Doing SEO for your eCommerce business can be tough if you don’t have the right tools. After trying a multitude of tools, I found that there are three that works best for me and my eCommerce goals.
Today, you’ll learn about the top 3 SEO tools that I use for my eCommerce business.
Once you talk about keyword research, you cannot help but talk about SpyFu. In fact, if you go into webmaster communities, they would recommend this tool right off the bat. Why? Well, the tool gets the job done and it is one of the best tools for uncovering untapped keyword opportunities.
We can learn more about SpyFu by taking a closer look at it.
When you visit SpyFu’s website, you’ll see this.
At first, it may seem overwhelming. It has tons of tabs after all. Apart from keyword research, it also has tools that can help you check backlinks, track campaigns and build your list. All of these come with a report that can help you export and send to your client.
You’ll get to know the tool more once you take it for a spin. The best way to do that is to start playing with it.
For now, let’s take a closer look at its top 3 functionalities.
I choose to start with competition research because it is the most common reason why SEOs pay for tools. Let us take a closer look at SpyFu’s competition functionality.
When you click on the SEO Research tab, you’ll see a page that looks like this.
The page is really straightforward. It even gives the instruction “Enter a Competitor” in the search bar. This is where you put your competitor’s URL.
Let’s say that we want to know the metrics of Moz.com. We’ll input it and get a page like this.
It’s amazing, right? There is really more to SpyFu than keyword research. It even let you find the number of ranking keywords in a website, the monthly SEO clicks, ranking changes in the past 3 months, traffic metrics and the estimated monthly SEO click value.
On the left side, you’ll see the keywords that the website has just ranked for – The Just Made it Link. But what is more interesting are the keywords that the website just lost. If you do your research right, this can be your opportunity to take over the site for those keywords.
Fortunately, you can see the exact keywords that they lost rankings on. You can just click on it and see the full list.
This is a gold mine. What you’ll observe is that these keywords are medium tail (3-4 keywords) and most of them are very easy to rank. You can just click on ranking difficulty to sort it. This way, you’ll know the easiest keywords to rank for.
Scrolling down, I also found this graph that shows the weakness of your competitor.
And the keywords that your competitor has just lost rank in – these are great opportunities for you to take over as long as the ranking difficulty is not that hard.
Click View All to get a full list.
You can then sort all the keywords based on ranking difficulty. I like to put the smallest number on top so that I get easy-to-rank keywords.
Don’t take the Keyword Research tab for what it is. The Keyword Research tabs have tons of categories inside it. This may include related keywords, advertising history, ranking history, keyword grouping, SERP analysis, backlinks and Adwords analysis.
With just a glimpse of the tool, you can already tell that there is more to SpyFu than what you see. In fact, it just doesn’t give you keywords but it extracts the metrics of each keyword so that it can give you accurate measurements.
With that said, let’s go into using the Keyword Research tab. Let’s say that you’re selling SEO services on your website. Your main keyword will be SEO and you can type it like so.
Notice how the tool instantly creates keyword suggestions just from one word. From here, you see more than the word ‘SEO’. You also see websites and keywords such as ‘seo website analysis’, ‘seo company new york’ and ‘seo resellers’.
Once you hit the small magnifying glass icon on the right, you’ll instantly get the metrics for your main keyword. You’ll get metrics such as the monthly local searches, monthly global searches, click-through rate, ranking difficulty, cost per click, monthly cost and the number of advertisers and homepages.
This is what separates SpyFu from the pack. Other keyword tools just focuses on search volume and competition level. They may even have their own metric to measure this (they call it keyword difficulty). But SpyFu doesn’t have anything like that. Instead, it includes the homepages that you can see on the front page of the search engines for a particular keyword and it separates global and local search volumes. This gives users easy access to their main competition as well as help them craft a strategy to rank locally.
When you’re in the keyword research tab, you’ll see one interesting section – the Profitable Related Keywords section. This section includes the following: monthly searches, ranking difficulty, cost-per-click, click through rate, monthly cost and advertisers.
You can then sort this out more through different metrics such as monthly search volume, SEO difficulty and number of words. This will help you unravel keywords you would not have otherwise found if you chose to stick to your classic Google Keyword Tool.
Another aspect that you’ll love about this tool is keyword grouping. It is in another tab inside the Keyword Research functionality.
