In the beginning, when SEO became popular among digital marketers, most of them invested a lot of time and resources in researching the words and phrases to put in SEO content and campaigns. They added these keywords into everything and everywhere on their client’s website, most likely a little too much. Keyword stuffing is no longer seen as a good SEO practice because search engines will now negatively flag your website these days for that strategy. The challenge now is that most brands don’t know how to implement different SEO practices for the best results, most of them get it wrong from keyword research.
You must understand that the competition for SEO keywords is at an all-time-high, more and more people are launching eCommerce businesses every day. All of whom are competing for the attention of the same users, of which those consumers have access to immeasurable counts of similar content. Additionally, a lot of business owners have not changed their SEO keyword strategy since when Nokia 3310 was the bestselling mobile phone. Many businesses also commit arguably the biggest SEO crime of launching SEO campaigns without conducting SEO keyword research first.
With these few points in mind, let’s talk about all the keyword research mistakes that might be affecting your SEO efforts and campaigns.
1. Neglecting Search Intent
While keyword research is important, you must start by understanding why consumers use a specific keyword. You do not want your site to rank for random keywords that don’t connect with your target audience. Sure, such high-volume keywords will bring more visitors to your site but most of them will leave without making a purchase, which defeats the purpose of SEO. When you understand why your target audience uses certain keywords, you will also understand more about them and what they need, which will enable you to connect better with them.
You can learn more about search intent in this article, we discuss about how you can optimize for intent.
2. Using Keywords Without Researching
One of the common mistakes marketers and business owners make is choosing keywords based on a gut feeling. No matter how tempting it may be to use a keyword, always research said keyword to confirm whether it is truly effective. Do not use keywords because someone who claims to be an expert suggests them, rather, have a habit of researching all potential keywords before deciding on which ones to use, when, and how.
Keyword research does not start and end with keyword research tools; you must engage your customers to learn how they talk about the products or services you offer. Explore social media posts, forums, and spend time with customer support to learn the words your customers use to describe their concerns, solutions, products, etc.
3. Neglecting the SERPs
One of the channels you target for your SEO strategies is the search engine result pages (SERPs): the set of pages that come up when users search queries on search engines. You should always check out the SERPs to see different types of content ranking for your target keywords. By doing so you can easily learn a few tips that you can utilize when doing your own SEO campaigns. Keyword research doesn’t have to be complicated all the time. Learn to take a break from keyword tools sometimes and explore the SERPs instead.
Additionally, you must pay attention to the websites that rank higher than yours on SERPs. Sometimes these sites are not exactly in your niche market. For example, as a fashion apparel eCommerce site, some of your competitors on SERPs may include fashion bloggers. Pay attention to their content and keywords used, you should be able to learn a few tricks that you can use to boost your rank.
4. Using One Keyword Per Piece of Content
Since search engines tightened up the rules surrounding excess use of unrelated keywords, many marketers and businesses resort to using one keyword per page to avoid getting flagged. Of course, this is a safe practice, but it is not the most effective strategy. Google’s algorithm has improved a lot in the last few years, it now understands context better, which means that you can target multiple keywords per page. Ensure you use only related keywords in your content and make sure they flow naturally. Targeting multiple related keywords per piece helps you optimize your content better for SEO.
One of the reasons using multiple related keywords per page will work depends on whether your website content typically addresses multiple related topics. This brings us to topical research and why you need to establish your brand as a topical authority in your niche. Your keyword research should include topics research. That way you will be able to use multiple keywords that relate to the core topic of your website.
5. Targeting Only High-Volume Keywords
High-volume keywords are tempting because of the high traffic and sales they can bring to your site if you get lucky. But what are the odds of you getting ahead of thousands of big eCommerce brands that are also using the same keywords? Simple, the odds are not in your favor because the competition is tough. So, stop focusing only on high-volume keywords and missing out on other types of keywords that can give your website more visibility.
Try out some mid-volume and low-volume keywords that you can easily rank for. Long-tail keywords can also benefit your business. One of the benefits of long-tail keywords is that they can open your website to consumers who are more likely to make a purchase. The keywords with low search volume usually capture user intent better. Additionally, you can elaborate on a subject area better. Therefore, the content will cover more details that answer users’ concerns, and it will also help you convert visitors to customers. Don’t avoid a keyword just because your keyword research tool says it has low search volume or it is difficult to rank for.
The key is to focus on keywords that can increase your chances of conversion rather than keywords that will bring a surge of traffic to your site but most of whom will leave without making a purchase. The first solution to getting SEO right is to build a solid foundation of good SEO keyword research.