Keyword Research: It Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means


“Do online shoppers type in different keywords to find products on Google than on retailer sites?”

That is the question Giulia Prati, from L2inc, poses in their investigation of search traffic across Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Dillards, and UK-based retailers Asos and Net-A-Porter websites.

In layman’s terms, what we are asking here is; “is there a difference in the search terms that drive traffic to a retailer’s website versus the onsite search terms that consumers use to navigate.”

And the findings are interesting…

According to the research collected, “With just one exception, the share of branded keywords (e.g. “gucci”) searched on the retailer sites exceeded the share of branded keywords leading to those sites via organic Google search.”

The Takeaway

We know you come here for the steak, not the sizzle … so let’s get to it.

What these findings indicate is that non-branded keywords such as “fitness-wear” or “men’s blazer” are worth experimenting with due to the higher search volume over branded keywords. This can be taken with a grain of salt if your brand is synonymous with the item you are selling (i.e. “Gucci shoes” or “lululemon pants”).

The question we hope you are asking as a vertically integrated brand is this;

“are we simply arbitraging a non-branded keyword, or are we working towards our brand being synonymous with the items we sell?”

The cost of owning a non-branded keyword will continue to rise, but the value of your brand being synonymous with your items is priceless.

Written by
John Max is the Marketing Manager at Engine. John has worked across multiple million dollar brands as well as white labeling with Agencies in the US, as well as Australia and New Zealand. With a background in marketing and a passion for eCommerce, John is responsible with sharing Engine with the world.