To group your keywords, simply copy them from the spreadsheet file that you have created and paste it in a notepad file. From there, copy it to the box shown below.
Once you click ‘Organize These Keywords’, you’ll see everything sorted out into their word categories.
But you don’t have to stick to the groups predetermined for you. You can create your own groups through the + sign and click ‘Add Group’.
Planning to advertise in Google Adwords? No problem! SpyFu has a better functionality than the Adwords keyword planner to help with your PPC campaign.
In fact, it gives you a clear advertiser history through its Keyword Research tab.
Inputting your main keyword will reveal all the advertisers that chose to target the same keyword.
But it doesn’t stop there. An even valuable metric is Ad History where you can see the copy of their ad – this is very valuable if you are new to PPC and doesn’t have a clue on what to put in your Adwords ad.
This can instantly show you the words that worked for advertisers in the past so that you may also do the same.
As you can see, I included SpyFu because of its accurate search feature. Later, you’ll find that it has a feature that is unique to it (seeing advertiser ads) that makes it so valuable that I have to include it into this list.
Second on my list is SEMRush. I love it not only because of its competitor research and keyword research feature but also because of how comprehensive the data turns out to be when it comes out. Sure, it may not have the PPC planning feature like SpyFu. But the two functionalities that it has has been done really well.
Here is an overview of its two most popular functionalities.
If there is one feature that made SEMRush popular, that would be its competitor analysis feature. In this feature, all you need to do is input your competitor’s URL in the Domain Overview search bar and click Search.
You will then have access to the following metrics.
As you can see, SEMRush gives you all the metrics in one visually appealing location. It includes metrics such as organic search volume, paid search volume, backlinks and display advertising traffic. Out of the bunch, the most used metric is backlinks for it instantly gives you an overview on how stable a website is in a certain niche (based on how much it is referred to by other websites in the niche).
When you click on Backlinks, you’ll be taken to the list of URLs. These are the backlinks that the website has.
Scrolling down will reveal other metrics such as the location of organic keywords, the location of Ads keywords, the average traffic that the website gets from Organic and Paid sources as well as the top organic keywords and organic position distrbution.
You can also click on the full reports so that you can know the other keywords and details about the website.
Aside from competition research, you can also use SEMRush for keyword research. You just need to use its keyword research feature.
When you search for a keyword, you’ll be taken to a page that looks like this.
In here, you’ll see organic search volume and the total number of results. Then, you’ll also see the average cost per click and the percentage of competition. Then, you’ll also get a trends graph. This is so you can see if the search for that keyword is consistent all throughout the year. Then below are a glimpse of some phrase match keywords and some related keywords.
On top just below the keyword, you should see the following tabs: phrase match keywords, related keywords and ad-related keywords.
Phrase match will show you a list of keywords that contains your main keyword. So if your main keyword has two to three words. It will make sure to include the exact phrase in all of its suggestions. Below is an example on how the phrase match feature works in SEMRush.
Aside from merely suggesting keywords on top of your main keyword, the tool also searches for related topics and returns a list of keywords about that.
Then, in Ad History, you’ll get the domains that are using pay-per-click advertising to target the same keyword.
But the keyword research functionality of SEMRush doesn’t stop there. It also has a Keyword Magic Tool. This tool does more than suggest keywords. It instantly creates a list for your needs.
The best part is that the list can be sorted. Just look at all the aspects that you can include below. You can search for some phrases and control if you want a broad match or a phrase match. You can also choose to include or exclude some keywords.
You can also sort the keywords based on word count, keyword difficulty and search volume. Out of the three, I love sorting keywords through word count.
If you set the word count from 3 to 4, you’ll see that the tool will instantly generate a list of medium tail keywords.
Just look at the words that it is able to generate below.
Of course, it is obvious that you cannot use all of these keywords. That’s okay. You just have to sift through them to look for some hidden gold.
You may also choose to sort the keywords by KD or keyword difficulty. This pertains to the degree of difficulty the keyword has in ranking. SEMRush got this number by examining the number of competing sites for that keyword.
Where can you find KD? You’ll see it in a column when you generate your keyword list. You’ll see a column that has KD. You can click the arrows beside it to sort it from highest to lowest or the other way around.
But if you already have a list of keywords, you can just head over to the keyword difficulty tool. All you need to do is type in at most 100 keywords and it will run through everything and give you their KD.
In this section, you’ll see KD as Difficulty. That is the percentage on how hard it is to rank for the keyword on the search engines.
