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BrightonSEO - How to do ecommerce keyword research at huge scale

Patrick Reinhart
Patrick Reinhart
Patrick ReinhartVP, Digital Strategy

A walkthrough by Patrick Reinhart of Conductor and Tom Smits of bol.com of how to do ecommerce keyword research at huge scale.

BrightonSEO - How to do ecommerce keyword research at huge scale

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Tom Smits & Patrick
Reinhart
Bol.com & Conductor
How To Do eCommerce Keyword
Research At Huge Scale
@stimsmot | @askreinhart
BrightonSEO - How to do ecommerce keyword research at huge scale
Let’s Talk About What We’ll Be Covering Today
• The Challenges Of Large Scale Keyword
Research
• Building A Keyword Calculator
• How To Cut Through The Noise & Determine
Where To Focus
• The PIE Methodology – What It Is & How To
Apply It To Your Research
• How to this in real life at a large e-commerce
retailer bol.com from the Netherlands
• Showing Results
For Large eCommerce Sites, The
Keyword Universe Is A Little Different
The Sheer Amount Of Combinations That Exist
Categories
Sub-Categories
Modifiers
- Colors
- Styles
- Sizes
- Prices
Potentially Millions
Of Combinations!!
Let’s Say You Sell Jeans
For SKU’s That Are Just Jeans You Have:
Gender Color Style Size Price
Men’s Denim Skinny 30 $25
Women’s Black Boot 31 $50
Girls White Distressed 32 $75
Boys Green Relaxed 2T $100
Toddler Red Low Hip 12 Months $125
933,120
Possible Combinations!!
(for just 1 category)
Ad

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BrightonSEO - How to do ecommerce keyword research at huge scale

