Incorporating Keyword Research for Ecommerce Businesses

SEO keyword research ecommerce increase traffic

Many small and mid-sized ecommerce businesses make the mistake of targeting high-search keywords but soon discover that bigger companies have already taken advantage of those opportunities.

With so much content in the marketing universe, companies are competing to dominate in their respective markets. But don’t panic! Even small businesses can leverage search engine optimization (SEO) and ecommerce keyword research to increase their Google search visibility. 

You have a huge opportunity to capture your audience using long-tail, low-search keywords. In this article, we’ll run through what ecommerce keyword research is, how to research and select long-tail keywords to rank for, and what you can do to get your content strategy up and running.

What Is Keyword Research for Ecommerce, and Why Does It Matter?

Ecommerce keyword research is the process of finding keywords to incorporate into your product pages, blog posts, and other online content. When you select and optimize for the right keywords, you will …

  • Rank higher in organic search results
  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • See higher conversion rates

So how does it all work? 

When somebody types something into a search engine like Google, that search engine uses complex algorithms to decide what content to show them. Search engines use several strategies to interpret and sort the available content before deciding what results to show. One of these strategies is checking whether the content contains relevant keywords—words that accurately describe the content of pages.

Your goal is to use keywords to tell search engines that your pages are relevant to your target audience: those who care about your niche and products.

Types of Ecommerce Keywords: General vs. Long-Tail

The internet is saturated with content from businesses of all sizes and industries. To target the best content opportunities, you need to understand the difference between general and long-tail keywords. Before diving in, we’ll clarify a few related terms: search intent and search volume.

  • Search intent. Search intent is the goal a person has in mind when they search for something online. A few of the most common search intents are navigational (finding a specific page), informational (learning about something), commercial (doing some research before making a purchase), and transactional (completing an action, such as making a purchase).
  • Search volume. Search volume is the average number of monthly searches for a specific keyword. High-volume keywords are searched most, but low-volume ones are often easier to rank for and have greater intent. 

Now let’s talk about the two types of keywords.

General keywords are words or very short phrases (one to two words). They usually focus on broad topics, have high search volumes, and don’t have commercial or transactional intent. 

For example, “basketball” (673k monthly searches) and “skincare” (60.5k monthly searches) are both general keywords. 

Long-tail keywords include three or more words. Because they’re much more specific than general keywords, they often have lower search volumes but more commercial intent. In other words, long-tail keywords are more likely to attract site visitors who become paying customers.

For example, “best basketball shoes for kids” (320 monthly searches) and “am and pm skincare routine for oily skin” (90 monthly searches) are long-tail keywords.

To find long-tail keywords that make sense for your site, you’ll need to start with research. The next section will walk through how it’s done.

1. Do Your Ecommerce Keyword Research

Good keyword research for ecommerce involves understanding your target audience, learning about their needs and interests, and using keyword research tools to determine which keywords to include in your content strategy. 

The tips, tools, and resources below will help you find keywords for your ecommerce store. 

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest are your most valuable assets as you develop an SEO strategy. These tools provide insights into keyword search volume, the difficulty of ranking, keyword variations, related queries, and much more. They can also show you what your competitors are ranking for, allowing you to cover similar topics or fill gaps. 

As you use the resources below to brainstorm potential keywords, always come back to your keyword research tool to check search volumes and generate more ideas. 

Search Engines

Search engines are a free, easy way to collect potential long-tail keywords. Try Googling a word or phrase related to your products. Then, check out the “People also ask” questions and “Related searches” section. If a keyword looks promising, plug it into your keyword research tool to check its volume and difficulty and find even more related keywords. 

User-Generated Content Sites and Social Media

Another great way to find keywords your audience is talking about is going on user-generated content sites. You’ll be shocked by the level of great content ideas you’ll receive from sites like Reddit and Quora. YouTube’s comment section is another hidden gem.

You can also browse social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to see what’s trending with your target audience.

Other Ecommerce Sites or Selling Platforms

You can draw inspiration from the keyword research your competitors have already done. Simply choose a few brands that are big in your niche and explore their websites, noting the topics they cover. Then, copy and paste their URLs into your keyword research tool to see which keywords they’re ranking for. 

Selling platforms like Amazon and eBay can also be helpful. When you search for something, the platform will automatically populate a list of popular search terms. For example, searching “water bottle” might bring up the suggestions “water bottle with straw” “water bottle stainless steel,” and “water bottle holder.”

Trend Research Tools

Using tools like BuzzSumo or Google Trends is a great way to see what kind of content is performing well in your industry.

