Keyword Research Strategy Flowchart

PeterD and I recently put together the Keyword Research Flowchart. Interactive image below, with a larger image here and a downloadable PDF also available.

We hope you find it as valuable as we found it fun to make, and your feedback is appreciated. :)


Subscribers may also access our new AdSense and SEO analytics flowcharts.

Published: December 12, 2008 by Aaron Wall in Keywords


yet another ben
December 12, 2008 - 12:04pm

It might sound odd, but keyword research is one of my favourite tasks (along with site reviews)...therefore I have printed 100 copies to make excellent SEO wallpaper for behind my computer! (...That probably sounds offensive - but shouldn't, I promise!)

Cheers Aaron and Peter...going to go through it over lunch, but so far looks like a really helpful prompt for a thorough process.

Alhan Keser
December 12, 2008 - 1:16pm

Thank you for this Aaron, it will help a lot in explaining to trainees.

December 12, 2008 - 2:59pm

Thanks Aaron and Peter, this flow chart will help my co-workers understand and standardized this process. You guys are rocking lately with great posts. Keep doing a great job. I have liked specially SEO Management posts I have seen lately.

December 12, 2008 - 3:44pm

Strange nothing in there about going over/checking your internally searched keywords?

December 12, 2008 - 6:11pm

Good point. That should probably be part of either the first step or right near the end...maybe there should be a step in there somewhere to use competitive research and internal search data to see where a site is weak and in need of content?

I just added it to the end of the flowchart. :)

Justin Seibert
December 12, 2008 - 3:46pm

@Aaron - Great stuff. Really well laid out. Agree with Alhan - great training tool.

December 12, 2008 - 4:00pm

You are just A-wall buddy!.....I use a similar flowchart I created....but as always Aaron, exceptional detail on this piece....I'm using it.....thanks


Mike Levin
December 12, 2008 - 4:41pm

Very nice flowchart, Aaron. I agree with many parts of it, and it reminds me of one I did on my site back in January of 2007, though I focused on the creation of new content through blogging software, rather than link-building. It works well both ways.

December 12, 2008 - 6:09pm

Hi Mike
I think the handwriting format of your flow chart makes it a bit harder to see the structure of. I would probably put that lower flowchart up top as it is much easier to follow. :)

December 12, 2008 - 9:39pm

as a final note, once you build, you can also export the keyphrase list into Excel, and then use the SEOBook Rank Checker to do monthly pulls to see how you progress in the big 3. Once you have all the keywords pulled together in a single sheet, use it to map out a chunk of the reporting.
Thanks for the chart guys - look forward to stealing it!

December 13, 2008 - 1:07am

great job mate - have it bookmarked for constant reference

yet another ben
December 13, 2008 - 9:30am

Hi Aaron and Peter,

Following further thought, should consderations of semantics play a role here regarding the choice of keywords and in what context they are sat? i.e. the meaning of keywords are derived from their broader context, so maybe providing supplemental keywords to emphasise meaning for semantics sake?



December 13, 2008 - 10:49am

We do mention semantically related words and keyword modifiers as a step for if a person does not think their word list is strong enough, and show related keywords as a column in the spreadsheet for mapping out keywords against URLs.

yet another ben
December 13, 2008 - 3:27pm

Hi Aaron, is this in the subscriber area, as I can't see it?



December 13, 2008 - 7:29pm

Yes it it Ben. :)

Hard to sell content if I give away everything, and I routinely give away far better content than most people some degree I am my own biggest competitor. ;)

yet another ben
December 14, 2008 - 5:23pm

Ha! Agreed!

December 15, 2008 - 7:42pm

This is a very useful flowchart, txs guys.

June 13, 2009 - 5:29pm

Very helpful and a great checklist to use when doing research..thank you Aaron!

November 19, 2009 - 5:15pm

I really like the easy display. You know you've communicated well when your reader can easily convey what you've posted. I can see that there are areas where I can communicate more effectively by using this as a 'cheat sheet.' Appreciate it.

November 19, 2009 - 11:40pm

glad you liked it :D

February 25, 2010 - 5:54pm

Great Post, so many firms seem to neglect their baseline keyword research. Duh. Fantastic and detailed visual thanks

June 16, 2012 - 4:47pm

Just Google +1'd this. When it comes to providing useful information, it's not just listing the tasks, but conveying them in a "sticky" way that the mind can really assimilate and run with. Thanks for the great teaching.

January 26, 2015 - 6:02pm

There is a lot to learn!

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.