How to create a Keyword List to Improve SEO

Keyword list
A keyword list is what defines what your content is actually about. Choosing keywords is considered as one of the most important steps.

1. What is a keyword list?

Keywords are the words/phrases that people search on search engines such as Google & Bing.
As an example, a keyword can be any of the following:

  • Laptops
  • Web hosting
  • Web design lessons in Charlotte NC

As shown above, keywords can be a single word, several words, or even a phrase. These are all referred to as keywords, but are divided in different sections. For example, a single word would be know as a broad or general keyword search, a couple words are a bit more specific, and a phrase or a “long-tail” keyword, is a very specific keyword search. Continue reading to see examples and to get a better understanding on when to use each type of keyword type.

2. Why is a keyword list important?

A keyword list is what defines what you content is actually about. Choosing keywords is one of the first steps that should be taken and it is considered as one of the most important steps as well.

A keyword list is not used just for writing high quality content on your blog, but it is also for setting up an effective search marketing campaign. A few ideas to help you build a high quality keyword list:

  1. Choose words and phrases that directly describe your business. Think as a customer would when searching for what you offer. If someone asked you about your business, what are some keywords that popup in your mind right away?
  2. Use keyword research tools such as: Google Keyword Planner, Soovle, and SEMrush, just to name a few.
  3. Try not to add duplicate keywords to the list, this will just confuse you when you’re reviewing the list.

It is important that you carefully do your keyword research and aim to rank for the proper keywords, otherwise, you will spend a great amount of time trying to optimize your content after the fact that you notice you’re not getting results.

The chart below is intended to help you get an idea of how to create an organized and well-researched keyword list that you can use to create content around selected phrases as well as increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google search.

Location Type of Keywords Search Example Expected # of Keywords
Small town Broad pineville nc apple repair Low
Large city Specific charlotte nc iphone screen repair Medium
National Very specific iphone water damage repair High

Small Town: When trying to rank for a keyword in a small town, you will be fine trying to rank for a board keyword in that area. Small towns likely have smaller search volumes because of the lower amount of people that live there.

Large City: In aiming to rank for a keyword in a large city, as you can imagine the competition is a lot greater. This time you should use your broad keyword in addition with more specific phrases. The more people living in a city, the higher the search volume, thus increasing competition.

National: Ranking nationally is a lot more difficult, especially if your website is new. It is recommended to use long-tail keywords that relate directly to your service or post.

Small Town (Use Broad Keywords)

Using Google’s Autocomplete, type in the name of your town followed by the keywords that describe what you offer. Try a few variations to get some basic understand how much competition you will be against.

Pineville nc apple repair

Large City (Use Specific Keywords)

Continue to use the same strategy as mentioned above, but beside the broad phrases, aim to search for more specific phrases that more precisely related to your specific post/service.

Charlotte nc iphone repair

You can also try the fill in the blank method, which provides several new ideas.

Charlotte nc iphone screen repair

Take notes of all keywords and to keep it more organized, group related keywords

iPhone repair list

National (Use Long-Tail Keywords)

Since there will be a large selection of keywords to choose from, it’s best to start narrowing down the best ones by finding out the search volume relative to the competitiveness of each phrase. This will help you in choosing on the keywords that you know you have a greater chance of to rank for.

A keyword such as “iphone repair” would be very competitive since it’s a broad phrase on the national level. We already know that competition is going to be high as lots of websites are trying to rank for that term. But a more specific long-tail keyword such as “iphone x screen repair” is going to be less competitive.

It’s true that broad keywords have more search volume, but if your website is not of the first few pages of Google, you will likely not get much conversion. You are much better to be on page 1 for a long-tail keyword with hundreds of searches than to be on page 12 for a keyword with thousands of searches.

If a keyword that you want to rank for is too competitive, do not be discouraged. Continue to include it in your keyword list. If a page that outlines your services improves the user experience, don’t worry too much about the competition. Create the page for the visitors that continue to visit your website.

3. Creating your keyword list

Now that we have covered the basics of creating a keyword list, put this knowledge into action.

Similar Keywords: If two words have the same meaning, for example; synonyms, plurals, phrases with different word ordering, be sure to only select the 1 keyword/phrase that you find to be most relevant to the product/post. You should always aim to target 1 primary keyword per page. Google has updated its algorithm so that it does a pretty good job of analyzing what the user intended to search for and automatically ranks websites for related phrases.

Blog post: Using a basic keyword research tool such as Google Autocomplete and find the 1 keyword you want each article to rank for. As mentioned previously, if your website is new, it’s best to focus towards using long-tail keywords to rank for. An example of this would be “how to optimize wordpress website speed”

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