How to create long keyword lists – 3 easy steps

Posted by Rudy Labordus in Marketing Tools 1 Comment

Generating the right keyword list for your campaign can go a long way in helping you cover the terms your prospects would use when searching the web for your products or services. This article will take you on a step-by-step guide in making a long keyword list.

What is a long tail keyword?

Keywords are words and phrases people punch into Google or Bing or on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook etc. Keyword phrases of three or more words are called long tail keywords, which have been proven to rank better in SERP (Search Engine Results Page). But in order to maintain a healthy mix, the combination of both long-tail keywords and short keywords should be contained in your list. Appropriate keywords are highly essential for business sites and even for blogs and so should be give proper attention.

Why do you need a strategised long list of keywords?

As a business you would want to rank well in SERP as well as make it possible and easier for customers and prospects to find you on search engines. So if you are a SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) you would want to choose those relevant keyword phrase that are not so competitive (mostly long-tail keywords), and avoid those without any search volume for your website.

Now lets see how you can easily create a long list of keywords.

Step 1: Choose a few keywords that are relevant to your business

You need to swap your thinking from, “the one that wants to sell” to “the one that wants to buy”.  Doing this will put you in the shoes of your customers and prospects.  When you do this, you'll start asking yourself questions like, “what will a prospect type into the search engine box when looking for your products and services”.

OK.  So let’s say you’re into online sales of clothing.

Choose 3-5 keywords that are relevant to your business and add those to a spreadsheet.

  Add keywords to your spreadsheet

Step 2: Conduct a proper keyword research using SG.Serpstat

Find out what people want to know about your business, then use those keywords in your website to optimize conversions. There are quite a good number of tools to use for this, most of them will give us a good list, but for this article, I will use a new tool I found just recently called Serpstat because it has a nifty tool to help us work out what prospects and customers are asking through search engines. The tool gets its search suggestions from Google for all regions of the world but presents it in a unqique way that I found quite interesting.

So let's just pick “online shopping” and run it through Serpstat just to get a general idea of what comes under this particular keyword.              

Hit the search button and you’ll get something like this:

searching in serpstat

Serpstat gives you the opportunity to export your results in a convenient unloading document format (TXT). When your search result is ready, click on the save button and (if you’re not registered) register to download your result. Registration takes few seconds and you’re ready to go!

Copy and paste your result under the “online shopping” column on your spreadsheet.

Now the interesting thing about this tool is that it provides questions from keywords. When we input the same online shopping and select the “only questions” tab we’ll get suggestions that are more of queries. These are actually the questions people are asking about your business. A good understanding of these questions will be necessary in your content planning, after which you can then carefully optimize your website for the most relevant keywords that will generate lead and traffic.

Get a list of questions

For a business owner that runs an online shopping business, you might want to choose the questions starting with “which”, “where” and “what”, because questions starting with “how” and “why” might not be on a prospect’s mind when searching to buy your products. The later are meant for bloggers and writers. Also click on the “save” button to download and keep your results on a separate sheet on your spreadsheet.

Step 3: Check the frequency of both results on Google Keyword Planner

This is the fun part where you get to sort out your long list of keywords to know the ones to use in optimising your website for better leads.

Open Google Adwords, and under the Tools tab, locate Keyword Planner

open google planner

Copy your results from into the box to get search volume and hit the “Get search volume” button for these two occasions:

google search for online shopinggoogle search for questions

And then you will get something like this

google resultsgoogle results 

Now hit the download button to export your results.

save keywords

Keep the two results on different sheets of your spreadsheet and then start sorting through them. For the first list, try not to add keywords that are highly competitive to your list because they will take a lot of effort to rank for (eg: online shopping , 1,000,000  Avg. monthly search).  Rather look out for “long-tail” keyword phrases that don't have ‘too high' or ‘too low' search volumes. That way you’ll be keeping away from highly competitive and low volume keywords.

From the second list, choose questions with “which”, “where” and “what”.

Austin Ahamba

Austin Ahamba

Always refer back to your keyword list every few months to analyse (or weeks depending on your industry) and update it and keep it up to date with current trends.

I hope you got something from this article. Please keep the comments coming!

Article written and submitted by guest writer  Austin Ahamba – junior content marketer at online marketing agency Netpeak


  1. Taposh Kapuria


    Long tail keywords, like you correctly opined, drive more targetted traffic and in the long run, converts far better.

    However, long tail keywords (and their numerous variations) also help bloggers and information marketers avoid Google penalties for keyword stuffing as an article that properly follows this standard appears natural both to readers and search engines.

    …while being also, very highly optimized!

    Be certain to make the day great!


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