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Keyword-Targeted Content Strategies for Search-Oriented Websites

I’m quite a big fan of eBay, and have used it many times down the years for buying and selling products – but recently that has stretched to using it for other reasons. As with my recent post on SEOmoz explaining ways to use YouTube as a keyword tool for SEO benefit, eBay also holds great potential for people looking for inspiration and ideas, specifically for ecommerce websites.

This isn’t going to be a similar post however, as it was another SEOmoz article that reminded me to blog about something that I think eBay are doing really well – and that is creating static content around popular searches and categories within the site.

The post I’m referring to lists some of the key take-aways from the Webit Conference in Bulgaria, and point 15 was:

Got a search-based site not accessible to crawlers? Create static category landing pages for popular keyword queries.

The way the eBay website works, is that is uses sub-domains for each of the key sections within the site. For example, shop.ebay.co.uk is used for search results and category pages, and although static pages have been created with optimised titles for each of the categories, there is no content around them at all (apart from UGC).

To counter this, eBay have setup popular.ebay.co.uk – a sub-domain that lists popular products throughout the many different categories on the website, which can be helpful for searching users to explore, and obviously provides some benefit to SEOs to have a look around. This popular products section could be better deployed, but it’s a fantastic way for eBay to generate content around many products, and to generate search engine visibility across a wide range of organic search terms.

eBay Popular Products Website

Just to provide an idea of how much content has been created in this popular products section, a site: operator query on Google shows 5,560 indexed pages – ranging from collectable dolls to the Subaru Impreza sports car. With a few tweaks to the title tags of these pages, there could be an even bigger boost in search engine rankings I’m sure – but a hat tip has to go to the eBay team for creating 150-300 words of content for 5,000+ pages!

How This Can Help You

Using eBay’s content strategy as an example, some real benefit can be gained from developing content around popular products and categories within your website. If the core functionality of your website is to provide the user with a means to search for products or content – then develop static pages around those products, with keyword-targeting in mind.

eBay’s popular products section doesn’t necessarily give them great rankings for all of the products and categories they have written about, but with a website so big, the potential for organic long-tail traffic is huge, and I have no doubt that the site has seen a significant increase since taking the time to develop the section.

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