Keyword Research for Dropshipping: Finding High-Intent Terms for Better Search Visibility

Written by Team IndiBlogHub  »  Updated on: May 18th, 2024

Keyword Research for Dropshipping: Finding High-Intent Terms for Better Search Visibility

Keywords need no introduction. We all know they are words and phrases people type into Google when looking for something specific. But not all keywords are created equal. Some keywords indicate someone is looking for information, while others show that someone is ready to buy.

We'll focus on finding those high-intent keywords that lead to real sales for your dropshipping store.

First Off, Let’s Understand Keyword Intent

People use search engines for all sorts of reasons, and understanding those reasons is key to choosing the right keywords for your dropshipping store. Let’s find out. 

Types of Keyword Intent

Basically, there are four types of keyword intent. Here are these. 

1. Informational: These are searches where someone's just looking for information. They might be typing in "how to tie a tie" or "best dog breeds for apartments." They're not necessarily ready to buy anything yet, but they're gathering knowledge.

2. Navigational: These are searches where someone knows exactly where they want to go. They might search for "Facebook login" or "Nike website." They're not your ideal customer, as they're already loyal to another brand.

3. Commercial This is where things get interesting for dropshippers. Commercial searches indicate that someone is considering a purchase. They might be comparing products or researching brands. 

Examples include "best wireless headphones" or "iPhone 14 review." These people are potential customers, and targeting these keywords can capture their attention at the right time.

4. Transactional: These are the golden keywords for dropshippers. Transactional searches show that someone is ready to buy now. They might be searching for "buy iPhone 14 online" or "discount code for [your product]." 

Targeting these keywords puts your product right in front of people who are ready to make a purchase.

Why High-Intent Keywords Matter for Dropshipping

As a dropshipper, you want to focus on commercial and transactional keywords.  These keywords indicate that someone is either actively considering your type of product or is ready to buy. By targeting these keywords, you attract visitors who are much more likely to convert into paying customers, adds William Westerlund, Marketing Manager at Suptask.

Essential Keyword Research Tools for Dropshippers

The good news is, you don't need to be a tech whiz to get started with keyword research. There are tools to help you every step of the way — from brainstorming to analyzing your competition.

First, talk about the free tools. 

1. Google Keyword Planner

This free tool is a classic for a reason. It's great for getting basic keyword ideas and seeing search volume estimates. However, it's primarily designed for advertisers, so the keyword suggestions might be a bit too broad for finding niche terms. Still, it's a helpful starting point for your research, adds Eran Mizrahi, CEO of Ingredient Brothers.

2. Google Trends

This tool is your window into what's hot right now. It shows you trending searches and gives you an idea of how interest in certain keywords changes over time. This is super helpful for dropshippers since trends can come and go quickly. 

By identifying rising trends, you can jump on them early and tailor your product offerings and keywords accordingly.

3. AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic takes a seed keyword and generates a list of questions people are actually searching for. 

Saba Mobebpour, CEO at Dropshipping Suppliers US, says, “If you sell camping gear, it might show questions like, "What's the best tent for backpacking?" or "How to choose a sleeping bag?" This can give you valuable insight into your customers' needs and help you refine your keyword strategy.”

Now let’s talk about paid tools. 

1. Semrush

Semrush is an all-in-one SEO tool that offers a ton of features, including in-depth keyword research, competitor analysis, and even website auditing. It's a great option if you're serious about scaling your dropshipping business and want a comprehensive tool for SEO, says Danny Jay, Marketing Director at SOLVED Consulting

2. Ahrefs

Similar to Semrush, Ahrefs is another comprehensive SEO platform with keyword research capabilities. It's particularly strong at backlink analysis (analyzing who's linking to your competitors), which can be a valuable tactic for improving your own site's authority.

3. Moz

Moz is a well-respected SEO platform offering a range of tools, including keyword research and website audits. Their Keyword Explorer tool is particularly user-friendly and offers insightful metrics like "Priority Score" to help you focus on the most impactful keywords.

Alex Taylor, Head of Marketing at CrownTV, says, “Don't feel pressured to invest in paid tools right away. The free options can provide a lot of valuable data to get you started. As your business grows and your budget allows, you can consider upgrading to paid platforms for even more in-depth analysis and features.”

