There’s plenty of hooey spoken about e-commerce SEO, that so-called black art of online retail, search engine optimisation. What can seem complicated, obscure and difficult to learn, is, in fact, straightforward and not at all hard to master for anyone with time and curiosity on their side.

You want (you need) organic traffic, and the search engines would like to give it to you if only you’d provide helpful, relevant and useful content to the searcher. So you could say that the act of creating valuable, entertaining content is search engine optimisation. Not that hard, huh?

Building From Strong Foundations

The foundation of good SEO is written content. From product, brand and category pages, to customer-generated product reviews and blog content, written content is the stuff that tells search engines about your site so they know when to present your pages in their results. However, not all of your content is created equally, and some of your pages will no doubt contain ‘cornerstone’ content, which refers to top-level articles, usually in the form of a blog, that comprehensively cover a generic keyword or phrase.

We need an example, stat!

Let’s imagine that you sell car batteries, and it just so happens that you’ve written the definitive guide to car batteries, snappily titled: How To Buy Car Batteries Online. We can probably agree that this is cornerstone content, and not just because it contains the top level keyword or phrase for your (imagined) industry, but also because it’s the one you feel will have the best chance of converting visitors to purchasers when they land on the page.

The next bit is the kicker. If the phrase “How To Buy Car Batteries Online” is the target for this piece of content, then we can be sure that there will be related keywords or phrases that, although of lesser importance, are relevant to the topic at hand; we can call these ‘child’ keywords or phrases.

Hot & Heavy Related Keywords

If we do a Google search for your master keyword and scroll to the bottom of the page, we can see a ‘Searches related to How To Buy Car Batteries Online’ section. Here we can see that Google is rather generously serving up some hot and heavy related content hints for our master phrase. Your next task then is to create two or three other blogs around these suggested, related keywords, which you should link to each other, from the master keyword, and of course, back to the master keyword article.

Instead of existing in isolation, your already well-written cornerstone article now has correctly linked, supportive and highly relevant ‘child’ content, which will bolster not only the search engine position of the main keyword but the position of the child articles themselves. Smoke me a kipper indeed!! And, if you want to go further, find the child keywords of the child keywords, and write two or three articles around those keywords, and link them back.

Summing Up

We’ve learned how to identify cornerstone content, and the cornerstone – Child content relationship. We’ve shown that the relationship between the keywords or phrases you wish to target is essential if you are to give your content the best chance of rising in the search engine results.

Back in the real world and away from this blog, make sure you don’t start to write another article which is eerily similar to the one you have already written and which covers the same keyword or material. Instead, bolster the content you already have with the structure we’ve explored, or write new content (you won’t run out of keywords, I assure you), and retain the clarity of sound order. Not only will the search engines thank you, but so will your readers.

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