March 24, 2023

Mastering Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Keyword List That Works

Keyword research is one of the most crucial components of any successful SEO strategy. It involves identifying and prioritizing the keywords your target audience uses to search for information related to your products or services. A well-organized and effective keyword list can help your content rank higher on Google, attract more traffic to your website, and ultimately drive more conversions. This comprehensive guide will discuss the pros and cons of creating a keyword list and provide a step-by-step guide on creating and prioritizing one.

Pros and Cons of Creating a Keyword List:

Creating and managing a keyword list requires time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. Here are the pros and cons of creating a keyword list:


  • It helps you inform and map out an editorial calendar: A keyword list can help you plan and organize your content creation efforts by providing a roadmap of topics that align with your target audience's interests and needs.
  • It focuses your content creation efforts: With a keyword list, you can ensure that your content is relevant, informative, and optimized for search engines.
  • It helps you get more out of existing content: Optimizing your existing content for the keywords on your list can improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site.


  • It takes time and commitment: Building a keyword list requires time and effort, but the results are worth it.
  • It may constrain your content: While a keyword list can help you stay focused, it may also limit your creativity and make you miss out on new and innovative ideas.

Six Steps to Create and Prioritize a Keyword List:

Step 1: Audience

You need to understand your target audience to create an effective keyword list. You should identify their interests, needs, pain points, and the specific terms they use to search for information about your products or services. This information can be obtained from customer feedback, sales and marketing data, social media interactions, and surveys. By understanding your audience, you can create a keyword list that is relevant, informative, and engaging.

Step 2: Categories of Keywords

Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is to create categories of keywords. These categories should be based on the topics your audience is interested in and the keywords they use to search for related information. For example, if you sell running shoes, your categories could be "types of running shoes," "running shoe reviews," "running shoe sizing," etc. By creating categories of keywords, you can organize your keyword research and prioritize your efforts.

Step 3: Keyword List

After creating categories of keywords, the next step is to create a list of keywords that fit under each category. You should include multiple keywords for each category, including long-tail keywords and phrases specific to your products or services. You can use tools such as Google Ads, Moz, AnswerThePublic, SpyFu, ChatGPT, and SEMRush to generate keyword ideas or brainstorm with your team. The goal is to create a comprehensive list of keywords that align with your target audience's interests and needs.

Step 4: Check Keyword Volume

Once you have a list of keywords, you need to check each keyword's average monthly search volume. This information will help you determine which keywords are worth targeting and which are not. You can use Google AdWords' Keyword Planner tool to check the search volume for each keyword. Ideally, it would help if you targeted keywords with high search volume and low competition. However, if you're starting, you can target keywords with at least 50 average monthly searches for quick wins.

Step 5: Relevance Score

After checking the search volume for each keyword, you need to give a relevance

score to each one. This score will help you prioritize your efforts and focus on the most relevant keywords to your target audience. To score the keywords, you can use a simple scale from 1-3:

  • Score 1: Keywords closest to your goal and aligning with your target audience's interests and needs. These keywords will likely drive conversions and should be your top priority.
  • Score 2: Keywords that imply someone is taking action but are not necessarily searching for your specific product or service. These keywords are still relevant but may not be as high a priority as score 1 keywords.
  • Score 3: Keywords focused more on education and not necessarily related to your product or service. These keywords may be necessary for thought leadership and brand awareness but are not likely to drive conversions.

Step 6: Prioritize

The final step is prioritizing your keyword list based on several factors, including your target audience, search volume, and "win-ability." Win-ability refers to your ability to rank for a particular keyword based on the competition and the quality of your content. Here are some tips for prioritizing your keyword list:

  • Focus on existing keyword opportunities: Review your existing content and identify keywords that you're already ranking for or have the potential to rank for. Optimize this content for the relevant keywords and improve your search engine rankings.
  • Identify new keyword opportunities: Look for opportunities to target new keywords that align with your target audience's interests and needs. Consider overlooked synonyms, the long tail of existing high-value keywords, new feature releases, and new products.
  • Prioritize based on available resources: Prioritize your keyword list based on what you can accomplish with your available resources. Consider the time, budget, and expertise required to create high-quality content that can rank for specific keywords.

Take action and start creating your keyword list today!

Creating a keyword list is a critical component of any SEO strategy. It requires time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. By understanding your target audience, organizing your keyword research, and prioritizing your efforts, you can create a keyword list that drives more traffic to your site, improves your search engine rankings, and ultimately drives more conversions. Remember to stay flexible, creative, and open to new ideas that may not appear on your initial keyword list.

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