Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Jackets - Another Lens Dissection!

From Chocolate to winter jackets we’re looking at more lens critiques today and this one comes from a long time reader of our blog and a fellow Australian lensmaster ElleDeeEsse.   Her lens is Best Winter Jacket for Men.

ElleDeeEsse has also told me that she has had some sales from the lens and if you read it you won’t be surprised to hear this, she also sent me the top keywords that had sent her traffic from Google which is always a great place to start looking at your own lenses when trying to improve.

The top keywords that were finding traffic were –

best winter jackets
best winter jackets for men
heavy jackets for men
best jackets for men

When you first look at this lens straight off the bat you see what looks like a really warm and comfy jacket and you’re also drawn by highlighted text in the intro.   You can buy that jacket without scrolling down at all!   Having 2-3 links in the introduction has been found to be very good and I love the way that ElleDeeEsse has done this, I would say it’s part of the reason she’s had some sales.

Now let’s see what the introduction looks like in Google –

Best Winter Jackets For Men

eview by Darren Slatten - Jan 1, 2010 - Price range: $999.99
 ... Winter is coming for those in Northern parts and as the weather gets colder now is the time to start thinking about whether to struggle on for another ... - Cached - Similar

Unfortunately as you can see there are no keywords showing in this text, so if you’re searching for a winter jacket and you saw this result along with a result that actually said winter jacket in the first sentence you’d click on the one that says winter jacket wouldn’t you?  

Before we look at the introduction more though we need to work on what keywords we are going to use.   First up let’s look at the top two keyword phrases that showed up in ElleDeeEsse’s stats.

best winter jackets
best winter jackets for men

Best winter jackets gets a monthly global search of 1,900 which isn’t bad and ElleDeeEsse comes in at number 8 which means she’s on the front page of Google.    5 of the results above her have the words best winter jackets showing in their SERP, only one as a complete phrase.    This could be good for us.

Best winter jackets for men gets 390 monthly searches and ElleDeeEsse is at number 6 for this result.   The search doesn’t show anyone above ElleDeeEsse using this exact phrase in their SERP, the closest is Best Men’s Winter Jackets which is only used by one person above her.  

Okay so that was one step to looking at keywords, but what does Google keyword tool think the lens is about?

The biggest keywords that it recognizes are coats, men’s coats and coats for men, but we’re going to ignore these as they are too broad (coats) or with too much competition (and hopefully if we optimize for a different phrase we may find that we naturally start ranking for these too).

Mens winter jackets – 6,600
Mens winter coats – 5,400
Winter coats for men – 9,900
Winter coat for men – 2,400

It seems to identify more with the term coat than it does jacket, do we want to change the keyword?   Personally I don’t think so because when you search for best winter coats for men or winter coats for men you get double the amount of competition as when you search for jackets.

Okay so I think we’ll stick with the two keywords that we already know have brought ElleDeeEsse traffic and combined these keywords account for 2,290 monthly searches.   At the moment ElleDeeEsse gets 123 per week.  By targeting on these we should also find ourselves ranking for mens winter jackets which gets an additional 6,600 monthly searches.

Although we’re only targeting for the two main keyword phrase you will usually find that your style of writing, products on the page, images etc means that you will usually hit other keywords as well.

Let’s look at the introduction – the title contains the words winter jacket and for men even though they’re not together, but the title doesn’t actually show in the search it shows afterwards.   In this case I would leave the title because it actually doesn’t scream keyword stuffing it reads as though you were being given a lovely, warm idea.

We do need to work on the introduction however, I don’t like to see lenses targeted too much for seasonal things (except international holidays) because you want to be selling the whole year around.   It is always winter somewhere and the internet is global.   I have one particular lens that makes sales every week because I resisted the initial urge to put it into a pigeonhole for something that was primarily targeted at a US market, despite the fact that this is my biggest market.   I wrote it so that it was relevant all year around and I think this is key as I’ve spoken to an online friend who wrote something very similar and they make a lot of sales, but primarily just for three months of the year.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again The Internet is Global!

Okay rant over and back to the lens in question!  

Here's an idea on how to change your introduction -
As winter fast approaches it means that it’s time to check out the best winter jackets for men and I have found a great collection of some of the best winter jackets online.   It’s always hard to know when to struggle on for another year with that old favourite and oh so comfortable jacket or take the plunge and ditch it for a new one.

If you’re in any doubt at all then check out this collection of the best winter jackets for men that I have compiled, you may find that just one look is all you need!   Look at the picture opposite for example – this fabulous…….continue on with existing intro.

This is what it looks like –

Best Winter Jackets For Men

eview by Darren Slatten - Jan 1, 2010 - Price range: $999.99
 ... As winter fast approaches it means that it’s time to check out the best winter jackets for men and I have found a great collection of some of the best ... - Cached - Similar

Now only one of the keywords show up in the serps, but if you remember only one of her main competitors has the phrase as a whole in their serp and I’ve tried to emulate ElleDeeEsse’s chatty and friendly tone,    It also doesn’t look like it’s stuffed which, in my opinion, her main competitor does look like.   This is obviously subjective and you have to go with something that you’re happy about.

Now moving on down past the introduction ElleDeeEsse has Great Savings and Free Shipping as a title, this is also repeated on the link below which stands out enough so I wouldn’t waste a heading with these words.   Instead I would change it to the type of jacket (which is in the subheading and add the keywords to the subheading for example –

Carhartt Men's Extremes Arctic Quilt Active Jacket
One of the Best Winter Jackets for Men

I would add this subheading to all of the headings that name a particular jacket.

I would change the heading on the selection of Carhartt jackets to –

Selection of the Best Carhartt Winter Jackets for Men
This will just add the keywords best winter jackets for men in their quite naturally.

Again I would change the heading of – Most of the Excellent Marmot Thermal Jackets to Most of the Excellent Marmot Thermal Jackets for Men.  

Personally I would get rid of the ad for heated shoe insole as it dilutes this lens’ niche, if you really wanted to add it I would pop it on the bottom of the page instead of running the Chitika ads.

You’re on the right idea with asking a question in the guestbook, but I would rephrase it to get your keywords in.   Try - Did You Find the Right Winter Jacket for Men From This Selection?
Or - Did You Find the Right Winter Jacket for Your Man From My Collection?

Having the sidebar widgets to sell something that compliments your main lens is a great idea, but I would also incorporate a little keyword juice in here as well.    For example on the first Amazon widget use the title for something like – Even the Best Men’s Winter Jacket Needs Some Headwear! – then add your existing titles as sub-titles for the individual modules.

Hope all of this helps and not just ElleDeeEsse, I’m hoping that as we look at people’s lenses we can look at how the advice can be applied to our own.  


  1. Wow!! Thanks Louanne. This is fantastic. It's so simple really isn't it. It's really just a matter of rethinking what you are doing. This is going to be one area I work really hard at to try and get right this year. but first off to incorporate all your fabulous ideas into this lens.

  2. Glad you're happy Lynne, hopefully you can apply these tips to all of your lenses over time.

  3. That is a fantastic critique of a very good lens..Excellent

  4. Great advice, Louanne! Everyone can benefit from this. Thanks.