Competitor Keyword Analysis for Ecommerce Stores: A Comprehensive Guide

Do you know what keywords your competitors target? You could be missing out on sales if you don’t. Ecommerce moves fast, and you need to stay ahead of the competition to succeed. Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can give you valuable insights. In this article I’m going to share some useful insights to boost your ecommerce SEO strategies. Let’s explore how to outrank your rivals with ecommerce keyword research.

What are Competitor Keywords?

Competitor keywords are the search terms your rival websites rank for. They rank for these terms in organic search results or paid ads. These keywords drive traffic and sales to their online stores. You can level the playing field by finding and targeting these same keywords. Doing this can help you capture a larger share of the market.

Understanding your competitors’ keyword strategies will help you improve your own SEO performance. You can find new opportunities they miss. You can find gaps in your own keyword coverage and better understand how your target audience searches online.

Why Conduct a Competitor Keyword Analysis?

Before we talk about how to do a competitor keyword analysis, let’s discuss why it’s important for ecommerce stores. The main goal of ecommerce SEO is to increase sales and revenue by growing visibility and driving traffic to your website. Analyzing your competitors’ keywords can help you:

  • Stay Ahead of the Competition: Get an advantage over your competitors by finding search terms they aren’t targeting yet.
  • Improve User Experience: Use competitor keywords to organize your products into categories and subcategories. This improves user experience by making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.
  • Reach Local Customers: Find keywords related to local markets. Use these to target customers in specific regions or countries.
  • Understand Customer Intent: Look at the keywords people use when they search online. Use this information to create content and products that match what they’re looking for.

Tools for Competitor Keyword Analysis

You can use various tools to analyze your competitors’ keywords. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Semrush: Semrush is my favourite tool for competitor keyword analysis. It offers keyword research, competitor analysis, and technical SEO audits. These features help you understand your competitors’ strategies and improve your own SEO.
  • Ahrefs: Ahrefs is another powerful tool for analyzing your competitors’ keywords. It offers features like keyword research, content gap analysis, and SERP analysis.
  • Moz: Moz is a useful tool for analyzing competitor keywords. It provides keyword research and competitor analysis features. These tools help you understand what keywords your competitors target and how they build links.

How to Find Competitor Keywords

In this article, I will use Semrush to explain how to find your competitor’s keywords. We will use Semrush’s Keyword Gap, Organic Research, Advertising Research, and PLA Research. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use them:

1. Find your top competitors by searching with Google for your main product keywords. Look at the search results to see who ranks highest for those terms.

2. Use the Keyword Gap tool to find keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t. Just enter your competitor’s domain into the tool. It will show you the keywords they rank for that you’re missing.

Semrush's Keyword Gap tool
Semrush’s Keyword Gap tool

3. The Organic Research tool helps you analyze your competitor’s best pages and keywords. It shows you which pages get the most organic traffic. It also reveals the keywords driving that traffic.

Semrush's Organic Research tool
Semrush’s Organic Research tool

4. Use the Advertising Research tool to find your competitor’s paid search keywords. This tool also shows you the ad copy strategies they use.

Semrush's Advertising Research tool
Semrush’s Advertising Research tool

5. If your competitors run Google Shopping campaigns, use the PLA Research tool. This tool identifies the keywords they target for those campaigns.

Semrush's PLA tool
Semrush’s PLA tool

Compare your keyword rankings to your competitors’ rankings. This helps you find opportunities to improve your search visibility and gain more search market share from your competitors.

Analyzing Competitor Keywords

To use competitor keyword analysis effectively for your ecommerce store, you need to understand the search intent behind each keyword. Search intent is the reason why someone searches for a particular keyword. There are four main types of search intent:

  1. Informational: The user wants to find information or answers to a question.
  2. Navigational: The user is trying to find a particular website or webpage.
  3. Commercial: The user wants to buy something and is searching for different options before making a purchase.
  4. Transactional: The user is ready to make a purchase and is searching for the best deal or place to buy the product.

Sort your competitor’s keywords by search intent and then create content that matches what users need at each stage of the buying process. This targeted approach helps you connect with potential customers better.

After sorting keywords by search intent, look at the search volume, keyword difficulty, and cost-per-click (CPC) for each keyword.

