optimizing your business for Google or your customers?

Of course, you can and should do both. But if you take a look at the sea of SPAM out there, it’s obvious that many are chasing Google’s complicated algorithm.

Don’t chase the wrong thing.

Google is paying more attention to your website’s user experience than you think. In fact, “landing page experience” has long been a key factor for ranking ads in AdWords.

Landing page experience refers to how good we think someone’s experience will be when they get to your landing page. – Google

If you think this is just for Ad Rank, you’re dead wrong.

Hardcore link builders will tell you that links are the magic bullet to all your search traffic problems, there is a lot more to search marketing than that.

Don’t get me wrong. You should always be looking for ways to get contextual links from authoritative sites. Just don’t sacrifice your user experience to please Google’s search algorithm.

While researching sites for my ecommerce user experience post,  I found an example that baffled the link builder inside me:

Target should be crushing Macy's
Target should be crushing Macy’s. They have a million more backlinks!

By looking at the link metrics alone, Target should clearly be outranking Macy’s.  This is not the case. Target probably realized that their poor landing page was having a negative impact on their SEO…and their business.  You can see their recently updated “swim suit” page below:


It’s improved, but you can still see the HiPPO (highest paid persons’s opinion) influence. There are sponsored links at the bottom that send traffic to their competitors. Decisions like this, are clearly made by a financial spread sheet. I have a gut feeling that these ads are hurting their search rankings.

Before you start redesigning all your pages, it is important to understand how UX could impact your SEO. To get to the bottom of this, I asked several experts the following question:

What is the single biggest way UX impacts SEO?

I am thankful (and pumped) to share insights from Eric Enge, Wil Reynolds, Tad Chef, Josh Patrice, and Rand Fishkin.

If there is a single takeaway for me, it’s this: understanding your customer is more important than understanding Google’s algorithm. 10,000 visits per month means nothing is it is not contributing to your bottom line.

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin
User experience’s greatest impact to SEO is through the increase it creates in organic sharing and distribution.

If, for example, website A receives 1 share (could be a tweet, an email to a friend, a link from a blogger, a pickup in the press, a “share” on Facebook, etc) for every 1,000 visits to the site, and a substantive UX improvement can help that move up to 1 share per 200 visits, sharing of the site will grow by 5X. Not everything that fits into the category of sharing has a direct impact on SEO, but most of them have, at least, an indirect and well-correlated positive effect.

All that said, great UX has benefits to every part of your site and its marketing, so SEO should only be one part of the equation.

Epic UX Resources From Moz

Rand Fishkin uses the ludicrous title, Wizard of Moz. He co-authored/co-founded the Art of SEO,, and Moz (he clearly likes doing stuff with other people). Rand’s an addict of all things content, search, & social on the web, from his multiple blogs to Twitter, Google+, Facebook,LinkedIn, and FourSquare.  
Photo Source

Eric Enge


This is a great question, and one that is not easy to answer. Google has not ever given any indication as to any UX related element that might use as a ranking factor. However, we know that the Panda algorithm does measure page/site quality.

Clearly, this is a UX related factor.

If there are enough of them, then Google may lower rankings for the entire site.

We also know that Google can understand page layout.  Recently, Google’s Pierre Far shared a post on Google+ telling publishers to make sure that they expose Javascript and CSS files to Google.

How might they use this?  Consider the Reasonable Surfer patent, which they can use to value links differently based on where they are placed on the page.

Beyond this type of measurement of content quality, little is known about the other types of things that Google might use as a ranking factor.  Here are a couple of possibilities:

1. They could look at user engagement data.

Many speculate that they use bounce rate as a ranking factor, but this is clearly too simplistic. They may look at something more specific.  For example, they can notice if they send someone to your site, the person stays there for a very short period of time (they have a short “dwell time”) they go back to the search results, and they then click on a different result in the SERPs. We know they measure dwell time already, so this is something they could do quite easily.

2 . They can do other types of on page content analyses.

For example, they can try to evaluate whether or not your page provides complete experiences.  I.e., if they send a 100 users to your page, what percentage of those will be satisfied? You can read more about this concept in the second half of this post.

What we clearly do know, is they care a lot about the overall user experience.

The tools they have to measure this on your site are limited, but they do have several approaches they can use. Which ones they do use is not entirely clear, but the need for you, as a publisher, to pay a lot of attention to UX on your site is crystal clear.  Ignore it as your (SEO) peril.

Can’t Miss User Experience Articles From Eric Enge

Eric Enge is the CEO of Stone Temple Consulting, a 35+ person digital marketing firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. Eric publishes regular columns on Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch and Forbes.

Wil Reynolds

UX and SEO Wil1

The biggest way UX impacts SEO is simple.  I think most of us can agree that Google is trying to understand user behavior / interaction with content.  They might not have that completely figured out TODAY, but we know where that puck is going.

