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Why long-tail keywords can feed into a green ecommerce strategy

We have previously touched upon ‘long-tail’ keywords and how they can augment SEO efforts. However, you might not have realised how effectively these keywords can be employed to help online stores sell eco-friendly products.

YouGov has reported 72% of consumers taking sustainability into account when deciding what to buy. With 94% of retailers having dubiously assumed customers to be swayed more by brand name than sustainability, you could give yourself a valuable edge by targeting eco-conscious customers.

You can improve your conversion rates 

Long-tail keywords already bode well for companies’ attempts to convert prospective customers into paying ones. These keywords are more specific than short-tail keywords, meaning that people you do lure with the former are likelier to be looking for something more specific, too.

Imagine if you stocked eco-friendly cases for smartphones. Those cases could, say, be compostable or made of recycled plastic. You could therefore market them with keywords to suit, such as ‘compostable phone cases’ or ‘recycled plastic smartphone cases’.

There’s less competition 

This is another good reason for you even just to use long-tail keywords in general, let alone those of a green slant. As online retailers often attempt to optimise their websites with short, punchier keywords rather than lengthier ones, the latter are there for the taking.

Furthermore, as acknowledged above, many brands appear to underestimate the level of demand for environmentally friendly products. Your marketing budget could thank you if you add ‘eco-friendly’ to such standard keywords as ‘trainers’, ‘deodorant’ and ‘towels’. 

Nonetheless, make sure you don’t use such keywords if they don’t accurately represent your offerings. Otherwise, you could end up damaging shoppers’ trust — especially if you are publicly accused of ‘greenwashing’.

The ecological charity Greenpeace defines greenwashing as “a PR tactic used to make a company or product appear environmentally friendly, without meaningfully reducing its environmental impact.”

Watch out for better search engine rankings 

In the corporate sphere, it’s often more crucial to find the ‘right’ customer rather than what businesses across a range of industries would generically describe as a ‘good’ customer.

This gets to the heart of why a long-tail keyword strategy works so well. Keywords of this type are focused on specific topics or niches, and so primed to help you reach out to customers who would be especially inclined to buy specific items your company offers.

In practice, then, an online store offering swimming gear made from recycled plastic could leverage SEO more cost-effectively through using keywords like ‘eco-friendly swim shorts’ instead of simply ‘swim shorts’ — as the targeted customers are likelier to use the former as a search term.

Your marketing money can go a lot further

One reason why is that long-tail keywords can even make it easier for you to promote individual products.

A smartphone retailer, for instance, could stock the sustainable Fairphone 4 and invest in PPC (Pay Per Click) ads using the keyword ‘Fairphone 4’. Those ads could link to the Fairphone 4 page on an ecommerce website we would even be able to design for you.

What is greenwashing, and how can your company’s marketing avoid it?

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