Keyword Research

How to Conduct SEO Keyword Research

Keyword research is a long and complex process, but a necessary one to ensure your e-commerce site has a significant online presence. It will help you determine new keyword opportunities as well as how you could rank higher for keywords that you are already getting organic traffic from. This is done using SEO software such as SEMRush.

92.42% of keywords get 10 or fewer monthly searches, whilst only 0.01% of keywords get over 10,000 monthly searches. Thus, the need to make SEO-informed decisions about which search terms to target is paramount.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keywords can be defined simply as words or phrases that potential customers type into search engines when trying to find information about services and products. Put simply, therefore, keyword research is the process of finding the words or phrases that are relevant to your website or webpage. It is an essential part of any SEO audit service.

Why Is Keyword Research Important for eCommerce Brands?

Keyword research is important because it determines what already drives or will drive traffic to your e-commerce site. In turn, it helps businesses decide what kind of content they should be creating for their website, which products to advertise on social media, and how to effectively structure pages for SEO.

It is important to note, however, that not all keywords are made equal. Understanding where each keyword falls on a particular scale is essential for gaining insight into popular demand and buyer intent, and will allow you to make your site as relevant as possible. In particular, keywords with high search volumes but low competition are far more important to growing your business than those with fewer searches but higher competition.

When deciding on which keywords to target during your research and analysis, the three most important metrics you need to consider are:

  • Search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Keyword intent

Search Volume

The search volume of a keyword refers to how many people are searching for a particular word, phrase, or query. Clearly, you want to be targeting high-volume keywords, as – if you manage to rank well for them – they will bring a lot of organic traffic to your website. It is then up to you to convert this traffic into sales with a knock-out user experience.

Notably, most keywords that are valuable to eCommerce businesses will have a consistent amount of traffic. For instance, there will always be a high number of people searching for “running trainers”. There are, however, many keywords whose search volume fluctuates throughout the year e.g. seasonal keywords like “Halloween Costumes”.

Google Trends is a great way to find out which keywords may have suddenly spiked in popularity. If you can act fast enough, and it is in keeping with your brand, you may be able to capitalise on an increase in search volume by writing a piece of quality content that targets the topic. In general, you should be constantly monitoring the average monthly search volume of your target keywords!

Finding the right keyword

Keyword Difficulty

Although a keyword audit will want to uncover and target the most relevant and popular keywords in your industry (those with the highest average monthly search volume), you also need to consider how competitive the keywords you are targeting are. The keyword difficulty (KD) describes how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword, based on the domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) of the competition, as well as other factors.

Typically, the higher the search volume, the harder it is to rank for a keyword – but there are certainly anomalies. You should generally aim for a KD that is similar or lower than your DA, which is easy to determine as both metrics are measured from 0-100.

Long-Tail Keywords

Less competitive keywords will often be long-tail i.e. longer keyword phrases, typically between 3 to 5 words in length. Targeting the right long-tail keywords can be massively rewarding for eCommerce sites, especially as they are a more accurate reflection of how people search for queries. For example, whilst it would be very hard to rank high for “cycling clothing”, you may be able to rank for “best cycling clothing for winter”. Most importantly, long-tail keywords represent 60% of overall search demand!

SEO Keyword Research

Keyword Intent

Another factor that a keyword overview considers is keyword intent: the intention behind a query. As a general rule, there are four different types of keyword intent:

  • Informational: the user is looking for an answer to a specific question or more information on a topic.
  • Navigational: the user is looking for a specific website or page.
  • Commercial: the user is looking to investigate a brand, product or service.
  • Transactional: the user is looking to purchase a product or service.

Especially when it comes to eCommerce, the keywords to target are those with commercial and transactional intent; the search terms most likely to end in a purchase. Generating organic traffic for these keywords will often lead to a boost in sales and revenue. Keyword phrases with transactional intent, in particular, can often be spotted because they include terms like “buy”, “purchase”, and so on.

Final Thought: Avoid Keyword Cannibalisation!

We are often told that Google’s algorithm is constantly getting more intelligent, continuing to produce search results that are more closely aligned with user intent. One way that Google has done so is by combatting “keyword stuffing”. Previously, Google assigned rankings on far more basic criteria that allowed businesses to rank highly by simply using the same keyword(s) hundreds of times on the same webpage(s).

Search engines can no longer be fooled in the same way. Keyword cannibalisation refers to when you have too many identical or very similar keywords spread throughout your content, and nowadays it can be very damaging to your SEO efforts. Google has instead suggested that sites “focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context”.

A great way to avoid keyword cannibalisation is to ensure that each content page focuses on a single primary keyword that represents the content as a whole (obviously do your keyword research first!). This will help search engines clearly understand the focus of each page and avoid two or more of your pages vying for attention for the same keyword.

SEO Audit Services for eCommerce Businesses

Although we hope this blog helps you conduct your own keyword research, it is only one part of your SEO strategy that needs attention. An SEO audit will evaluate your site’s SEO as a whole, and provide recommendations for improving it that are tailored to your business.

Trafiki is a London eCommerce agency that provides SEO audit services to eCommerce businesses looking to grow. This is fuelled by years of digital marketing experience and a wealth of specialist SEO knowledge. The ultimate goal: to skyrocket you up the Google rankings. Contact us today if you would like to tap into our expertise.

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