4 Tips to Craft Killer Keywords for an eCommerce SEO Strategy

Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

We live in an era where it feels like becoming internet famous is accessible.  Or your big break is waiting in a Shark Tank.

It’s easy to get lured into thinking that if you’re not an overnight success, you’re a failure. 

But that’s just not true. 

If you drive a significant portion of your business through an eCommerce site, you might feel like you’re David taking on the giants at Amazon or Walmart. 

With the right knowledge, skills, and overalls, your eCommerce site can get an edge.

So grab your virtual slingshot and we’ll load you up with some stones so your business can thrive and gain meaningful market share. 

1. Develop a Buyer Persona

Stacey McLachlan with Hootsuite defines a buyer persona as “a detailed description of someone who represents your target audience. This persona is fictional but based on deep research of your existing or desired audience.”

Do you know whom you are selling to?  Do you know when and where they search for what you’re selling? 

If you don’t develop a buyer persona you will waste valuable resources and cost yourself sales. 

Consider the difference between a commercial for a heavy-duty pick-up truck and a minivan. 

How do those commercials feel?  What’s the tone? 

Why does Love Make a Subaru a Subaru? 

love makes subaru


Love doesn’t actually make a Subaru.  Engineers and mechanics do.  Buyer Persona is why one vehicle is Built Ford Tough, and another is built by love. 

Is your product forged through the fires of adversity, nurtured with tenderness, or driven by purpose?  The answer depends as much on Buyer Persona as the product. 

Crafting a Buyer Persona is an involved project.  Hubspot lays out a thorough and exceedingly helpful guide

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of creating a Buyer Persona, though, is gaining an understanding of your target audience’s transformational goals. 

Understand Your Audience

Do you care enough about your customers to know them? 

  • Where do they shop?  Why? 
  • What daily challenges do they face?
  • How does your solution make their lives better? 
  • What do they fear? 
  • What do they desire? 

In his book, Marketing Made Simple, Donald Miller says that every person is seeking transformation.  We know things aren’t right with the world.  We all feel that we have room to grow. 

How does your product empower people to experience the transformation they desire? 

  • Does it take them from frustrated to peaceful?
  • Uncertain to confident?
  • Lonely to loved?

We certainly do not endorse manipulating people’s emotions to make money.  But we fully embrace creating and selling goods that help people live fuller and healthier lives.

How Do Negative Buyer Personas Impact Keyword Strategy?

Knowing your target audience is essential.  It’s just as important to know who your target audience is NOT. 

If you’re selling a luxury lifestyle, you may not gain much ground telling customers you will save them money.  Some people determine value by how much money they spend, not by how much they save.

In that case, you could actually cost yourself, customers, by selling a feeling they aren’t buying.

Your target audience may be neutral toward other aspects of your products.  When crafting killer keywords – neutral is negative. 

You must employ keywords that evoke emotion and offer the transformation your target audience desires. 

2: Craft Keywords to Match Buyer Persona

In eCommerce, keywords are critical.  If you do not speak the language of your customers, algorithms will send them to someone who does. 

Utilize Multiple Keywords to Cover Users’ Search Intent

When you search online, what are you up to?

Google knows.  Over at SEMrush, Chris Beck explains that Google utilizes algorithms to determine why a person types “shoelaces” into the search box.  

Do they want to learn, go to a particular website, or buy? 

Google considers four major categories of search intent.  These intentions can help you frame your sales funnel. 

  1. Informational intent: I want to know moments _________
  2. Navigational intent: I want to go moments _______
  3. Commercial intent:  I want to do moments ________
  4. Transactional intent: I want to buy moments ___________

How does this impact crafting killer keywords?  Let’s consider these four types of search intent.

Informational Intent

Research shows that 80% of searches are informational. Users looking for answers conduct informational searches.

If you sell shoelaces and have nothing on your website about “how to tie shoes,” “how to clean shoelaces,” or “what are the best shoelaces for jogging?” – you will miss out on a massive share of the shoelace searching market. 

This is one of the reasons we emphasize a people-first content marketing strategy.  Providing your target audience with answers to their questions demonstrates authority, care, and trustworthiness. 

While informational searches don’t usually mean immediate sales, they do represent potential clients early in the buyer’s journey or on top of the sales funnel. So when you freely offer mountains of insightful, helpful information about shoelaces, people who need to purchase shoelaces will come to see you as the shoelace authority.

Navigational Intent

With navigational searches, users already have a knowledge of your brand, so most of the search terms will be centered around branded keywords and geographical locations.

There’s not much to do in regard to a navigational search. If you’re not ranking for your brand or business name, then there are probably other technical issues not related to the search that is creating a conflict here.

Commercial Intent

Commercial intent tends to fall between informational and transactional searches and is used by searchers in the middle of the sales funnel. These users may be comparing products, looking for free trials, and reading reviews. It’s an informational gathering, but ultimately with commercial intent, that is, making a purchase.

Transactional Intent

Transactional intents are where you want to take your customers. Eventually. These include high commercial keywords such as:

  • Buy Now
  • For Sale
  • Where to Buy
  • Discounts
  • Product keywords like ‘Fall Clothing’ and “Apple Computers, etc”
  • Branded keywords like “Amazon’

Putting Search Intent to Work for You

Develop your Buyer Persona.  Keep in mind the Negative Buyer Persona

From there, determine the search intent of your Buyer Persona. 

Craft killer keywords that will match all the search intents of your Buyer Persona – and you will be on your way to selling more shoelaces than you ever dreamed! 

