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How to Choose the Best Keywords for SEO Optimisation

How to Choose the Best Keywords for SEO Optimisation

by Adrian RandallNovember 19, 2016

We all know we can use Google Keyword Planner for free to find the best keywords for SEO optimisation but often it is difficult to find a structured way to do this. If you have a business with different service offerings, eCommerce store with a lot of products or just not sure how to effectively use the 1000’s of keywords returned as suggestions it can be more of a time consuming exercise than an effective one.

Firstly this is not a post on how to do keyword research, if that is what you are after please see our 5 Ways To Choose Keywords for SEO Content Optimization post. This post is aimed at taking the keywords which have been identified and narrowing it down to  assign keywords to pages for content optimisation to have a focus.

Setup The Spreadsheet

I hate spreadsheets as much as the next person but in this case it makes life easy. We are going to create a spreadsheet with tabs to signify areas we are looking to optimise. If you are a small law firm you may be able to this in one spreadsheet however if you are a large eCommerce store with hundreds of products you may want to do this for each category.

Create a new spreadsheet and set the first sheet to be called Master List and the second tab to be called General Ideas. From here create new tabs for each service you offer. The case below was for a legal firm so we broke out the services they offered into:

  • Wills and Estates
  • Family Law
  • Personal injury
  • Commercial and Superannuation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Criminal Law

Below is what you should have (please not this might not look like Microsoft Excel because it’s not, it’s Libre Office on Ubuntu so feel free to leave comments below about how amazing open source tech is 🙂



Once you have the tabs setup we now need to populate them. At the top of each page add the following column titles:

  • Keyword
  • Avg. Monthly Searches
  • Competition; and
  • Suggested bid

Create The Master List

In the Master List tab put ALL of the keywords you’ve found which are relevant and adhere to our guidelines in our our 5 Ways To Choose Keywords for SEO Content Optimization post.

Populate General Ideas

We use the ‘General ideas’ tab to have site specific keywords which are to be used throughout the site by content writers. They are not specific to a category, service or a product. For example if we are talking about the law firm about these would be things along the lines of ‘legal firm Melbourne’ or ‘lawyer Melbourne CBD’. These are not specific to any service but build overall authority for the site. Think of the case where a friend of yours talks about basketball all day long, although he may specifically talk about certain players or teams just regularly discussing the topic of basketball helps identify him as a Basketball expert. Same goes in SEO, if you mention once on your site you are a Melbourne Legal Firm that is great but if there are variations of highly searched keywords similar to this scattered through the site that’s even better!

Copy the keywords which fall into this category from the Master List to General Ideas and highlight them in the Master List so you know you have assigned them to another tab.

Populate The Category Tabs

We now use the Category Tabs, which are the different categories of offerings your business has, to break out the category specific keywords from your Master list. In the image above the category tabs I’m using are:

  • Wills and Estates
  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Commercial and Superannuation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Criminal Law

Copy all the keywords from the master list and put them in their relevant category.

Choose the Best Keywords for each page

Once we have a spreadsheet with the master, general and category tabs all populated we now have to choose 1-3 keywords to use to optimize page content for each page. Unlike PPC where you’d target them all and then cut the ones that aren’t converting over time, in SEO it’s best not to keyword stuff rather choose the best subset of keywords. Search engines don’t always need the exact phrase to get a match, so grouping the volumes of similar short keyword phrases together when making your choice of which keywords to optimize for  is the way to go.

So what do I mean by this? Say the list below are your keywords and monthly search volumes and you need to choose 3 to optimize the content on a page for:

  • Divorce Lawyer / 25
  • Best divorce lawyer / 10
  • divorce lawyer for women /30
  • Divorce attorney / 50

Immediately you would choose ‘divorce attorney’ over the other keywords as it has 50 searches per month while the others have a lot less. However by choosing “Divorce Lawyer” as your focus keyword then providing the content editor with the list of all keywords in the category they could add “We are the best divorce lawyer for women” in the content which hits all 3 keywords at a total of 65 searches per month over 50 for Divorce Attorney.

I’ve added a link below to a pre-filled keyword analysis for a site with everything spoken about above and multiple pages in the Family Law Tab

DEMO : the-agency-journal-keyword-template

This has been working for us so but please share any comments below and let us know how we can make it better.


About The Author
Adrian Randall
I'm a digital marketing specialist, love working on digital business and coding on just about anything. I'm the founder of Arcadian Digital and this site shares some of our knowledge and practices.

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