SEO For eCommerce – How To Pick The Right Keywords For Your Categories (For Free!)

An eCommerce store’s collection (as Shopify calls them) or category (as WooCommerce and other platforms calls them) pages, are the main “hubs” of any online shop structure.

Those hubs should be optimized for broader short-tail type of keywords, as they will gather and send relevancy, power and “juice” to all your category-related product pages, which will be added to the specific collection page and will be optimized for longer-tailed/precise type of keywords. Here’s an example:

The structure hierarchy for a general headwear store should be like this:

  • Main category, for example – Helmets 
  • Sub-Categories, for example Motorcycle Helmets, Bicycle Helmets, Football Helmets etc

On the other hand, a structure hierarchy for a motorcycle gear store should be like this:

  • Main category, for example – Motorcycle Helmets
  • Sub categories, for example Half Face Helmets, Full Face Helmets, Open Face Helmets etc

Prior to starting our research, let’s Install the keyword everywhere browser extension (either for Chrome or Firefox) and follow it’s verification steps as instructed on their site.

It will help us to figure out the monthly search volumes for keywords in our industry. We will use this tool during our research extensively.             

Now let’s start our Category keyword research.

There are several ways to find subjects for a niche’s category pages. When performing research, I like to use all of them (and also other ones that require paid tools), and make a final decision after crossing information between all the data that I gathered:

Method #1 – Amazon Category Research:

Amazon is the biggest eCommerce website in the world, and its niche categories are chosen very carefully and after a deep research and analysis, so it’s a good starting point for your niche category research.       

Head over to Amazon’s search bar and search for a broad category of your choice, in this case, Helmets.

On the left sidebar you’ll find many niche sub categories:

Now click on a relevant category for your eCommerce store, in this case, Motorcycle and Powersport, then click on helmets.                          

Scroll through the left sidebar results, and check how Amazon decided to segment this category. In this case I noticed 2 types of segmentation: 1 – By motorcycle type, 2 – By helmet style.

I also noticed the specific types of helmets that they chose to present, for example, Full Face, Half Size, Open Face etc. This already gave me some ideas on what potential customers are searching for in this industry.

Method #2 – Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great place to perform research for category (and product) keywords, as all its structure is based on categorization and segmentation. Similar to Amazon’s case, they already did most of the research work for you.          

Let’s head to Wikipedia and search for our broad category, in this case Motorcycle Helmet, you will get to this page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_helmet

While checking the page’s table of content I noticed that they sub-categorized this niche in a similar manner to Amazon, by helmet type:

Method #3 – Google Auto Suggest + Keyword Everywhere Chrome Extension:

Head over to Google and search for your main category, in this case, Motorcycle helmet.

Now what interests us here is the results that the Keyword Everywhere Chrome Extension provides us. It basically populates keywords from Google’s auto suggest results, and attach to each keyword its monthly search volume.          

You will find keywords that can perform as categories with a decent to large monthly search volume, for example – full face motorcycle helmets (12k searches a month), motorcycle half helmets (6600 searches a month) and so on.

Cross-Referencing Information and Accurate Style Picking:

After cross-referencing information from all 3 methods, I came to the conclusion that most of our eCommerce potential customers search for motorcycle helmets by helmet type:

Full Face, Half Face, Modular, Off Rod etc, so it’ll be a good start to segment this category to those sub categories.                   

Now, the final stage is most important: In order to exhaust the highest potential of each keyword, we need to find the exact wording that has the greatest number of searches.

We’ll do it in 2 ways:              

1 – Search for your broad term in Google, in this case, Motorcycle Helmet, and you’ll get the best wording versions of keywords through the KE chrome extension:

You can see that the wording for “half face” that it suggests is “motorcycle half helmets”, which has 6600 monthly searches.

2 – When searching for a broader wording, half helmets, we get a greater search volume:

In this case, the best decision will be to pick the longer keyword, “motorcycle half helmets”, because it contains both versions, so the potential for this combination is more than 18k searches a month!                    

This is how to determine the best wording style for your category and collection keywords.

For complete newbies, this may sound like a bit of a complicated process, but after a couple of runs, it’ll become second nature. And the best of all, you will be able to pick the BEST keywords for your eCommerce store!

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