Mistakes to avoid in SEO keyword research: –
SEO marketing campaigns start with keyword research.
These 15 mistakes can slow performance.
1. Ignore search intent:
- Too many people focus on search volume and forget why.
- Why do people use a specific keyword?
- What does that term say about what that person is looking for?
- And more importantly, what’s the point of ranking first in a term that doesn’t actually generate sales?
- Instead of focusing on how many people are using a search query, focus on search intent or why someone is searching.
- User intent is divided into two things:
- Find out what users who access the pages want to consume.
- Making content the best option for those users.
2. Allow customers to choose keywords:
- One of the biggest keyword research mistakes is not doing any keyword research.
- They all had that customer who wants to “help” by telling them what keywords they want to target.
- Unfortunately, those terms are often too broad, don’t match the search intent, or are too competitive to bother with.
- That customer list should be a starting point, not an endpoint.
- Many business owners think they know what search engines are looking for, but keywords should be based on data, not vanity or instinct.
3. Forget looking at the SERPs:
- There are many powerful keyword research tools that make keyword research so much easier.
- Dig deep into the data, look at historical trends, and even see where the competition ranks.
- Many marketers spend so much time delving into research tools that they forget to look at the only place that really matters is the SERPs.
- Don’t let tools take over the entire keyword research process.
- Take the time to see what type of content ranks for top terms and use it to inspire campaigns.
4. Targeting one keyword per piece of content:
- SEO marketers move the other way and only target one keyword per piece of content.
- Google is getting better at understanding context, which means optimizing for a single keyword per post is a thing of the past.
- Instead of targeting a single keyword, search for related terms that support the main term.
- For example, a post on keyword research should also target related terms, such as keyword research tools.
- Just keep in mind that this shouldn’t be forced to use only related terms that make sense for the content.
5. Targeting High Volume Keywords Only:
- If high volume keywords are the best way to find the right keywords.
- Because high volume often ignores user intent.
- High volume terms are highly competitive.
- It’s hard to stand out when chasing the same key terms as everyone else.
- Don’t forget to look for medium volume keywords that match the search intent and are easier to rank for and cheaper to bid.
6. Avoid long-tail keywords:
- Long-tail keywords tend to have lower search volume, putting some marketers away.
- Low search volume is a good thing.
- Lower volume keywords are typically further up the sales funnel, meaning the user is much closer to making a purchase.
- Using multiple contextual keywords can also ensure that covers a topic more broadly and are more likely to provide visitors with the content they need to convert.
7. Not talking to customers:
- The terms that are used to talk about the product or service are not the same terms that customers use to talk about the product or the problems they face.
- In addition to using keyword research tools, it’s critical to speak with what the customers are saying.
- Pay attention to how they describe their challenges, the solutions they find, or the types of products they want.
- Look at reviews, social media posts, and listen to customer service calls to find the words and phrases customers use to talk about the challenges they face and the solutions they have tried.
8. Re-insert keywords:
- Some SEO marketers seem to think that creating content for users means ignoring SEO to the very end.
- After all, one can’t go back and add the keywords that Google wants once the content is finished.
- Similarly, can’t go back and “SEO” a post after the writing is complete.
- Instead, keyword research should be done before a topic is chosen, and terms should be added naturally where it makes sense.
9. Not knowing what channels customers are looking for:
- When talking about SEO, most of the time, talk about Google and that is a problem.
- Google is not the only search engine out there, but so are Bing and Yandex.
- Speaking of other channels that people use as search engines like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok.
- Each platform has a different algorithm and different preferences to pay attention to.
- If a word ranks well on Google it doesn’t mean it will do well on YouTube or Twitter.
- Pay attention to the channel users are looking for, not just the words they use.
10. Submitting Exact Match Keywords:
- Stop trying to insert awkward phrases into content and ads.
- Google is much less picky about the use of exact match keywords.
- They understand well terms with an “in” or even multiple words between parts of a keyword.
- With the addition of natural language processing, Google is getting better and better at understanding context.
11. Not paying attention to keyword localization:
- Keyword localization, or differences in terms based on location, can slow down SEO efforts.
- Don’t assume that people in different countries (or even different parts of the same country) use the exact same terms when searching for a product.
- This is another reason why paying attention to real SERPs is so important.
12. Skip the thematic investigation::
- Shouldn’t focus on a single main keyword term.
- Rather, need to include a variety of related key terms related to the central topic.
- The reason is that it establishes a thematic authority, or authority on a broad idea, rather than a single term.
- Thematic research is the act of finding the related topics that the main keywords are targeting.
- For example, if wanted to rank for SEO, wouldn’t write a 4,000-word post about SEO alone, wanted to find out what other related topics people are searching for, such as SEO tools, SEO mistakes, and SEO strategies.
- Taking the time to do some thematic research will help to find related keywords that will help to rank higher in the end.
13. Avoid SERP Competitors:
- Know who the market competitors are, but do to know who the SERP competitors are?
- The brands that are above them in the content may not be the same competitors that they compete with for real customers.
- Competitive research can also highlight other keywords that have not been considered.
- Therefore, it is important to ensure that regularly monitor all competitors.
14. Ignore the difficulty of keywords:
- Most keyword research tools provide information on keyword difficulty or how competitive a certain term is in the SERPs.
- Many marketers ignore this statistic to focus on search volume.
- If can’t snag one of the top three places in SERPs because the keyword is too difficult to rank.
- Sometimes a lower-volume, the lower-difficulty term will be easier to rank for and more lucrative in the end.
- But keyword difficulty doesn’t consider many factors.
- A highly competitive keyword may not be difficult to rank for if it has a lot of traffic and ranks well for similar terms.
15. Neglecting conversions:
- If optimizing an e-commerce footwear site, Which term will generate the most traffic: sneakers or boots.
- That’s a trick question because the answer could very well be neither.
- Too many customers are targeting broad key terms that are important to their industry but don’t realize that they would actually make more sales targeting key terms that are more likely to convert.
- For example, an eCommerce store might get a lot of traffic targeting a keyword like [boots], but maybe half a per cent will convert, but [women’s waterproof snow boots] might not attract a ton of traffic, ie 3% to 5% could be converted.
Hence the key is to understand the audience and establish a strategy that works for the business.