Updated by Rianne Konings, March 7, 2022
The top positions on retail or marketplaces search result pages are the most visible for shoppers. These top products typically get the vast majority of the clicks and thus conversions.
This blog will explain how you can monitor and analyze retail search performances in 4 steps by tracking eCommerce keyword rankings and retailer (category) page results.
What is Retail Share of Search?
At SiteLucent, the share of search KPI represents the % of products that show up in the most visible positions in the search results of a retailer website— specifically the top-3, top-10, and page 1 position, after browsing or typing a keyword in the search box.
In other words, the KPI tells you how visible your brand is for shoppers when they search by using category links to narrow results down to the desired product (browsing) or by using the search bar (typing a keyword in the search box).
Your products' specified categories should help shoppers find your products easier in the search results. Being as specific as possible means your product listings (and ads) are shown for the most relevant searches. This improves the customer journey and leads to more sales.
The Benefits of Tracking Brand Share of Search
Why should you track your brands' share of search? Because it helps you to:
- Track your brands' total share of search and reveal how various individual keywords and categories contribute to making up the whole per retailer. Zoom in on underperforming products and channels;
- Reveal trends in the share of search metric over time and whether any positive or negative trends require further attention;
- Find out which competitor brands' products you are competing with for the top positions in (category) search results;
- Reveal potential relationships between your products' content quality and retail search performances.
Enough benefits that can answer relevant questions for growth, in my opinion!
But how do you start? I will explain in the below 4 steps!
STEP 1: Defining eCommerce Keywords
Before getting search-related data and insights, you first need to define strong keywords and categories you want to start tracking. Keyword research begins with defining and understanding your target group and how they are searching for your products.
To get inspired and back up your keyword research with data, you can use tools such as answerthepublic.com, check out competitor keywords with ubersuggest.com, or use retailer-specific search trends and data (such as bol zoektrends).
Another method is simply to type in the search bar at the top of the retailer to find new and emerging keywords related to your search.
Once you have a list with potential keywords, you narrow down each keyword with related benefits and features.
For instance: Keyword: Headphone --> Related features: Bluetooth, noise-canceling, wireless
Then you find out search volume (How many people are searching for a specific keyword?) and keyword difficulty (how many competitors do I have?) for each keyword—The more referring domains across the top-ranking pages, the higher the keyword difficulty.
STEP 2: Upload Keywords & Create Categories
With SiteLucent, you monitor if you use keywords in all the right places and analyze the search placements on retailers like Amazon or Walmart.
Once you have defined your keywords, you can upload them (and possible category URLs) into your SiteLucent account. To add search keywords, you first:
In the below example, you can see how to add search keywords to Dutch retailer bol.com.
- Navigate to 'Account setup';
- Click 'Retailer configuration' to see an overview of the retailers in your account;
- Click the magnifying glass icon 🔍 below a retailer of choice to add search keywords and category URLs.
- Click the '+ create keyword' button on the upper-right side of the screen.
TIP: Add multiple keywords at once by using commas or new lines to separate keywords. Example: keyword1, keyword2.
STEP 3: Analyze your Brands' Share of Search
Once we have uploaded the desired keywords and categories, SiteLucent visualizes the data in the Product Visibility dashboard for you to easily interpret and get to actionable insights.
Top Filter Menu
The share of search in the Top-10 results filter is selected in the Product Visibility dashboard by default. You can switch views by changing the top menu filter to Top-3 or All page 1 results (see image below).
With the second filter option in the top menu, you can switch between keyword search and category search. The results are based on the selected
search keywords in the dashboard view filters on the left (see example image below).
You can also easily switch from keyword to category results using the top filter menu. If you do, don't forget to select the desired search categories in the filters on the left (and deselect the search keywords).
Diagnoses of Retail Search Results
In the widget on the left, named 'visibility share', we can easily compare the share of search per brand and retailer. In the second widget, we can identify deviations and trends in the share of search.
By clicking in the center of a widget, the product level details will show up, including the ranking of the individual product-keyword combination. This will look as follows:
The matrix below shows each selected retailer's visibility share per keyword per brand.
In the above example, we see that the keyword 'smartwatch' on retailer Coolblue shows (in the top 10 search results): 5 Apple products, 1 Samsung product, 2 Fitbit, and 2 Garmin products.
In the table widget below, we can see search rankings on a product level for organic and sponsored products.
By changing the top filter settings to: 'Include all results', you can also see competitor products and all other products found in the search results. You can benchmark competitor brand rankings against your products.
With a strong 'retail search game,' you can give your brand and products a significant edge over your competition. How to do that? I'll explain in the next step.
STEP 4: Lift Organic Retail Search Rankings
Getting a position at the top of (Retail) Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) is a game consisting of many factors. Presenting strong and complete product content on product detail pages is one of the most important.
Next to search rankings, tracks SiteLucent a bunch of other digital shelf metrics, including content quality. This way, we can reveal potential relationships between your products' content quality and retail search performances. SiteLucents' Digital Content Completeness score can diagnose and help you improve your brands' on-site search performance.
Here are some quick tips for you to optimize your product pages.
Keyword-rich product pages
- Use your main keyword once in the page's URL, once in the product title, at least once or twice in the product description, and once in the image alt tag to tell search engines what an image is about.
- Provide a simple and organized layout in the description. Use HTML codes for bold print headings, blank lines, and lists to prevent large blocks of text. This is important for both the customer and Google (Shopping). Add bullet points when adding enumerations.
- Do not copy the product information one-on-one from your own or the manufacturer's website. Change at least the first two lines. This makes the product description unique, making the product page score better in search results.
- Try to write a product description of at least 300 words. Put the most important information at the beginning of your product description.
More online traffic (SEO) with reviews
Reviews provide fresh and unique content for search engines, and reviewers use the same language as online shoppers searching for those products.
Positive customer reviews have a positive effect on conversion and thus on search
results. For instance, qualitative and quantitative reviews have a significant effect on
winning the buy box on Amazon. Monitoring reviews can help to improve your search ranking!
An ongoing process
For your products to be found online, it is not always enough to choose the right keywords and smartly place them. Each marketplace and eCommerce platform has its search algorithm, which ponders many factors such as product availability, reviews, rich content, and how well your product content matches search intent.
These factors and algorithms change over time, and also the supply on the market is constantly changing. That makes Retail SEO an ongoing process.
SiteLucent offers extended and analytics support options. We can reveal more insights into how specific retailer algorithms work for your product categories by using big data and doing next-level analysis.
WATCH OUR FREE WEBINAR:
In this webinar, Roel and I explain how you can use SiteLucent to monitor and improve product page content and measure the effect on retail search performances. Click on the above image to watch the entire webinar. I hope you'll enjoy it!