November 26th, 2007 | 5 MIN READ

Ecommerce SEO Hack: Free Tool to Hone Your SEO Strategy

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Seodigger LogoSEO Digger is a free SEO tool that instantly shows you keyword rankings in Google for yours or any other website URL along with Wordtracker keyword counts. This makes it so easy to hone in on the most popular keywords (or products) that you're ranking for so that you can optimize those pages even better.
Make sure you register so that you are able to see results for your deep pages, not just your home page. Registered users also don't have a limit on the number of searches you can do in one hour.

UPDATE: SEO Digger is no longer a free tool. It is now SEMRush and is a paid service.

How This Works

SEO Digger keeps a database of the top 20 results in Google for over 57 million keywords and keyphrases updated every 2 weeks. When you type in yours or any other URL, you'll get a chart like this:

CoutureCandy Results

Then sort Wordtracker keyword results by clicking the ^ before WT so you can see the most popular terms first.

Sorted Results

With 15,422 searches "Joes Jeans" is a "money keyword" for Couture Candy, which enjoys a #5 ranking in Google. But until you're #1 there's always room for improvement. So what can you do now?

On Your Site

If you’re not already using a keyword rich page title for the product or category page you want to optimize on your e-store, do so. If there is a way you can enrich your description and add a couple extra keywords in header tags and image attributes, that may help.

If you're using stock product descriptions, don't! You want your descriptions to be unique for the search engines. Encouraging customer reviews, if they include the keywords may also help -- just don't fabricate them.

Keywords that get a lot of searches in general make great home page features. Not only is this good merchandising, but having a keyword rich text link on your home page to your deeper page passes extra link juice. In the case of Couture Candy, its Joes Jeans category is linked sitewide from its sidebar menu, so an extra home page link probably won't make much difference.

A word of caution, you may want to check seasonal trends before giving a product extra home page real estate. For example, ski jackets might get 12,000 searches per year - but only 12 per month in the summer. You can check seasonal trend data with the Google Keyword Tool.

In Your Meta Description

Absolute ranking position is not the only factor in click through from organic search results. The "snippet" that appears also needs to win the click. Even though Joe's Jeans own website ranks tops, the retailers that offer "Free Shipping!" in the Title Tag may steal the traffic and convert the sale.

Search Results

Though keywords in your meta description tag don't affect your ranking, creating unique meta descriptions also encourages deeper spidering of your site. If you use all the same description tags, search engines may think all your pages are pretty much the same and won't bother slurping them all. Relevant keywords also resonate with searchers so it helps click through rates.

On Your Blog

Now what you do is create a post on your ecommerce blog about that keyword linking to the page that is ranking well (you'll have to go to the search engine to figure out which deep page it is). Use the keyword in the title of the post (for extra keyword relevance for your link), url (if possible) and in a text link pointing towards the URL that ranks well in the search engine.

Even better is to craft the post that it somehow will gain backlinks naturally from other blogs (i.e. link bait). Building links to your blog post makes the keyword rich text link that points to your e-store even more valuable.

What About Paid Reviews?

The last year introduced a wave of paid blogger review services that created a new kind of blogger and a problem for search engine spam teams. Any link purchased for the purpose of improving Page Rank is a violation of Google and other search engines' terms of service.

Recently, Google dropped the hammer on websites that sell links (whether sidebar text links or sponsored blog content) without adding a "nofollow" tag to the HTML code that indicates the link should not pass Page Rank to the destination URL. Google's spam team is getting better at detecting paid links (by recognizing patterns). Last month's Page Rank update caused many authoritative blogs' Page Rank to slip by one to three notches, and communicate's Google's disdain for the paid link industry.

There are a few ways buying paid links can backfire on you:

1. The link does not pass the link juice you paid for because the search engine recognizes it as a paid link. Although your site won’t get penalized, you’ve wasted your money. (The blogger may take a Page Rank hit for posting paid content without nofollowing the links).
2. A competitor reports you through Google Webmaster Central, and your rankings suffer across the board.
3. People find your paid post through a general search for your name and, seeing the blogger’s full disclosure of the schill-post, your reputation is affected.

Good old fashioned networking and blogger relations with your niche is a better way to gain deep links to your product pages and blog posts. Money may not exchange hands, but it's not uncommon for PR people to send product to influential bloggers with the hope of a review. Do you think this is any more ethical than a paid link?

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