Effective Keyword Research for eCommerce Stores

So you have a new eCom store and can’t wait to get started with it. You need keywords, you need traffic and you need buyers.

Keyword research is the first step to this convoluted world.

Prior to stepping into the world of keyword research, you’ve to familiarize yourselves with some basic terminology.

Keyword – A keyword is a phrase that you can use to sum up the gist of the content on your page. It’s part of a site’s meta data helping search engines index and rank the content properly.

In an experiment, I stripped the textual content off a page that ranked for a certain keyword maintaining a blank page with only the headline containing the keyword. The post kept ranking for several months and still does.

Long-tail Keywords – They are keywords that contain more than 2 words.

70% of all searches made online are long tail according to data from Moz. SEOMoz reported that long tails tend to convert better and we will see more on that shortly. Content marketing is slowly shifting towards incorporating a lot of long tail keywords with the advent of voice search.


Search Volume – Search volume is the 12 month average number of searches for a given keyword. It’s a no brainer here. Look for keywords that have the highest volume and are the most relevant for your store holding the potential for highest conversions.

Competition – Finally, you need to consider competition because without it you’d be lost in the sea of sites ranking above you. Competition simply is the difficulty for each keyword to rank. And they are difficult to find and require patience and work.

Always choose and go for keywords that are lower in competition. For instance, if you’re using Ahrefs then a competition value between 10 to 40 is good. 50 is pushing it.

Coming up with the initial list of keywords

As you now understand what keyword research is and the basic terms surrounding keywords, it’s time to gallop ahead.

Before you fire up a single tool, you must have a clear understanding of what your company is, who it targets and who and what the customers are, want and like.

This will help you understand how potential customers are searching online for what you sell. Keyword research doesn’t tell you what is on people’s minds. It tells you how they express what’s on their minds.

And you might have all keywords and products based on what looks and feels good but if they don’t match what they are searching for you won’t get much ahead.

By doing this, you will be able to come up with at least 50 to 100 keyword ideas that you think are most relevant to your company/brand/product. All that remains is for you to now pick the most important ones from this list.

If you have a lot of terms initially, it makes your work easier at discovering newer relevant terms.

The list should have as many relevant keywords as possible.

Tools To Expand Your List

Once you have picked your initial set of keywords, it’s good to identify more related keywords, their traffic and search volumes. The search boxes on Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing double up as suggestion tools that let you generate dozens of new keywords when you enter one or two keywords initially.


There are also advanced tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush and others that let you uncover competitor’s high ranking keywords as well.

Finally, when choosing the right keywords, don’t fall for the traffic trap. If you could be assured that every visitor on your site is going to convert you would bring all kinds of visitors. Realize that it’s not a numbers game. It’s a game of relevance, where the higher the quality of visitors you bring, the better your odds are of ranking well.

If you can gear your site to rank for specific long tail terms, you will be able to attract the kind of traffic that want this specific product. If it means less than 10 searches a month, you’re going to end up with 10 purchases.

Long tail keywords are the key when you’re beginning out as an eCommerce marketing novice without much in terms of budget. They’re hyper-targeted and produce results.

It’s always better to get 10 people a day who are ready to purchase than hundreds who have no commercial intent.

Keyword competition

Another important factor is keyword competition. I hinted at it at the start of the post. Here’s some more detail. With so many people starting eCommerce stores, a lot of keywords have thousands of competitors making a beeline for them. Needless to say, it’s difficult ranking for them. You don’t want to go toe to toe with the heavy hitters. Instead, try to shoot for variations or niched down product ideas where you can make a big dent.

Variations of dumbbells, for instance, are adjustable dumbbells which has a specific target audience in mind who only want dumbbells whose weight can be adjusted. Compared to ordinary dumbbells these are much more expensive. The lower volume is matched by the buyer intent.

Concluding thoughts

You might put a lot of effort into creating keyword lists. But it never ends with one list. As you plan on adding newer products, you need the right keywords to target the right kind of traffic. Also, as trends change, you will have to kill a few products and replace those with others. Add these keywords to your product pages, category pages and even blog posts.

What do you think of the keyword research tips I outlined above? Do let me know in the comments below.


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    Author Bio:

    George started blogging way back in 2011. He is constantly on the hunt for tools that optimize and fine tune sites and get better rankings with little effort.

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