Are you an eCommerce store manager or owner trying to increase business revenue generated from organic traffic?
This post is a part 1 of our 3-step ROI-based SEO process we use to consistently rank eCommerce stores on Google for relevant & profitable keywords which often leads to a steady stream of organic revenue over the years.
In this part, I’m going to cover the foundational step – finding eCommerce pages & keywords with the highest ROI potential. If you do this step right, all future SEO efforts are going to yield faster and better results.
Note: Even though this post is written as a standalone piece, It’s highly recommend to download our 16 months long ROI-based SEO case study and read it first before you continue with this post.
The Best Order of Reading to Understand the Whole System
Even though each article is written as a standalone piece, I highly recommend reading this series in this order to get the best understanding of how it works and why.
- Case study
- 16 months long case study which will give you an overview of the data, timeline and overall strategy (click here to download it for free)
- 3-step ROI-based SEO process
- How to find the most profitable pages & keywords (the post you’re reading now)
- How to optimise eCommerce pages for search engines AND visitors
- Content marketing strategy & ongoing link building
Free case study: How an eCommerce store grew organic revenue from $205 to $29,605 per month
Step 1 – How to Identify Pages With the Highest ROI Potential
For this step, we will have to assume you have set up eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics (if not, click here for an alternative option).
1 – In your Google Analytics, navigate to [Behaviour → Site Content → All Pages], select 5,000 rows from the drop down menu, click “Export,” and choose Google Sheets as seen in the screenshot below:
Note: Choose bigger date ranges for more accurate results, 3-12 months should be fine, depending on your store revenue and traffic.
2 – Once you export report this into Google Sheets, create “Influenced Revenue” in column I and type the formula “=H8*C8” and drag it down to every page.
This metric will show how much revenue this page influences regardless of the landing page or the conversion page (please note that influenced revenue won’t add up to total revenue).
3 – Now sort the whole data set by “influenced revenue” high to low.
4 – Pick the top 20% of pages by influenced revenue (ignore pages like add to cart, login, checkout, etc.)
5 – From that 20% of pages, pick the top 5 with the highest “page value” number (make sure it’s a home, category, product, or tag page).
6 – There you go! You have a list of your 5 focus pages with the highest revenue potential!
Step 2 – How to Identify Keywords With the Highest ROI Potential
Now that you know which pages have the highest ROI potential, it’s time to find the highest ROI keywords for those pages.
Note – this step can also help you in your Google Ads campaign if you’re doing one.
1 – The first step is to identify the 3 most relevant keywords for your first focus page. Ask yourself this question “What would my customers type in Google if they were looking to buy my product?”
2 – Write down the 3 keywords you come up with and search Google for them. Note each of the top 5 pages ranking on Google for each keyword and save these lists for later. Let’s call that competitive URL list.
In addition, make sure to note down keywords shown on the bottom page of Google (suggested terms):
And those that appear as auto suggest (if they make sense for your product/page of course):
3 – If you have Google Webmaster Console installed, open it up and navigate to “performance” on the left side menu, click “+ new” and select “Page.”
4 – Type your focus page URL and scroll down to see which keywords are already driving traffic. Select the top 3 keywords that are not the same as the ones you identified during step 1.
5 – Now, take these 3 new keywords and type them into Google. Write down the top 5 pages ranking in Google for these keywords (expand to top 10 results if you keep seeing the same URLs as in step 2).
Also note down related searches & auto suggest as explained in step 2.
6 – You should end up with a list of keywords and competitor URLs for each keyword;
Are you still with me?
Yes, this work does sound boring and tedious but is essential for getting ROI from SEO in the long term.
If you don’t see yourself doing this, jump to the outsourcing section of the page because the work is only going to get more tedious as we continue.
The next steps involve some keyword research tools to spy on your competitor rankings. The goal is to identify which keywords are your competitors ranked for (they aren’t necessary your business competitors but competitors for keywords you’re trying to rank for).
7 – Start a free trial for a keyword research tool called KWFinder (Mangools).
8 – Open KWFinder and select “search by domain” and select your target country. Type your first competitor URL and wait for the tool to do its job (the URL you’ve written down in step 5).
9 – Once the tool is done, export all keyword results and save them in a spreadsheet. Repeat this for all other competitors from the list until you have all the spreadsheets.
10 – Combine all sheets into a master keyword sheet and remove duplicate keywords
Here’s how to remove duplicates in Excel
And in Google Sheets:
11 – Now sort all unique keywords by “Avg. Search Volume” and pick the top 20% of keywords by volume
12 – Out of that 20%, select 5 with the lowest keyword difficulty score (“KD”). Mark those keywords as your “core” keywords. Remember to do a “common sense check” to see if the keyword is relevant to your business. Ideally if it has buying intent.
Note: if your keyword list is big you can combine to top 30% by volume, then top 50% by CPC, then top 5 with lowest keyword difficulty. Feel free to experiment with different percentages to see what kind of keywords you can find.
13 – Search each core keyword in Google and scroll down to see related searches. Note a few related searches that sound like a good fit. If not, just skip the keyword and move on to the next one.
Also use Google autocomplete with your keyword in it and note down keywords you see.
Pro-tip: You can use the Keywords Everywhere extension for Chrome which will show search volume and CPCs inline on Google interface (and other places like Google Analytics).
14 – Repeat step 13 for all 5 core keywords. You should end up with a total of 10-15 related keywords.
15 – Repeat steps 8-14 for all 30 competitive URLs.
16 – Repeat steps 1-15 for all of the core pages you identified in the previous part of the guide.
You should end up with a list of about 5 core keywords and about 10 related keywords for each focus page you’d like to see rank higher on Google.
The list should look like this:
Se the example Google Sheet document.
I Got Focus Pages & Keywords, Now What?
The keyword research file is going to be crucial for what I’m about to cover in part 2 and 3 of this 3-step ROI-based SEO process.
I’m going to show you how these keywords are used for:
- Optimisation of the pages for search engines
- Creating a content strategy
- Selecting right anchor texts (for backlinks & internal links)
The next part of this post series is called “How to Optimise eCommerce Pages for Search Engines AND Visitors”
Click here to read part 2 now.
If you have any thoughts or questions, please do not hesitate to leave a reply bellow or contact me directly.
Thanks for reading & don’t forget to read the part 2!