SEO Keywords: Refining Your Keyword List

SEO KeywordsNow that you’ve got your keyword list, the next step is refining it and pinpointing which ones will benefit you the most. This is important when developing an SEO keyword list, as there are restrictions on the number of keywords you could optimize. While there are no rules set in stone regarding this, you have to get rid of keywords that won’t benefit your overall SEO strategy.

Consider the following factors as you refine your keyword list:

  • Category of Keywords – You could perhaps get rid of some less relevant audience terms if you have around 400 audience keywords and only 10 product keywords. Focus on categories that are closest to your central target instead. Likewise, use these categories for understanding search intents such that if you’re offering B2B online marketing services, you could potentially use the product term “online marketing management,” but not “online marketing jobs” because it’s an audience term that’s less relevant.
  • The Landscape of Search – Input some of your more vital keywords into a search engine to check what shows up. For instance, if your campaign is about “pink shoes”, you may not realize that “pink shoes” would yield results pertaining to all types of pink shoes, but you’re only looking for pink sneakers. The more specific, the better. Make a negative keyword list that you could use for off-topic search results as well — the keywords you wouldn’t want your ads appearing for, adds an SEO expert in Twin Cities.
  • Understand Your Competition – If you use Google keyword tool, you’ll see that they rate competition for keywords from Low to High, but you’ll see this rating in your sheet as 0 to 1. A higher value basically means more competition. While you don’t necessarily have to be scared of going against other marketers and competing for high-traffic keywords, just know that it will be tougher.
  • Group Semantically – Consider semantic grouping as you refine your keywords. For instance, you could group keywords such as “affordable SEO,” “affordable SEO tool,” or “affordable SEO service” under “affordable SEO.” You could use this closely related keyword group later for PPC ad groups as well. Likewise, if you have a group with many keywords, you might want to get rid of some keywords that yield lower search counts.

Essentially, your keyword list must be directly dependent on how complex or huge your services or products are, but it doesn’t really have to be big. Focus instead on categorizing your existing keywords properly, so that you could capture the intent and interests of your target audience. This will then help you in developing, refining, and evaluating your keyword list.