I would bet that long term, if you rank well for something, and Google can algorithmically figure out that your answer was not ideal, I could see the typical way of making things rank taking a hit.

Getting a user to a website with a high ranking is only 1 part in the success equation, we must be equally as interested in making sure that the assets, content, and sites we rank truly solve problems for the searcher.

Must Read UX Posts From SEER Interactive:

Wil Reynolds has dedicated his career to driving traffic to websites and analyzing the impact that traffic has on the bottom line. He founded SEER Interactive, an online marketing agency, in 2002. Wil currently sits on the advisory board of Convenant House, an organization that works with runaway youth in the Philadelphia area.


Tad Chef


That’s a difficult question as both user experience and search engine optimization are closely related by now. My personal definition of SEO for example encloses large parts of what others consider UX as a separate discipline. Long story short when you go to extremes and try to view both UX and SEO as two different things then you will be facing a very obvious conflict of both.

For example, the role of content is completely opposing in UX and SEO.

For a better user experience, you ideally have a few short chunks of text in large readable type or some very appealing images. For SEO many people will advise you to get “long form content”. Some will even go so far as to repeat after Google to “just create great content.”

When we build sites merely for people who are already there, who somehow miraculously reached our site and are taken for granted we build a different site than when we care for actual user acquisition by way of search. Then we have to follow Google’s rules and by now

Google mostly wants your content, the more the better. They monetize third party content so that’s why they need it. Users only in some cases need that content, in others they don’t.

So at the end of the day it’s very difficult to reconcile the view of content from the UX perspective and the one from the SEO perspective.

They often start with designers creating a new site without looking at the actual content or taking it into consideration. They often use lorem ipsum dummy text instead of real life content that actually ends up displayed on the site. Thus the content basically gets taken out of the user experience design.

In reality, we need to build sites from the ground up around the content. Also that content needs to be useful for users onsite but also be able to attract users to the site in the first place.

That’s always a difficult compromise. That’s also why I work holistically by now and don’t differentiate between UX and SEO too much. For example I don’t offer SEO audits anymore, I offer website audits. In those website audits I get rid of all the redundant marketese and forget about the industry identity crisis. I will advise people on everything they need to improve their website no matter what cryptic acronym insiders use for it.

In 2015 I will most probably “rebrand” to set myself free from all those petty differentiations. We need to focus on the bigger picture by now not to come up with even more disciplines clients have to invest in separately.

Excellent UX Resources From Tad

Tad Chef writes for SEO blogs from all over the world including his own one called SEO 2.0. He helps people with blogs, social media and search, both in German and English. You can follow Tad on Twitter @onreact_com to get his latest insights daily.

Josh Patrice


The way I see UX impacting SEO is further away from the influence of rankings. Sure, Google is using UX as a ranking factor, and it’s always been true that sites with relevant content are favored over sites with less, but what really impacts SEO to me, is that the importance of UX makes SEO better.

SEO can’t just be making a term rank, or getting a bunch of additional traffic in a vacuum because nothing will happen if the UX is bad. No one will engage. No one will convert. No one will link.

Now it’s more important for us as SEOs to refine and target websites’ traffic for better engagement and conversions.

Additional UX Resources From Portent:

With his background in UX design, PPC and SEO, Josh is king of the search-nerds. He educates both Portent’s clients and SEO experts how to optimize websites so that search engines want to shout their urls from a mountaintop.

The One UX Mistake You Can’t Afford To Make

Don’t be a disappointment.

You”ll squander traffic if you don’t line up company goals with user objectives. Don’t take the “easy” way out by trying to please Google and pile up traffic.  You’ll end up with a bunch of disappointed users and no sales.

Don’t make that mistake.

People have short attention spans. If you can’t solve their problems quickly, they will leave.

Address your audience’s needs and questions better than your competition and good things will happen. Start here for ecommerce marketing advice.

Additional UX Resources:


Got a ton of product pages and category pages? Trying to figure out which pages to optimize for what keywords?

If you are looking for an ecommerce keyword research post that goes beyond the basics of search volume, CPC and competition you are in the right place.

What are the best keywords for product pages? category pages? What keywords are sending my competitor traffic. These are all important considerations when conducting keyword research. Before we dive into more advanced topics, we have to start at the ground level.

Building Your Information Architecture Around A Semantic Core

At the most basic level, does Google understand what your site is about? If not, you might have to shift the semantic core of your website; otherwise you’ll be jamming in keywords where they don’t belong.

Search engines are trying to anticipate searcher intent. To get Google, Bing and Yahoo! to find your products, they need to understand underlying foundation of your site. You can’t just jam a keyword onto a page unless it jives with your overall site concept. If the search engines understand your information architecture and topics, you will have a better chance getting your site to rank.

