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Apr 23, 2008 | 2 minute read

Zappos Secret SEO Sauce For Branded Pages

written by Linda Bustos

Secret SEO SauceThis isn't a new topic here at Get Elastic, but since search engine optimization is such a key part to ecommerce success I'm going to bang the same drum once again on optimizing for brand names.

Zappos appears to have covered all the bases and then some in optimizing its brand category pages. For example, its Nine West page (below) includes 272 occurrences of "Nine West" on this page - that's 4.55% of the entire page copy. This is what is referred to as "keyword density." Though keyword density is not as important to SEO as was once thought (title tag, keyword rich backlinks from other sites and the domain's overall authority have more impact), this page certainly is considered highly relevant to "Nine West" by Google.

Like Karmaloop, Zappos includes a paragraph about the brand itself. Most ecommerce sites have category / brand pages that consist of little more than images, links and a page title.

Also included at the category level are customer reviews. Each product with a review appears on the same page. Though the links to the product pages are "nofollowed" (link includes an HTML attribute telling search engines not to crawl the linked page or pass Page Rank), the keywords count towards the overall relevance to the page.

Get you're scrolling finger ready, you'll need it.


Believe it or not, I cut out some of the shoe styles with reviews, the page just went on and on. You can see the current version of Zappos' Nine West page (just to throw them a little extra link love, as if they need it).

The usability of this design is questionable - I imagine some will appreciate scrolling through different styles with ratings previews and others will absolutely hate it. I'm not a huge fan of Zappos' web design, anyway. The Canadian version is even uglier.

*Note: Kyle, one of our readers, tipped us off to a Zappos redesign currently in Zeta.

SEO Results

Zappos Search Ranking

Zappos ranks #3 in between some of Nine West's own domains. This is significant because search engines can recognize brand names' official pages and consider them "vital" results. To outrank vital results takes skill. Sure, this is just one page, but run a few brand or product searches in Google and you'll find Zappos in the top 3 most of the time.

Even at position 3, Zappos may be enjoying better click through than other results because its title tag includes a compelling call to action - "Free Shipping Both Ways."

What do you think about this strategy? Is it keyword-spammy? Is it ugly? Brilliant? Talk to us.