  • 1. Tom Smits & Patrick Reinhart Bol.com & Conductor How To Do eCommerce Keyword Research At Huge Scale @stimsmot | @askreinhart
  • 3. Let’s Talk About What We’ll Be Covering Today • The Challenges Of Large Scale Keyword Research • Building A Keyword Calculator • How To Cut Through The Noise & Determine Where To Focus • The PIE Methodology – What It Is & How To Apply It To Your Research • How to this in real life at a large e-commerce retailer bol.com from the Netherlands • Showing Results
  • 4. For Large eCommerce Sites, The Keyword Universe Is A Little Different
  • 5. The Sheer Amount Of Combinations That Exist Categories Sub-Categories Modifiers - Colors - Styles - Sizes - Prices Potentially Millions Of Combinations!!
  • 6. Let’s Say You Sell Jeans For SKU’s That Are Just Jeans You Have: Gender Color Style Size Price Men’s Denim Skinny 30 $25 Women’s Black Boot 31 $50 Girls White Distressed 32 $75 Boys Green Relaxed 2T $100 Toddler Red Low Hip 12 Months $125 933,120 Possible Combinations!! (for just 1 category)
  • 8. Check For Product Modifiers Break Out Specific Product Lines & Their Modifiers Apply The # of Modifiers For Each Product Line Only Use Modifier Combos That Make Sense Determine how many ways you can modify a product . i.e. Color, Size, Style, Etc. Add Up # Of Multiplier Expressions To Determine Total Universe Keep it clear and organized by taking the modifiers discovered in the previous step and placing them into individual rows within their respective categories. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and go through each category to determine the amount of modifiers each has and enter it into the calculator. When you are doing your math, you want to make sure that the combinations you put together make sense. This is the first step in focusing your universe. Add up the totals and create a dashboard so that you can see what your total universe looks like. Let’s Build A Calculator
  • 9. Here’s How It Can (should) Look Main Category Sub-Category Modifiers Total # Of Permutations
  • 10. Applying Rules To Your Set Make sure your combinations make sense! All of these combinations map back to a users intent.
  • 12. Combine The Totals To Get Your Sites Universe Pro Tip: Share this information with others to show opportunity & inform using search data!
  • 14. What Does The Salty Octopus Do? The salty is a cross-reference report that: • Validates the # of keywords to focus on within your keyword universe. • Cross-references current performance with your top organic competitors for each line of retail. • It sorts the keywords by # of occurrences to show highest relevance to help us internally prioritize current sets and then search volume. • We omit certain keywords in this set including: • brands • .com’s • careers • etc, you get it.
  • 15. How Does That Cut Down On The Noise? xxxx Pro Tip: You can also use this report to identify content gaps!
  • 16. This sounds like a lot of work! Why are we doing all of this? Which way do we go? First star on the left. Thanks! Wait..wha? Gotta go!
  • 18. What Is PIE? PIE is a methodology that aids in the prioritization of your keyword set. Protect Expan d Page 1 Keywords Assess the current state of Organic Performance and develop a plan to protect it. Improve Page 2 Keywords Identify low hanging fruit and quick wins for incremental increases in traffic and revenue. Page 3 and Beyond Explore the untapped market potential and establish a plan to capture it.
  • 19. 19 • Webshop only retailer • Strongest retail brand of the Netherlands. • Most loved brand of the Netherlands • >8 million active customers • >16 million products; non food • > 4.000 pick up points • >19.000 sellers • > 65 million visits per month • >1300 colleagues Use of keywords at large scale
  • 20. Managing Landing pages for Keywords at Large Scale 1 Crawling and Indexing 2 Optimizing titles
  • 21. A lot of combi natio ns Facet 1 Facet 2 Facet 3 Facet 4 Facet 5 Facet 6 Facet 7 Facet 8 Facet 9 Facet 10 Facet 11 Facet 12 Facet 13 Facet 14 Facet 15 Facet 16 Facet 17
  • 22. Almost any keyword has it’s own page Facet 1 Facet 2 Facet 3 Facet 4 Facet 5 Facet 6 Facet 7 Facet 8 Facet 9 Facet 10 Facet 11 Facet 12 Facet 13 Facet 14 Facet 15 Facet 16 Facet 17 4 values 15 values 7 values ‘Unlimited values’ 26 values 29 values 5 values 4 values 6 values 12 values 2 values 12 values 4 values 5 values 1 values 6 values 3 values 4x15x7x26x29x5x4x6x12x4x5x1x6x3 values = ????
  • 24. General rules to lower combinations: 1. Max 4 levels (4 clicks) deep via robots.txt ‘Black Giant Mountainbikes for Men’ ’26 inch ladies mountainbikes with carbon frame 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 2. Never index certain facets like: Delivery options i.e. ‘Tomorrow at home’ Price ranges i.e. ’10 to 100 euro’, ’11 to 100 euro’ 3. Never index combinations of the same facet: i.e. ‘black and red mountainbikes’ i.e. ‘JBL and Sony speakers’ i.e. ‘apple and samsung smartphones’ 6000 categories 2.500 facets 100.000s of facet values How to lower the combinations?
  • 25. How to lower the combinations? Facet 1 Facet 2 Facet 3 Facet 4 Facet 5 Facet 6 Facet 7 Facet 8 Facet 9 Facet 10 Facet 11 Facet 12 Facet 13 Facet 14 Facet 15 Facet 16 Facet 17 4. Only index the values for the most popular facets.’ Facets Automatically Ordered by popularity
  • 26. 26 2500 facets – 100.000s of facet values Facet 1 Facet value Facet value Facet value Facet 2 Facet value Facet value Facet value Facet 3 Facet value Facet value Facet value Facet 4 Facet value Facet value Facet value With Search Volume Without Search Volume Length Wheel size Target audience 2500 facets – 100.000s of facet values
  • 27. 27 5. Only Index facets with search volume Facet 1 Facet value Facet value Facet value Facet 2 Facet value Facet value Facet value Facet 3 Facet value Facet value Facet value Facet 4 Facet value Facet value Facet value With Search Volume Without Search Volume Length Wheel size Target audience
  • 28. Managing Keyword Landing pages at Large Scale 1 Crawling and Indexing 2 Optimizing titles
  • 29. 29 The ‘machine’ doesn’t know what it is and how to use it Create the best keywords for each landing page
  • 30. 30 Because of this… ugly Google results
  • 31. Prefix Suffix Position with gears After the category Give meaning to the facet “Nr of gears” Mountainbikes - 21 Mountainbikes 21 Mountainbikes with 21 Mountainbikes with 21 gears
  • 32. 32 Mountainbikes with 21 gears Result
  • 33. 33 208 working days In the old situation = 10.000s of keywords 3 clicks for 1 rule which optimizes 10.000s of URLs
  • 34. 34 All of this Sounds Easy?It isn’t Logic for H1 and Title-tag now consists of 71 variable fields: bol.com | <best rated: De/Het beste> <2nd hand> <all other refinements> [category/combination name/plural tantum/singular tantum/type of: <adjective 1>] [category/combination name/plural tantum/singular tantum/type of: <adjective color>] [category/combination name/plural tantum/singular tantum//type of: <adjective 2>] <brand> [category/combination name/plural tantum/singular tantum/type of: <adjective 3>] <suitable for> <fancy costume theme> <fancy costume dress_as> <*> [<SEO prefix> refinement <SEO suffix>] [<type of singular> OR <category singular> OR <Combination Name singular> OR <plural tantum> OR <singular tantum>] <(abbrev)> [<SEO prefix> refinement <SEO suffix>] [van <material>] [voor <gender>] <best rated: volgens onze klanten> kopen? Alle [type_of/category/combination name/plural tantum/singular tantum/Synonym: <adjective color>] [type_of/category/combination name/plural tantum/singular tantum/Synonym: <adjective material: plural>] type_of/ OR <category plural> OR <Combination Name plural> OR <plural tantum> OR <singular tantum> OR <Synonym> online - <gender> Kijk snel! But it works like a charm!
  • 35. 63% 37% 98% 2% December Januari example example 98% of the titles now is ‘natural’
  • 36. Entries from Google improved with 25% in 1 month 36 •Results 63% 79% 19-dec 22-jan +25%
  • 37. Top 3 positions improved with 13% in 1 month 37 •Results 54% 61% 19-dec 22-jan +13%
  • 38. Thanks! Questions? Tom Smits, Patrick Reinhart @stimsmot, @askreinhart

