There are tons of tools software programs out there that implement a solid SEO keyword strategy. You basically plug in your main keyword and it sorts and ranks the best keywords to use for your project.
Unfortunately, some of these keyword software programs can be quite expensive. If you’re just starting out or you don’t want to cough up the money, what can you do?
I have put together this SEO keyword strategy that will cost you absolutely nothing.
Scott’s Free SEO Keyword Strategy
To get started, you’re going to need two tools:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Excel (or similar program. Google has a free spreadsheet)
Okay, are you ready to get started?
Step 1: Visit Google Keyword Planner
The first thing you’re going to do is go to the Google Keyword Planner.
If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up for free.
Once you get there, click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”.
The next thing you want to do is enter a keyword (or keywords) for your topic.
You’ll do this by entering your keyword in the first tab, which says “Your product or service”. For this example, I’m going to use the keyword “website blueprint”.
What we want to do is check out the individual keywords. Although feel free to click on ad group ideas, which will group keywords together under different groupings.
Click on the tab that says “Keyword Ideas”.
This is what you’ll see now:
At this point in the SEO keyword strategy, we want to download the keywords that came up (there will be up to 800).
Step 5: Open the File and Make Modifications
Now, we want to make a few adjustments.
- Ad group
- Impr. share
- In account?
- In plan?
- Extracted from
- Exact Match Competition
Step 6: Delete Keywords That Don’t Work
In this step of the SEO keyword strategy, we’re going to get rid of the nonsense. Delete the following keywords from the list. This might take a little time:
- Keyword phrases that are unrelated to your niche.
- One word keyword phrases.
- Anything that wouldn’t fit into sentences with proper grammar. For example, “make own website” isn’t proper grammar. But we’ll keep “make your own website” because that is grammatically correct.
Step 7: Gather Competition Data
What we’re going to do now is gather some data on the “exact match competition” so we can add this information to the spreadsheet that has our remaining keywords. This is definitely going to take some time, but it’s probably the most important part of this process.
Type each keyword phrase on your list into Google with quotes around it.
In this example, you can see that there are 14,100 websites out there that have the exact phrase “website blueprint” somewhere within their website. You can see in the example below, that I have filled in all of the data in the “Exact Match Competition” column. Please note that I only did about 10 for this example, but hopefully, you have a lot more than that.
Step 8: Set Up a Formula for Your Ratio
The last thing we want to do to our spreadsheet is add a formula to the “Ratio” column.
Add the following formula to the cell as shown in the image below: =SUM(B2/E2)*1000
Step 9: Analyze the Data
Take some time to look through this data. There are a few things we’re going to do to narrow down and weed out the keywords that won’t work for our site:
- Delete any keywords that have more than 2 million competing websites.
- Delete any keywords that have a low ratio compared to the full list.
- Delete any remaining keywords that just won’t fit into your niche
- Delete any remaining keywords that have poor grammar or don’t make sense.
This is more of an art than an exact science. Go with your gut here. Sort things to take a different look at it.
Step 10: Complete the SEO Strategy Again (and Again)
Pick out some of your top keywords in your list and complete the process for those keywords. This will bring up new ones that you don’t have on this list (some will be repetitive).
Remember, you want to make this list as large as possible with good quality keyword phrases. This is what you will use to build your website blueprint.
Not only did I follow a similar process for my website blueprint, but I will also do this from time to time when I’m adding new articles to my websites.
Alternatives to this SEO Keyword Strategy
All things have pros and cons. The pro here is that it’s completely free. The con is that it’s extremely time-consuming. There are a couple of premium products out there that will do all of this work for you. I use and recommend both of these:
Whether you decide to follow the SEO keyword strategy that I’ve outline for you, or purchase a premium software program, it’s extremely important that you find good keywords to build your website with.