One of the key factors for E-commerce success is SEO optimization, which means you optimize and enhance your webs to drive more traffic from Google. And among the first challenges to conquer in SEO for E-commerce site owners is performing keyword research. After all, most customers type in keywords and enter websites that they see first on Google.
Thus, if you target the wrong keywords or fail to make it to the top of GSRP (Google search results pages), that would lead to loss of traffic and possibly sales. In this article, we’ll provide you with an all-in-one guide on keyword research for E-commerce, from the nature of keywords, how to do it right to the effective eCommerce SEO tools that you should leverage.
The true essence of SEO keywords
Keyword research is one of the most vital and foundational aspects when implementing SEO strategies for E-commerce businesses. By now, you all know what keywords are by definition, but not many dig further into the essence of keywords for SEO. Not understanding the nature of keywords might lead to choosing ineffective ones and worse, targeting the wrong customers. One of the possible consequences of this is being able to grow traffic but failing to generate more revenue from it.
So let’s dive into it. The first thing you need to understand about the essence of keywords is there’s a customer intent behind every phrase they search. Let’s put yourself in customers’ shoes to better understand this. Imagine searching for the phrase “Affordable Samsung Keyboards”, what is the information you’re really looking for and want to see in the search results. Is it “Price comparison”, “Buying Samsung keyboards” or “Information about the Samsung brand for keyboards”
In this case, most customers would want to find information about at least 5 types of Samsung keyboards and a detailed review of their prices and features. In contrast, if they search for “SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab S7+ Keyboard”, customers already have the intention to buy and are just looking for the right seller.
From these examples, you can see that behind every keyword searched is customer intent! This means if you choose the right keywords that contain the intent to buy, you will increase your conversion rate even more. Determining the right search intent will help you provide the most relevant and suitable content for each keyword and can attract more of your target customers.
So how can we determine the search intent behind each keyword? Actually, every keyword searched on Google has the same structure, and that includes The root and The modifier. Let’s look at this graph for further illustration
The root (the original part) is the main word that focuses entirely on customers’ search purpose. Whether a user searches for “Cheap Samsung Keyboard” or “Apple keyboard”, that search is still about “keyboard”, so the root here is “Keyboard”
The Modifier: The remaining words/phrases of the keyword that determines their search intent. For “Affordable Samsung keyboards”, the modifier is “affordable Samsung”. There are 3 kinds of search intent: Informational intent, navigational intent, and transactional intent, each of which has corresponding keyword modifiers
Keywords with informational intent are keywords that signal that customers are looking for information or answers to their questions. In the sales funnel, customers who search for these keywords will be placed at the top of the awareness stage.
This is the stage where you want to educate them more about your brand and products. Informational-intent keywords often include WH questions such as how, how, what, where, etc; or the roots such as “keyboards”. Some examples of keywords with informational intent are “How to make yogurt”, “When to feed baby yogurt”, etc.
Traffic that comes from these types of keywords probably won’t lead to an immediate sale, but they could be an ideal approach for you to engage with potential customers early in the buying process. As they get more familiar with your site and your brand, you already gained success in moving customers further in the sales funnel.
searches with navigation-intent keywords indicate that customers may be trying to make comparisons among different products regarding their prices or functions. These keywords might also signal a need to gain a deeper understanding of something of customers.
Some examples of keywords with navigational intent are “Best keyboards”, “Are Samsung keyboards good”, etc. The common keywords in these searches are “best”, “compare”, “comparison”, “for men/women”, “alternative”, “review” and so on.
When implementing content for keywords with an intent to find comparisons, you want to make sure that you emphasize to customers that your products are better than the competitors’.
These keywords signal that customers already have an intention to buy and are ready to make a purchase. Some modifiers of transactional-intent keywords are “voucher”, “sale”,
“coupon”, “sale”, “free shipping”, “discount”, etc; or specific product keywords such as “ Samsung Galaxy S20”
After you understand don’t just focus on optimizing for transactional intent – you’ll build up a more complete sales funnel that reaches people at various stages of the buyer’s journey by creating content to appeal to each type of intent.
