One of the biggest challenges for SEOs is clearly communicating how decisions are made. For those of us with a more technical inclination, looking at a large data dump and extracting value is a little easier. But what about those people you communicate with that don't have this technical ability? We need a way to show (not just tell) them how we derive our conclusions. That's where scoring and ranking your keyword research comes in handy.
Setting up a ranking system will allow you to show your team (with visuals) why you're deciding to target some keywords over others. We're trying to answer the common question, "How do you pick keywords?"
What Does It Mean To Rank Keywords?
In essence, the idea of ranking keywords means to pick a series of data points you acquire during research and provide them a specific value. In order to compare these different data points, they will need to be normalized. Normalizing these data points means creating a common scale with which you can compare the value of unlike metrics as if they were like metrics. Based on this common scale, you can provide weights and or values to each of the different data points in order to provide more or less to their importance.
In our particular case, "rank" will refer to the ease with which you will be able to affect a keyword.
How Do I Start?
The process can be a little long, so I'm not going to dive into all the details. However, the instructions here should be sufficient to get you started!
Step 1: Getting Webmaster Tools Data
The first step I recommend is to download all of your keyword data from Webmaster Tools. Go to the search queries report in WMT and click the download table button as seen below: