Refining the Seed Keyword List

This is a subjective exercise, but we find a second pass valuable. Refining your list will help you save time and focus your data-gathering around the content you want to create and the subject matter expertise you want to develop—not just the keywords themselves.

In this step, you should review your list and eliminate keywords that are too narrow or too broad. Here are some tips for making that determination, imagining you run a company that sells software to help businesses assess their customer satisfaction.

Avoiding keywords that are too broad

If you can think of lots of reasons why people would be searching for a keyword, that have nothing to do with what you sell, the keyword is likely to be too broad.

For example, someone searching for a term like “customer satisfaction” is likely trying to understand the concept in general, and if you make software that helps people who are already familiar with the term assess customer satisfaction, you probably won’t be helpful to someone who doesn’t understand the more general term. And you won’t see them convert. (If your company grows and develops a large product suite that assesses customer satisfaction more generally, it may make sense to revisit this.)

Avoiding keywords that are too narrow

A good test for this is whether you could have a hub page on your blog dedicated to the topic you choose. If you can only think of a couple of ideas of things to write about, the keyword is likely to be too narrow.

For example, someone searching for “how account managers should use customer satisfaction measurement software” may very well be interested in your software, and you’ll want to get them to visit your site. But this keyword phrase is probably a single blog post, rather than being part of your overall keyword strategy. Add it to your list of blog posts to write—because targeting very specific, conversion-oriented keywords can be a highly successful strategy—and use it to support a more general topic.

How to know if a keyword is just right

We would probably include “customer satisfaction measurement” or “survey software”.

These both seem like topics that could support their own content strategies, and people searching for these topics are likely to convert if they land on our site.

Now that you’ve removed some of the noise from your seed keyword list, let’s determine which keywords are most relevant to your business.

Now it's time to determine keyword relevance.

Or you can take another run at gathering seed keywords.