In the never ending quest for complete search engine optimization, you’re likely to run into a few issues with keywords.

Sure, it may not be difficult to determine one or two ‘okay’ keywords relating to your products/services, but many retailers find it difficult to choose which keywords to target.

Looking at four major criteria, we’ve outlined how each helps you in your journey towards ideal keyword determination, and why they’re worth analyzing.

4 Crucial Metrics for Determining Your Target Keywords

1. Keywords and Search Volume

Search volume is easily the most important metric to consider when choosing keywords to target. It doesn’t matter how easy a keyword is to rank for if no one’s searching for it on Google.

Having said that, knowing how much search volume constitutes ‘substantial search volume’ is difficult.

Substantial search volume depends more on what your niche is than anything else. A good tip for determining what constitutes high search volume is to average the number of searches for the keywords you’ve found.

Make sure to keep in mind that some keywords have major seasonal variation in search volume. For example, “Sony PlayStation” seems to get search spikes near the end of November, indicating many people purchase the game system as Christmas gifts.

It may seem rather obvious, but Google Trends is a great way to keep track of these tendencies and help you properly target your keywords.

Seasonal search trends, whether around holidays or not, will affect your bottom line. You risk losing money certain parts of the year if you focus on keywords that only get searched around holidays.

2. Keyword Fit

It’d be shortsighted, even foolish, to assume that just because you have a few keywords with tons of search volume that they’re all winners.

The keywords you target need to make sense for your brand and product. If it seems at all like a stretch to you, consumers are definitely going to get confused and ultimately leave your site.

Not only do these people not convert, but their bouncing demolishes your search ranking and chips away at your long term SEO success.

For example, let’s say you sell cat food aimed at being nutritious for growing cats. You see the term “Fancy Feast” getting millions of monthly searches.

However, just because it’s getting a ton of monthly searches doesn’t mean you can make that specific keyword relevant to your products. People are more than likely looking for a specific brand of cat food when they search “Fancy Feast”.

Instead, it’s better to go with a more relevant, targeted keyword that works for your brand. For instance, if your brand is made mainly for kittens, the keywords “Kitten Food” are applicable. It might not get as much search volume, but it is more relevant and likely to garner sales.

3. Commercial Buying Intent

Ranking #1 for high search volume keywords is always ideal, unless the thousands of people searching have no intent to purchase. That’s why it’s important to go after keywords with what’s known as high commercial intent. Or rather, target keywords that people are searching when they want to buy products.

Thankfully, these keywords aren’t too difficult to determine. Just use Google Trends or other programs to determine the “competition” metric for your targeted keywords.

Chances are the ones with high competition are measured that way because there’s money to be made off of them. People don’t tend to waste money on ads that aren’t producing some sort of substantial return.

But probably even more important than competition are “suggested bids.”

A suggested bid is the average spend for a single click that people pay for with their Google Ads advertisements. The higher the suggested bid rises, the higher the commercial intent correspondingly rises.

Another great thing to keep in mind is to look for keywords that yell “I’m looking to purchase!”

Something like “TV” isn’t a very high “buying” keyword, as people searching for this could be looking for anything relating to the definition.

On the other hand, high buying intent keyword phrases like “buy TVs online” get far fewer searches, but it’s far more likely that the searcher is ready to purchase.

4. Difficulty Ranking

So let’s say you find a keyword that’s extremely relevant, with high search volume and an excellent commercial intent. Sounds like you’re all finished, right? Wrong! It doesn’t matter how good it is if you have no hope of hitting the first page on Google.

The reason for this is pretty straightforward. Less than 10% of people go past page one of Google.

Factors like this, and others like it, are what influence your keyword difficulty ranking – which can be understood as the mitigating factors keeping your keywords from performing as well as they should.

One of the best ways to determine the difficulty ranking for a term is to simply Google it.

What you’re looking for here is to see if the other pages are specifically optimized for that keyword. If not, you can potentially outrank them with better on-page optimization (such as your product and meta descriptions).

You should look for your exact keyword phrase in these places:

  • The title tag (the big blue heading text)
  • The URL handle
  • The meta description
  • The webpage copy itself

If your keyword or phrase appear in all these spots, that typically means your difficulty ranking will be lower as other pages are more optimized to handle it.

Keyword research, which is a fundamental step for ecommerce SEO, isn’t a “set and forget” kind of process.

Without keywords, you can’t help direct search engines (such as Google) show your webpages as search results when they’re most warranted.

Take your time finding keywords, and make sure to search for their data and build out your Google Sheet. This will help you prepare to make the best choices possible when implementing keywords for your unique brand.

Looking for more SEO help? Schedule a complimentary 20-minute consult with our team of experts to identify the key areas of opportunity on your website and get on the path to SEO dominance today.