Editor's Notes

  1. Read the slide.
  2. The largest challenge with keyword research at scale is the sheer size of the universe and the number of combinations that exist for your product set based on the # of Categories, Sub-categories, and the modifiers that exist within the products set such as colors, styles, sizes, price, etc. The list swells or contracts depending on your product set, but either way you are looking at potentially millions of different combinations and permutations.
  3. For example, lets say you sell jeans. You have gender, color, style, size, price and then let’s say you have 5 different modifiers within each. If you look at the math, this can equate to over 933,120 combinations, and this is a relatively small set of modifiers! Note: 933,120 possible combinations when we decide the same selections in different orders each count as different permutations.
  4. Once you figure out what your universe looks like, you have to ensure you have the ability to cut through the garbage within the universe you discover and focus on what’s important and not try to boil the ocean. Your entire campaign and strategy is based on the research you conduct, so not doing it properly can result in serious repercussions and lost time down the line. Remember, trash in, trash out. Don’t be this guy.
  5. We build a keyword calculator that helps us map your SKU's to the different ways we know people search. Some of you may say that step 3 is extremely manual, well, that’s because it is. That’s not to say there isn’t a way to do it, I am sure there is, but my team and I are working on behalf of our clients and typically don’t have access to their databases. We have tried to do it with different on page elements, i.e. faceted search filters, running crawlers through and trying to tie back different combinations, but at the end of the day the name of the game is accuracy and none of those exercises made us less than confident that we were covering the totality of the site.
  6. As you can see, we are able to clearly see the total # of permutations for any given category and sub-category based on the amount of modifiers that exist for each. A site of this size is going to return millions of possible combinations back, so how can we start to focus those permutations?
  7. To cut through a lot of the noise make sure your permutations make sense! I see a lot of bloat in large-scale projects based on multiplier combinations not being controlled, which is a very simple task and helps your math sound human. Take a look at the different combinations that could exist and create rules that will return keyword combinations that map back to the users intent. There is no need to create / research broken combinations, the closer we can get them to the searchers intent, the better.
  8. Something that a lot of folks forget when they are doing research at this scale is user intent. Just because your site is huge, doesn’t mean you HAVE to track millions and millions of keywords in every combination possible. We do this research because it helps us figure out what our customers are thinking when they are going through their buying process. If we map keywords back to their intent, we can then use Google as a vessel to give them what they care about, be that a product, a piece of content, an answer to their question, or a solution to their problem. We’re not trying to create the biggest list, we’re trying to sort through that list to find out what our customers care about. That’s the point of these exercises. Ok back to the calculator!
  9. We run what we call a salty octopus – everyone laughs or looks at me weird, either way, win.
  10. Besides being an irritable aquatic creature, the salty is a cross reference report that (read off slide) The thinking here is if everyone is ranking highly, they are probably important to your business. This is also the part of the process where we omit a lot of keywords that we know we don’t want to target such as (read from slide)
  11. As you can see, the report cross-references your site along with your competitors (don’t use too many, 5 max so you don’t get lost in the data) so you can see where there are commonalities. As was previously stated, the thinking here is if everyone is ranking highly, those terms are probably important to your business. This helps cut down on the noise. As a bonus, you can also use this report to look for content gaps as well by looking for keywords they rank for and you don’t.
  12. Why go through all of this? The goal of these exercises is to differentiate between what we can do vs. what we should do. The calculator tells us what the universe is and what all of the possibilities are, While the salty tells us where we should focus so we actually get somewhere.
  13. For the keyword set specifically, we apply what we call PIE Methodology.
  14. PIE is a methodology that aids in the prioritization of your focus keyword set. Protect - keywords ranking on page 1 of Google aka brand has visibility already so we don't want to lose that. these are typically the traffic driving keywords. Improve - your opportunistic keywords, these are on page 2 of Google and with attention and strategy can move up to protect. Expand - these keywords are beyond page 2 and in more of a developmental state, and require more effort / time and content creation. this is where the long-term opportunities exist. Use Stephan’s sand castle analogy. Depending on what your strategy, we can apply this to the entirety of the site, or just one line of retail, it allows for flexibility. That helps us categorize those keywords, then allows you to provide valuable and actionable recommendations that can lead to realistic, obtainable results. Protect – Improve – Expand. PIE.
  15. Approximately 300.000
  16. We managed to increase inversion and CTR which for us shows this is an effective strategy and the concept works.
  17. We managed to increase inversion and CTR which for us shows this is an effective strategy and the concept works.