Creating a plan for how to use keywords across your website can help you maximize the time and energy spent on your keyword research. This plan can then propel your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy and allow you to see measurable improvement in your site’s keyword rankings and organic traffic.
Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about creating a keyword strategy and some keyword strategy examples to help you build your own actionable spreadsheet.
What Is a Keyword Strategy?
A keyword strategy is a plan of action for using the keywords you’ve identified in your keyword research as critical to your business.
A keyword strategy highlights which keywords you’re already targeting on your site, whether you can optimize existing pages around new keywords, and which keywords will require new content. It can also serve as a place to track keyword rankings for crucial pages.
If your keyword research is the what, then your keyword strategy is the how.
How To Create an SEO Keyword Strategy
There’s no one way to create a keyword strategy, but I’m going to describe a common approach you can use to transform your keyword research into action.
A basic keyword strategy will include the keyword or keyword theme you are trying to target, the keyword difficulty and volume for the primary keyword (or an average for the entire theme), and the page associated with that keyword, if one exists. If a page doesn’t exist, a keyword strategy should detail the type of content needed to rank for that keyword and the level of priority for your SEO content creation team.
Let’s flesh this out.
1. Create a Spreadsheet Featuring Your Keyword Research
Since the goal of a keyword strategy is to illustrate what keywords you should use where, you’ll need an organizational tool like a spreadsheet.
Name your columns so they refer to the page you want to target, the page’s URL, the keywords associated with that page (or the ones that should be associated with it), where your page is currently ranking for each keyword, the search volume and keyword difficulty for each of those keywords, and a yes/no column indicating whether the keyword appears on the page. You can also create additional columns for notes and action items to share with your team.
Once your spreadsheet is set up, input the information you’ve gathered from your keyword research. If you only have a primary keyword for each page, I recommend learning about keyword themes and expanding your keyword research to include them.
2. Map Keyword Research to Existing Content
Start pasting in page names and URLs for the pages that align with your different keyword themes. This will help you determine whether you’re already targeting certain keywords on your website and identify any gaps in your content that you need to fill.
You can learn more about keyword mapping here.
3. Identify Content Needs
To identify content needs, you should Google your primary keyword and analyze the content that ranks highly. Take note of the type of content, its intent, and its word count. Compare the pages you’re trying to rank against competitor pages that are already ranking well for your desired search terms. Are they landing pages or informational articles? Do they have the same search intent? Is there a difference in how comprehensive the pages are?
You’ll probably find some of your content needs to be further optimized and that some may even need to be rewritten or written from scratch. Note this in your strategy so everything is in one place.
Once you’ve finished this assessment, pass your findings along to your content creation team so they can start working their magic.
4. Include Keywords in Your Analytics
To track the effectiveness of your keyword strategy, include your target keywords in your website analytics software. This will help you measure the impact of your keyword strategy on your website traffic, search engine rankings, and other important metrics.
5. Monitor Keyword Strategy Effectiveness
Monitor the effectiveness of your keyword strategy on a regular basis using your favorite SEO tool. Check your search engine rankings for your target keywords, and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy. Remember to include your pages in your link-building campaign to improve your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
If you aren’t seeing results for a page after a few months, you may want to recheck the search intent of your keyword to see if it’s changed. Compare how well your content covers the keyword in comparison to the top-ranking pages. Also, use an SEO tool like Ahrefs to see if there’s a backlink gap that’s slowing or stalling your page’s momentum.
Keyword Strategy Examples
Let’s work through some keyword strategy examples to better understand how to tie your keyword research to your existing content and identify content needs.
Keyword Strategy Example 1 for Cannabis SEO
For this first example, let’s say we’re creating a keyword strategy to support the SEO needs of a cannabis delivery service named Easy Cannabis Delivery Service (ingenious, right?).
Our keyword research has identified two keyword themes that feature different terms:
- Indica Strains
- Indica strains
- Best indica strains
- Top indica strains
- Indica strain
- Sativa Strains
- Sativa strains
- Best sativa strains
- Strong sativa strain
- Sativa strain
First, I’ll enter each keyword theme and the URL of the page it should be associated with into my spreadsheet. Using a tool like Ahrefs, I can check how the associated URL is ranking for each keyword in its theme. For pages that aren’t performing well for their keywords, the next step is to compare the target page with those ranking well for the desired keyword.
While checking the content on the associated URLs, let’s say we notice the sativa strains page doesn’t meet the search intent of the keyword theme. Rather than being informational like the competing pages appearing in SERPs, it’s a transactional page full of products the delivery service carries.
This misalignment in intent means the page has a low chance of ranking as is.
We now have the chance to suggest changes to improve the chances of ranking for this desired keyword. Because of the intent mismatch, I would suggest deoptimizing this page for “sativa strains” and creating a new page targeting that keyword. We will need to do new keyword research to find the right queries to target for the existing transactional page.
Keyword Strategy Example 2 for Insurance SEO
This same process works regardless of industry. Here’s another example to help cement the ideas covered in this article.
Our pretend pals at Alpha Insurance Company are having a hard time gaining a foothold in their competitive industry. To see why they aren’t generating a lot of organic, they decide to do some new keyword research and see if they’re targeting the wrong terms. They focus on two pages and find the following associated keywords:
- Homeowners Insurance
- Homeowners insurance
- Home insurance
- Home insurance quotes
- House insurance
- Renters Insurance
- Renters insurance
- Renters insurance quotes
- Rental insurance
- Renter insurance
Now, as a small business, they’ve focused on providing a lot of information on homeowners and renters insurance, hoping this would help differentiate them from the competition (which is always trying to sell, sell, sell). Unfortunately, both keyword themes have transactional intents. Therefore, they need to reoptimize their informational pages around different keywords.
Most people searching for their target keywords want to get a quote for a policy, not learn what homeowners or renters insurance is.
If I was in this position, I’d tell my marketing team we need two new landing pages to offer homeowners’ and renters’ insurance quotes. I’d run new keyword research for the existing content and let the content team know we need to reoptimize those pages.
Since the keywords I’m targeting have such high keyword difficulty, I’d also consult with a link building service to support my new pages.
I know — it’s a lot — but you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Need Better Keyword Research?
Whether you need help conducting keyword research, strategizing how to optimize your pages, or creating new content to help you capture important keywords, Victorious can help.
Victorious is a data-driven SEO agency committed to helping our customers’ businesses grow. We’ve helped hundreds of businesses of all sizes increase their organic traffic and search visibility. And it all starts with our keyword research service. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how our keyword research and strategy can help you realize your business goals.