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The Ultimate Keyword Research Guide for Ecommerce

ecommerce keyword research

Keyword research is essential to any successful ecommerce storefront. Identifying which keywords to use for your product listings will help you increase traffic to your site and generate more qualified leads. The new coronavirus ecommerce environment has dramatically changed the retail environment, and marketers should focus on SEO and content creation sooner rather than later. 

If you are new to search engine optimization (SEO) or would like to discover an easy-to-use guide to help you research, choose, and implement the best keywords for your ecommerce website, check out our helpful guide. We will give you the scoop on the best tools to use, our simple process, and the ultimate keyword research strategy you can use for your business. 

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the SEO process to discover and select the best keyword options to implement for a website. Marketers should conduct keyword research in the early stages of content creation and draft their pages around keyword targets. It is an ongoing process, and online merchants should continuously optimize their website with new keywords for poor-performing pages. Keyword research will also help marketers identify topics and search queries to incorporate into fresh content. 

The four most important components to analyze for any given keyword include:

1. Monthly Search Volume (MSV)

The average number of monthly searches for a given keyword over 12 months. At least 71% of search traffic clicks are on first page results in Google, and 25% of people click on the first Google search result. Therefore, if a keyword has a MSV of 1,000, 710 users will select a website on the first page of search results. Marketers must identify searches with sufficient search volume and publish high-quality, in-depth content to climb the ranks and land on the first page of search.

2. Keyword Difficulty

The keyword difficulty index (from 1 to 100%) measures how hard it would be to outrank your competitors in the Google organic search for a given keyword. The higher the percentage, the harder it is to rank for a targeted keyword. Ideally, you want to pick keywords with high monthly search volume and low keyword difficulty. 

Keywords with high difficulty scores often indicate there are many competitive pages indexed on the web that match the search intent behind the keyword and the landing page that ranks for the term exists on a site with high Domain Authority (DA). The ranking page is in-depth (2,000+ words), incorporates aligning queries relevant to the keyword search, and links to other websites or pages on the site relevant to the topic. Suppose you want to rank for keywords with high keyword difficulty. In that case, it is best to develop an in-depth pillar piece of content (2,000+ words) around that keyword topic and develop sub-pillar pages (600-1000) that align with the topic and include internal links back to the pillar page. 

3. Cost-Per Click (CPC)

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) is the average price in USD advertisers pay for a user’s click on a Google ad triggered by a given keyword. For instance, a keyword query for “red leather jacket” may have a $10 cost-per-click. An apparel company may want to bid on that keyword search to generate traffic to their website based on that query. If the company chooses to bid and run ads to a landing page based on that query, Google will charge them $10 per click generated from that query. 

Clients are often willing to pay for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns as a fast way to generate traffic and qualified leads to their site. However, PPC campaigns are only worth the investment if they see a sufficient return on their investment. 

CPC is a valuable metric for keyword research because it is an excellent way to quantify the value of a business’s content. If a page ranks organically for a keyword query, you will not have to pay for the clicks generated from your ranking landing page. Let’s say that the apparel company develops an in-depth piece of content or an outstanding product page, and it generates an average of 20 clicks a month in search for the query “red leather jacket.” The landing page will save the company $200 per month ($10 CPC X 20 monthly clicks)! Also, it will most likely rank for other similar keyword queries, such as “men’s red leather jacket” or “real red leather jacket.” SEO tools such as SemRush will quantify the monthly traffic cost for your landing pages in PPC value: 

Businesses should target keywords with high CPC and develop landing pages that align with the query to save money on expensive PPC costs and rank for valuable keywords organically. The better and more in-depth landing pages you develop, the more likely the page will rank for valuable keywords, which will equate to more organic traffic and conversions. Not to mention you won’t have to pay a dime for the clicks! 

4. Competitive Density

Competitive density measures the level of competition between PPC advertisers bidding on any given keyword. It is measured on a scale from 0 to 1.00, with 1.00 being the most difficult to rank for the keyword search. 

Competitive density is often confused with keyword difficulty; however, they are pretty different. Competitive density measures paid competition in Google AdWords campaigns, while keyword difficulty measures how hard it is for content creators to rank for a search term organically (SEO). Marketers should utilize both metrics to determine whether they should target a keyword through organic or paid efforts. 

Best Ecommerce Keyword Research Tools

Every online business should use keyword research tools to find the best queries for their products and services. Let’s discuss some of the best free, paid, and rank tracking tools.  

Free Keyword Research Tools


Some of the best free keyword research tools for ecommerce include:

1. Google Analytics

For any online business, connecting your website to Google Analytics is a must. Google Analytics will give you access to crucial SEO information concerning your website performance, traffic metrics for your site, and user behavior. You can investigate the keywords driving traffic to your site and analyze the performance of each landing page. Content creators can revise pages with poor average session duration, high bounce rates, low traffic and can incorporate more relevant keywords onto the pages to improve performance.  

