Branding

Biggest Mistakes Of Keyword Research

By Mark Ainsworth

Keyword research is one of the most crucial yet difficult tasks that SEO professionals have to take on. Whilst it is one of the very best ways to drive high quality traffic to your website and deliver strong leads, it can also be time-consuming and laborious.

Coupled with the fact that, if you get it wrong, it can actually damage your marketing campaign, and it is clear to see why many marketers often claim it to be their least favourite SEO task.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your keyword research is up to scratch is to hire a professional SEO team to do it for you, as they will have the best idea of what needs to be done to create a successful keyword marketing campaign. If you do decide to do it yourself, though, it is helpful to know the common mistakes that affect campaigns negatively. Here are some of the ways in which marketers most commonly get it wrong.

 

Focusing too much on long tail keywords

All marketers know that long tail keywords are important for bringing in high quality traffic. A long tail keyword is basically a phrase made up of search terms like “women’s black shirt skater dress size 12” instead of short tail keywords like “skater dress”. The specificity of the keywords means that the item is likely to rank much higher in searches that are related to this exact item, offering high quality leads and less competition.

However, getting carried away and focusing only on long tail keywords can actually damage your strategy, if you haven’t developed a plan that covers blanket terms and all-encompassing topics in order to show thought leadership in your area. Search engines reward websites for showing in-depth knowledge and breadth of content on topics, as this proves that they are an authority in this industry.

In order to do this, Google (or any other search engine) will scan a website for content grouped by links which contain similar or related keywords. This grouped content is known as a ‘topic cluster’ and is best understood by search engine algorithms when rolled together with other topic clusters to form a ‘pillar’ or theme.

Whilst long tail phrases are used by Google to create topics, the search engine also needs short tail keywords in order to identify pillars in your website content. If there is no pillar, content won’t be grouped effectively and the SEO impact will be reduced.

 

Not Looking At Searcher Intent

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when doing keyword research, and yet one of the most critical elements, is searcher intent.

This basically refers to what the user is actually looking for when they type their query into a search engine. Just matching with their query thanks to your keywords isn’t enough, you actually have to be offering what they want. It is all well and good getting lots of clicks on your website, but if you don’t get any conversions then those clicks are wasted.

Following our previous example, if someone is searching for a ‘black skater dress in size 12’ they are not going to want to look at a blog which talks about different celebrities wearing black skater dresses. When putting together your keywords and optimising your website for search engines, always come back to what you want your audience to be looking for when they hit your website, so that you are able to give it to them.

 

Not Researching Your Keywords

Whilst you will do well to find keywords that match the enquiries and needs of your audience, it is also important that you choose the right keywords from the plethora of options available to you in order to rank highly. The best way to do that is to look at what is currently ranking highly on SERPs.

When you are doing your keyword research and have found a keyword that you want to use, open an incognito tab on your internet browser to research that keyword. Search engines are clever now, and will often tailor your results to your location and past search history, which is why it is critical to search in incognito mode.

When you search for your keywords, look at which pages come at the top of the search results and click through to see what they are offering. This is your competition and what your content needs to beat.

 

Not Doing Audience Research

Audience research is so important when you are doing your keyword research, as it gives you qualitative data from real customers that is invaluable to your strategy. Ask your existing customers what they might search for when looking for your products, what issues they have come up against and any questions they have about your products or services.

If you aim to ease these pressure points in your content and then make it easy to find, you have instantly got a step up from the competition.

 

Inserting Keywords Into Content Post Completion

Many people think that SEO involves dropping keywords into ready-written content, or stuffing them awkwardly in as many times as possible so that they flag up on search engines. Whilst this may have worked in the past, it doesn’t anymore, and never really worked with customers, who were instantly turned off from a business due to inauthentic content.

Good content will have keywords woven in masterfully, so that you can’t tell what the keywords were or where they have been placed. Not only does this ensure that your content is nice to read and useful, it also informs what you write about, so that your copy comes across as truly authentic.

When you have decided on a keyword, your entire SEO strategy will be built around it, which is why you start there and build the rest of your campaign afterwards. If you need to change your keywords, add a new one or retire another, then you also need to change all of your content to match. As time consuming as this may be, in the long run it is guaranteed to improve your caché with your audience and other businesses.

 

Talk To MaxWeb

The search specialists at MaxWeb are able to create cost effective and successful SEO strategies that can get your website ranking higher and generate more of those all-important clicks that drive online sales.  Why not give us a call on 0151 652 4777 or email info@maxwebsolutions.co.uk to find out more.

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