A Method To Check, You Target the Right Keywords

Keywords you choose are the base of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) implementation plan, I believe, you don’t have any doubt in that. You spent a lot of time and put efforts finding your most relevant keywords as part of you SEO campaign. Did you ever check, whether they are performing? or are really worth Targeting?

Most of the time, we never look into this part and just continue worrying why the website is not converting/selling with all those hard work. There are several ways to evaluate your keywords, some are simple and some are highly expertized. Here, we are going to learn a moderately simple analysis technique with the help of a given probability chart. You can easily determine the effectiveness of each keywords you target using this way.

Before explaining the method, let me give a brief about the concept, Keywords.

What is a Keyword?
Keywords are those search words people likely to use while searching to find your website.

How do you find the Keywords?
There are tools – wordtracker, google adwords keyword tool etc. – available which provides historical search trends from various search resources. An SEO expert will use such tools to analyze previous searched trends and find out more relevant ones from that. – Not so simple as you may feel now.

What can be an Ideal Keyword?
An ideal keyword must be relevant to your website content theme, which can provide you traffic by getting the page ranked top in search engines with minimum efforts. An SEO expert must study the Relevancy, Popularity and Competition of a keyword before finalizing it.

How to check, you target the right keywords?
There are many ways to evaluate your keywords performance, among, I believe in, analyzing the performing search phrases using an analytics tool. You can use any of the known analytics tools for this purpose. If you are a serious user you can go with paid versions of ClickTracks or Omniture Site Catalyst, otherwise use free tools such as Google Analytics, Statcounter etc.

For this analysis, Google Analytics is more than enough, using the same you can create even more advanced reports. such as checking the Engagements of your Search traffic (page views, exit rate, bounce rate etc) and checking the conversion of your Search Traffic (path analysis, goal conversions) and much more. Here, we are going to see just one method here, a simple one even a novice can understand.

Steps to Follow:

  1. Prepare a ranking report for all the keywords you feel relevant and targeting in Google.
    Keyword ranks table

  1. Open your analytics tool and export Google search referrals search phrases along with the traffic details for last 2 months. You can use Google analytics, if you had an account already, otherwise you can use any Log Analyzer – such as webtrends, awstats, analog – tool for this purpose.

    search phrases traffic

  2. Combine these two reports in a single excel sheet. Fill the Google rank positions for those additional performed keywords from the analytics report.

    combined search referrals ranks

  3. Copy all the keywords into the Google Adwords Keyword tool and give search. Remember to uncheck the synonyms select box.

    adwords keyword tool

    Note: The tool will add some additional keywords related to the searched keywords. We have to eliminate them in the next step.

  4. Export that into an excel sheet. Eliminate the added keywords by the tool and keep only those keywords we have in Table 3. This won’t be a tedious job for those expertized using excel sheets, I think ‘pivot’ option can be used at this stage if you have very large number of keywords.

  5. Combine the Advertiser Competition data to the Table 3.

    final table

  6. Now you have the data ready with you. Use the following chart for evaluating each of your keywords based on the detains you have collected already.

Rank Competition Traffic Verdict
High High High Best Keywords. Continue Targeting
High High Medium Good Keywords. Continue Targeting
High High Low Bad Keywords. Avoid.
High Medium High Best Keywords. Continue Targeting
High Medium Medium Good Keywords. Continue Targeting
High Medium Low Bad Keywords. Avoid.
High Low High Best Keywords, Continue Targeting
High Low Medium Good Keywords. Continue Targeting.
High Low Low Bad Keywords. Avoid.
Medium High High Good, improve ranks
Medium High Medium Average, improve ranks.
Medium High Low Bad Keywords. Avoid.
Medium Medium High Best Keywords, improve ranks
Medium Medium Medium Good Keywords, improve ranks
Medium Medium Low If highly relevant keyword, put extra effort to improve ranks, else avoid.
Medium Low High Best Keywords, improve ranks
Medium Low Medium Best Keywords, improve ranks
Medium Low Low If highly relevant keyword, put extra effort to improve ranks, else avoid.
Low High High Good Keywords, need to improve the ranks
Low High Medium Good Keywords, need to improve the ranks
Low High Low If highly relevant keyword, put extra effort to improve ranks, else avoid.
Low Medium High Rare to see this trend. Good Keywords, improve ranks.
Low Medium Medium Rare to see this trend. Good Keywords, improve ranks.
Low Medium Low If highly relevant keyword, put extra effort to improve ranks, else avoid.
Low Low High Very rare to see this trend. Good Keywords, improve ranks.
Low Low Medium Rare to see this trend. Good Keywords, improve ranks.
Low Low Low If highly relevant keyword, put extra effort to improve ranks, else avoid.

A Word from the Author:
As I said earlier itself, this is just one single method for evaluating your keywords effectiveness. There may be easier ways, highly expertized ways of doing this with the help of high end tools. The probability table given above may invite debates from experts, I welcome them, since all I wish is to provide the right information here. So if you feel, you have a better way of doing it, feel free to share here as comments and that will help the readers.

7 thoughts on “A Method To Check, You Target the Right Keywords

  1. Hmm. When I saw the title, I thought you’d be speaking about simply checking which keywords convert well in Google Analytics.

    Then you can sort the keyphrase list by conversion amount and see which ones are doing best. I guess, you’ll need to check whether you can improve the ranking for the top 20 of the phrases, of course.

  2. Thanks Yura for your comment.

    Yes, definitely that’s one method, but I see lot of threads explaining it and no meaning repeating the same here.

    I was thinking about a different method and thought about sharing that to the readers.

  3. I’m trying to figure out a really comrehensive way to implement an SEO workflow and this looks like quite a useful approach. It’s worth a try. I like that you wrote it as a step-wise workflow.

  4. One thing that you should always keep in mind is that improving the ranking for a phrase where you are listed on page 5 is much easier than improving your rankings that are already on page one.

    And I recommend to verify the AdWords competition scores with some manual analysis of the top 10 (or top 20 or top …). Those scores might not always represent the amount of seo work that is necessary to rank for them.

  5. Great tips for sure!!!

    But can you tell me one more thing and it’s that what to do with the keywords which are having too much of competition with lots of traffic, but new sites not ranking high and talking of niche which is highly competitive.

    What to do in this situation??

  6. Amit

    Here in the table, the Traffic means the actual traffic the website receives.

    For a new website which is competing directly in a saturated niche, they have to do massive hard work to get noticed. I would suggest, you have to find supporting keywords which have Less competition, capability of driving moderate traffic. They can be your primary keyword + region name or similar.

  7. “For a new website which is competing directly in a saturated niche, they have to do massive hard work to get noticed. ”

    What exactly you mean by this ?

    Targeting less competitive keywords is one option. But what about other methods ?

    Shed some light on this .

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