Growth Marketer Academy: Episode 3 – Keyword Matrix

Your keywords form the backbone of both your paid search AND your SEO campaigns. The search terms you target with ads and content determine who sees your ad.

Getting traffic to your website is easy, the hard part is getting the kind of traffic you want.

The difference between overpaying for a high volume of irrelevant leads and getting a direct channel of motivated potential customers is in the keywords that you target.

Today we are taking our previous episode – Audience Analysis – one step further and walking you through how to determine the KEYWORDS that will send you leads most likely to convert.

Once you have it, your KEYWORD MATRIX will be a resource you return to through every subsequent step of your marketing.

So what exactly is a “keyword”?

A Keyword just refers to a word or search term someone would enter into a search engine to get information.

What makes keywords so important to your marketing plan?

Keywords show you intent

Someone searching for “flash error code on Canon Rebel” is not looking to buy a camera.

Someone searching “Inexpensive DSLR camera” is more likely someone wanting to buy a camera.

Does that mean you should only target keywords with a buying intent?

Not necessarily.

Consider both keyword volume AND intent

Ideal Keywords = high intent long-tail keywords

What’s a high intent long-tail keyword?

It’s a more specific search.

Example: power window washing company in Irvine, CA

What is the benefit of focusing on a long-tail keyword over a broad search term like “power window washing?”

Broad search keywords give you high volume but intent is not specific enough

Your ad or content will show to people searching for:

You’ll be paying for your ad to show (or paying in time and effort to produce content) for people that are not likely looking to engage with your offer.

And if people aren’t looking for what your page is selling, they’ll bounce leading Google to deem your page irrelevant to that search term

HOW do you find these magical perfect keywords to build your ad and SEO campaign around?

Most people THINK you just make a list of the keywords you GUESS your target audience is looking for.

Not so fast.

The most common keywords (“divorce lawyer in Reno”) will have huge competition.

So – expensive.


If you didn’t catch Episode 2

where we went over Audience Analysis & creating customer personas,

here’s a quick overview:

Consider your existing customer

Look at who engages with your brand on social

Too new? Look at your competitors

Create a detailed overview of your customers

You will have more than one

Create a customer persona:


You don’t want to build a bunch of content around guesses

It wastes time & money

Using Reddit to drive content (or any forum site):

Reddit is an online forum

It can help you figure out the kinds of questions your customers search for

Example: your product is organic cat food

Enter organic cat food into Reddit and see the types of conversations that show up

Choose TOP to get the most popular conversation threads.

You’ll get things like:

“What’s the best tasting organic cat food for picky eaters?”

“Non-GMO organic cat food”

Enter a broad search term for your specific industry (camera, car window tinting, etc)

Now look for those threads with terms that are conversion-based

Example: limit your search to those with the term “Buying”

Use the topics that your customers are most engaged with to create a list of potential topics around which you can prepare content

Use KEYWORDDIT as a tool to generate a list of keywords related to a specific search query

Make sure you get at least FIVE content ideas or topics to be able to build out keyword search terms or content around popular search topics your customers are actually interested in


Use Google’s suggested search to identify popular queries around your search terms

Note the results

Start entering THOSE search terms in Google and see what it suggests

Keep going until you’re just seeing the same suggestions

NOTE: put a few spaces before your keyword – you may see totally different results

Also, use the related searches results

Other tools to find popular keywords in your niche:

Google Keyword Planner (you only have access to this if you have an AdWords account, but it’s free to make one)


So, now you have a huge list of keywords and search terms. What now?

Now you need to GROUP your keywords into THEMES and CONCEPTS

So bust out those Excel skills.

You’re looking to group keywords by recurring theme or concept

This is important for:

  1. Organized site architecture which is important because it makes it easier for search engine crawlers to index your site
  1. Easier to identify recurring/valuable keywords

We could go into a whole long thing about how to build your spreadsheet and organize your keywords


You should go to our site

Follow the link to our “How to Create a Keyword Matrix” article

Well send you our Keyword Toolkit with all you need to create your keyword matrix

Once you have a snazzy spreadsheet with grouped keywords and search terms, what do you do?

Now its time to RANK those keywords by POTENTIAL

Find the gems in the pebbles?

Determine search volume for each of your keywords

Use tools like:



Enter your keyword and they’ll show you search volume (as well as cost per click which is important for determining if the term is highly competitive or relatively available)

That doesn’t give you the full picture though – it is data for the past month or year

Enter the term in Google Trends

This shows you if search volume is increasing, decreasing or howling steady

This is important because peoples search habits are always changing


Let’s get back to Cost Per Click

That is important for the next step: Commercial Intent.

Commercial intent relates to how much advertisers are willing to pay for their ad to appear for a given keyword search

Which tells you how much competition there’s likely to be for that term

How do you find that out?

Type the keyword into Google Keyword Planner

Click Get Ideas

Review the “Suggested bid” column

Or you can also get an idea by typing the term into Google and seeing how many ads show up

More ads = more expensive & harder to rank for in SEO

Your goal is to identify

High volume

High intent

Keywords with

Low competition


That’s like the holy grail.

But as you do your research you’ll graph your keywords on a 4 quadrant chart

As you chart your words on this graph, the best words available to you will become apparent.

And those BEST search terms form your Keyword Matrix