Less keyword matching, more topic modeling. – SEMrush

With that thought in mind, I still think keywords are important. A single topic, can have a better keyword to target. You just have to know that entirely different terms can get grouped together by Google.

Ignoring Synonyms In Keyword Research Can Cost You

Understanding if Google uses synonyms for your products can mean the difference between thousands of visits.

Take a look at an example from cognitive SEO on  “remote control airplanes” and “radio control airplanes.” You will see that Google does not treat these as direct synonyms, and there is 10X the search volume for “remote control airplanes.” Google does treat “RC” to mean both remote control and radio control. As Razvan points out, changing out just the title and heading tag for the keyword with more search volume could result in more traffic.

To understand topic modeling and synonyms a little more, let’s take a look at another product example, “baby monitor” and “baby camera.” It seems like they would be the same thing, but the search volume is substantially different. Baby-Monitor-Baby-Camera-Search-Volume If you were selling these on your ecommerce site,  you would be better off trying to reverse engineer the SEO strategy (semantic core, keywords, backlinks) of Toys “R” Us.  Google is assuming that if you search for “baby camera” that your intent is to buy a baby monitor. Check out the SERP.


There is a lot going on with this SERP, so lets break it down one by one:

  1. Although not bolded in both SERPS, it seems like Google treats “Baby Monitor” and “Baby Camera” as synonyms. Notice the top results for “baby camera” does not include the phrase “baby camera.” Based on Google’s patent, it seems like anchor text plays a large role in connecting synonyms with entities.
  2. Although the search terms are near synonyms, the semantic core is  slightly different. The semantic core for “baby monitor” is tied more closely to the act of watching a baby. The semantic core for “baby camera” is tied more to electronics. This is confirmed by a backlink analysis.
  3. Only three URLs listed in both SERPs.
  4. Almost no ads on the “baby camera” SERP.

Use SEMRush To Identify Semantically Related Keywords

If you are serious about keyword research you can’t bank on Google’s free keyword planner tool. With SEMRush, you can reverse engineer top listings to find the 2-3 word phrases that you should target. Targeting long tail keywords (5+ terms) is great, but you can’t be scared to go after 2-3 word phrases.

If you have done SEO for a number of years, you know that it is not uncommon to rank for keywords that you didn’t target. You also know that sometimes the wrong page will rank for your target phrase. That’s the thing about Google. It doesn’t act quite like you would expect. The good news is, you can use SEMRush to better understand how Google groups keywords.

Based on the baby monitor SERPs we just looked at, its clear that Toys “R” Us’s  semantic core is more tied closely to both electronics and baby. This is why they are able to get top search results for both terms.

This page ranks in the top 3 for over 100 keywords. Only two of those top 100 keywords actually appear on the page.
This page ranks in the top 3 for over 100 keywords. Only two of those top 100 keywords actually appear on the page.

Digging a little deeper with SEMRush, you will see that the Toys “R” Us URL is ranking for a ton of keywords.

Highlighted keywords are the ones that actually appear on the ToysRus page.
Highlighted keywords are the ones that actually appear on the ToysRus page.

Although  Toys “R” Us does not have all those words on that page, the entire site itself if full of content and information about electronics, baby cameras, baby devices, etc. The semantic core is built around those concepts.

The lesson here is don’t get too caught up on a single “big head” keyword. Think in terms of keyword concepts. If you were a start up selling baby monitors, you would examine the list above to find a low difficulty keyword, and then build thematic content on your site around that.

You’re probably wondering how  Toys “R” Us can rank for all those keywords despite not even having them on the page. Your backlink profile has alot to do with that. If you get links from sites with a similar semantic core, you can get traffic for related keywords that tie into the concept.

Keyword Research is Market Research

No doubt, it is important to know what the keywords that Google groups together. Google thinks related keywords are.  That is just one piece of the puzzle. Online conversations are happening everyday.  15% of queries that are new. Google has to figure out what they mean and how they connect to existing content/semantics.

Current and historical data is important, but you need to understand the language of the customer and build that into your product pages.

Take a look at the backlink profile of a URL that links to our Toys “R” Us example. None of these sites actually link to the  Toys “R” Us  site, they link to the Babies Rs Us site, which is heavily linked to  Toys “R” Us. A backlink analysis is a great starting place to find topical user generated content.

Ecommerce Keyword Research Backlinks1

To get to the top of the search engine results page, you have to understand all the questions people have about your product and give them answers right on your website. I might not get any links from the site above, but I will get to understand the buyers language better.

