How Many Keywords Should You Track For Your SEO Campaign?

Daniel Bianchini // Co-founder

As Google changes its infrastructure to cater to generative AI; keywords and a successful SEO strategy in 2024 are even more important than ever.

Developing a robust keyword strategy and solid SEO practices will help keep your business ahead of the curve and prepared for the shifts AI will continue to bring to the world of online search rankings and visibility.

A key part of this is tracking keywords. But when working out how many keywords for SEO are needed, there are plenty of factors to take into account, including budget, available resources, and overall business goals.

The Importance of Keyword Tracking for SEO

Keyword tracking involves monitoring and analysing the performance of selected keywords in search engine rankings. It helps marketers assess which keywords are driving traffic and conversions, as well as identify areas for improvement in SEO strategy.

Keyword tracking is essential for measuring campaign progress and adapting strategies to meet goals. This is usually done via SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush which provide reports on tracked keywords including changes in ranking, how much share of the market voice you hold, and any SERPs you’ve gained.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Keywords to Track

Tracking every single relevant keyword is too much and is, simply, impossible. Instead, a business should choose its core keywords that align best with overall goals and strategy.

Identify which broad keywords and specific niches to target, and the user intent behind keywords associated with them. Then, choose which keywords to track based on their search volume and keyword difficulty.

These should be split between primary and secondary keywords.

Primary keywords are main terms that are usually 1-3 words in length and target the broad concept of the page.

Secondary keywords are usually longtail keywords that niche down the broad category targeted by the primary keyword to match your page’s specific intent.

A primary keyword for B2B 3D modelling software reseller, Elmtec would be a term like “sketchup software” or “sketchup license”, whereas secondary keywords would look more like “rounding edges in sketchup” or “mirror in sketchup” which have honed down into specifics of the software.

When choosing these keywords, you want terms with a high enough search volume to be beneficial, but with a low enough keyword difficulty that it’s possible to rank for them.

Depending on the industry, the exact search volumes and keyword difficulty that seem viable will vary; however, a good general rule is to only look at keywords with a score below 50 in terms of difficulty ranking.

Keywords and marketing funnels

Don’t forget to split your keywords out so strategy planning targets each stage of the marketing funnel.

In other words, a B2B SaaS business should be looking at keywords that target the top of the funnel for raising awareness and brand authority, and those that lead to conversions.

For example, in their SEO, a B2B commercial office refurbishment company like Saracen Interiors might choose to target informational keywords like “office designs” or “lighting in an office” at the top of the funnel; and then “fit out companies” and “office relocation company” to target those ready to convert.

Best Practices for Keyword Tracking

Choosing and organising keywords is the first step in effective tracking and management. By following a simple system, keywords can be easily monitored and aligned with business goals to help increase overall revenue and return on investment.

Step One: Keyword research

Using a tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs, start with some basic standard keyword searches. By then looking at the broad match and related keywords, you can start to niche down and choose which keywords to target that best match business goals.

Step Two: Keyword grouping

Organise keywords into logical themes or groups. These are often based on a business’ core areas of focus within their industry, or arranged by the specific goal they’re trying to achieve like an increase in organic traffic, for example.

By aligning keywords with key business objectives and themes, SEO efforts are streamlined and the strategy around them is refined accordingly to best match the intent of users visiting your site.

Step Three: Set goals

Setting goals and KPIs based on the hoped-for outcomes of keyword tracking keeps the research and choice of keywords refined and targeted.

Having specific benchmarks makes it easier to monitor the success of SEO efforts and where they can be improved. This could be a percentage increase in overall organic traffic, an increase in sign-ups to demos, or higher views of a specific landing page, for example.

Setting goals enables you to see how these progress over time and allocate resources more efficiently.

Step Four: Continuous improvement

Continual monitoring is a crucial stage in keyword tracking. It allows you to see how closely keywords align with the goals and KPIs set, and where to make adjustments and improvements to improve campaigns, rather than waiting for the end and readjusting.

