E-commerce Tips & Tricks 4 min read
13 Aug 2020

Keyword Research: A Definitive Guide For Ecommerce Websites

Keyword Research: A Definitive Guide For Ecommerce Websites

You’ve probably heard about eCommerce keyword research. However, you don’t know what it is and how it can help your Shopify store succeed. Let’s break it down for you real quick. Picture this. You’ve set up your online store, but you’re not getting the traffic you dreamt of when starting.

You’ve looked around, and there’s definitely interest in your product. Unfortunately, no one is finding their way to your store. Do you know what the problem is? Your target market doesn’t know that you exist. When they search for your product on Google, they’re directed to your competitors’ sites. The solution? Finding a way to get search engines to direct traffic to your site. And with an increased number of visitors, you can convert them into sales.

This article aims to show you how you can get Google and other query tools to help you out. This process is known as search engine optimization (SEO). And an essential part of SEO is keyword research. After all, your potential customers have to type something into the search engine to get results. Now, what you want is which keywords are those.

We’ve penned this article as the ultimate guide to eCommerce keyword research. We don’t want you to just rank for any random words and channel traffic to your site. Nope. We’re interested in finding the right keywords that not only channel traffic to your site but also enable you to convert. Dig in.

Keyword research is great for boosting ecommerce sales but it works best on a high-converting store. Click here to get Debutify, the highest-converting free Shopify theme.

What Are The Types Of Keywords?

Before you start your research, you should know the different types of keywords. Being able to tell them apart goes a long way in making your research efforts fruitful. Google and other search engines rate keywords depending on their length. Furthermore, they categorize them based on how difficult it will be for you to rank them.

You need to know which kind you should focus on. After all, 44 percent of online shoppers start off with a Google search to find what they want to buy. Therefore, you should nail it. So, without further ado…

Head Keywords

These are usually one word, and people search for them a lot. As in, several million hits in, say, a month. For instance, a person might type in “t-shirt.” They haven’t specified the color, size, or brand. Therefore, you have no idea if they want to buy one or have a totally unrelated reason for searching.

Body Keywords

Now, these keywords are a bit more specific than what we’ve discussed above. They’re made up of at least two or three words. This kind of keyword generates a moderate number of hits. They could get several thousand searches. Nevertheless, they’re still a bit vague. Let’s continue with our previous example.

In this instance, a person might type “men’s t-shirt.” Yes, now we know what kind of t-shirt they’re talking about. However, we’re still not sure what exactly they want with the item. Alongside the previous category, this kind of keyword shows that the searcher might not yet be ready to buy.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are precise. This kind of query means that the person knows what they want. In the case of a Shopify store, it means that they are more ready to buy. As the name suggests, these keywords are long.

They are usually phrases, meaning you can have as many variations for the same product or topic.  Each of these variations has a small search volume, making it easy for your Shopify store to rank for them. The more prominent brands usually go for the head and body keywords.

Therefore, your eCommerce keyword research will mostly rotate around long-tail phrases.

How To Find The Right Keywords For Your Shopify Store

Now that you know the different kinds of keywords, you should start making a list of the ones for which you want to optimize your site. We’ve already seen that you’re better off starting with long-tail keywords. But how do you find the ones that will channel traffic to your online store? Here is how you do eCommerce keyword research.

Create A List Of Target Keywords

Seeing as eCommerce keyword research is vital to all areas of your search engine strategy, you need to find the right keywords relevant to your niche. You can pour a lot of effort into building this list from the ground up. Or, you could steal a page from your competitors’ playbook.

Let them do the hard work of identifying relevant keywords. Then, try to outrank them. So, how can you build your list? You can make use of an eCommerce keyword research tool to find relevant keywords and phrases.

Some of these tools also help you keep an eye on your competitors, letting you know what key phrases they’re focusing on. Choose an eCommerce keyword research tool from those listed below.

  • Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that gives you plenty of options. It doesn’t hurt that it draws from the biggest search engine. It gives you plenty of closely related search terms and phrases.
  • SEMrush is a comprehensive, eCommerce keyword research tool. Its database contains billions of keywords. Once you enter your word of interest, it returns several suggestions with their different ranking data.