Keyword Research For Your High Margin Product Pages

Product pages are the most important. They are the conversion page. For keywords on your product pages, be sure to include every last product detail. Be specific about brand name, model numbers, colors and other details. You never know which detail someone might search for. And if they are looking for details – they are ready to buy.  By adding in these details, you should be able to rank for those longer tail keywords pretty easy.

In some cases, Google will tie other keywords to a product. Let’s use Stat Gear T3 as an example.

Step 1: Find the Product Page Equivalent On Amazon (Or Top Ranking Site)

Amazon ranks high for this product due to all the paid links.
Amazon ranks high for this product due to all the paid links.

Amazon ranks high for this product due to all the paid links.

Step 2: Plug The URL Of The Ranking Product Page Into CanIRank and Find Possible Keywords

Check Your Ranking Probability1

Since Google already connects this product to “Auto Rescue” it might be a slam dunk to optimize our product page for it.

Step 3: Plug Your Product Page URL Into SEMRush To See if You Rank For Any Of those Terms

I would pursue this keyword, given the ranking probability and potential traffic.
I would pursue this keyword, given the ranking probability and potential traffic.

Our website only ranks for the branded keyword. We could be missing valuable traffic.

Step 4: Determine Your Ranking Probability

Amazon ranks high for this product due to all the paid links.
Amazon ranks high for this product due to all the paid links.

You can analyze  the page authority, domain authority and backlink profile on the pages listed in the SERP.  That can give you a “ballpark” on if you should chase that keyword. I prefer to use a  use a tool like, CanIRank to check ranking probability.

 It’s obviously a lot easier to rank for a term that is closely related to areas where Google already considers your site an authority. Here’s an image that captures that advantage:
Keyword Difficulty vs Ranking Probability

For more information on keyword difficulty, check out this post.

Step 5: Update Your Page’s Content With The Target Phrase

Worth around $20K/year, “Auto Rescue” we should consider targeting this keyword. Go back to the product page and update the SEO titles and content.

Check Your Ranking Probability

Step 6: Create a Small Ad Group In AdWords

The goal is to get as much relevant organic traffic as possible. We’ve read what people are saying online about the product, added in product details, and done competitive research. Setting up an AdWords campaign can get you real time search data.

In your Ad Group use broad modified match of various keyword combinations that incorporate the brand, category and product name:

  • +StatGear +Knife
  • +StatGear +Tool

To trigger your ads, someone has to type in all of the keywords you are bidding on. Your ad will not show for someone searching for “StatGear Tactical”  because their search did not include a required word, “knife” or “tool.”

I like broad modified match, because you can see more search terms vs phrase match or exact match. You also have more control over when your ad shows that regular broad match. This can help keep costs down.

Keyword Research For Category Pages

Finding the right way to slice and dice your inventory can make a big difference in your website traffic. Setting up multiple category pages with products that are listed under another category is spammy right? No!  Google tends to be a little more forgiving on ecommerce sites, largely because the this helps with web usability.

I might look under  the “Tools” category to find that T3. You might look under “Shop By Category > EMS.” The trick with these pages is to not compete with each other or your product pages. A simple way to check is to do a site search on Google.

“auto rescue”


Our Product Page Does Not Compete With A Category Page And IT Is already the most relevant RESULT FOR OUR TARGET KEYWORD


We don’t need to optimize a category for “Auto Rescue.” What terms should we consider for our category pages? 

This is where a gap analysis is key. A gap analysis will tell you the keywords that a similar site is ranking for that you are not. In our case, we want to do a gap analysis between our site and the manufacturer of the rescue tool. We do this because our site sells many of their products.

Gap Analysis Potential Keywords


Something else to pay attention to is plural vs singular. Google is about intent, so if I search for “tactical backpack” Google will show me more product page results. It is assuming I want a result of a single product page. If i do a search for “tactical backpacks” Google will show more category page results.

Must Read for Niche Selection:

Your Turn

To gain some serious ground with your keyword research, you need to understand the concepts related to your products. Related keywords can sometimes surprise you. Are you seeing your competitor rank for keywords that are not even on the page? I know I am.



You Can Do It!

If you want to get to the top of the search engine results page, you have got to build a brand. You may not turn your site into a household name, but you can become a strong brand within your niche. That should be your goal.  That is how you can beat Amazon. You can be the go to site for your audience. Building a niche brand for your ecommerce site takes time.

Build a niche brand and and the rankings will come.

TAKEAWAY: Start now by looking over your profit margins on a product or category basis. If you build a niche around your most profitable products you will succeed!

Outranking Amazon is much easier if you focus on a handful of products.

Let me know how these tips worked for you? Comment below.

About the author

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Darren DeMatas
Darren has an MBA in Internet Marketing and 10+ years of experience marketing retail, manufacturing and Internet marketing corporations, 7-figure brands and startups online. Follow him on TwitterLinkedIn. Or take his course to learn ecommerce.

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