This allows you to refine keyword targeting and strategy continuously, putting more attention on effective keywords and removing resources from those that aren’t performing as hoped.

This is also the best way to be responsive to changes in the industry, be it emerging trends or adjusting to existing patterns across the year.

For example, a higher education company might want to focus additional budget and resources on keyword targeting up to September and then reduce down before dialing back up again after Easter, in line with school terms.

How Many Keywords Should You Track?

The number of keywords to track depends on your industry and business size. With those factors already in mind, there are several things to consider when choosing how many keywords to track.

Budget and resources

One of the biggest factors in choosing keyword tracking for SEO is how much budget and resources are available to put behind it.

Tracking a large number of keywords means investing in expensive tools, personnel and time for analysis. Huge multinational companies will often have a dedicated SEO person on staff who will spend every day working on this, for example.

But for smaller companies, with fewer resources, choices need to be made differently. They’re less likely to have a full-time SEO person on staff, or may instead use a digital agency to support their SEO efforts. This means deciding how many keywords they can budget to track in line with their business goals and available budget.

Focus on priority keywords

Once you’ve organised your keywords into groups or themes, deciding their level of importance helps decide which ones should be prioritised and have more budget and resource allocation. Usually, these are the core primary keywords that have the highest potential to drive traffic and conversions, maximising your ROI.

During the keyword research stage, you should identify which high-value keywords will resonate best with your audience and match the company objectives.


Everyone starts somewhere. Choose a manageable number of keywords that you comfortably have the resources to track and handle.

From there, you can slowly (or quickly) scale up the number to match expected outcomes. This is something businesses usually start to do when the impact of tracking keywords starts to become apparent in views and conversion metrics.

With this valuable insight, your business develops an understanding of user’s search patterns and intent allowing you to target your keywords more specifically for greater visibility and success.

Tools and Techniques for Efficient Keyword Tracking

Having the right tools and resources for keyword tracking is essential. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible to track keywords effectively without an extensive keyword tool like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz.

Of course, the downside is that these tools also come with a large price tag attached that needs to be factored into your ROI.

But smaller businesses might use more cost-effective tools like Ubersuggest to scale their keyword management before investing in the huge enterprise price tag that comes alongside the industry standard Ahrefs or SEMrush.

These tools are the best for a reason though as they are bases for complete holistic SEO overviews and strategy building. Alongside your standard keyword tracking you can:

  • Create keyword lists divided by type, country, competition or any other metric you deem fit. This allows you to create different lists to represent different company goals and hone in on which keywords specifically are effective for the target market.
  • Complete competitor audits to highlight gaps in the market, missed opportunities, and tailor your own SEO strategy.
  • Monitor rank tracking and position changes to see any shifts in data and success rates.
  • Complete site audits that identify any other SEO issues that could be negatively impacting your ranking.

Tailoring your SEO reporting

Creating your own project in an SEO tool gives you the option to develop your own customised dashboard for highly tailored and personalised reports.

Linking up your SEO tool with Google Search Console, your third-party analytics dashboards and AI plugins creates a more holistic view of analytics and data, allowing for greater management of overall business strategy.

The extensive customisation means marketers and agencies can quickly see which metrics are most important to your business and more easily identify opportunities for improvement.

Then, when it’s time to report to others visual metrics like charts and graphs, allow for information to be taken in quickly in a way that’s easily digestible. A must when reporting to company stakeholders, as it makes it clearer and easier to “sell” success rates and what’s needed to progress.

Conclusion: Optimising Keyword Tracking for SEO Success

Choosing how many keywords to track based on budget allocation and resources is a good first step in refining your keyword strategy.

By then using actionable insights from custom dashboards and developing a solid strategy that groups keywords for continual monitoring, you can adjust and optimise campaigns accordingly for greater ROI.

Choose your tools, think about what users are searching for and their intent, and use that to form the very first steps of setting up a strong keyword strategy, backed by data and analytics.

Daniel Bianchini // Co-founder

You may also like

Go to Top