How To Do Keyword Research for Ecommerce Accounts

By , Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

176 SHARES

Ecommerce accounts are a beast all their own. Many PPC Account Managers deal strictly with one type of account, so if you get thrown an ecommerce account for the first time, you may be a little lost about where to start for keyword research. There are a lot of awesome ecommerce tools out there, like shopping campaigns, dynamic ads, etc. Sometimes, keywords can become a second thought to these tools due to how profitable they can be, and how hard keyword profitability can be to reach in some ecommerce industries.  Today, I’ll cover how exactly you can go about keyword research and keep/obtain that ROAS you’re looking for!

1)   Focus On Your Best Sellers

Hopefully, you have ecommerce tracking set-up for Google Analytics. If you don’t, get it! It’s free! You can use it to find insights such as what your best selling products are, which product pages have the highest conversion rates, etc.

Use this information, paired with your own knowledge of the products, to begin your campaign builds focused on your best selling products. These are normally products that either a) you are the only seller of, b) you have the best price on, or c) you have great brand recognition or trust/authority related to that product.

While you’ll eventually want to test product keywords for all of your products, you’ll want your keyword research and subsequent campaign builds to funnel down from your best sellers. This will allow you to start with the best conversion rates and revenues. If you have products that are readily available elsewhere at better price points, you should hold off testing those product keywords until you’ve exhausted all better performing options.

Remember that you don’t have to have keywords for every product. Some products simply won’t sell for you on Search if the competition is better.

2)   Use Available Tools For Expansion Ideas

It’s entirely possible that you haven’t thought of every keyword to describe every product, and you likely don’t know what keyword will bring in what search volume. For those reasons, I recommend even the most knowledgeable and seasoned individuals use at least one keyword research tool when doing new research.

I recently wrote on all the upgrades made to the Google Keyword Planner. While it was worth your time before, it’s become even more so with all the cool, new updates. This could easily be your best keyword tool.

However, there are a myriad of other keyword research tools out there. If you’ve been running any PPC, your search term report will be a very valuable resource, and will maintain its value over time. There’s no better place to see exactly what people are searching for that leads to sales for you.

You can also find lots of third party tools. A quick Google search for “keyword research tool” will show you all your options.

3)   Use Templates To Cover Specifics & Long-Tails

Once you’ve identified your best-selling products and completed an initial round of keyword research based on those, you are ready to get a template together to cover specifics and long-tails. This will also be a cornerstone of future account expansions.

Sam Owen wrote an article about using templates a while back, and it’s a great resource if you’ve never used them.

Specific long-tail keywords like “Red Size 12 Nike Air Jordans” are likely to have great conversion rates. However, you’ll find many of them have low search volumes. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time to advertise on the ones that might have enough searches and would make you a bunch of money.

The best way to make sure you have good coverage here is to build a template, like Sam covers in his article. This template would automatically build out keywords based on the base product. Things like “product + color”, “product + brand name”, etc. This would allow you to plug in the product and then have all the keywords automatically built out for you.

Take what you come up with and put them in that AdWords Keyword Planner that we covered already. That way you’ll see which ones are worth your time in terms of having enough search volume and CPCs in line with what you need to achieve your ideal ROAS.

4)   Check out your competition

Finding out what your direct competitors are bidding on will assist you in finding valuable keywords. If they have similar margins as you, you should be able to find out if they are making a keyword work that you probably can as well.

There are paid tools like SpyFu that supposedly tell you what your competition is bidding on, but you have a lot of free information at your fingertips with Google Auction Insights once you’ve began bidding.  Check out Rachael Law’s article about it.

Other free ways to do competitor research is to simply start Googling terms to see what they’re bidding on, and other fun stuff like checking out their view source to see SEO keywords. I wrote a blog article about that a while back.

There you have it! Hopefully you feel more prepared to start your keyword research for your ecommerce accounts as well as continue keyword research for future account expansions!

If you have a special way of doing keyword research that has worked well for you, share it in the comments!

Get more weekly links with our Fast Five newsletter! Five Fast Links in Your Email Every Friday.

Also send me a daily RSS digest
Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Google+ Email Print More
  • Raju Paliwal

    Hello Amanda,

    i like the first point ‘Focus On Your Best Sellers’. and i also tried spyfu tool with my own client as competetor but its not showed false keywords and bid. though i use the trail version would it show exact result after buying or suggest me any other tool.

    • Amanda West-Bookwalter

      Hey Raju,

      Thanks for reading! You definitely need to exercise caution with competitor research tools!

  • Loric Sacarrère

    Hello, great article.

    This is the strategy i often use for e-commerce websites :
    - search campaigns for best products ou best categories
    - Google Shopping and Dynamic Search Ads for long tail Keywords

    As said Raju Paliwal, i like the “Focus on your best sellers” point. When you have +100 or +1000 products it’s not to know where to start !

    • Amanda West-Bookwalter

      Thanks for reading, Loric! Your strategy sounds right on!

  • http://www.mage-world.com/magento-ajax-cart-extension.html Christine Tran

    It’s great article. i like the first point “Focus On Your Best Sellers”