Keyword Grouping – Best Practices
Keyword Grouping can be a boring, manual-intensive process for Search Engine Marketers and Search Engine Optimization Analysts. Depending on the tools you have to work with and the size of your keyword list, it can take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of days to complete. Often times I start out grouping my keywords one way only to find a few hours later that I didn’t like where it was going so I start all over again. To help save you time from making the same mistakes I made, here are a few tips to consider when grouping keywords.
- Start with Brand
– Branded keywords are keywords that contain either your brand or a competitors brand. You will want to separate these keywords first for three reasons:
- Brand keywords have the highest conversion rate. Plus, branded keywords don’t build awareness of your brand; they simply direct people looking for your brand to the right area.
- Your competitor’s keywords may or may not convert well for you. From my experience, you will have a low click-through rate but potentially a decent conversion rate. There also might raise a question of ethics like “should I bid on my competitor’s brand?” and so forth.
- Dynamic keyword insertion. If you have competitor keywords mixed in with non-brand keywords and you’re using dynamic keyword insertion in your ads, you run the risk of accidentally inserting your competitor’s trademark into your ad.
- Within Brand, build out product/service keyword groups
– If your brand only has one product, then skip this step. If you have more than one product, segment those products into a bucket of their own. If you have a lot of products, you might consider segmenting keywords based on the category-level pages within your website structure. Each category-level page would be a keyword group.
- Non-brand Category keywords
– With branded keywords removed, you should only be left with non-brand keywords. When I refer to ‘category’ keywords, I mean the non-brand keywords that are most relevant to your marketing vertical, industry or niche. These keywords are the broad, generic and generally have the highest volume. The purpose of bidding on non-branded category keywords is to grow awareness for your product or service. These aren’t always the most cost-effective keywords but are necessary to bid on if you expect to compete in the digital marketplace.
- Separate by non-brand product type
– Within a category are product types. For example, if the category is home improvement, within that category are product types or product lines such as: windows, roofing, siding, gutters, insulation, etc.
- Separate Geo-targeted intent
– Depending on your market, you might find that names of cities, states and state abbreviations are peppered throughout your keyword list. To add a next-level of specificity, consider separating keywords that have location-intent from keywords with no location intent.
- Weed out Very Broad Keywords (optional)
– By very broad I mean phrases with keyword-counts of 1 and 2 words within the phrase. If you have a small budget, you might want to remove these keywords altogether from your keyword list and only focus on those that are highly relevant. An alternative to getting rid of them is to exact match them meaning you change their match types to exact match. That means the keyword will only show up if the searcher types that exact phrase in and nothing else before or after the keyword.
I’d like to end by saying that there’s no right or wrong way to group keywords. Some advertisers like to get very specific with their groups so they can write targeted ad copy on a micro-level. This often times makes account management a pain but might deliver better results. Others like to keep only a handful of groups centered around a centralized common theme. This makes it easier to manage.
I hope these tips help you out the next time you’re grouping keywords!
Jarad is the Creator of Keyword Grouper. Keyword Grouper is a keyword grouping software that Search Engine Marketers and Search Engine Optimization Analysts use to group keywords automatically. Be sure to Visit Keyword Grouper and watch the Demo!