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an essential tool for any ecommerce online marketing manager. Once you connect your website to it, you will gain access to amazing capabilities to help you investigate your mobile usability, site coverage, and, most importantly, the exact keywords that generate clicks to your site. GSC gives website admins the ability to access information on each keyword, including:

  • The Total Clicks: How many times a user clicked through to your site from organic search.
  • Total Impressions: How many times a user saw your site in search results.
  • Average Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.
  • Average Position: The average position of your site in search results for any given keyword).

Once you begin to collect data on the keywords generating clicks to your site, you can revise your content to incorporate keywords resulting in more organic traffic and dump any poor-performing keywords. You can also select each landing page on your site that generated organic traffic and view every keyword that yielded results. 

3. Google Trends

Google Trends is an excellent way to investigate the popularity of keyword searches over time. Once you enter a keyword into the search function, Google Trends will break down the search’s popularity. Users can modify their search function to analyze the term across regions, categories, and types of web searches. 

One of the most beneficial functions of Google Trends is that it allows marketers to assess interest by subregion. Suppose you notice that a particular keyword search is most prevalent in specific states. In that case, you can modify your product pages or paid ad targeting to cater to the most engaged area. Lastly, it will also provide you with related queries and topics to further improve product or site pages. 

4. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is an excellent free keyword research tool to help marketers discover popular questions around any root keyword search. Enter your keyword into the search bar and presto! You’ll find a sheet of top questions around your keyword search. You can organize the data in columns or a visualization wheel and download the results in a CSV. Although there is a premium option available, users can use the tool several times a day.

5. Soovle

It may not be the prettiest tool, but it’s an excellent free option for marketers interested in discovering new related keywords around a topic. Enter a keyword search into the Soovle search engine, and it will display top search results around your root keyword. Best of all, it will break it down based on popular channels, such as Amazon, YouTube, and Google. 

Premium Keyword Research Tools


Although there are many great free keyword research tools, every online business should invest in some premium keyword research tools for more advanced features and data. Some of our favorite paid keyword research tools for ecommerce include:

1. Semrush

Semrush is one of the most popular and powerful SEO tools available for marketers. Marketers can use SemRush for not only keyword research but also site analysis, local SEO, link building, backlink audits, and more. 

The keyword research function is astounding. Enter a keyword into the Keyword Overview tool, and you will access a bounty of incredible information to help you identify the best keywords to use for your site. You can quickly see the monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, and competition for your searched query, along with keyword variations, questions, and related keywords around your search. Select keywords to add to your specified keyword lists to easily organize your targeted keywords for new product pages. 

Best of all, you can investigate the pages that rank for any given keyword search and analyze that page to discover their top organic keywords, top position changes, and keyword trends to help you craft a landing page to compete for your target keywords. If there is one premium SEO keyword research tool I would recommend for ecommerce, it’s Semrush. 

2. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is an excellent keyword research tool to discover trending topics and research the most engaging content for any given keyword search on social media. This powerful tool allows you to discover topics, keywords, and questions for any search. You can also research related influencers on Twitter, YouTube, and authors for any given topic to help you craft a PR campaign. Dive into published articles around your search topic and build engaging ecommerce landing pages to mirror your niche’s most successful content. 

3. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is an excellent premium option on a budget. Install the chrome extension on your browser, and you can purchase keyword credits. Each credit equals one keyword, and you will see the MSV, CPC, and competition for each keyword populated based on your root search. To use the tool, enter a search in Google, and you will have a related keyword list presented with metrics. Download the list to a CSV and pick the ones you want to use. Organize your list in a Google spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

4. Moz

Moz is one of the top SEO toolsets for marketers. In addition to keyword research, users can conduct site audits, backlink analysis, and more. Like SemRush, enter a root keyword into the keyword overview function. You will see keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, and other data to help you create keyword lists for a new site page. The platform is intuitive and easy-to-use for inexperienced search-engine marketers, so if you’re new to the game, it’s a great option. 

5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an excellent premium keyword research tool and over SEO powerhouse. Users can conduct site audits, research competitors, explore top-performing content in their industry, and of course, conduct keyword research. The user interface is very similar to SemRush. Both SEO tools share similar features and capabilities, so make sure only to pick one and save money on your marketing budget! 

Rank Tracking for Ecommerce Tools


Keyword ranking tracking is one of the most important ecommerce KPIs for your business. Some of the premium tools we mentioned earlier, including SemRush, Ahrefs, and Moz, all have rank tracking capabilities. However, some of our favorite tools that have much more informative and dynamic features include: 

1. SE Ranking

SE Ranking is an excellent SEO tool, but its keyword rank tracking capabilities are why marketers flock to purchase it. Users can purchase plans based on the number of keywords they want to track and access a bounty of information on each targeted keyword. Marketers can track keywords across up to five search engines and measure rankings in specific cities and locations. 

Along with keyword rankings, SE Rankings tracks Google Maps results, Google Ads rankings, and specific SERP features, such as featured snippets or videos. You can also add track competitor rankings and access visibility scores based on particular keywords. Other features include social media management, website auditing, and backlink checkers. 

2. Conductor

Conductor is a pricier keyword rank tracking software option, but if you can spring the cost, it’s worth the investment. Conductor allows you to monitor your search position daily across locations, languages, and devices. You can easily adjust the keyword parameters to filter searches based on keywords that moved to the top page, dropped off the top page, and more to visualize areas of success quickly. 