Search volume shows how many people search for that keyword. Keyword difficulty indicates how hard it is to rank for that term. CPC tells you how much advertisers pay when someone clicks on their ad for that keyword.

First, focus on keywords with high search volume and low difficulty. These “low-hanging fruit” keywords can bring a lot of traffic without much effort.

And keywords with high CPC may be more competitive, but they can lead to valuable sales and conversions. The reason these keywords have a high CPC is likely to be that they are highly transactional keywords.

Lastly, look at the SERP features for each keyword.

SERP features are things like featured snippets, image packs, and shopping ads that appear on the search results page. Check if there are opportunities to get your content featured in SERP features like video or shopping ads.

SERP features can help you prioritize which keywords to target and how you should optimize your content for each keyword.

Leveraging Competitor Keywords

Now that you have valuable insights from your competitor keyword analysis, you can take action.

Start by grouping high-priority keywords into clusters based on products, categories, or themes. Use these keyword clusters to plan your content strategy. Make sure you create content that covers all the important keywords in each cluster.

Look at your competitors’ highest-ranking pages for each keyword. Think about how you can create content that is better than theirs.

Try to find any gaps or weaknesses in their content that you can take advantage of. Make your product and category pages more valuable, informative, and engaging than your competitors’ pages.

By optimizing your pages to be better than your competitors’ pages, you can jump ahead of them in the search results.

Make sure to track your keyword rankings regularly too. Tools like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you monitor your rankings and compare them to your competitors’ rankings.

Give yourself a pat on the back when you see improvements and keep using the strategies that are working well for you.

Ecommerce-Specific Strategies

Ecommerce stores have special things to consider when choosing keywords to target. Besides regular SEO strategies, you should focus on making your product pages, category pages, and Google Shopping listings better.

Add relevant keywords to your product pages. Use them in your titles, descriptions, and meta tags. But make sure your copy is still clear and engaging for your customers.

Analyze your competitors’ keywords to find long-tail variations and semantic keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases, and semantic keywords are related terms. Use these in your product descriptions to help your pages rank for more searches.

Make your category pages thorough and easy to use. Include relevant keywords and link to related products and subcategories to help people find what they need.

By creating comprehensive, user-friendly category pages, you can attract more organic traffic and stand out from your competitors.

You can also use your competitor keyword analysis to find new opportunities for products and growth. Look for keywords with high search volume that your competitors target, but you don’t have products for yet.

Consider expanding into related product categories. This can help you reach more of your target audience and get a bigger share of the market.

For example, let’s say you sell running shoes. Your keyword analysis might show that many people are searching for “running accessories” or “running clothing.” You could add these products to your store to attract more customers.

Or maybe you notice a lot of searches for a specific type of product you don’t carry yet, like “trail running shoes.” You could start offering these to meet that demand.

By using your competitor analysis to guide your product offerings and market expansions, you can stay ahead of the curve and grow your business.

Wrapping Up

Competitor keyword analysis is a very useful strategy for ecommerce stores that want to get ahead of their competition. When you find out what keywords your competitors are targeting, you can make your own SEO campaigns better. This brings more visitors to your site, increases sales, and helps you grow revenue.

Remember to:

  1. Use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz to research your competitors’ keywords.
  2. Look at the search volume, difficulty, and cost-per-click for each keyword.
  3. Group keywords into clusters based on products, categories, or topics.
  4. Optimize your product pages, category pages, and Google Shopping listings with the keywords you find.
  5. Track your rankings over time to see how you compare to your competitors.

By making competitor keyword analysis a regular part of your marketing strategy, you can stay ahead of the competition and grow your ecommerce business.

Are you ready to make your ecommerce store even better? I can help! Book a free SEO analysis with me today.

I’ll look at your website and find out how your SEO can be improved.

Don’t let other stores rank higher than you in search results. Take action now and let me help you reach your full ecommerce potential!

About the author

Daniel Lee

I am an SEO expert with 14+ years of experience. I create custom SEO and content marketing strategies for ecommerce businesses of all sizes, from startups to industry giants. My background includes a Master's degree in International Marketing (University of Law) and business coaching training from Cambridge Univerity's Møller Institute. This unique blend allows me to deliver strategies that drive significant growth and a competitive edge for my clients.

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