Mechanical Keyboards Inc. is a leader in the mechanical keyboards market, but is it because they have a solid SEO foundation?
Keyboards are important for the day-to-day of many people. With both computers and the internet ingrained into society, physical keyboards are a must have peripheral. Right now, you most likely navigated to this post using a physical keyboard.
You would think that the physical keyboard market is shrinking with the majority of internet users going mobile first. But this doesn’t seem to be the case, especially for a niche of keyboards, mechanical keyboards.
What is a Mechanical Keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a keyboard made up of individual key switches. Compared to a membrane keyboard which uses a membrane or layer to press on a circuit layer. The appeal of mechanical keyboards over membrane keyboards are their durability, tactility, and customizability.
Mechanical keyboards are an up and coming market with a predicted growth to 1.36 billion by 2023. If you are familiar with Reddit, the /MechanicalKeyboards subreddit even has 576,000 members, which has been growing by 50% on average year to year.
Today we will be breaking down one of the top mechanical keyboard merchants on the market, Mechanical Keyboards Inc. In this breakdown, we discuss the areas that Mechanical Keyboard Inc. has going right, which are a key contributing factor to their organic search presence. More importantly, we will peek into areas of opportunity that can propel them past their competitors through SEO. As an online retailer, having a well thought out SEO strategy is a must have for prolonged success.
What They Have Going Right
Mechanical Keyboards Inc. has areas of their site that are positive and help drive their organic traffic. They are a leading retailer for a reason and these are the things they have going their way.
Mechanical Keyboards Inc. has a large variety of pre-built keyboards and accessories for visitors to sort through. Not only that, they stock some of the biggest brands like Ducky, Varmilo, Leopold, Vortex, and much more. Having more products in stock means more people can land on those product pages since they have the product and brand names in their headings.
Alongside their wide product selection, they are among a select few vendors that are official, helping users stray away from counterfeited goods.
They are touted as THE mechanical keyboard vendors by members of the mechanical keyboard community. Because they have a high product selection and provide several mechanical keyboard resources, they are seen as the must visit site for pre-built keyboards.
The subreddit /MechanicalKeyboards, shouts out Mechanical Keyboards Inc. as a reputable seller, which drives users to their site as well.
Because they are an official seller for brands like Ducky, they often will drop exclusive editions of certain keyboard models. This exclusivity with brands is another unique selling proposition that Mechanical Keyboards Inc. brings to the table.
Another area of their business that they have going right is their learning center. They answer questions that newer mechanical keyboard enthusiasts are asking. Things like which switches to pick, what to look for when purchasing, and more.
One of the best performing knowledge pages that answers the question, “What is a mechanical keyboard”, pulls in roughly 1,800 visits a month.
These knowledge pages aren’t entirely optimized, but a chunk of them perform well due to the niche. Additionally, these pages provide a deeper topical confidence for search engines of what the site is about.
Exact Match Domain
I know what you’re thinking… “Exact match domains don’t influence search rankings, do they?
Well… yes and no. From a ranking factor standpoint, they do not. But if you have all your ducks in a row, have relatively low competition, and fulfill intent wholly, then yes they do.
Mechanical Keyboards Inc. has the upper hand against competitors because the product name is in their domain name and business name. And because they have little competition, users are likely to visit their site when learning about and purchasing mechanical keyboards. Alongside the credibility point mentioned above, they are becoming a go-to resource for search engines.
If they had a low selection of mechanical keyboards compared to others, didn’t try to answer user questions through their learn center, and more competition existed, who knows where they would be ranking today.
Areas of Improvement
You now have a good idea of what Mechanical Keyboards Inc. has going right which we discussed above. That isn’t by all means an exhaustive list, but are some of the core areas observed of their online business.
The market is always changing from both an SEO standpoint and also looking at the growth of the mechanical keyboards niche, which means there is always opportunity to improve. Because of the projected market growth, new competitors may rise and if they provide a better overall service, they have the ability to compete head to head with Mechanical Keyboards Inc.
An important part of on-page SEO is URL structure. Mechanical Keyboards Inc. appears to have their site custom built with PHP and their eCommerce templates riddle their pages with URL parameters. Here are a few examples of pages they have, with some suggested URLs to optimize them.
