Lee Odden

Core Content SEO Tools: Keyword Glossary & Editorial Plan

Content SEO ToolsIt’s funny when you work in an industry for a long time that the basic things you create to make life a little easier can save others who are new to the field, a lot of time. I’ve done a few webinars and speaking events in the past few months where one of the tools suggested was a Keyword Glossary (spreadsheet) for managing category and page level optimization, keyword mapping and competitor keyword mapping.

Another tool was an Editorial Plan that documents articles/blog posts, media, promotion and planned re-purposing. There are basic building blocks for becoming more efficient with search engine optimization tasks, but I’ve received a lot of requests for them.  I thought they might be useful to our readers to use for inspiration to create their own and maybe even modify and mashup into something better.

Below are screen shots which you can click to see larger versions.

SEO Tool: Basic Keyword Glossary @TopRank
Basic Keyword Glossary

After conducting research using one of the various keyword research tools, organizing that information in a useful format like a Keyword Glossary helps SEOs manage their on page optimization and it brings a measure of accountability as well. The example of above shows a matrix of competitors sites that have been optimized for the target phrases, a list of primary and secondary phrases with measures of popularity and competitiveness. The phrases are also mapped to category levels or individual pages so you know which pages are being optimized for what keywords.

SEO Tool: Basic Editorial Plan @TopRank
Basic Content Plan for a Blog

It’s no mystery that we like blogs as an online marketing, Social, SEO and content marketing tool. Planning content through an editorial calendar (as a magazine other publication would) is essential for producing content that is of interest to the target audience, that represent target keywords, and keeps authors on track and flush with ideas on what to write about.

The spreadsheet above shows dates for publishing, titles, keywords, categories, media used, cross-posting, promotion channels/tactics and future re-purposing of the content.  Organizing an editorial plan like this helps online marketers gain maximum value for their investment into content creation and also makes curation more valuable.

The best tool or format depends on your own needs and applications. That’s why I don’t link to the actual spreadsheets – at least part of the reason. 🙂

However, will be making the actual spreadsheets available at BlogWorld New York.  Be sure you check out my sessions if you’re attending those events.

What kinds of templates have you created for managing SEO and content marketing tasks?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Anonymous says

    Wow! Love the keyword glossary, thank you, Lee. The other nice thing about the editorial plan is that you can share what is upcoming (on your blog or in your email newsletter). We will be doing that soon at Spin Sucks.
    I hope we have the chance to meet at Blogworld.

    • Thanks Lisa, great tip on the editorial plan. Previews work well in TV, radio and other media, why not blogs? Definitely looking forward to Blogworld – see you there. 🙂

  2.  Ooh, this is great, Lee, thank you! I hope we can connect at BWE too, it would be great to see you again.

  3. Avatar Anonymous says

    I like the way you set up and organized your spreadsheets. I find that  my clients have a hard time keeping track of their SEO efforts unless they set up a chart they can read and follow. It’s a great idea!

  4.  Spreadsheet = number 1 tool in any SEO campaign! 

  5.  Cool, glad to see the small-time hack spreadsheets I’ve created when writing web content aren’t too far off from the professionals.

  6. Avatar Emma Coakes says

    I’m doing a lot of this but this gives me ideas to raise the game a couple of levels. Thanks for sharing. Do you find that trends and stories come along that force you to change your plan? Four weeks forward planning seems like a long time.

    • Yes, we allow for wildcards. Overall, we like to have a content plan for 6 months out at a general level and add specifics as we go – but always allowing for things that might “pop up”.