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.
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.
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.
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.
The Google Adwords Keyword Tool (now known as the Adwords Keyword Planner) is an excellent resource for determining what keywords and keyword phrases to target for your pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign, and as well as for organic search engine optimization strategies.
For the sake of this blog post, we’ll focus on conducting keyword research for PPC campaigns. When conducting keyword research for PPC, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool interface is pretty intuitive overall.
You simply type in the keyword phrase you think might best suit your target audience and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides search volume of your keyword – and a list of similar or related keywords – based on either Broad, Exact or Phrase match.
In the left hand column of the Adwords Keyword Tool, you can filter which type of match you’d like to see search volume for for the specific keywords you’re researching.
So what’s the difference between Broad, Exact and Phrase match on the Google Adwords Keyword Tool?
Here’s a quick breakdown of what these terms mean and how they apply to targeting keywords for your PPC advertising campaign:
The Adwords Keyword Tool will always default you to Broad match.
Broad match keyword volumes take into consideration not only the exact keyword that you’ve typed into the Adwords Keyword Tool, but also relevant variations of your keyword as well.
It also applies for Keyword variations with synonyms, singular and plural forms, misspellings, and phrases containing your targeted keywords.
For example, a Broad match term for the keyword phrase “Custom Window Blinds” would also trigger your ad to display for the closely related keywords such as “Discount Window Blinds” or “Types of Window Blinds.”
If you don’t optimize your PPC campaign correctly, setting up broad matching terms can be potentially detrimental to the success of your campaign. If you’re not trying to attract customers who are searching for “Discount Window Blinds” because your company offers more high-end Custom Window Blinds, having your ad display when someone searches “Discount Window Blinds” on a Broad match is money out of your pocket.
If you are using Broad match for your PPC campaign, be sure to eliminate keywords that don’t apply to your business with the Negative Keywords section on the Adwords Dashboard.
Exact phrase match is just as it sounds. Your PPC ad will display ONLY when a user searches EXACTLY the keyword phrase that you’re targeting.
So if you’re targeting the keyword phrase “Woodworking in Atlanta” your PPC ad will ONLY display if someone searches for “Woodworking in Atlanta.” Your ad will NOT trigger to display for such keyword phrases as “Atlanta Woodworking” or “Custom Woodworking Atlanta.”
You can identify Exact match keywords by the brackets surrounding the keywords in the Adwords Keyword Tool interface.
Because of the precision that Exact phrase match has, you’ll notice that the volumes of the keywords on the Adwords Keyword Tool have significantly decreased as opposed to the Broad match. The Exact match filter is highly beneficial for conducting keyword research for organic SEO strategies because you get an accurate assessment of what the exact volumes are for keywords that you want to rank on organically.
The final match type that you’ll see when conducting keyword research for on the Adwords Keyword Tool is Phrase match.
You can identify a Phrase match by the quotation marks the keywords have around them. In Phrase match, your PPC advertisements will display when someone conducts a search that includes the keyword phrase that you’ve targeted.
For example, if you’re targeting the keyword phrase “Motorcycle Jackets” with Phrase match, your PPC advertisement will display on related keyword variations such as “Motorcycle Jackets for Men” and “Leather Motorcycle Jackets.” Your ad will not trigger, however on keywords such as “Motorcycle Leather Jackets” or “Jackets for Motorcycles.”
We hope you’ve found this blog post to be helpful as you conduct some of your own keyword research to determine what keywords you might want to target for your organic or PPC advertising campaign. If you have any questions about PPC or need help managing your PPC campaign, contact us today!