118 Research, research, research David Fairhurst looks at why ongoing keyphrase research is a must for SEO Those associated with online marketing will know that before embarking upon any kind of online campaign, keyphrase research must be undertaken. If this vital step is not done, then how will you ever know if you are targeting the right keyphrases for organic optimisation of a website or for a pay-per-click campaign? What most retailers don’t realise, though, is that keyphrase research is not a one-time thing. To get the best results from any campaign, this kind of research must be undertaken on an ongoing basis. CHANGING MARKET TRENDS In all trading verticals, there exist evolving and changing market trends. What sold well in one month may not sell in the next. This is especially true with any vertical influenced by movie releases, celebrity endorsements, crazes or social media virality. If you add to this any seasonal effect related to different trading verticals, you will see that ongoing research is not only preferable but pretty much a requirement if you are to avoid spending countless hours and pounds on both website optimisation work and pay-per-click campaigns that are never going to bring you the returns you need as a retailer. THE TINY PERCENTAGE OF GOLDMINE KEYPHRASES If you take a deep dive into the keyphrases that bring in converting traffic for your website, you will often see that there exists a small percentage of keyphrases that account for a large portion of website revenue. Traditional website optimisation uses the blunderbuss approach, whereby all pages are optimised within a website, and keyphrase research is used to point towards new content pages that should be created to bring in additional traffic and sales. This approach is still valid but given the fact that most e-commerce websites do show a small percentage of goldmine keyphrases, perhaps a better approach is initially to be choosier when approaching page optimisation. Focus in on those areas that are going to convert well initially, from click-throughs from Google’s search results and finally in products added to basket. This way, optimisation effort gives a bigger return per hour spent. Ongoing keyphrase research is the key to making this happen. YOU’RE SELLING WHAT? Keyphrase research for e-commerce isn’t just a valid way of quantifying likely returns from the things any particular retailer is offering – it can also show, quite clearly, that the product lines being offered by that retailer are either in the ballpark of what is being searched for online or completely different to what most people search for.