ATTIRE 109 RETAIL TECHNOLOGY Keyphrase research Categorising product content requires a logical approach and a definite focus on what people may search for. For SEO purposes, it’s important to cover all the keyphrases in any trading vertical that could possibly bring in useful traffic and may convert into a sale. I always try to get into the planning of an e-commerce website early if possible, before category structure has been decided. This ensures that the right categories can be created. Doing this gives the maximum potential for success in any on-going promotion for each website we work on. Planning category names requires keyphrase research to be undertaken.This way you can name categories based on projected keyphrase traffic estimates and competitiveness data. In a way, a good online marketer can see the potential revenue and chances of success for any website before the website is created just by knowing the trading vertical, product ranges and the brands that are going to be stocked. All good keyphrase research tools are based on solid, real-world data.There are many paid tools out there on the web to help with research. However, Google AdWords still allows you to use its Keyphrase Research tool to find historical search data and competitiveness. You need a Google AdWords account for this. However, this is free. Method For promotion of a brand-new website on a brand-new domain, things are all a bit manual and involve getting lists of brands, product lines and maybe even products together before any research can be carried out. However, once you have this data, it’s fairly easy to start extrapolating it into an initial list you can put through keyphrase research tools in order to get an idea of search volumes and competitiveness. Getting an initial list together is important and can be made easier by using keyphrase suggestion tools like https://goo.gl/KTva0P and even Google’s own suggestion tool, which is integrated into Google search. Just start typing, and you should get a list of suggestions to expand your initial lists. To streamline the process (with less- than-optimal results), you can use Google AdWords’ own keyphrase suggestion tool https://goo.gl/oJ5HXX , this will suggest keyphrases that have been seen relating to your base set of keyphrases in AdWords campaigns previously. Capture these suggestions, and then you can proceed to competition and search volume research.This should give you not only an idea of optimal category names but also a solid foundation for creating content for those pages. You’re going to need this for your category pages in order to have any chance of ranking well for more competitive keyphrases. The whole aim of this research is to choose category names that reflect what you are offering and have a worthwhile amount of search volume. If you can choose names that also have lower-than-expected volumes of competition, then even better.This puts the new e-commerce website on the best possible footing going forward. Avoiding duplication Avoiding category duplication is important in e-commerce because having more than one page within a website targeting the same set of keyphrases will lead to leaching of page effectiveness. Ideally, each page in the website should be optimised for one set of closely related keyphrases, and this set should not be reflected on any other page. This is important to remember when adding brands and product types into the mix. As an example, if you are selling “sports watches” and wish to categorise by gender (men’s, women’s, boys’, girls’) it makes sense to have a “men’s sports watches” category alongside sports watch categories for women, girls and boys and then segment by brand as well. But don’t be tempted to then be dragged into duplication by adding a separate ‘brands’ top-level category, which could dilute your optimisation efforts. With planning, your freshly created website category structure should be totally focused on keyphrases that are popular search terms and have a history of promoting conversions. A Further information: David Fairhurst is head of creative online marketing at Intelligent Retail. David has been involved with SEO and web development since 1999 and has spoken at many different retail and SEO conferences, including Spring Fair and SES London. Call David on +44 (0)845 680 0126.