In online retail, where every new visitor could be a sale, SEO strategies that generate tens of thousands of new visits per month mean a lot more dough for brands. It’s reported that over 44% of all eCommerce traffic comes from search engines (nChannel), making SEO something that retailers can’t ignore.

Though if you’re here, you already know that, and you’re most likely well-versed in the many tried and true SEO best practices for eCommerce and retail brands. There are a lot of resources available from well-known experts like Neil Patel and Moz. They talk about how to optimize eCommerce sites with foundational best practices and current tips to keep you up-to-date on the latest algorithm changes. That’s not what we are going to get into here.

We’re going to talk about a set of keywords that many brands overlook, don’t focus on, or think aren’t for them. A set of words that 96% of shoppers are looking for. A set of search terms that generate hundreds of millions in revenue for affiliates. 

This is about how to use SEO strategies to reclaim revenue from affiliates who don’t add any brand value. 

This is about how to take back market share of shoppers searching for your brand. 

So what’s the most underutilized SEO strategy? 

Shoppers are searching for in droves for these terms, but brands struggle to rank well for them. There are two main reasons we see that brands don’t always rank well.

For one, coupon and promotion content doesn’t naturally live on an eCommerce site in a searchable, SEO-friendly way. Incentives are often images on home pages, top banners for free shipping, in emails, on social media. As a result, shoppers head on a scavenger hunt every time they want to make a purchase.

In many cases, the only place they are aggregated is on coupon affiliate sites. And they have more than proven the worth of optimizing for coupon and promotion search terms. In 2017, RetailMeNot was sold for $630 Million and in 2019, Honey sold for $4 Billion. According to SEMRush, RetailMeNot ranks #1 for 136.7 THOUSAND keywords.

Second, some brands choose not to go after this group of keywords because they don’t see themselves as a promotional brand, or they are working to be less promotional. We get that, however shoppers don’t care about your business strategy. They are still searching for your coupons.

For example, Apple, a top brand that isn’t promotional, doesn’t rank on the first few Google pages for “Apple Coupons”. RetailMeNot however, ranks #1 for over 75 coupon-related Apple search terms with over 42,000 in monthly search volume. That is a lot of traffic they are giving up. It’s also a lot of conversations that Apple could control with content.

There are some brands that successfully target these search terms and outrank coupon affiliates. 70% of the top 10 retailers from the NRF Top 100 Retailers rank #1 for “[brand name] coupons”, while only 50% of the last 10 do (excludes grocery, gas, and restaurant brands).

How to Rank for Coupon + Search Terms 

The good news is, it’s not that hard for brands to reclaim a lot of this revenue.  But as with all SEO investment, it takes time and commitment. Thrive has proven this strategy many times over, to reclaim the revenue from coupon affiliates and take back market share. 

  1. Complete keyword research on your brand, product and category keywords related to coupons and promotions. Determine which keywords are the most attractive to target. 

  2. Create a page dedicated to hosting your promotions and SEO-optimized copy. We recommend making a multi-page structure that targets specific product categories by page.   

  3. Maintain and optimize the page(s) and content, which includes things like keeping content fresh, implementing a backlinking strategy, optimizing load speed, and user-friendly design and functionality updates.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Thrive’s clients use this strategy via our product, Smart Pages, an SEO-optimized multi-page solution that houses a brand’s coupons and promotions. While, results do vary across clients depending on existing authority, product variety and SEO capabilities, we consistently see this solution work on multiple KPIs. 

For example, in the last year, a client saw a 333% increase in the number of search terms ranking #1 for brand specific coupon and promotion terms. They also saw a 500% increase in similar search terms ranking #1 that did not include their brand (ex. product-specific coupon terms).

seo for online retail strategy
SEO Online Retail Strategy

Additionally, this page can end up being one of your top performing organic pages. For many of our clients, we are one of the top 5 pages on a site for organic clicks. Here are a few client examples based on Google Search Console results (4Q’19):

high ranking SEO page for ecommerce

Not only does this solution drive more traffic to your eCommerce site, it drives high-intent traffic. These shoppers are further along in their purchasing decision and much more likely to convert than the average visitor to a site. In fact, across clients, shoppers who interact with Smart Pages are 339% more likely to convert than those who don’t. And over one third of clients consistently reach over 400%. 

This solution also improves metrics like revenue per session and average order value. Thrive clients on average improve average order values by 9.2% (however this does vary based on specific promotions).

Committed to SEO Excellence

At Thrive Commerce, we started investing years ago in our SEO-focused product, Smart Pages. We have continually focused on improving our product – from load speed to user-friendly design and everything in between – with the goal of better rankings and results for our clients. It shows in our results today and over time.

It’s definitely possible to execute this strategy yourself, but if you’re looking for a plug and play option,  then drop us a line.


We help clients harness the power of their promotions.

Interested in learning more? Book a demo today. 

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