Search Relevance for Multiple Keywords

This is how a search result relates to a user’s query.  It’s one of Google’s most heavily weighted factors in determining ranking. 

It comes back to how well you understand your audience.

If a person searches for “fuzzy pink slippers,” Google will attempt to funnel their search intent to the desired result. 

Did they just want to look at slippers?  Learn how they’re made?  Buy a pair? 

If you sell slippers and offer some that are fuzzy and pink, you’ll want to consider what keyword structure your Buyer Persona will use when searching for pink slippers that are fuzzy. 

Notice how in this example, I offered three different variations for “fuzzy, pink slippers.”  Having some variation on your landing pages and content marketing can help gain search relevance for a search query.

Here is another area to put your Buyer Persona to work. 

What kind of slippers is your target audience going to search for?  What questions will they have about slippers?  How will they ask those questions? 

Will their question be worded differently if they search with a computer?  On a phone? How about a voice search?  

You must ask and answer these questions – and more – to gain ground in search relevance. 

After analyzing over 4 million Google search results, Brian Dean at Backlinko found that the most clicked-on search result is the first organic result.  With a click-through rate of 27.6%, it is 10x more likely to be clicked on than the #10 result. 

When crafting killer keywords for search relevance, asking the following questions will serve you well:

What is the primary intent of my Buyer Persona search?

You’ll want to major in the majors here.  Be clear about what pages of your website are for what purpose.  Populate content with the appropriate keywords to match what your Buyer Persona searches for most. 

How will they phrase their search for my products?

Laces for shoes – or – shoelaces? 

If you sell carbonated beverages, what keyword should you use?  Soda, pop, or coke?  All three? Depends on your Buyer Persona.  Knowing this information will help you populate pages with killer keywords that search engines will use to funnel people to your site. 

3: Use Keyword Search Volume to Measure Consumer Demand

Search volume is how many searches are conducted for different keywords.  This information is essential for more than crafting keywords. 

The basic principle of economics is supply and demand.  Knowing the search volume of particular keywords indicates how much demand exists for what you supply. 

ProTip: Pursue keywords with a search volume of at least 20 searches per month. 

Search volume works hand in hand with the fourth component of crafting killer keywords. 

4: Measure Keyword Difficulty for an Effective eCommerce SEO Strategy

It’s been said that the only character flaws that are fatal – are the ones we are unaware of.  A humble, honest, self-assessment of where your business is in its life cycle is crucial for navigating Keyword Difficulty. 

Keyword Difficulty is how competitive a particular keyword is and, thus, how difficult it will be to rank when utilizing that keyword. 

If your business is thriving, you are pumping out loads of helpful, content; you’re earning natural backlinks like a boss (think Amazon) – then you may be able to compete for clicks on the most competitive keywords. 

But if you’re not – that’s ok.  You need to be honest about that.  You can still be relevant, competitive, and rank in search. 

Tools like SEMrush can help you determine how difficult it will be for you to rank utilizing a particular keyword. 

Let’s put this in motion.  Let’s say that you run a business selling American Girl Dolls.  Here is the search volume and keyword difficulty in real-time. 

american girl dolls

American Girl Dolls are hard to sell.  You’ll be competing for one click out of 27,000 searches.  But ONE American Girl Doll (with no “S”) is even harder to sell. 

And that, with 317 million organic search results. 

You’ll compete for one click out of 201,000 searches. 

Both searches have an extremely high keyword difficulty. 

Now, if you start by selling “American Girl Doll Clothes,” the search volume – and keyword difficulty drop. 

It’s still not easy, but the haystack just got smaller. 

ProTip: How difficult is too difficult?  A keyword difficulty above 35 is hard to compete with for most small businesses.  Aim for 30 or lower to get the most benefit. 

Leaning into your Buyer Persona, you may find some potential customers who may search with informational intent.  Such as, “which American Girl Doll Am I”?.

SEMrush’s keyword tool also provides longtail searches. It’s the same concept as the autofill function in Google’s search bar.

Let’s say you sell sweaters. That could be a tough keyword to capitalize on.

But if you lean into a longtail strategy, you may be able to gain more ground. You could target colorful sweaters. Or large colorful sweaters for sale.

google suggest autofill

The further down the line you go, the less search demand there will be – but also – the keywords will become less difficult.

If you go above and beyond by providing content with quizzes, infographics, and other engaging media, you may earn some organic clicks by offering potential consumers the information they desire.  Even if they aren’t looking for a transaction – yet. 

The best marketing doesn’t primarily focus on driving sales.  It serves people, demonstrates authority, and builds trust. 

When you craft killer keywords and optimize your pages and blogs to match user intent, then when people are ready to make a purchase, they’ll come to you. 


  • They trust you.  You’ve developed content that serves them freely, generously, and, thoughtfully. 
  • They can find you.  You’ve tuned your keywords to the songs your clients sing.  Your Buyer Persona hit the sweet spot of selling soda instead of pop or coke. 
  • They can navigate your site.  You’ve created webpages that direct people to where they want to go, whether they are looking for information, to make a purchase today, or consider why they should buy from you in the days ahead.

Boost eCommerce SEO with a Killer Keyword Strategy

We’ve been training, equipping, and supporting SMBs – like you – for over 15 years.  We have the tools and skills to help you discover and deploy the keywords you need to crush it. 

From creating the highest quality WordPress website to employing a content marketing strategy, we have what you need to take the next step. 

Reach out today for a free consultation.

We are ready for the opportunity to work with you!


Justin Staples

For 15 years, Justin has guided businesses on a transformative journey through strategic marketing and design to craft their unique online identity.