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Anatomy of a converting keyword

Those of you who attended our "Make More With Your Yahoo! Store" seminar in Los Angeles on the 6th and 7th received a healthy dose of converting keyword education. If you haven't had a chance to join us in LA, here is a quick study on the subject. With the tips described here you can give a nice boost to your online marketing campaign.

All of this was covered during the LA seminar. In addition, Rob Snell's newly released "Starting a Yahoo! Business for Dummies" book has more about converting keywords and keywords in general than you would ever want to know.

So what is a converting keyword?

A converting keyword or key phrase is one that someone used on a search engine, found your store, and ended up purchasing something from you. This is your gold; not only they found your site by that keyword, they actually found what they were looking for, or they found something in your store they didn't know they needed. The point is, the keyword generated sales for you. Many online merchants (or online entrepreneurs) think they know what their converting keywords are. After all, if your are selling PlayStation Games, your site should come up when people are searching for PlayStation Games, right? Well, sort of. Of course, you should optimize for key phrases your store is about, but you'll be surprised to see how people actually come to your site from the search engines. In our store at www.ytimes.info, we sell Yahoo! Store-related books, yet, we have converting key phrases like "how to upload flash to yahoo store", "yahoo sitebuilder rtml", "yahoo store forum" and "rtml java script". So instead of trying to guess what your converting keywords are, let your customers tell you!

Ok, so how can I find my converting keywords?

There are at least a couple of places in your Store Manager where you can find converting keywords. One is quite obvious, but often overlooked: the actual order page. On the order pages, there are two fields that can have converting keywords, although in a fairly cryptic form: the Referrer and the Rev-Share URL. These are often overlooked, because they look much like some sort of code. Here is an example:

http://www.google.com/search%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dyahoo%20merchant%20hosting%20html%20help%26spell%3D1

But look closely: it tells me that this was a search on Google. And by looking even closer, it looks like there are words encoded there: "yahoo merchant hosting html help spell". After awhile, you can get used to this, and pick out the words, but until then, you can actually click on these links, and they will take you to the appropriate search engine (here, Google) with the search phrase typed in for you. Clicking the above example actually shows that the search phrase was "yahoo merchant hosting html help", the word "Spell" at the end wasn't part of the search phrase. So each time you review the orders you receive, get into the habit of glancing over the Referrer and Rev-Share URL values, and if you see any keyword references there, save those for later.

Another good place to find converting keywords is the "References" page in the Store Manager. This page shows how people find your site. Chances are, among the first listings there you'll see "Google" with a "details" link next to it. Click that link. This will take you to another page showing only references from Google. At the top, click "Sort by Orders" and then click "See All". Now you see all the key phrases people used to find your store, and at the top of the list, you'll see those that resulted in one or more orders. Some of these listings will be useless (I have http://www.google.com/search?hl=en at the top), but the others will actually show the phrases you want. Write down the search phrases you see there, and read on.

What to do with converting keywords?

Once you've identified one or more converting keywords, you need to create optimized pages for those keywords. To begin, in the Advanced Editor, click on "Contents" and then "New". For the ID, type in your converting keyword but replace spaces with hyphens. Taking my converting keyword as an example, I would type yahoo-merchant-hosting-html-help. Once you created the page, type the same converting keyword as the "Name", so for example, "Yahoo Merchant Hosting HTML Help". Then, write a paragraph about the converting keyword (and be sure to include the keyword or key phrase inside your paragraph.) Now, just by saying something about that keyword probably won't get you a sale, so you should include a link on this page to the item that was purchased using that keyword. You can do this in a number of ways. One is to copy and paste the item to this new targeted page, or, you can simply include a hyperlink in the caption: <a href="targetitem.html">Click here to purchase ...</a>.

Once you have the page created, it will automatically show up on your site map page (ind.html), so the search engines will pick it up eventually (provided that you have a link to the ind.html page somewhere on your site.)

Finally, you should also create a targeted ad in Overture and Google Adwords for your converting keyword and make sure your ad points to your new "keyword-targeted" page.


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