3 Tips for Ecommerce SEO Keyword Research

If you have a need or aspiration to grow your ecommerce website, SEO is surely a great way to gain more traffic. The cornerstone to ecommerce SEO is doing keyword research. And although the keyword research process seems straightforward and simple, there are a few things that one must know to get the most accurate results.

Ecommerce SEO is becoming more and more competitive by the month. For this reason, choosing the ideal keyword targets is paramount for success. In this post, I will give you three essential tips to help steer your ecommerce keyword research in the right direction.

Understanding the 3 Keyword Match Types

An important aspect of doing keyword research for ecommerce SEO is knowing the three keyword match types. These match types are Broad, Exact, and Phrase match, and although the primary purpose for each match type is for keyword bidding (via paid search advertising,) understanding the differences between each match type is imperative for search engine optimization.

Take a look at my example below regarding some research I was doing around “triathlon shorts.” Each match type is shown for the keyword “triathlon shorts;” however, each match type offers very different search volumes.

Ecommerce SEO Keyword Research

The reason why the search volumes for each match is so different is best understood by defining each match type:

  • [triathlon shorts] (exact match) – search volumes accounts for only the two-word phrase triathlon shorts
  • “triathlon shorts” (phrase match) – search volumes include exact matches, as well as variations with supportive outlier words (e.g. cheap triathlon shorts, triathlon shorts with butt pad, mens triathlon shorts)
  • triathlon shorts (broad match) – search volumes account for all keyword searches that include similar semantics (e.g. tri shorts, womens shorts for triathlon, marathon shorts)

As you can see, the match types for broad and phrase match can seem very inflated from a SEO perspective. Broad match in particular is just too ambiguous to accurately account for the keyword’s traffic potential. When doing keyword research for ecommerce SEO, I strongly suggest de-selecting the broad match filter, and selecting the exact match option. This option is available in the left-hand navigation of the Google Keyword Tool.

Applying the Advanced Filter Options

In most cases when using the Google Keyword Tool in AdWords, you’ll need to adjust some of the advanced filter options. These settings enable you to set both the location and language parameters of your keyword results.

You can also modify the results to display search volumes based on the device people use to search Google. This information can be of value when creating mobile-specific search campaigns.


One setting that I strongly suggesting using is the filter option to “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms.” This check box is located just above the Advanced Options and Filters link.

Advanced Filter Ecommerce SEO Keyword Research

The fact of the matter is, the Google Keyword Tool can provide search results for a lot of ideas that are broadly related to your initial keywords. This helps to keep your keyword research more focused while pinpointing those long-tails more efficiently.

Plug-in Keywords in Groupings

This next tip corresponds with the latter concept of keeping your research focused by using the filter options, especially the option to only show closely related ideas. Here you’ll want to use the Google Keyword Tool repetitively for select keyword groupings. That is, plug-in only a few keywords at time that are similar in context.

Based on our previous example, I’ll probably use this keyword grouping: triathlon shorts, tri shorts, triathlon short, shorts for triathlon. Next I might want to look at keywords around specific brands, variations (e.g. “tri” versus “triathlon”), and gender.

Keyword Research for Ecommerce SEO

SEO for ecommerce requires thorough organization and planning. Organizing your keyword research in related groupings helps organize your thoughts. A segmented approach is optimal to generate cohesive strategies for SEO.