WordStream Believes: Keyword Grouping & Organization Are Critical to Success

September 20, 2017

This is Part 3 of a 10-part series on 10 things we believe about search marketing. These 10 beliefs form our product design philosophy.

Whether you're conducting keyword research primarily for search engine optimization (SEO) efforts or primarily for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, we believe that effective keyword grouping and organization techniques are crucial to long-term success.

Why is keyword grouping so important? Let's walk through the process. The point of doing keyword research is to inform your site's content creation as well as its information architecture (how content is topically organized), in addition to your campaign and ad group structure in Google AdWords (or other PPC marketing platform).

Even small companies can amass thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of keywords over time as they expand their keyword research to leverage the long tail of search. With so many keywords at your disposal, it would be impossible to create a unique page on your site for each keyword (without resorting to automated, programmatic methods which aren't generally successful when it comes to satisfying human users). Nor could you create a unique PPC ad for each.

At the same time, you can't just keep cramming more keywords onto the same pages and into the same ad groups that you've already created. If you do, those pages and ad groups will become more and more scattered and general, attempting to cover topics that have little relation to each other. When you lose relevance, you tend to lose your audience.

The compromise between these two untenable scenarios is keyword grouping. By dividing your keywords into small, manageable groups according to semantic relevance, you accomplish two things:

  • You cut your workload significantly: Now you can create dedicated, specific landing pages for each small group of related terms, rather than each term individually.
  • You increase the relevance of your content: By focusing on small groups of related keywords, you maintain a high degree of relevance between the keyword and its corresponding landing page, text ad and ad group. This is good for your Quality Score as well as your natural search rankings.

For maximum effectiveness, we advocate dividing keywords into high-level groups and then smaller and smaller subgroups, creating a logical, organized hierarchy that, ideally, corresponds to your site architecture and PPC campaign structure.

Keyword group hierarchy

Small, low-level groups represent your long-tail keywords—these are less competitive in search, less expensive for PPC and often more successful (leading to more clicks and conversions).

In short, finding an efficient, systematic way to organize your search engine keywords for both paid and organic search is key for maximizing search ROI.

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.

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