Marketers can also compare their market share to competitors and easily find competitive picks to create new content based on keyword opportunities. Lastly, filter your keyword list based on a specified time frame to help you make monthly reports to track progress. 

3. AccuRanker

AccuRanker is my last keyword rank tracking software recommendation for ecommerce. Marketers can purchase keywords to rank in intervals of 500. They’ll have access to integrate Google Analytics and Search Console into the platform and begin selecting the keywords they want to track. Refresh the keyword rankings whenever you please and access daily updates and advanced data. 

Filter your rankings based on SERP features to gain insights into how users find your ecommerce storefront through organic channels. Segment and filter data and organize your data based on categories to guide content and SEO strategies. Gain access to historic data for keywords you track and utilize unlimited domains and users in AccuRanker. 

Why is Identifying Keywords Important for Research?

Keyword research is one of the most essential components of SEO. It is the driving force behind content marketing. Marketers should implement a keyword research plan before content creation to ensure the site copy and pages discuss relevant topics around queries that match their target audience’s searches. 

Marketers should conduct thorough keyword research and implement target keywords in relevant sections of their site and product pages, such as title tags, meta descriptions, product titles, and body copy. A search engine’s job is simple: provide the best site pages that match the user’s search intent. Identifying keywords with proven monthly search volume ensures that they are the best picks to use throughout your site. 

It helps Google understand that your landing pages match the search intent of its users. The better, more-in-depth content you can create based on the keywords you discover, your site will more likely appear in search results for the valuable keywords you want to rank for in Google, Bing, and other search engines. 

Identifying the best keywords for PPC campaigns is crucial to discover selected queries that will maximize your budget and result in a better return on investment. Developing killer organic content that incorporates your targeted keywords will increase your chances to climb the rankings. Once you start to rank well for your targeted keywords, continue to develop supporting content and save money on paid-media efforts. You’ll create a money-making making machine that brings your customers right to your front door. 

How to Perform Keyword Research for Ecommerce: 3 Step Guide

If you’re new to keyword research, we’ll give an easy process to research, identify, and implement the best keywords onto your website. Many SEO keyword research tools give the user an abundant selection of information to dissect and interpret, which can quickly become overwhelming. 

Don’t worry! Whether you use a premium or free keyword research tool, our simple process will ensure you can research, catalog, and utilize the best keywords for your business to improve organic traffic, rankings, and conversions. 

1.Conduct Broad Research Starting With Root Keywords

Always begin your keyword research journey with your target root keywords. A keyword root is the main keyword you want to dominate in the search rankings. It is a broad category topic that can come in many long-tailed keyword variations. 

For instance, a root keyword for an ecommerce store could be “leather jacket.” However, if your site lacks a strong domain authority and content on your website is sparse, you’ll find that ranking for root keywords is a challenge and will take considerable effort. 

You want to do your best to develop product and site pages to target root keywords. Still, you’ll quickly discover plenty of keyword variations, questions, and related keywords you can target that will be easier to target. 

2. Select Long-Tail Keyword Variations, Questions, and Related Keywords

Begin selecting long-tail keywords, questions, and related keywords and categorize them based on your root keywords. For instance, you can categorize the following search queries under “leather jacket”:

  • Long-Tail Keywords: black leather jacket mens, leather jacket with hood, mens leather motorcycle jackets, and vintage leather jackets.
  • Questions: how to style a leather jacket, how to wear a leather jacket, how do you clean a leather jacket, and how to break in a leather jacket. 
  • Related Keywords: leather coat, leather coats for men, black leather dress jacket, and dress leather jackets for men. 

Begin adding your selected keywords to a keyword list and categorize them based on your root keywords. Try to choose keywords with sufficient monthly-search volume, low keyword difficulty percentages, and a CPC price. The best way to start getting momentum for your site is to target keywords with low keyword difficulty since you will have a better chance to rank for them. 

3.Utilize Your Target Keywords and Implement Throughout Product Listings and Create Supporting Content

Once you have a good keyword list, begin outlining new product pages and site pages based on your research. Utilize your related keywords and long-tail keyword variations in your product titles and descriptions. Make sure to include plenty of related keywords that align with your product to capture the widest net of search queries. 

Develop content pages that answer queries around your root topic. Use the questions you’ve identified in your research as headers and draft your content to answer the queries sufficiently. Supporting content pages are also an excellent way to link to your relevant product pages. Use your targeted keywords as the anchor text to link to your product pages to help signal to Google the relevancy of that page relating to the keywords. 

The average first-page results on Google contain 1,890 words, so make sure to draft through content to give your website the best chances to climb the rankings, especially for luxury ecommerce websites. Sites with rich and informative content provide instant value to their visitors, elevate their website’s quality, and build rapport with their audience. Great content and product descriptions also help lower return rates since visitors will have more information to understand your products, so they know what to expect when it arrives. 

Now that you are a keyword research expert, dive into our quick retail pricing strategies guide. 

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