2. Focus on the Bottom of the Pyramid First

When you’re just getting started with ecommerce keyword research, think of SEO content as a pyramid with three layers. The foundation consists of low-volume keywords, the middle is made up of keywords with average volume, and the peak is made of keywords with the highest traffic. 

You should start by building content around long-tail, low-search keywords. Using long-tail keywords in your product details and descriptions can help you catch the exact audience you are looking for.

Why Long-Tail Keywords Work

Words at the peak of the pyramid—those with thousands of monthly searches—are the most difficult to rank for. However, starting at the foundation of the pyramid with long-tail keywords helps you work your way up to ranking for top-tier search terms. 

Over time, low-volume keywords can make a big difference in your website’s traffic. While ranking for one or two long-tail keywords won’t lead to drastic results like more sales, ranking for dozens or even hundreds can propel your business to greater success.

By populating content around these low-search keywords, you’re carving a niche content space for your potential customers. Think of it this way: there’s more room at the bottom of the pyramid than at the top, so take advantage of it and build a name for yourself.

Long-Tail Ecommerce Keyword Research Example

Let’s say your ecommerce business specializes in home office furniture and decor. With so many people working from home, there’s a great market for your products. Unfortunately, that also means you have a lot of competition. You decide to start creating content to increase your website’s organic traffic. 

Using your keyword research tool, you search the term “office decor” and see that it gets 14,800 search results per month. It’s also a difficult keyword to rank for. However, the tool suggests related questions and keywords, so you look through those to see what stands out. 

Several keywords get a few thousand searches each month:

  • Office decorating ideas – 2,900
  • Home office decor – 3,600
  • Cute office decor – 1,300

As you keep digging, you uncover several keywords with only a few hundred searches per month:

  • How to decorate your office – 260
  • Cute office decorating ideas – 140
  • How to decorate office desk – 170

While these keywords are similar to the others, they’re more specific, meaning you have a higher chance of ranking. You decide to publish blogs targeting each of the last three keywords. 

Later, as your site gains momentum, you’ll move up the pyramid by optimizing content for more competitive keywords.

3. Create a Content Strategy To Move Up the Pyramid

Ecommerce keyword research is just the first step. Now that you have a list of low-search keywords in your domain, create an action plan to produce relevant and valuable content around these words. 

Developing Your Content Strategy

Once you’ve compiled a list of relevant long-tail keywords, how will you use them to drive traffic to your website? For the work you’ve done so far to be worth it, you need to develop a content strategy. The tips below will help you get started and stick to your plan.

Determine Intent and Choose a Content Type

Your SEO research tool will help you determine the intent of your keywords, as well as the type of content that usually ranks for certain queries. 

Content types include:

  • Product pages
  • Blogs
  • Video
  • Visuals (infographics)
  • Audio (podcasts)

Create a Content Calendar

Use a spreadsheet to map out your content, making note of author deadlines and publication dates. For each piece of content, specify its type, target keywords, author, title and meta description, and any other relevant information.

Organize your content by intent; will this content appeal to top-of-funnel browsers who aren’t looking to buy, middle-of-funnel browsers who have some buying intent, or bottom-of-funnel browsers on the hunt for the right product?

Monitor Your Progress

Monitor your progress regularly, using analytics tools to track the performance of your content and adjust your strategy accordingly. Continuously refine and optimize your content strategy based on insights gathered from audience feedback, keyword research, and competitive analysis.

Move Up the Pyramid

As you begin to see success with long-tail keywords, gradually incorporate more high-volume keywords into your content strategy to expand your reach and attract a broader audience. As you rank with these high-volume keywords, odds are you’ll also start ranking for the most competitive keywords. 

Attract Customers to Your Store—Then Convert Them With Norton Shopping Guarantee

Keyword research for ecommerce sometimes delivers fast results, but most often you’ll need to wait months before seeing increased traffic to your site. However, as you continue building your site’s authority by publishing helpful, optimized content, your SEO strategy will continue to gain momentum until it brings in hundreds or thousands of new visitors per month.

Of course, once those new visitors have entered your site, you still need to convince them to become paying customers. There are many techniques you can employ to do this (we list 18 of them in this article), but one of the easiest ways to get started is to add package protection to your store. 

Norton Shopping Guarantee with Package Protection by EasyPost allows shoppers to add package protection to their purchases, usually for just a few dollars. If their package is lost, stolen, or damaged during shipping, they receive a reimbursement. 

By increasing buyer confidence throughout the shopping experience, and especially at checkout, you can increase conversions, ease the load on your customer support team, and save money.

Add the app to your Shopify store for free. 

Best of luck in your ecommerce keyword research!

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