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For every eCommerce business owner, understanding SEO marketing is vital to the company’s success. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a type of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) that helps attract organic traffic to your website by ranking higher on Google and other search engines like Bing (preferably within the first few results on page one). If you’re just breaking into the world of eCommerce, you should familiarize yourself with how to perform keyword research that will actually get your site ranked because this is one of the best methods of boosting your site’s organic traffic. The higher up you appear on a search engine’s results, the more likely shoppers are to click and find your site.
Dozens of keyword research tools exist to help you identify phrases that would be useful to your business and that you actually have a chance to rank for. Some keywords are too difficult to target because it may be a widely searched phrase that larger websites or corporations with a higher quality domain authority already rank for, making it hard to surpass them. Performing keyword research will also give you a sense for how often people actually search for a term or phrase each month. Keywords with higher search volume are more likely to convert.
Tips for Doing Your Own Keyword Research
Some new business owners opt to create their SEO marketing strategy, research keywords and plan content marketing approaches themselves, but it is a lot of work to take on while running a business, managing inventory and handling customer service. Here’s the most important information you need to know before attempting to do your own keyword research, but if this project is feeling overwhelming, there are plenty of marketing agencies with top-notch marketing experts that can help.
Consider Terms that Your Target Market Will Search
Before you can really dive in to your keyword research, you need to make sure you have a full understanding of your potential customers. Brainstorm a list of terms that relate to your business but also make sense as phrases your target market would actually search. For example, if your eCommerce business sells women’s clothing, simply the phrase “women’s clothing” is probably too general and too competitive of a keyword to rank for. Instead, think about what makes your clothing line different and what type of women’s clothing your customers are specifically seeking. Try to make your terms a bit more distinct to have a better chance of ranking well on search engines and attracting shoppers who are looking for your type of products.
Check Monthly Search Volume for Keywords
Once you’ve created a list of potential search terms that you would like to rank for, you need to do some research into how often these keywords are searched and whether your site’s page has a chance of ranking. There are dozens of online tools available to marketers and business owners that will help you identify this information. Most of these tools work in the same way—enter the keyword you’re researching and it will generate important details related to that phrase or term including average monthly search volume. You’ll also be able to access other useful information such as related keywords, potentially useful sites to link to and other similar terms that may have a higher search volume.
When you’re investigating a keyword’s monthly search volume, you need to remember that it’s all about balance. If a keyword has a very high search volume, it’s going to be more difficult to rank. Typically, the biggest companies within any given industry will be ranking for these top keywords. For SMBs, you’ll want to identify keywords that still have a decent search volume (too low and you won’t attract enough potential shoppers) but not so high that you’ll never be able to rank.
Include Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are search phrases that are, you guessed it, longer and usually more specific. Instead of simply using “electronics” as a keyword, you might use “universal remote controllers.” Some eCommerce business owners shy away from these long-tail keywords when first implementing SEO strategies because they tend to have lower monthly search volumes but, in fact, these terms usually end up converting better because they are more detailed and therefore attract a more accurate audience. Using very general search terms may get you a lot of searches but the intention behind those searches can vary wildly. Try to narrow down your keywords to include exact phrases that relate to your business and your target market.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving, and over the years, the program has begun to recognize when a keyword is simply loaded into a web page or blog post for the sake of ranking. Now, the Googlebots crawl each page to identify whether or not the information presented is the best answer to the keyword query. In fact, if Google feels like you’re keyword stuffing, you’ll actually be penalized for it. Instead, use your keyword as a starting point to provide your market with the best information on that topic.
Include Internal and External Links
Keyword research is the most important step when designing an SEO marketing strategy, but if you actually want to rank for your terms, there are some other small practices that you need to implement to have the best chance at success. You should use a combination of internal and external links within your site’s pages. Internal links refer to hyperlinks that lead to other pages on your website, which can be helpful in keeping customers on your site and encouraging them to buy. External links refer to links to sites other than yours. Of course, this can be dangerous because you want to keep people on your site as long as possible, but when it comes to ranking, including external links to credible sources makes your website appear more credible and therefore more likely to rank.
Optimize for Voice Search
The world of SEO is changing. With so many households now using smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home, the way that people are searching the internet is changing, too. Voice search is convenient for users because it’s a hands-free way to find quick answers. Smartphone manufacturers have been integrating this technology into products since Apple created Siri in 2011. Now, users expect to receive quick, straightforward answers from these types of internet searches, and analytics company Com Score estimates that by 2020, 50 percent of all web searches will be done via voice.
Because each of these smart devices is voice-controlled, people tend to search the web in a more conversational way than they would if they were typing a search into their computer. You shouldn’t completely alter your SEO strategy to only focus on these types of queries, but it is important to include some pages on your site that use conversational keywords geared towards voice search. Consider common questions your customers might have relating to your products or industry. Then, target long-tail keywords that answer these questions. Adding a FAQ page to your site is one way to include voice search keywords. If you can target keywords that allow you to rank in position zero (the very first answer that Google displays within a box at the top of search results), most smart devices will read out these answers in response to a query because it’s been deemed the best response by Google.
SEO Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is extremely difficult without the help of tools. Tons of different keyword research tools exist and each has its own pros and cons, but here are some of the most popular (and our personal favorites) that you can test for yourself.
Many SEO experts swear by SEMrush because it has a huge range of useful features from information on search volume to suggestions on long-tail keywords and related searches. If you’re interested in creating PPC campaigns, SEMrush can help research terms for this kind of paid marketing as well.
Google Keyword Planner
For those who are just entering the world of SEO marketing, Google’s Keyword Planner tool is easy to use and helpful in determining the best keywords. Although it’s actually part of Google Adwords, which is designed for paid advertising campaigns, it can be used to identify organic search terms as well. Because this tool was created for PPC, it’s recommended that you cross-reference the information with another SEO-specific tool.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a great way to not only gather information on potential keywords but also discover new keyword opportunities. When you enter your keyword information into this site, you’ll find information on search volume, level of ranking difficulty and related keywords. But, this helpful tool also lets you know more about ranking opportunities and gives you an idea of how vital your keywords might be to your current marketing campaign.
Let Our Marketing Experts Help With Your SEO Strategies
Keyword research can be a bit overwhelming. You want to make sure that you’re implementing strategies properly so that your site can rank organically and start bringing in new customers. You don’t have to do it on your own. Our marketing experts at Visiture have years of experience with designing successful SEO marketing campaigns and implementing content marketing strategies. To learn more about how we can help your business, request your free consultation.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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