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SEO Keyword Hierarchy: Structuring Your Site from Top to Bottom


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Search engine optimization is crucial in this digital age. Having an SEO-friendly website will ensure better visibility in search results. But how do you decide which keywords go where on your website? How do you even decide on keywords in the first place? In these slides, two of our SEO experts discuss how you can organize your site's keyword targeting to make shopping easier for customers and indexing easier for search engines.

Topics will include:

- How to conduct keyword research
- Keyword organization on the category and product level
- Structuring your categories to match keywords
- Examples of great keyword structure
- And more!

Published in: Marketing
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SEO Keyword Hierarchy: Structuring Your Site from Top to Bottom

  1. 1. Structuring Your Site from Top to Bottom Keyword Hierarchy
  2. 2. Agenda ➔ Hello! ➔ The theory ➔ Back to basics ➔ Put it into practice ➔ There’s always a “but” ➔ Questions
  3. 3. We’re your hosts Jacob King SEO Team Lead. Loves sites that are organized. Has a beard. Katie Syk SEO Team Lead. Content aficionado. Loves all things sweet.
  4. 4. What is it? Keyword hierarchy focuses on structuring your keyword targeting to funnel from the broadest terms to the most specific. Think of it like a pyramid, with most keyword phrases at the bottom Align your keyword phrases with the natural shopping process Search engines love organized keyword targeting
  5. 5. The Theory The “why” behind structured targeting
  6. 6. Here’s the idea Use keyword phrases to describe what each page is about Organize those keyword phrases logically throughout the site to guide search engines and customers from page to page Make everyone happy
  7. 7. Why it’s important for customers Customers don’t want to have to guess to find what they need. The clearer the path, the happier they are with their shopping experience. Convoluted targeting/structure ○ Shoppers can’t find what they need ■ Conversions drop Clear targeting/structure ○ Fluid shopping experience ■ Repeat customers
  8. 8. Why it’s important for search engines Search engines (SEs) can’t “see” your site, so they rely on text to find their way. The clearer the path, the easier their job. Convoluted targeting/structure ○ SEs give site lower priority ○ Site could show up in fewer searches ■ Conversions drop Clear targeting/structure ○ Accurate signals to SEs ○ Better chance to rank for important terms
  9. 9. Keyword hierarchy in practice Formal shoes for women, women’s casual shoes Women’s designer shoes Red 3” pumps, black leather wedge sandals, striped pink bow ballet flats Women’s pump heels, wedge heel sandals, women’s designer flats
  10. 10. Back to Basics How to conduct keyword research
  11. 11. The keyword trinity Volume How frequently is it searched? Competitiveness Are competitors optimizing? Relevancy Does it make sense for the page?
  12. 12. Are potential customers even searching for the phrase? Keyword phrases should be selected based on what users are already searching. ● Doesn’t need to be really popular Super popular = hard to optimize for on-site ● But shouldn’t be obscure, either Super rare = no one is searching for it right now Search Volume
  13. 13. How many competing sites are optimizing for this keyword phrase? We want a healthy dose of competition to know we’re on the right track. Keyword competitiveness ● Competitors reveal important industry phrases ● They may segment keyword phrases in a way you hadn’t considered
  14. 14. Keyword relevancy In the end, no amount of data matters if your keyword phrase isn’t relevant to the page or doesn’t match the searcher’s intent. ● Be specific Is the shirt gray or blue? ● Avoid deception Don’t use vague, easily confused wording Don’t target a phrase unrelated to the page
  15. 15. Things to keep in mind ● Target longer (long tail) phrases Anything under three words is likely too short ● Don’t fixate on search volume Really popular doesn’t always mean the keyword phrase is what you need ● Target 3-5 keyword phrases per page
  16. 16. Start your list with a Google search
  17. 17. No tool is perfect, and many serve different research purposes. In addition to your own industry knowledge and intuition, we recommend trying out some of these tools. Keyword research tools ● SEOBook Keyword Generator, Ubersuggest & Help generate initial lists ● Google Keyword Planner Shows seasonality and pay-per-click data ● Ahrefs Keyword Explorer Features competitor info such as top search results ● SpyFu Shows ranking history, backlinks, volume, etc.
