Keyword Research Explained for eCommerce SEO

Author Justin Smith
by Allison Kynion
Updated Apr. 21, 2017

The importance of the information discovered through keyword research cannot be stressed enough! Why is that, you ask? It’s a tried-and-true way to understand exactly what your consumer is already searching for and to detect potential market segments that your company can tap into. But it’s not just about finding the most popular keywords at the moment and trying to rank for them. It’s about finding the RIGHT keywords to target that will ultimately result in higher conversion rates and an increase in sales. In the eCommerce SEO world your customers may be searching for model numbers, brand names, product names and also major key phrases. So how do you know where to start?

Steps for Ecommerce Keyword Research Include:

  • Understand your customers, why and when they are searching
  • Use Google Keyword Planner to find keyword search volume
  • Research keywords that will convert (long-tail, product numbers, etc.)
  • Determine which products are popular or in season, or will be soon
  • Research brand name keywords and search volume
  • Select 3-5 main keywords for each category
  • Find keyword that have relativity low or medium competition
  • Determine niche keywords and build your authority around these

You must first and foremost understand your company and your customers. Ask yourself this question: Who are our customers and how would they shop for our product? It’s not enough just to know what your company sells, you have to understand how a potential customer is SEARCHING for what you sell. For example: You are an appliance manufacturer and your targeted customer is someone in the maintenance field. Is that customer searching for “repair parts” or are they looking at a broken refrigerator, the part they need to fix it, and typing that part’s exact product code into Google? Probably typing that part’s exact product code into Google.


OK, so now that you have a list of 100+ words that are relevant to your company and your customers, how do you pick which of those words are the most important ones to focus on? The important thing to know is that it’s not about getting the MOST visitors to your site, it’s about getting the RIGHT visitors to your site. For example, a person searching for “shoes” might simply just be browsing or looking to pass time, but a person searching for “women’s brown boots site 7” knows exactly what they want and most likely has their wallet out, ready to buy. These long-tail keywords might produce a lower search volume than the broader word “shoes”, but would you rather get 100 searches a day from people with the intent to buy, or 500 searches a day from people with the intent to browse?


DIFFICULTY:
Another important factor to consider is competition level. Some keywords can be heavily concentrated within the market, making it harder for your website to rank for those words. If you want to rank for the word “wine glasses” but the first page is saturated with big companies that have a strong hold on the market, your small company doesn't stand a chance. Instead, try to find a less popular, more detailed set of keywords that your company has a real shot at ranking for- like “venerable wine glasses” or “stemless wine glasses”. Also, be sure to stress the importance of search engine friendly website development to your commerce web design company. Without the proper website base, optimizing for a lot of keywords and certain phrases may be very difficult.


RINSE & REPEAT:
Unfortunately, after all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears you put into creating the world’s most perfect keyword list for your site, you must do it over and over again. Rinsing & repeating your keyword list is essential to keeping up with the ever-changing trends in the market and your constantly evolving customers.

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