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5 tips to help you optimise and refine your keyword list

February 7, 2019 0 comments

A list of keywords is one of those documents that kickstart an online content and SEO journey. You cannot realistically develop and implement an effective content & SEO plan without a list of important keywords.
There are many tools that you can use to come up with such a list. From paid software, such as Ahrefs and SEMRush to free tools like the Google Keyword Planner, you can use anyone to find keywords to target.
However, not all the keywords in those lists will be worth pursuing. Similarly, those lists may also be missing a few important keywords and keyword variations necessary to get ahead of your competitors in the SERPs.
In this blog post, we discuss a few tips on optimizing and refining keyword lists. These tips will help you get a better ROI and achieve more organic traffic from the SERPs.

1. Refine keywords by sales funnel stages

One of the biggest mistakes that most newbie content marketers and SEOs make is that they assume that all their potential buyers are in the same phase of their journey.
It is, therefore, to refine your list and map keywords according to the buying journey and all the different stages of your sales funnel.
One of the most basic forms of sales funnel has three stages:

  • Awareness
  • Research
  • Consideration
  • Decision

As the names suggest, the “awareness” stage is the one where you have to be more informative and less persuasive. That’s the stage where people are just learning about their problems and its possible solution.
During the “research” stage, a person starts researching about specific products or services that may help with the problem she is facing. Focus on your product’s features at this stage.
During the “consideration” stage, the prospect is making up her mind whether or not your product or service is right for her. Case studies, testimonials, etc. can help sway your prospect’s decision in your favor at this stage.
The “decision” stage is when the prospect has made up her mind. Definitive keywords, such as “buy”, “order”, “demo”, “free trial”, would be more in line with the mental state of your potential customers.

2. Identify long-tail keywords

Before you finalize your list of keywords, make sure to identify plenty of viable long-tail keywords to pursue.
Long-tail keywords are keyword phrases that usually contain more than 3 words in them. A study of 1.9 billion keywords reveals that approximately 30% of searches are made up of 3 or more words, i.e., long-tail keywords.
For example, “SEO company” would be a head keyword phrase. On the other hand, “link-building specialist in New York” would be more targeted long-tail keyword phrase.
Long-tail keywords generally offer less competition, relatively lower search volume, and a high conversion rate. For a successful online strategy, you will require a balance between long-tail keywords and head keywords.

3. Keywords for voice searches

Long-tail keywords also help with voice searches as longer phrases as people generally use longer phrases when using voice search assistants — Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana.
However, even apart from long-tail keywords, your focus should be on identifying keywords that can help you with voice search traffic.
Following is a list of top 10 keywords that trigger voice searches. When refining your list for voice search traffic, try to include as many of these keywords as possible.
At least focus on the top 3 keywords (how, what, best) which are responsible for more than 16% of voice searches.

4. Leverage your internal site search

The internal site search is a goldmine of important keywords that you should pursue. Unfortunately, not many people pay much attention to it.
Identify keywords that people are searching for on your website and try to include those keywords in your main list. Looking at these queries can help you understand what your website visitors want, which can help you create the right type of content.

5. Keyword trends

If you know how to properly utilise a trend, you can dramatically increase brand awareness and traffic to your website.
Use Google Trends on a regular basis to identify keywords trends that you can jump on. Soovle is another one that you can use.
While your main focus should be on evergreen content, it’s also important to give your website a short-term boost with relevant, trending keywords.


Keyword research can make or break your online business. By identifying the right keywords, you can not only increase organic traffic but also improve the conversion rate on your website. The above-mentioned five tips will help you achieve both goals.