Strategies for Finding High-Intent Keywords

Now that you understand the different types of keyword intent and also the tools you can use. Let’s get into how you can actually find those valuable commercial and transactional keywords that'll attract the right customers to your dropshipping store. 

Brainstorm Your Seed Keywords

Let’s say, you're having a conversation with your ideal customer. What words or phrases would they naturally use to describe the products they're looking for? 

Start by listing out these basic terms, considering the different categories of products you offer and the problems they solve. 

Martin Seeley, CEO of Mattress Next Day, says, “If you're selling phone accessories, your initial list might include "phone cases," "chargers," "screen protectors," or "headphones." Don't worry about being too specific at this stage — the goal is to capture the broader terms that resonate with your target audience.”

Once you have a good foundation, you can begin expanding your list. Like, if you're selling phone cases, you could add keywords like "waterproof phone case," "clear silicone phone case," or "designer iPhone case."

Also, consider the problems your products solve. If you sell fitness gear, think about what benefits your customers are seeking — "weight loss equipment," "running shoes for beginners," or "home workout essentials."

Check Out the Competition

Competitor research is a perfect way for keyword ideas. Look at the product pages and website copy of successful dropshipping stores in your niche. What keywords are they using in their product titles, descriptions, and meta tags? Alison Lancaster, CEO of, says, “You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to see exactly which keywords your competitors are ranking for.”

Don't simply copy their exact keywords though! Instead, use their strategy as inspiration to find your own unique angle. 

For example, if they're heavily targeting a broad keyword like "women's shoes," you could focus on more specific long-tail variations like "comfortable walking shoes for women" or "stylish sandals for wide feet."

Sumeer Kaur, Founder of Anarkali, adds, “By identifying gaps in your competitors' keyword strategy, you can carve out your own space in the search results and attract customers who are specifically looking for the types of products you offer.”

Get Long-Tail with It

Long-tail keywords phrases that only people really interested in a specific product would search for. While a broad keyword like "shoes" might get a lot of searches, it's too competitive as well. 

On the other hand, a long-tail keyword like "waterproof hiking boots for women size 8" might have fewer searches overall, but the people using that phrase are much closer to making a purchase. They know exactly what they want!

So, to find long-tail keywords, get specific with your brainstorming. Think about the different features, uses, and target audiences for your products. 

Chase Hughes, Founder of ProAI, adds, “If you sell phone cases, don't just stop at "phone cases." Consider "durable phone case for hiking," "cute phone case for iPhone 12," or "phone case with wallet for women." These long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for and attract highly qualified traffic to your dropshipping store.”

Questions Are Your Friend

People often turn to search engines with questions when they're looking for solutions or trying to make a purchase decision. Look for "how-to" or "best" keywords that indicate a buyer's mindset. 

For example, if you sell kitchen appliances, consider keywords like "best blender for smoothies," "how to clean an air fryer," or "which coffee maker is easiest to use?"

AnswerThePublic can help you uncover these question-based keywords. By addressing these questions in your product descriptions or blog posts, you not only provide valuable information but also attract those customers who are actively searching for answers (and solutions) to their problems.

Ride the Seasonal Wave

Remember those holiday shopping frenzies? People search differently depending on the time of year. If you sell winter coats, you'll want to focus on winter-related keywords like "warm coats," "holiday gifts for her," or "snow boots" as the temperature drops. 

On the flip side, summer keywords like "swimsuits," "beach towels," or "outdoor games" become more popular during warmer months.

Ali Nahhas, Owner of Aladdins Houston, says, “By paying attention to seasonal trends and adjusting your keyword strategy accordingly, you can capture the attention of customers who are actively searching for products related to specific times of the year.”

And in that situation, Google Trends can help you spot these shifts in search interest. Keep an eye on what's popular right now, and don't be afraid to update your product pages and ads to reflect these trends.

Use Google's Suggestions

Harrison Jordan, Managing Lawyer of Substance Law, said, “When you start typing something into Google's search bar, you've probably noticed it auto-suggests other phrases. These suggestions are based on popular searches and can be a great way to discover long-tail keywords you might not have thought of.”

For example, if you type "yoga mat," Google might suggest "yoga mat for beginners," "eco-friendly yoga mat," or "best travel yoga mat." These suggestions give you valuable insight into what people are actually searching for. 

So, use these suggestions to expand your keyword list and target more specific phrases that align with your product offerings.

Learn from the Actual Case Studies

Here are three real-world case studies. 

