Keyword Organizing: How to Sort and Filter Extensive Search Term Lists

Leon Collier

Need Help With Your SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is far from being a new thing in the digital world, but it still hides a lot of secrets that can help businesses thrive online. You all know that finding the best keywords for your content and marketing copy is quintessential, but do you know how to handle and organize your search terms properly?

We’ve already seen way too many marketing teams neglecting this aspect of the keyword research process, even though it can significantly improve their search engine results and professional productivity as a whole. 

But what is keyword organization? How do you sort and filter through extensive search term lists? Keep reading if you are eager to find it out!

The Pros of Keyword Planning

Do you know that 93 percent of all traffic comes from a search engine? It’s evident, SEO is that important for your website ranking and traffic, so it’s always a good idea to learn the basic benefits of proper keyword planning. 

Why would you spend time organizing keywords? We can give you four highly specific reasons to do it: 

  • Simplicity: Finding and selecting the best keywords is much simpler if you have a clear list of search terms and phrases categorized according to your business objectives.
  • Productivity: SEO specialists who administer comprehensive keyword lists can drastically improve productivity if they take advantage of keyword organization. 
  • Higher ranking: The ultimate goal of your SEO strategy is to rank higher in engine searches, which is exactly where keyword organizing plays a major role.
  • Better pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns: Keyword organization helps you choose the most relevant search terms for PPC campaigns and guarantees to boost the quality score. In other words, you will maximize conversions while minimizing ad spend. 

Practical Tips on How to Organize Keywords

The vast majority of SEO managers deal with thousands of keywords, so how can they organize such long lists and create useful categories? The only way to do it properly is to follow a well-planned systemization methodology. 

Businesses can take many different approaches depending on their audience groups and portfolios, but we will present you with a highly comprehensive system in a step-by-step manner. 

1. Usefulness and Value

The first rule is to concentrate on keywords that are really useful to your business. However, usefulness is a somewhat vague concept and so you’ll need to clarify it using additional factors such as the expected click-through-rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC). Besides that, SEO managers will often determine usefulness according to their ranking potential:

  • Top: These are the best-performing keywords, but they are also the most competitive. 
  • Moderate: Although not as popular as the top category, moderate-level keywords make a substantial impact given the price range. 
  • Bottom: These keywords should never be your first go-to solution, but you should keep them in mind and use them for longer copy that requires a lot of supporting phrases and longtail keywords.

2. Relevancy

Despite their undisputed importance, a factor like usefulness will often leave you with long keyword strings that look like going on forever. But if you want to limit the number of options per topic, you should think about the relevancy and create keyword clusters. 

Jake Gardner, an SEO essay writer, explains that clustering seems like simple keyword grouping, but it comes with a little tweak: “Instead of grouping all keywords together, clustering takes relevancy into account to form smaller but more productive keyword units.”

3. Search Intent

Of course, you also need to consider the issue of search intent. This one is based on a customer’s position within the sales funnel because different stages of the journey come with completely different search intent. A typical user relies on different keywords while going through these stages of the sales funnel:

  • Awareness: The first group of keywords should help you raise awareness. 
  • Interest and evaluation: Now that the customer has a general overview of the problem, you ought to use keywords and design content that builds relationships with consumers. 
  • Desire: By this stage of the sales funnel, the customer has grown the desire to purchase a product or service. 
  • Action: The customer is ready to complete the purchase, so your keywords should serve this purpose.

4. Brand-related Keywords

This keyword organizing tip needs no explanations because it’s fairly simple. You have to create a special group reserved for all brand-related keywords and help potential customers find you easily. 

5. Keyword Modifiers

According to the report, 50 percent of search queries contain four or more words. This basically means that adding keyword modifiers is an excellent way to improve keyword planning and categorize your search terms more effectively. 

For example, almost every user will look for more than just “online conferencing tools” and add modifiers such as “free” or “cheap” or “best.” This type of categorization is closely related to users’ search intent, so you can combine it with your funnel stage keyword strategy.

6. Product Terms

Another interesting option is to sort and filter keywords according to product terms. The tactic is particularly productive for businesses with huge portfolios and thousands of products or services because they can navigate through the keyword list more smoothly. Generally speaking, the majority of SEO analysts divide products terms into subcategories:

  • Brand products that your company is selling
  • Competitor products from other firms in your niche
  • Substitute product terms with alternative search suggestions
  • Complementary product terms with keywords that naturally lean on the primary product groups

7. Business-specific keywords

It is pretty much impossible to name all keyword categories because the number of industries is close to infinite, so we also encourage you to think of a group of business-specific keywords. This is a nice way for your marketing team to establish an internal keyword organization and find fresh ways to approach keyword selection. While it does require a bit of improvisation, the tactic generates amazing results productivity-wise. 

Useful Keyword Organizing Platforms

You can try and organize keywords manually, but it is such a hard and time-consuming task that almost every SEO manager prefers staying away from it. A much better solution is to use keyword management tools and get the job done quickly and effortlessly.

Our favorite keyword organization platforms are Google Keyword Planner and WordStream Keyword Grouper. The former is superior if you are opting for a free tool, while the latter works well for advanced users who enjoy having additional keyword planning features.

1. Google Keyword Planner

This platform allows you to insert and analyze multiple keywords simultaneously, but we recommend the so-called keyword grouping. What does it mean? It means you should focus on a single topic per research and analyze keywords that really fit into this group.

After that, you should go to Match Types → Exact in order to concentrate on search terms that perfectly match your keyword. You can also enter Advanced Options and Filters to specify features such as location or language in case you have any special requirements. This is an excellent option for location-oriented businesses with physical branches and sales points. 

Now you need to create new columns according to several criteria such as CPC, Local Monthly Searches and Competition. The platform will display the entire list of keywords that you can download as a spreadsheet. 

2. WordStream Keyword Grouper

When you create a huge pile of search terms and phrases, you can use WordStream Keyword Grouper to filter through all those alternatives and find the most suitable options for your campaign. 

The platform is based on labels, so you ought to sort each keyword according to the topic and search intent. WordStream suggests filtering intents in a way that suits one of the common types:

  • Informational intent where users try to expand topic-related knowledge
  • Navigational intent with the goal of landing on a unique site or page
  • Transactional intent with the goal of conducting a purchase

After that, you are supposed to design categories related to search volume and competition. The first category shows you the monthly search volume per keyword in a given country, while the second category explains whether it’s easy to earn the highest position in ads with your preferred keyword. 

What we love about WordStream Keyword Grouper is that it keeps things focused and helps you cut down the list to the bare essentials. They do it because studies show that 10 to 15 keywords per ad group are optimal.

Up to You

Basic keyword research can only get you so far in an attempt to boost webpage ranking or minimize the costs of PPC campaigns. But if you want to take things to the higher level, you need to act like a pro and start sorting search terms and phrases based on very specific parameters.

In this post, we explained the basics of keyword sorting and showed you seven tips for keyword organizing that could help you improve your business. Which aspect of keyword organization do you think can make the biggest influence on your company?

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