Ok, so you’re one of the brave few who decided to perform keyword research on your website and now you have a giant list of keywords and you don’t know what to do with them. That’s normal. Welcome to the analysis paralysis club where excel worksheets with hundreds of rows go to die.

This isn’t an introductory post about how to perform keyword research, there are plenty of posts out there on that. If you’re familiar with Google Keyword Planner, then this advice is for you.

Sort By Volume

Let’s be honest, search is not created equal. The big websites are positioned to take the cake for almost any keyword that want to (great for big sites), but little sites are left with what may seem like the scraps.

Don’t let thousands of searches a month distract you. Once you have a big excel spreadsheet of keywords that are related to your industry, sort the keywords based on your site size. For small sites, Sort Z-A — smallest first. I know this might seem counterintuitive, but trust me: it’s the right thing to do. These keywords are less competitive and you’ll have an easier time driving traffic to your site. Chances are that your site doesn’t need to rank for a keyword with 1 million searches a month, at least not right now.

Look for longtail keywords that you can rank for instead of the obvious head terms.

Batch Your Keyword Analysis

For any given seed keyword or keyword group, you’ll have hundreds of keywords that fit longtail criteria. Ain’t nobody got time to search through all those keywords, at least in one sitting. Instead of trying to find all your SEO keywords and perform the analysis at once, pace yourself.

Review 10-20 keywords and see if you can spot a few content ideas. In a separate worksheet, include the keyword you’ll be targeting and the URL if you’re integrating it into existing content or the name of the article if you’ll be creating new content. There is a small part of me that likes to organize for the sake of organization. After I have the content that I need to write in excel, I also add it to my Trello board so that it will get done for the week.

Don’t Stuff Your Site Like a Thanksgiving Turkey

Mmmmhmm, I’ve seen this happen a lot. Websites that post great content, but the next thing you know they start working on ‘SEO’ and there are posts where the message becomes unintelligible. Don’t let your website become a keyword dump site. Weave 3-4 keywords into your content and make sure that it provides something of value to your readers.

Remember: you don’t need to do everything at once. The goal with keyword research is to help you find keywords that a) you can compete for and b) drive qualified leads to your site all while boosting your brand. So, don’t throw your voice under the bus — keep the integrity of your site and don’t let your keywords rot away in an excel spreadsheet. Most importantly, at all costs, avoid letting too much data cause you to do nothing.