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New Organizational Paradigm for Your Keywords List

| Posted in category Keyword Research

No one would doubt that keyword research and analysis is one of the most common tasks an SEO professional has to tackle. While there’s been much written about on how to find “high search-volume keywords” and “develop your site’s semantic core” (I enjoy this slang, you know), a rare blogger would tell you what to do next with a ten-folds-long list of keyword phrases. Do you want to impose a new organizational paradigm on your keywords? – Then read on!

Many beginning SEO marketers are obsessed with data mining, endless analysis, and research, but they do forget that the results of any research should be actionable, i.e. bring positive changes and propel a web-site or online business to their objectives, in other words your data files are to be well-structured and purpose oriented. The other day when I was reviewing keyword research files of a newbie SEO marketer, it reminded me of a dialogue from The Big Bang Theory:

Leonard: - So her apartment is a bit messy. So what?
Sheldon: - Messy?! The Mandelbrot complex number set is messy. This is a disaster!!

the list was kind of biggish and overwhelmed with search volume, KEI, Competition, and other metrics – all things mixed, unsorted, and unstructured. I am going to show you an easy way to visualize and structure the output data of your keyword research. We are going to use a simple keyword matrix.

Let’s create a keyword matrix for an imaginary Dream TV LLC website – a local TV sets retailer. (Note: The case is fully imaginary, the keyword list and the site’s structure were deliberately reduced). You’ll need a spreadsheet editor and your favorite keyword research tool. We are going to get through the following three steps:

  • Outline the structure of landing pages;
  • Find suitable keyword phrases, and;
  • Align landing pages with relevant keyword phrases.

Step 1

The Dream TV website has a home page and three big product categories (LCD TVs, Plasma TVs, and “on sale or cheap TVs”), each product category includes several sub-categories – TV sets sorted by brands – let it be Sony and Philips. (See the structure of the site below) Such graphic sitemap is a real time saver; you may further enhance it by adding hyper links to the relevant web-pages.

Visual sitemap

Step 2

Now we develop a short list of keywords, which includes just one metric – search volume (obtained, using Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool). In case you need a “How To” for this step, you might like to have a look at keyword research tutorial.

Note: For better and objective results switch the keyword tool to Exact Match and use local monthly search volume (do not forget to set up your location first).

Keyword Tool

Step 3

We are going to slightly enhance an ordinary keyword list to make it more descriptive and usable; we combine the keyword list and the information about all the major landing pages of our website (obtained on Step 1). As the result, we get a neat keyword matrix (see below).

Keyword matrix

In the top row we have a list of landing pages’ URLs (you may use any handy page names instead). We mark intersections of a respective URL column and a keyword row with an X. Such representation is handy, condensed, and readable. It lacks any excessive information that might impede perception of the information. Now you may use custom sort functions of your spreadsheet editor to rearrange the information as required and make it structured. This simple, yet non-obvious modification gives you a map that will be your guide for content and meta tags optimization.

Every time you start a new SEO project try to keep your data files:

  • Lean (eliminate any information that might impede your perception);
  • Structured (make use of matrixes and pivot tables), and;
  • Action oriented (the output of your research should form the basis for further SEO activities).

Tools Used:

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