Case Study 1: "EcoGear" Boosted Sales with High-Intent Keyword Research

The Challenge: EcoGear's product listings were optimized with generic keywords like "camping gear" or "outdoor equipment." These terms had high search volume but also faced intense competition from larger retailers. As a result, EcoGear's listings were buried deep in search results.

The Solution: EcoGear decided to focus on high-intent keyword research. They used a combination of keyword research tools (Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner) and customer feedback to identify search terms that indicated a strong purchase intent.

Some of the high-intent keywords they discovered included.

  • Sustainable camping gear
  • Eco-friendly hiking backpacks
  • Best reusable water bottles for hiking
  • Where to buy zero-waste camping supplies

Implementation: EcoGear optimized their product titles, descriptions, and meta tags with these high-intent keywords. They also created blog posts and social media content targeting these terms.

Results: Within a few months, EcoGear saw a significant increase in organic traffic from search engines. Their conversion rate also improved as they were attracting more qualified leads actively searching for eco-friendly outdoor gear. Here’s what they got. 

  • Organic traffic increased by 45% within 3 months.
  • Conversion rate improved by 20%.
  • Overall sales grew by 35%.

Case Study 2: Poo~Pourri's "Girls Don't Poop" Campaign — A Viral Success with Unconventional Keywords

The Challenge: Poo~Pourri faced the challenge of marketing a taboo product in a way that would resonate with consumers and break through the noise in a crowded market.

The Solution: Instead of relying on traditional, euphemistic language, Poo~Pourri embraced humor and directness. They launched the "Girls Don't Poop" campaign, a series of viral videos featuring a poised woman discussing bathroom habits with unexpected candor. The campaign utilized unconventional keywords like "poop," "toilet," and "bathroom odor," which were not typically associated with marketing campaigns.

Implementation: The campaign videos were promoted across social media platforms, generating significant buzz and engagement. The bold use of keywords and humorous content led to the videos being widely shared and discussed, quickly going viral.

Results: The "Girls Don't Poop" campaign was a massive success for Poo~Pourri, resulting in.

  • Exponential sales growth: The brand experienced a 13,000% increase in sales within two years of the campaign's launch.
  • Increased brand awareness: Poo~Pourri became a household name, known for its quirky humor and effective product.
  • Strong online community: The campaign sparked conversations about bathroom habits and destigmatized the topic, fostering a loyal community of customers.

Case Study 3: MVMT Watches — Disrupting the Luxury Watch Market with Targeted Keywords and Social Media

The Challenge: MVMT Watches entered a market dominated by established luxury brands with deep-rooted traditions and high price points. They needed to differentiate themselves and appeal to a younger, more budget-conscious audience.

The Solution: MVMT Watches adopted a multi-pronged approach, focusing on.

  • Targeted Keywords: They identified keywords that resonated with their target audience, such as "affordable luxury watches," "minimalist watches," and "fashion watches." They strategically used these keywords in their product descriptions, website content, and social media posts.
  • Social Media Marketing: MVMT leveraged social media platforms, particularly Instagram, to showcase their products through visually appealing content and influencer partnerships. They used relevant hashtags and engaged with their audience to create a strong online community.
  • Direct-to-Consumer Model: By cutting out the middleman, MVMT could offer high-quality watches at a fraction of the price of traditional luxury brands. This resonated with their target audience, who were looking for style and value.

Implementation: MVMT consistently produced visually appealing content that showcased their watches in everyday settings, aligning with their target audience's lifestyle. They partnered with influencers who shared their brand values and aesthetics, further amplifying their reach.

Results: MVMT Watches experienced phenomenal growth, becoming one of the fastest-growing watch brands in the world. They achieved.

  • MVMT amassed millions of followers across social media platforms, creating a loyal community of brand advocates.
  • Their direct-to-consumer model and targeted marketing efforts led to millions of dollars in sales within a few years.
  • MVMT successfully challenged the traditional luxury watch industry by offering stylish, affordable alternatives and resonating with a new generation of consumers.


Keyword research isn't just a one-time thing — it's an ongoing process. The words people use to search for products change over time, so keep your finger on the pulse. 

By digging into what your customers are actually searching for, you can make smarter choices about the words you use on your product pages. 

This means more of the right kind of traffic heading to your store — the kind ready to buy! Remember, focus on those high-intent keywords, and watch your visibility in search results soar.

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