How To Make A Keyword List

Creating a keyword list means selecting words and phrases that describe your products or services and using the right tools to research SEO keywords to use in your content. Your keyword list will be a vital part of your SEO strategy from the outset and will improve your understanding of your target audience and help improve how visible you are to them.

Using various tools, you can step into your customers’ shoes and learn their wants and needs, how they use your website, and how you can make sure they find your site in the SERPs. An effective keyword list ensures you’re speaking their language and catering directly to their demands.

Why Keyword Research Is Essential

Many websites focused on SEO and online marketing stress the importance of keyword research, but it’s actually more than that – it’s non-negotiable. When we speak about keywords, we don’t only mean a single keyword, but, more often than not, keywords as plural. A significant part of keyword research focuses on finding long-tail keywords or key phrases.

Google and other search engines generate a results page based on users’ input. If you think about it for a second, we use many more long-tail keywords than single keywords to find the information we need, and Google algorithms pick this up; hence, correct key phrases are immensely valuable.

For your target audience to find your website through search engines, you must use the most effective target keywords – which is why keyword research is not just important, but a fundamental aspect of increasing your online presence. Identifying which long-tail keywords people use in online searches will substantially increase the traffic to your website.

What Is A Keyword List?

During your content strategy, you’ll build a keyword list containing specific keywords and related terms that will bring up your content when people use search engines for queries using those words and phrases.

You can create an SEO keyword list, using a keyword tool to generate words and phrases based on your input data. You can also conduct more detailed research based on search volume data, search engine rankings, and competitor sites. Using a keyword research tool can be extremely helpful when you plan and implement SEO strategies.

This step is vital in your content strategy to increase website traffic and drive sales.

How To Make A Keyword List

Before even thinking about adding keywords to your site, build a suitable list to help you achieve the best you can from that website. There are several steps to consider when making this list.

Understand keyword types

Not all keywords are the same, and to effectively make your list, you must be able to tell the difference and use the right keywords in the right places and at the right times.

Branded Keywords

If you’re a smaller business, your brand name may not show up on Google’s first page of search results. Many brands have the same titles and keywords – this is a wide world (and global village), after all. Brands with similar names compete for the same internet territory in a highly competitive industry.

Third-party websites, such as news and review sites, all have a high degree of online authority and rank higher if you share their brand name or post similar content. Consider your branding and make sure you’ve included your brand and product names when putting your SEO keyword list together. Some examples of branded keywords are:

  • Apple iPod
  • Google Ads
  • Coke Zero

Looking at the above brands, you will understand why competing with established brand names makes it more challenging to gain your share of online traffic.

Short-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords are phrases between one and three words and are widely used in SEO – but aren’t the best when searching for specifics. Short-tail keywords are extensive and highly competitive, so your chances of reaching your target audience through a Google search are limited. Some examples of short-tail keywords are:

  • music
  • dogs
  • movies

As you can imagine, searching for any of the above examples will trigger thousands or even millions of search results, which is not ideal for SEO if you don’t use them in tandem with other relevant terms.

Long-tail keywords

These are phrases longer than three words, and people use them less frequently than short-tail keywords as they are more specific. Because of this, they are far less competitive and can provide greater relevance to your niche and website due to their more descriptive nature.

A few examples are:

  • best designs for hanging pot plants
  • personal copywriting services for founders
  • teenage problems with online bullying

Including more targeted keywords, like the above examples, gets more results and is a more effective SEO strategy than only using short-tail keywords like “pot plants,” “copywriting services,” or “teenage problems.”

Fresh keywords

These refer to current and trending news, events, and activities that will lose relevance as time passes. You’ll use a fresh keyword if there’s a timeframe connected, and you must consider changing these when that timeframe has passed, as their relevance will decrease. Some examples of fresh keywords are:

  • murder suspects appear in court today
  • Santa Claus is coming to Mount Placid
  • tickets still available for Bieber concert

Depending on the website and how often you’ll be doing keyword research, fresh keywords aren’t ideal for driving traffic and sales unless you already have a sizeable following.

Evergreen keywords

Evergreen keywords don’t change; they’ll always be relevant, no matter how much time passes. Like an evergreen tree doesn’t lose its leaves in the fall, evergreen keywords are constant and factual. Evergreen keywords are good additions to keyword lists and SEO in general. Some examples are:

  • how to tie a reef knot
  • the history of the British Isles
  • William Shatner played Captain Kirk

Keywords for evergreen content will always be helpful in searches as the content doesn’t stop being pertinent. You shouldn’t expect these relevant keywords to trend very often, though.

Product and customer-related keywords

Product-related keywords describe the specifics of products or services. Although they return high conversion rates, they generally have lower search volume. Customer-related keywords appeal to specific audiences only, so they’re very niche and targeted more at particular individuals. Some examples of both are:

  • vertical air dryer
  • weight loss for gen X
  • leather jacket manufacturer

If you’re not in the market for a particular product or don’t fall into a specific category of targeted person, keywords designed for products or customers won’t be popular. As a business promoting these products or services to these customer types, it is essential to include some on your list.

Consider your market and audience

Consider conducting user research so you know exactly who your customers are. You can then better understand your existing and potential customers’ wants and needs and the standards they expect from you.

Market research on your competition gives you a better idea of what you need to do to move ahead in the market, whether from advertising, marketing, service, or product perspective.

A keyword list will be easier to compile once you’ve done market and user research, as you’ll better understand who your audience and your competition are.

Choose the right keyword research tools

There are many SEO tools with vastly varying features from which to choose. If you want some well-known tools to consider for your research, you could do worse than investigating the following:

Google keyword planner

Google Keyword Planner is a first-rate candidate to use. It has numerous user-friendly features that provide accurate Google data.

Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere stands above most SEO research tools and is a great way to encourage more traffic through your Search Engine Optimization research.

Google Trends

Google Trends gives you an informed idea of trending keywords and allows you to see what keywords are gaining traction and momentum in the search bar. It’s also very handy to track the progress of your evergreen keywords.

I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with these three above tools. Looking around online will help you to find the perfect one for your needs.

Conclusion: Making Your Keyword List

Now that you are familiar with keyword research tools, understand various keywords, and know more about your audience and competitors, you can get stuck into your keyword list.

Pay attention to the keyword suggestions your research tool gives you, and jot down those ideas and any other keyword ideas you’ve considered. Consider the search volume of long-tail keywords, as these are low competition and crucial to building your website traffic.

Although we’ve covered how to make a keyword list in general, I’d encourage you to seek further insights regarding your keyword research tool and how to make the most of its keyword suggestions.

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