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How to Pick Smarter Keywords

How to Pick Smarter Keywords for your Lingerie Business

an image of Holly Jackson of Cottage Copyby Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson is a online copywriter and lingerie columnist. She can be found blogging at her website or on working on her goal of filling up an entire closet with lingerie on Twitter @fullfigurechest.

I’ve been thinking a lot about keywords lately. Some of my clients come in clueless about keywords, and some of them come in with a list of 300 keywords that they’ve mathematically calculated. No matter what type of client they are, they usually know a lot about the science of keywords.

The truth is that as we become more integrated into the Google system for SEO and paid ads and search engine placement become more prominent, we’re going to have to learn to think about our keywords differently. Most people know about the mathematical part of researching keywords (and if you don’t, Google has a really great tutorial), but they don’t think about the logic behind them.

Which leads to lots of lingerie descriptions like this:

“Full-figured full-busted curvy large cup lingerie!”

While that title has covered all of your bases SEO-wise, it’s sort of the Google equivalent of a blind dartboard contest. In other words, not very effective and slightly dangerous.

I always advocate using the math as a starting point, and then really thinking about the substance of your keywords. If you’d like to start building smarter keywords, here are some issues to think about.

What are people really searching for?


In the next five seconds, describe how a babydoll is different from a chemise.

Okay, you can probably do it, but that’s because if you’re reading this you either make them or sell them. How would your customers answer that?

The answer is most of them probably couldn’t. They’re also probably using one term or the other to refer to both. This is a huge issue in lingerie, because there are so many ways to describe similar things. This is an even bigger issue if you run a boutique that caters to a certain size range. You know the difference between full-busted and full-figured, but does anyone else?

You know the difference between full-busted and full-figured, but does anyone else?

One way to look at what people are searching for is to look at your Google Analytics. This isn’t as useful as it used to be, because Google is changing things to bring everyone further into their system, but it still can shed some light. Ignoring the random results like “lingerie model eating a hamburger”, look at what people are searching for when they come to your site. If you have terms on your keyword spreadsheet that aren’t showing up in actual search results, you probably should think about dropping them.

How do your customers talk about lingerie?


This is a distinctly different issue than the one above, although they’re related. The way industry professionals talk about lingerie and the way the average customer talks about lingerie are very different. This is because women self-identify in very different ways. Your customers are coming to you for a reason, and figuring out why can help you pick very strong keywords that resonate on both a mathematical and emotional level.

Let’s go back to the awful sample title at the beginning of the article. Full-figured women are more likely to identify as plus-size, while full-busted women won’t fully identify with a standard size range or an extended one. Women from a size 00 to size 20 and beyond will identify as curvy. Large cup lingerie refers to a range of cup sizes, but doesn’t say anything about band sizing. So, which woman is that title really talking to? None of them.

If you’re an online retailer, surveys can be really helpful. Your customers will appreciate being asked about their values and emotions, and you’ll gain valuable information about how your core customer base identifies themselves. You can also ask them what their favorite part about shopping with you is. Letting your customers help you pick your keywords helps ensure that the people you love can find you online.

How do you pick your keywords? Let me know in the comments!

One Response to “How to Pick Smarter Keywords”
  1. Thank you for that good advise. I will revisite our keywords carefully.

    How would you organise such a survey? As a form atteched to the mail after a sale or as some kind of competition?

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