What Are Your Keywords?

Recently in one of the Facebook optical forums, someone brought up a search they did for the term gorgeous glasses. What they found were a number of posts from online retailers that would hardly be considered leaders in much of anything gorgeous. They were, however, leading online optical e-commerce sites. The discussion revolved around the notion that most ECP websites are designed and constructed with virtually no concern about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and of those, a small percentage become concerned anytime someone mentions SEO, but almost always after the fact.

From my estimation and experience, some 80 plus percent of ECP websites are designed and constructed with very little SEO considerations, if any at all. SEO is a long and ongoing process. What was great five years ago has been superseded a dozen times since then and will continue to be. Warby Parker, Zenni, Ray-Ban, Glasses.com, and so on come up on top on so many search terms for a number of reasons. Let’s compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges.

First and foremost, they are primarily if not exclusively web-based businesses. Everything they do is online. Most ECP ’s have a brick and mortar location if not two or three. Therefore your efforts are and should be focused on getting people into your locations. Secondly, these are e-commerce websites. Optical e-commerce sites showcase every brand, every model, and every color of every item they sell. Of all the ECP websites I visit, less than 2% are e-commerce based. Most are traditional online brochures about where the store is located, who are the principals of the business (usually only one person in the ABOUT US section too LOL), what services they provide, what brands they sell, and how to make an appointment. So yes, the e-commerce sites will always come up when you are searching for eyeglasses because they feature eyeglasses. How many of you picture every frame you sell on your website? How many of you would even want to? Will you hire someone full time to keep track of your inventory and photograph every model to keep you up to date?

The ECPs I have had the pleasure of working with consider their website a part of their business, not their entire business. What is Zenni’s business? It’s their website, not their medical practice or their single store. Their website is the heart of what they do, period. They keep it up to date on a daily basis if not an hourly one. For most ECP’s they build a website and forget about it. They don’t look at it hourly, daily, weekly, or even monthly. They have a million other things on their plate to worry about updating constantly in a constantly changing online world. I can’t tell you how many times a client has called or emailed asking me to remove XYZ brand from the brand names list and when I ask when did you stop selling them the answer is more often than not measured in years instead of days.

Notwithstanding all those considerations, you need to look at what keywords are important for your business. Want the keyword glasses? I mean after all, people are always talking about what lovely glasses you sell or that their glasses don’t fit anymore. “Honey, where are my glasses?” I would say, NO, I don’t want to rank for glasses. People searching for glasses could be searching for wine glasses, water glasses, or even double pane glass for their homes. Want to rank for plano? Sorry, Plano is a city in Texas.

There are 963 million results for the search term “eyewear” and only 117 million for “eyeglasses” Yet, what do people search? By an almost 4 to 1 margin people are searching eyeglasses over eyewear according to Google Trends, which means we have been corrupted into believing our own hype and calling our products eyewear when our customers call them eyeglasses. You are doing yourselves no favors by calling your page eyewear instead of eyeglasses. In the case cited above, there are on average less than 100 searches a month for gorgeous glasses but over half a million for eyeglasses. Which audience pool do you wish to spend your time in?

You could spend all your time chasing the newest keyword suggested by a post on Facebook or by a friend or neighbor. If you were truly that bored, you could come up with a few dozen cool keywords on your drive between your home and your office. That doesn’t mean you should spend hours or hundreds if not thousands of dollars chasing keyword after keyword. Your customers and patients won’t.

That doesn’t mean I suggest you abandon the use of term eyewear or gorgeous glasses as part of your website, just be cognizant of the practice of using industry terms in place of what terms your customers or potential customers are looking for. For those doing your own SEO, you would be best served concentrating on your LOCAL market. eyeglasses Chattanooga, sunglasses Cleveland, fashion eyeglasses Billings, and so on.  Start with the basics and when you own those in your marketplace work your way across the long tail as time, energy, and affordability allow.

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