Ducky Keyboards Page (Brand Focus)
Main Keyword: Ducky Keyboard (74,000 Search Volume)
Current Position: 3
Suggested SEO URL: https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/ducky
Ducky One 2 Mini Page (Product Focus)
Main Keyword: Ducky One 2 Mini (110,000 Search Volume)
Current Position: 2
Suggested SEO URL: https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/ducky/one-2-mini
This isn’t only the case for shopping pages, but is visible site wide, like their “what is a mechanical keyboard” page: https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/define_mechanical_keyboard.php
Messy URLs are easy to fall into, especially when a CMS sets these up incorrectly by default, or if you have a tech stack that has been custom from the start. But working on these to be SEO and user friendly is a must to refine overall usability and accessibility.
Taking a look at the main shopping page of mechanicalkeyboards.com, we are seeing a page load time of 2.5 seconds on a 4G network, which is categorized as slow. When it comes to ecommerce, it is common knowledge that milliseconds can have an impact on your bottom line.
Using the estimated organic search traffic number from SEMRush of 280,000, a low conversion rate of 1%, and assuming that the average order value is $100 (average mechanical keyboard pricing on their site), we can evaluate the impact that pagespeed has on their business. With these values, and an improvement of pagespeed by 40% (2.5 second load time to 1.5 seconds), Mechanical Keyboards Inc. could realize a potential increase in annual revenue of about $161,000. And that is with relatively low estimations!
But how can they increase the speed of their site? The simple things like optimizing images, lazy loading images, and reducing the page weight.
Structured data helps two-fold, by providing search engines with an easy to understand view of the page, and enhances the listing on the search engine results page (SERPs). Currently, mechanicalkeyboards.com doesn’t use any sort of structured data or schema. One of their competitors, we all know as one of the giants of retail, Amazon, does.
When looking for a specific keyboard on Google, which one are you likely to click on?
Amazon has the advantage on the SERPs with the reviews shown directly on their listing, encouraging users to click. These are clicks that Mechanical Keyboards Inc. could be losing out on.
Not only that, but the stock available (which is often out of stock for most popular mechanical keyboards), and the price could be shown with the implementation of structured data. Structured data has a high impact on the click through rate of sites, especially eCommerce ones and is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Sitemaps are important towards helping search engines find your new pages. They aren’t required for sites that have a clean hierarchy and structure, but are almost always recommended. Mechanical Keyboards Incs hierarchy and structure are far from clean. They also have an influx of new products that they release from time to time, which would be easily discovered through a properly designed sitemap. As of now, mechanicalkeyboards.com is lacking a sitemap, but should consider implementing one to enhance the discoverability of their top pages.
Canonicals are a must when considering SEO for a website. Especially when they are stated as a best practice by Google. The benefit of specifying a canonical URL for each page is to make sure there aren’t any duplicate content issues and that Google (and other search engines) choose the right page when indexing/ranking.
Mechanical Keyboards Inc. has zero canonical tags setup. From a broad perspective this may seem okay, but digging in there are bigger troubles afoot. For example, what is the difference between these homepage URLs:
The answer is nothing. The solution to these pages is to set a redirect, or to specify parameters in Google Search Console. But seeing these makes us wonder how many duplicate URLs there are. Especially when there were about 30,000 internal URLs we crawled through (99% of those marked as indexable!). Also, there are plenty of instances that may require a canonical due to the different variations of products that result in duplicate content.
Overall, the user experience of shopping on mechanicalkeyboards.com is fairly straightforward and intuitive. There are some areas of the site though that are difficult to navigate. One instance is filtering through products. You can refine your search by brand, switch, keycaps, backlight, or size. But you can’t toggle multiple filters at once.
This can be achieved through faceted navigation. Allowing users to choose multiple filters like the brand they want, if they want a certain size, and by certain switch types has the ability to heavily boost the shopping experience.
Another area of improvement is the changing of menu designs as you travel from one section of the site to another. As you can see below there are three different menus, capitalization, and colors. The lack of cohesiveness gives the feel that you may be on a different site, or even worse… lack of trustworthiness in some users.
These are items that stuck out to us in our dive of Mechanical Keyboards Inc., but there are a handful of other areas that can use improvement.
User experience and SEO share common goals, and search engines are getting better at recognizing this as they continually progress their algorithms. To succeed in the organic search playing field, it is necessary to provide the best user experience to users possible.
Wrapping Things Up
When conducting this breakdown of mechanicalkeyboards.com, we focused on the key areas for their SEO. These aren’t all of the issues they have going wrong, but you have to start somewhere!
As mentioned, they do have a following and a solid business grounded. But to maintain their top rankings and remain proactive, pursuing their SEO holes is paramount to their long term success.
If you have an eCommerce site and are leading your market, don’t get too comfortable. It is always best to be proactive and continually improve to avoid competition sliding by.