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Make sense of your data with these essential keyword segments

Posted by TheMozTeam

This blog post was originally published on the STAT blog.


The first step to getting the most out of your SERP data is smart keyword segmentation — it surfaces targeted insights that will help you make data-driven decisions.

But knowing what to segment can feel daunting, especially when you’re working with thousands of keywords. That’s why we’re arming you with a handful of must-have tags.

Follow along as we walk through the different kinds of segments in STAT, how to create them, and which tags you’ll want to get started with. You’ll be a fanciful segment connoisseur by the time we’re through!

Segmentation in STAT

In STAT, keyword segments are called “tags” and come as two different types: standard or dynamic.

Standard tags are best used when you want to keep specific keywords grouped together because of shared characteristics — like term (brand, product type, etc), location, or device. Standard tags are static, so the keywords that populate those segments won’t change unless you manually add or remove them.

Dynamic tags, on the other hand, are a fancier kind of tag based on filter criteria. Just like a smart playlist, dynamic tags automatically populate with all of the keywords that meet said criteria, such as keywords with a search volume over 500 that rank on page one. This means that the keywords in a dynamic tag aren’t forever — they’ll filter in and out depending on the criteria you’ve set.

How to create a keyword segment

Tags are created in a few easy steps. At the Site level, pop over to the Keywords tab, click the down arrow on any table column header, and then select Filter keywords. From there, you can select the pre-populated options or enter your own metrics for a choose-your-own-filter adventure.

Once your filters are in place, simply click Tag All Filtered Keywords, enter a new tag name, and then pick the tag type best suited to your needs — standard or dynamic — and voila! You’ve created your very own segment.

Segments to get you started

Now that you know how to set up a tag, it’s time to explore some of the different segments you can implement and the filter criteria you’ll need to apply.

Rank and rank movement

Tracking your rank and ranking movements with dynamic tags will give you eyeballs on your keyword performance, making it easy to monitor and report on current and historical trends.

There’s a boatload of rank segments you can set up, but here’s just a sampling to get you started:

  • Keywords ranking in position 1–3; this will identify your top performing keywords.
  • Keywords ranking in position 11–15; this will suss out the low-hanging, top of page two fruit in need of a little nudge.
  • Keywords with a rank change of 10 or more (in either direction); this will show you keywords that are slipping off or shooting up the SERP.

Appearance and ownership of SERP features

Whether they’re images, carousels, or news results, SERP features have significantly altered the search landscape. Sometimes they push you down the page and other times, like when you manage to snag one, they can give you a serious leg up on the competition and drive loads more traffic to your site.

Whatever industry-related SERP features that you want to keep apprised of, you can create dynamic tags that show you the prevalence and movement of them within your keyword set. Segment even further for tags that show which keywords own those features and which have fallen short.

Below are a few segments you can set up for featured snippets and local packs.

Featured snippets

Everyone’s favourite SERP feature isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to outfit yourself with a snippet tracking strategy. You can create as many tags as there are snippet options to choose from:

  • Keywords with a featured snippet.
  • Keywords with a paragraph, list, table, and/or carousel snippet.
  • Keywords with an owned paragraph, list, table, and/or carousel snippet.
  • Keywords with an unowned paragraph, list, table, and/or carousel snippet.

The first two will allow you to see over-arching snippet trends, while the last two will chart your ownership progress.

If you want to know the URL that’s won you a snippet, just take a peek at the URL column.

Local packs

If you’re a brick and mortar business, we highly advise creating tags for local packs since they provide a huge opportunity for exposure. These two tags will show you which local packs you have a presence in and which you need to work on

  • Keywords with an owned local pack.
  • Keywords with an unowned local pack.

Want all the juicy data squeezed into a local pack, like who’s showing up and with what URL? We created the Local pack report just for that.

Landing pages, subdomains, and other important URLs

Whether you’re adding new content or implementing link-building strategies around subdomains and landing pages, dynamic tags allow you to track and measure page performance, see whether your searchers are ending up on the pages you want, and match increases in page traffic with specific keywords.

For example, are your informational intent keywords driving traffic to your product pages instead of your blog? To check, a tag that includes your blog URL will pull in each post that ranks for one of your keywords.

Try these three dynamic tags for starters:

  • Keywords ranking for a landing page URL.
  • Keywords ranking for a subdomain URL.
  • Keywords ranking for a blog URL.

Is a page not indexed yet? That’s okay. You can still create a dynamic tag for its URL and keywords will start appearing in that segment when Google finally gets to it.

Location, location, location

Google cares a lot about location and so should you, which is why keyword segments centred around location are essential. You can tag in two ways: by geo-modifier and by geo-location.

For these, it’s better to go with the standard tag as the search term and location are fixed to the keyword.

Geo-modifier

A geo-modifier is the geographical qualifier that searchers manually include in their query — like in [sushi near me]. We advocate for adding various geo-modifiers to your keywords and then incorporating them into your tagging strategy. For instance, you can segment by:

  • Keywords with “in [city]” in them.
  • Keywords with “near me” in them.

The former will show you how you fare for city-wide searches, while the latter will let you see if you’re meeting the needs of searchers looking for nearby options.


Geo-location

Geo-location is where the keyword is being tracked. More tracked locations mean more searchers’ SERPs to sample. And the closer you can get to searchers standing on a street corner, the more accurate those SERPs will be. This is why we strongly recommend you track in multiple pin-point locations in every market you serve.

Once you’ve got your tracking strategy in place, get your segmentation on. You can filter and tag by:

  • Keywords tracked in specific locations; this will let you keep tabs on geographical trends.
  • Keywords tracked in each market; this will allow for market-level research.

Search volume & cost-per-click

Search volume might be a contentious metric thanks to Google’s close variants, but having a decent idea of what it’s up to is better than a complete shot in the dark. We suggest at least two dynamic segments around search volume:

  • Keywords with high search volume; this will show which queries are popular in your industry and have the potential to drive the most traffic.
  • Keywords with low search volume; this can actually help reveal conversion opportunities — remember, long-tail keywords typically have lower search volumes but higher conversion rates.

Tracking the cost-per-click of your keywords will also bring you and your PPC team tonnes of valuable insights — you’ll know if you’re holding the top organic spot for an outrageously high CPC keyword.

As with search volume, tags for high and low CPC should do you just fine. High CPC keywords will show you where the competition is the fiercest, while low CPC keywords will surface your easiest point of entry into the paid game — queries you can optimize for with less of a fight.

Device type

From screen size to indexing, desktop and smartphones produce substantially different SERPs from one another, making it essential to track them separately. So, filter and tag for:

  • Keywords tracked on a desktop.
  • Keywords tracked on a smartphone.

Similar to your location segments, it’s best to use the standard tag here.

Go crazy with multiple filters

We’ve shown you some really high-level segments, but you can actually filter down your keywords even further. In other words, you can get extra fancy and add multiple filters to a single tag. Go as far as high search volume, branded keywords triggering paragraph featured snippets that you own for smartphone searchers in the downtown core. Phew!

Want to make talk shop about segmentation or see dynamic tags in action? Say hello (don’t be shy) and request a demo.

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