Select your killer keyphrases easily with this simple method

Welcome back!  In this post of our ongoing Monday SEO how-to series, we’re going to get into how to filter our keyphrase list to capture our most powerful keyphrases with a simple tool: Excel.  How cool is that?  Let’s get to it, then!

As you (hopefully!) recall, last week we built our keyphrase “seed” list in our ongoing development of a smart keyphrase strategy geared towards optimizing conversions.  If you need to take a step back and get a grip on the market research preceding this nuts-and-bolts post, please do!  (There are several listed in the blog archive!).  It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the why’s and wherefore’s before you tackle the exact how-to’s!  We’ll be right here when you return, and we’ll see you soon!

Moving on, then:  how do we go about organizing our keyphrase “seed” list so that the keyphrase variations produced through Google’s keyphrase research tool can be prioritized and filtered?   A great way to start is to open an Excel spreadsheet document:

  • First, create a tab labeled “Keyphrase Seed List.”Â  Review your initial Google keyphrase research results and list those keyphrases that are applicable to your business.  (And eliminate those keyphrases that are not, altogether.)
  • Insert the average search volume in the cell next to each applicable keyphrase.
  • Now, in the next cell, rank how important each keyphrase is on a scale from 1 to 5, with “1” being the most important.
  • TA DA & Congrats!  You’ve now generated your initial keyphrase seed list!

Okay!  Now we’re organized and have our initial, killer keyphrases prioritized, 1 thru 5.

Next comes the process of keyphrase filtering, which may best be described as What to do when”¦.“

1.  “¦Two keywords accurately describe a product or service, such as “laptop” and “notebook,” or “automobile” versus “car?”Â  It is possible to use both variations of a search term on alternate pages, such as “laptop” on some pages and “notebook” on others, especially if you find that people are searching for both terms in equal numbers.  However, if the average search volume for one of the two alternate terms in very low, go with the more trafficked term.

2.  “¦People don’t search for our branded service/product name?  This is a big problem with e-commerce retailers.  They may have a product that’s a “plastic osmosis liquid miracle,” when what the product really is — and what most people would be searching for — is a “water bottle.”

If your branded product names aren’t searched upon, then try to associate them with keyphrases that people are actually more likely to use to describe your product.  In our water bottle example, let’s simply splice the brand name with the winning keyphrase to create: “plastic osmosis miracle water bottle.”Â  That allows you to keep your branded term, while combining it with a term that people are far more apt to search upon.

3.  “¦You want to use a product make/model as a keyphrase?  Great!  Once people get to the tail end of the buy cycle, they will indeed be searching highly specific terms.  Use those specific make/model keyphrase on your products page!

4. “¦You’re a B2B company with a keyword that is highly specific to your industry.  Is it OK to use it?  By all means, yes!  This is one of the times that a keyword is so tuned in to an industry that the search results should be most relevant and capture targeted traffic.   Just to make sure, though, it’s a good idea to run the keyword search on a couple of different search engines; if the results match your offerings, then definitely include the keyword/phrase on your list!

Stay tuned, as next week we’ll dig even deeper, using fun and free tools to grow our selection of  killer keyphrases to use throughout our site!