Once you have grasped the essence of keyword intents, you can start optimizing your content for each type of keyword accordingly. Don’t just focus on transactional-intent keywords, but make sure your content is optimized for both informational and navigational searches so that you can engage with the most customers and yield the biggest results.
How to do keyword research for E-commerce
With E-commerce stores, you should direct a large focus to home pages and product pages because that’s where you get the most engagement with customers in the buying process. On the other hand, don’t overlook the importance of blog pages on your site because nowadays, the need to look up information and do research on consumers is rising. In fact, data from payments indicates that 88% of buyers research before deciding to purchase a product.
For each type of page in your site, you should optimize your content based on a different set of keywords to reach the highest results possible. For instance, with product pages, transactional-intent keywords should be your aim while informational keywords are ideal for blog sites.
Below are some steps for you to make sure that you stay on the right track while performing your keyword research strategy:
Determine your market and customers
There’s no point in trying to aim for the highest-ranked keywords and gain much traffic but cannot generate any conversion from that because that’s not what your customers search for. Determining your customers’ persona and their search behaviour would benefit you greatly in forming the right and most effective keyword strategy.
Analyse keyword difficulty
Keyword Difficulty is a figure that evaluates the difficulty to rank for the top positions for a keyword. Normally, you want to make sure you’re not targeting the too-difficult-to-rank keywords, especially if you’re a new site and have limited resources.
It’s important to note that this indicator is not the same for each SEO tool. For example, Ahrefs calculates Keyword Difficulty by taking the average number of domains linking to the current top 10 pages; ranking that keyword and scoring it on a scale of 0-100. This number gives a pretty accurate estimate of how many referring domains you need to get in the top 10 for that keyword.
Aim for long-tail keywords
Another thing to consider is that usually the shorter and general the keyword is, the higher the difficulty and competition. In contrast, long-tail keywords are keywords that contain more than 3 words, have specific content, thus having lower search volume and less competition.
So if you’re a new E-commerce website that does not have high authority in the industry,
investing in high-quality content with long-tail keywords will allow you to increase visibility and get a lot of traffic. Better yet, traffic from long-tail keywords often has a higher conversion rate as customers are quite specific in what they search for. Not only newbie sites but also long-established webs could aim for long-tail keywords should they want to avoid competition and optimize SEO even more
Useful tools for keyword research
Researching keywords might involve analysing a lot of metrics and take much time and manual work. Luckily, there are some tools for you to perform this task effectively while saving your time and effort. Take a look at these feature-rich keyword tools and learn how much they can benefit your E-commerce business with SEO
This is an SEO tool that any SEO-er knows. Not only are you able to check keyword rankings, get suggested related sets of keywords, Ahrefs also allows you to check article rankings, analyze your competitors, check backlinks, and so on. You can choose to use it for free or opt for the paid plan to fully experience the benefits that Ahrefs brings.
Upgraded from Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator; this free tool from Google allows you to check keyword rankings over time, get suggested keywords, search for keyword trends, etc. The name says it all, Google Keyword Planner helps you strategize keywords to reach your SEO goals.
This is a highly recommended SEO tool for Shopify store owners of all levels, from beginner to advanced with SEO. This user-friendly SEO app allows you to check a keyword’s popularity and related search queries and topics over time in a country or local geographic regions. Better yet, the feature “Trending” helps you see what’s currently on-trend in a specific country so that you can timely form your best content and keyword strategy.
Besides these efficient features that assist you with keyword research, SEO Booster offers many useful functions to optimize your on-page SEO and drive more traffic with as little manual work as possible. You have a 7-day trial to try these premium features for FREE to optimize your SEO to the highest level.
This article could serve as a comprehensive guideline for you in implementing your keyword research strategy. By understanding the true essence of keywords, employing the provided effective strategies, and taking advantage of the suggested powerful SEO tools you’ll definitely be able to make progress and gain more traffic to your E-commerce websites.