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How to organize your SEO keywords

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We all know that using a solid keyword strategy is crucial for search engine optimization. But with so many ways to look at keywords, it can be hard to figure out which ones to focus on. In this guide, our Nashville SEO agency breaks down keyword research and organization best practices.

There’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to finding a keyword strategy that works, so it’s understandable if you find the subject a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case – once you understand a few basic principles around keyword research and organization, you’ll be climbing the Google rankings in no time.

Our team of Nashville SEO experts will show you how to organize keywords effectively, which will lead to more leads for your business. After all, they’re not just gonna show up on your doorstep.

Why do you need to organize your SEO keywords?

Person drinking coffee and reading an article from a Nashville seo agency on an iPad.

Keyword research is a vital part of search engine optimization, but unless you organize the keywords you settle on during your search, you won’t be getting as much out of them as you could be.

Our Nashville SEO agency clients often ask us why we need to organize their SEO keywords. 

This makes sense since, at first glance, all you need to do to rank well on search engines is stuff your content full of relevant keywords, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple.

Simply put, you’ll find different types of keywords while doing your research, and each of them performs differently. Once you understand your goals in using each keyword, you’ll want to prioritize them.

In addition to including the keywords in the content of your piece, you’ll be dividing them between critical places like:

  • H1
  • URL slug
  • Meta description
  • Image captions

Having a strong understanding of your keyword choices can better help you in prioritizing them as well as monitoring your SEO efforts.

Criteria for SEO keyword organization

Okay, so SEO keyword organization is important. But what criteria should you use when deciding how to organize them?

Take the Stairs Criteria for SEO keyword organization

Search volume

As you probably guessed, search volume refers to the number of searches a keyword gets. Generally seeking, you’ll want to know how many people in the US are searching for the term in a given month, although international companies might be interested in searches worldwide.

There are two types of keywords when it comes to search volume:

  • Short-tail: These are broad keywords with high search volume and high competition for ranking.
  • Long-tail: These keywords are more specific and have a lower search volume. That said, they’re easier to rank for and tend to have better conversion rates.

Intent to purchase

In addition to narrowing down your audience to searchers with more specific queries, it’s helpful to keep searcher intent in mind when choosing a keyword.

For example, the broad keyword “dog walker” can be broken down into more specific keywords based on what the person is trying to find.

  • “What is a dog walker?”
  • “Dog walker salary”
  • “Dog walker services in Nashville, TN”

Can you see how different the intent of each of the above searches is? If you’re a dog walker in Nashville hoping to attract clients, you’ll have the most conversions by using the third option on the list because it shows intent to purchase right now.

Lower competition

No matter what keyword you choose, you’re going to be competing against other businesses for ranking. The key is choosing which battles to fight.

For example, say you’re deciding between two keywords. Both have high search volumes and show high internet to purchase. If the only difference between the two is ranking difficulty, it makes sense to go with the easier of the two.

When researching competition grades for your keywords, tools like the following can be invaluable:

  • Moz Pro
  • Ubersuggest
  • Ahrefs
  • SeRanking

Keep in mind that the above list is only a small sample of all the keyword ranking tools out there.

Tier-based keyword rankings

Now that you have an idea about which criteria to select for in your keyword strategy, you’re ready to start making decisions about which keywords to focus your efforts on.

Our Nashville SEO agency uses a tier-based model for each service or product we focus on for a client. See for yourself how we break it down.

Tier-based SEO Keyword Research from Take the Stairs

Tier 1

Take the Stairs Tier-based SEO Keywords - Tier 1

Tier 1 is the top keyword to focus on.

The tier 1 keyword should have a high search volume and show a clear internet to purchase by using terms like service, buy, or company. It will also be less competitive relative to its keyword set.

The tier 1 keyword will usually contain a focus location.

Tier 2

Take the Stairs Tier-based Keywords - Tier 2

Tier 2 keywords are the 3-5 next important keywords to include in your content.

Tier 2 keywords should have a high search volume and show some intent to buy by using words like service, buy, or company.

They may also be less competitive and contain a focus location.

Tier 3

Take the Stairs Tier-based Keywords - Tier 3

Tier 3 keywords are the next 10-20 keywords that you’ll want to track or follow.

They’ll have at least ten searches per month and may show intent to purchase or use industry terms related to your services.

Questions

Take the Stairs Tier-based Keywords - Questions

Questions related to your keywords can do wonders to boost your search engine optimization.

These should almost always be in a question format and have relatively high search volume on search engines. Other potential keywords to put in the question category show intent for learning about the topic. For example, “Marketing vs Branding”.

Related questions are meant to help buyers with decision-making and shouldn’t be career-related.

Schedule a meeting with our Nashville SEO agency to learn more

Are you ready to get help with your small business’s keyword strategy? Our Nashville SEO agency would be happy to help. While we’re based in Nashville, TN, we provide SEO consultation for clients right across the country.

Let us know if you’re ready to get started with a free consultation.

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