In part one of this two-part series, you learned about developing a keyword strategy and an initial list of keywords. In part two, you will focus on refining that list of keywords. Hopefully, your list of keywords is organized in an Excel spreadsheet so that you can easily analyze them and begin to refine them into a list of top-performing keywords.
Free Keyword Tools
There are a variety of tools that can help you refine your list of keywords. Some of these will be free, while others will cost a nominal fee.
Google has its very own keyword tool and will provide you with monthly statistics. You can also use Google Trends, which will let you type in a keyword and receive as many as five years of trend data of user behavior. You can get traffic data as well as predicted CPC for keywords by using the Google Traffic Estimator tool. Just remember, though, Google tools will only provide you with data from Google’s own database. However, Google is the largest search engine and these tools are free, so this is definitely a good place to get started.
Another free tool outside of Google’s database is 5minutesite.com. It will help you generate local keywords. If you prefer a tool that has it all, then you may prefer the Keyword Suggestion Tool from SEO Book, as you can type in a keyword and be provided with data from multiple sources.
Fee-Based Keyword Tools
Some of the most popular fee-based tools include Wordtracker and Keyword Discovery. Both of these tools will show you how popular the keyword is, including its search history and the number of searches it gets. Each tool uses a proprietary database that it pulls its information from, so you will likely get different results from each tool.
Refining Your Keywords
Now that you have some keyword tools under your belt, it is time to score your keywords. In your spreadsheet, create three different columns next to your keyword list. These need to be labeled as follows (along with what each one means):
- Relevance – You will go through the list of keywords and rate each term on just how relevant it is to your business. Use a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the most relevant to your business. You don’t need to spend a significant amount of time on this, as it should only take a couple of seconds to determine relevancy. Also, use 9s and 10s as sparingly as possible. Depending on the campaign, you will be determining the keyword’s relevancy to your website, your business or a specific landing page.
- Specificity – You will use the exact same rating process, but this time you are seeing how general or specific the keyword is. Think about to the long tail principle that was explained in Part 1. For instance, a keyword like “shoes” is going to be rated a 1 or 2 whereas “Under Armour Curry 3ZERO” would be rated a 9 or 10.
- Popularity – You will want to utilize some of the previously-mentioned tools to see how much the keyword is searched for and rank it accordingly.
Once you have completed ranking the keywords in all three columns, it is time to set up a fourth and final column: Overall Score. You will want to average the ratings for every keyword and sort them based on this column. The top-performing keywords will then be placed near the top of your spreadsheet, while the least-performing keywords will be placed near the bottom of the spreadsheet.
Test, Test, and Test Some More
It has now come time to put your top-performing keywords to the test and see how they hold up in the “real world”. While an SEO campaign will garner the most organic results, you will get quicker results with a PPC campaign. You will want to develop a regular procedure to test your keywords and make corrections as you go.
If you have any questions or would like help setting us your PPC campaign to test your keywords, feel free to reach out to us at WebDetail.