  18. 18. SEs look in a few key spots of a landing page to figure out which keywords you’re targeting. Volusion has all of these spots built into the Advanced Info > Search Engine Optimization tab of your site’s pages. Where to use keywords on-site ● Product/category title ● Category/product URL ● Meta tag title & meta tag description ● Photo alt text tag ● On-page category/product descriptions
  19. 19. z
  20. 20. Put it into Practice Do’s & don’ts of keyword structuring
  21. 21. Remember that your website is a pyramid, so the bulk of the keyword phrases need to be at the base. Hierarchy Do’s ● Choose broad (but specific) keyword phrases for homepage and top categories Use these as a basis for lower level pages ● Assign a keyword phrase to one page, and one page only ● Distinguish between product group KWs vs. single product KW men’s v-neck shirts men’s baby blue v-neck shirt
  22. 22. ● Clearly defined category structure helps segment keyword groups ● Removes all guesswork for SEs and customers as to what they can find where Categorization builds a foundation
  23. 23. ● We can now segment keyword groups and identify subsets of keyword groups ● This approach helps begin categorization of product pages A foundation makes segmentation easier
  24. 24. ● We can now organize by types of grinders and secondary grinder parts ● The next step is product-level ○ Make and model ○ Size ○ Material Segmentation organizes keywords
  25. 25. Your keyword phrases are an introduction to the page’s purpose, so the signal must be clear from the beginning. Hierarchy Don’ts ● Target same KW phrase on every page ● Target product-level KWs at the category level or category-level KWs at the product level ● Stop halfway through the process ● Assume SEs will be able to “figure it out”
  26. 26. Categorization starts out well, leading to...
  27. 27. Natural segmentation, which could lead to...
  28. 28. More sub-categories, but it stops at “casual”
  29. 29. Don’t expect SEs to “figure out” your products
  30. 30. What to do when your site is unique There’s Always a “But”
  31. 31. Shift your keyword research focus to describing and explaining every facet/application of your product. Think of questions customers ask and use those as a basis for informational keyword phrases. I sell one product ● Hemp sneakers How to clean hemp shoes ● Eco-friendly sandwich bags Easy ways to cut down on food waste
  32. 32. Target informational searches & be the expert
  33. 33. Think of ways you can naturally segment your products beyond the make and model. I sell a lot of really similar products ● Different colors/styles Solid-colored vs. patterned nursing scrubs ● Slight variations Crewneck vs. V-neck shirt ● Different applications Scooter vs. wheelchair batteries
  34. 34. By theme/category offers new KW possibilities
  35. 35. So buyers can follow a general product theme
  36. 36. Or browse by age range, instead
  37. 37. I sell in a specialized industry Specialized industries often have limited edition products that sell out and never replenish. In these cases, make your product information as concise as possible. ● Wholesale Be sure to include model numbers in your product info ● E-cigarettes Lemon lime vape juice Mechanical mods Branded searches PG/VG ratios
  38. 38. Brand-focused pages capture branded searches
  39. 39. E-liquids by type, size, brand for different KWs
  40. 40. Takeaways Think of your site like a pyramid with the bulk of your keyword phrases at the base Organize keyword phrases concisely across the site, utilizing each relevant phrase in a single location Structure leads to clarity, clarity makes SEs and customers happy, which improves SEO health
  41. 41. Resources Tools: Google Keyword Planner SEOBook Keyword Generator Ahrefs Keyword Explorer UberSuggest SpyFu Volusion Blog Posts: Volusion Takeover: How To Do Keyword Research 5 Things You Should Know About Keyword Stuffing and SEO 5 Secrets to Researching SEO Keywords Like a Pro The Four Ps of Writing a Great Meta Description Best Practices for Creating SEO-Friendly Title Tags DIY SEO eBook
  42. 42. Let us help Call our sales team at 877-591-7006 to get free setup on SEO services this month! Buy this week and get three custom-designed graphics as a special bonus for your site.