I have put SEMRush in number 2 because of its in-depth searching functionalities. It used to top the list of SEO tools. But when Ahrefs came, it quickly became number 1.
I am excited to show you an all-in-one SEO tool that can dig deep in the world wide web to uncover the best keywords, anchor text and unexplored competitor backlinks. And it does this job really fast. This is Ahrefs – the top SEO tool in the planet.
Don’t worry. I am not an affiliate of Ahrefs nor did they pay me to promote them. Their tool is just so good that it is worth recommending.
Two of the best functionalities of Ahrefs is Competition Research and Keyword Research and it does the job like you’ve never seen before.
Do you remember why competition research is essential to SEO? Well, it helps you get an overview of what other websites are doing so that you can do the same and more. Why do you need to do more? You need to do more in order to rank.
In the old days, ranking is as easy as optimizing a website and pointing a few backlinks to it. But today, you need to do more. In fact, you need to analyze all the top websites to see where their backlinks are coming from so that you can get an overview of the types of links that you should go after.
Searching for your competitor’s backlinks is something that Ahrefs does really well.
First, it allows you to see a website’s basic features through its Site Explorer Tool.
Doing that will take you to a page where there are so many metrics that you will not have time to look at everything. From Referring pages, traffic and backlinks, Ahrefs got you covered.
Most notable out of these is the Backlinks section. You can go to this page when you click on it on the left sidebar.
What I love about this part is that it does more than just list the backlinks. All backlinks are clickable and it includes the Anchor Text and page that it is linking to. All of these are helpful if you are just planning to have your own SEO campaign.
How can this section help you?
First, it can show you all of the backlinks of your main competitors. This will show you the type of websites that you are up against through the amount of backlinks that they have and the quality of the websites linking to them.
Second, you can get a glimpse of the keywords that they are aiming. You can see that some of their anchor text will be targeting a particular keyword. You can then research this keyword to find out why they are targeting this.
Third, you can also see the pages that other websites are linking to. Let’s face it. Not all pages in a website is a winner. But Ahrefs let you dissect a website so that you can find out the pages that other websites are linking to.
All these can help you decide on the keywords that you will target and how you are going to promote your website in order to dominate those keywords.
And if you think that is already powerful, the power of Ahrefs does not stop there. It also has a keyword research feature.
Ahrefs started out as a SEO Competition research tool with most of its functionalities in backlink research. Since it was able to do the job so well, it managed to expand into other modules. The next module that it produced is Keyword Explorer.
Similar to Site Explorer, this tool instantly displays metrics about a keyword like this.
The metrics are different from site explorer because it has KD as its main metric. This is then followed by search volume, clicks and global volume. Just below that is the parent topic, the volume and traffic potential.
Aside from basic metrics, you also need to look at the keyword ideas. The tool instantly generates this from inputting just one keyword.
In the left section, you’ll see a list of keyword ideas. Clicking on View Full Report will unravel a list of keywords that are worth targeting.
Another way to approach keyword research is to forget about the Keyword Explorer and go back to the classic Site Explorer. With it, you can just look at what keywords your competitors are targeting and just go for that. How do you know the keywords that they are targeting? Their anchors are the answer. Just do a search and click on Anchors on the left section and this will show you all the keywords that your competitor is targeting. From here, you can click on Terms and choose 3 words or 4 words and you can instantly harvest some medium tail keywords in the process.
Aside from Anchors, you can also look at Organic Keywords. Just click on Organic Keywords below Organic Search in the left sidebar.
You can then sort the KD to find the keywords that are the easiest to rank for.
NOTE: KD in Ahrefs is not the same as SEMRush. While SEMRush’s KD focuses on competitor number, Ahrefs’ KD focuses more on the number of referring domains.
The number depends greatly on the number of referring domains where the lowest has lower KD and the highest have higher KD.
Another way to find some good keywords is to look at competing websites. From there, you can simply right click on the website and see its organic keywords.
You also have the option to choose paid keywords but I will skip that if you are not into pay-per-click.
Below is an example of all the keywords that you can get from one eCommerce website. You may need to read through all of them to see some keywords worth targeting. Be sure to sort KD from lowest to highest and choose only keywords that are readable and are in good grammar.
Did you enjoy our list of awesome SEO tools? If you’re really serious about SEO, you should use one of these today.