Learn How to Perform Effective Keyword Research for eCommerce Websites

Ecommerce SEO and Google Keyword Planner 101 

two men working on laptops There are typically a few steps in order to perform optimal keyword research for eCommerce SEO. These steps work together in order to make sure you are going in the right direction regarding keyword phrases, target audience, and content optimization. There are several free tools you could use; however, those are mainly just for research purposes and don’t help as much as paid tools like SEMRush.

Strategize Your Keyword Goals

What are you trying to market? Certain products or the business in general? These strategies can be very different, and you want to have a direction before you start doing keyword research and other elements of the marketing plan. For example, if you wanted to promote your vast collection of shoes on your eCommerce SEO site, you would probably be targeting specific types of shoes that you sell and particular trends that you want to promote.

However, if you wanted to promote your business, you would want to instead promote the great variety of products you sell and make sure the different categories of your stock were given relatively equal promotion.

In both cases, be sure to create an ideal client profile so you can be clear on the demographics of your target audience.

Examples of this usually include:

  • Age of ideal consumer (under 18, 18-24, 25-40, etc.)
  • Preferred gender identity of consumer (male, female, non-binary, other)
  • Region (city, state, country, US region, tourist or local)
  • Average income level (Less than $25,000, $25,000 to $34,999, $35,000 to $49,999, etc.)
  • Ethnicity and/or race (Hispanic, white, native American, etc.)
  • Other demographics (political affiliation, preference, education level, marital status, children, etc.)

Explore Google Keyword Planner

girl in pink party dress

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool in order to help you research keywords if you have a Google Ads account. When using the Google keyword planner, it is mainly a Pay Per Click campaign planning tool, however, it still provides some basic insight into keywords for eCommerce SEO, but only if you have a Google Ads account.

First, you have to determine what your main advertising goal is: sales, website traffic, calls, etc. For demonstrative purposes, I used a small online clothing company names Pink Lily Boutique. You can choose products and services (keywords) you want to target like “boutique clothing”, “dresses for women” and “party dresses”.

Then there is a helpful spreadsheet with a graph based on the search volume trends. The spreadsheet is ordered by keyword relevance and features average monthly searches, level of competition, and average bids for each keyword. For my sample campaign, I was given 806 keyword ideas from Google, which can easily be narrowed down by keywords that are not actually relevant to this specific business. This is more of just a brief look into what kinds of keywords you should be looking into and the types of words that are consistent in many of the keyword phrases.

Amazon’s Global Marketplace

Another tool that can help find related keywords for eCommerce SEO is Amazon’s search function. Their marketplace is so expansive and their shipping and Prime services are so well-known that it is possible that many consumers check Amazon’s prices and availability first in order to compare.

For example, when searching for a “baseball cap”, there are many more specific keywords that appear, like “baseball cap women”, “baseball cap organizer”, and “baseball cap rack”. However, it depends on what would relate more closely to your target consumers. When you get into “baseball cap for…”, then it can more easily be narrowed down to your target audience. Additionally, if it were a brand name, such as “Nike baseball cap”, then it would make sense for that to be part of your keyword phrase.

Viewing Amazon’s search suggestions as well as their related search topics can help to see what people are similarly searching for. This can be a definite step in the right direction to finding the optimal keywords for your eCommerce SEO.

Common Keyword Construction

Keywords and keyword phrases are typically two to five words that try to narrow down a search into more commonly searched phrases and topics. There is a difference, however, if you were to be optimizing for a local or national client. Local clients are more likely to rank higher for keyword phrases like “business near the city you’re searching in” or “business near me”. Therefore, your targeted keyword phrases will often include the city the business is based in or a major city nearby.

plates of disney mickey pancakesIf the business is in a major city, it also will probably include a landmark that visitors can reference while they’re searching, like the Statue of Liberty in New York City or Disney World in Orlando. For example, if a family is searching for somewhere to eat after visiting the Magic Kingdom park, they would search something like “restaurants near Magic Kingdom” or “restaurants near Disney”.

For an eCommerce SEO site, the construction would be similar if there is a brick and mortar store nearby, such as “monogramming near me” or “monogramming in city name”. Ecommerce sites are unique in that while some are mainly an online store, some also have a brick and mortar component and can be optimized locally as well.

Ecommerce sites that are only online, however, are optimized nationally, meaning they have keyword phrases that revolve more around the products they are selling and their target audience. These wouldn’t have a near me component but would instead have phrases like “monogrammed shirts for women” or “cheap monogrammed shirts”. They can have demographic, price, quality, and market specific components in order to best reach their target audience.

The Power Tool: SEMRush

The best possible keyword research for eCommerce SEO is using an online tool called SEMRush. This tool contains options for keyword discovery, keyword difficulty, position changes as well as competitor information.

For keyword discovery and keyword difficulty, the information that SEMRush can provide is invaluable.  The keyword discovery shows hundreds of potential keywords for your specific website and gives you a great idea of what direction to go in for targeting keywords and adding content. The keyword difficulty scores show how difficult each keyword would be to move up in rankings and determines which ones you should target next. The higher percentage of keywords will be harder to move past your competitor’s content to rank higher. Additionally, with the difficulty tool, the search volume for each keyword will show to see how many search engine users are searching for that specific keyword.

For competitor research information, SEMRush is able to do a side-by-side comparison of your website as well as your competitors in order to see both common and unique keywords. There are also helpful charts to display large amounts of data in order to understand it better. The SEMRush tool is also helpful for pay per click research as it has information on potential cost per click.

After using these tools to collect and analyze information on keywords, you can create a strategic content plan for your eCommerce SEO campaign. Keywords are your foundation for SEO and point you in the right direction to start ranking in search engine results and becoming a more successful eCommerce website.