It shows the search volume and ranking difficulty, enabling you to make an informed decision when choosing your keywords.

  • Amazon. Given the amount of traffic, the gigantic eCommerce player has, you can peek at the ultra-specific keywords they have.

Type your keyword into Amazon’s search bar. Several long-tail suggestions will drop down. Take note of these and feed them into SEMrush and see their search volume and ranking difficulty.

  • Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Ahrefs goes straight to the point when it comes to competition research. Paste your competitors’ URLs into Site Explorer. The tool shows you all the keywords your rivals are ranking for.

It goes ahead to show you the search volume in the different countries where your rival is active. The tool also helps you discover competitors you didn’t know about. You can use all this to get keyword suggestions that you can optimize your site for.

Examine The Search Volume Of Each Keyword

You’ve compiled a list of several keywords using one or more of the tools above. The next step is to choose what’s best for your site. After all, the entire list won’t bring you the traffic you need. So, how do you select the right keywords? For a start, look at the number of times people search for the word or phrase. This is known as search volume. Some keywords have a high search volume.

Consequently, there’s a lot of competition for these target words. This makes it hard for you to rank for them because you’ll probably be going against the big boys. If you’re starting out at the bottom, you might want to pick out the words with low volume and less competition. This will help you to establish yourself gradually in that particular niche. As you gain traction, choose the more competitive words with higher volume to establish your brand.

Determining what is high or low depends entirely on your industry or niche. For instance, in some sectors, 1000 queries for a word are few. On the other hand, 200 hundred searches for a single word are high in some circles.

You’ll have to know your field pretty well to understand what a high or low search volume is. Adding to the previously mentioned tools, you can use Google Trends as an eCommerce keyword research tool for search volume.

One of the positives of this tool is that it shows you seasonal trends for your words. You can push certain words at certain times of the year since you’re more likely to get hits then. Now you have filtered your list down to get the keywords with the perfect search volume. What next?

Choose The Words That Fit Your Product

Not all the words with the ideal search volume help your Shopify store. They might be in the same industry but don’t really apply to your niche. For example, you might find that “nylon t-shirts men” has the right amount of monthly queries. It’s the perfect amount of traffic to direct to your online store.

The catch? Your site only has cotton t-shirts. If you optimize your pages for this keyword, you’ll draw in traffic, no doubt. However, you won’t convert this traffic into sales because you don’t have what the potential customers want. You increase your site’s bounce rate. And search engines pick up on that. If people are leaving your website as soon as they click on it, there must be something wrong.

Pick Keywords That Attract Buyers

Familiar with the word “tire kickers”? These are individuals who show apparent interest in a product. However, they dilly-dally around and buy. And as a seller, you’ve wasted time and money dealing with them.

Now, we’re not saying anyone who doesn’t buy something from your store is a tire kicker, but there are plenty of them around. And they’re usually drawn in by some of your target keywords.

Through the previous three steps, you’ve cut your list down to several keywords that would put your brand on the map. However, now you have to select the words that show that a searcher is ready to buy.

Ranking for these words increases your chances of getting traffic that will actually convert instead of attracting tire kickers. How do you know that a keyword shows intent to buy? Some keywords are precise. For example, if someone types in “cheap v-neck men’s shirt”, they’re most likely looking to make a purchasing decision.

Alternatively, you can use your eCommerce keyword research tool to find out. Google Keyword Planner shows you the bid prices for different keywords. If brands are paying top dollar for a click on an ad with that keyword, the ROI must be significant. In other words, people are looking to buy when they use that keyword or phrase in the search engine.


You now have your list of keywords that will bring in convertible traffic. Use the different ecommerce SEO methods to get your pages to rank high in search engines. And to make the most dollars out of that traffic, you need a high-converting Shopify theme.

Debutify has everything you need to convert visitors into sales. Download Debutify now, completely free.

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the CEO at Debutify. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.

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