Are You Making These Keyword Research Mistakes?


Keyword research is the process of identifying a list of keywords that you want your website to rank for. Based on this list, you will develop content and perform SEO optimizations in the hopes of improving your website’s position in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to generate more impressions, traffic and conversions.

While the keyword research process can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, there are some common mistakes that novice searchers and seasoned SEO experts can fall prey to.

Let’s explore some of the most common keyword research mistakes and how to avoid them:

Generic / short tail

When you see a keyword like “cars” (7.4 million monthly searches worldwide) or “shoes” (2.8 million monthly searches worldwide), it’s easy to start salivating at the idea of ​​gaining even a fraction of this organic traffic.

Aside from the fact that you have a better chance of winning the lottery than earning a first page position for these keywords, your chances of converting a customer based on a generic search like this are infinitesimal. .

These keywords are just too broad; someone looking for cars might be looking to download a copy of the Disney / Pixar movie, not rent a new Ford F-150; someone looking for “shoes” might try looking for photos of shoe styles for a school project, not buying a new pair of shoes.

Instead, lie down, locate, and focus on intention. “2020 Honda CRV Ottawa Award” or “Best Heel Spur Running Shoes” will put you in a much better position to rank and convert. When a user searches for something so specific, they’re ready to buy, helping your conversion rate.


Competing brand names

It will be an uphill battle, especially if the competitor dominates the space. While it’s absolutely a good idea to follow competitor websites and see how you stack up when it comes to shared keywords, it’s a losing battle to spend the energy on targeting their name. brand names or branded product names.

If you choose to target competing brands, you will need to create comparison content on your website. First of all, this is absolutely necessary for relevance, but it also brings additional value to visitors. If you are selling CRM software, for example, create a web page with a comparison chart comparing the features and price of your software against major competitors.

Too high in the funnel

Researchers at the top of the funnel (also known as the “consciousness” stage) often use the five W’s: who, what, why, where, when, and how. It’s a very valid marketing strategy to target customers at this point, but you need the resources to nurture those users.

If you target the keywords at the top of the funnel without a drip campaign or remarketing strategy to back it up, you will see a lot of drops and you won’t have as many users going down the funnel as you do. should.

If you have limited time and resources, it makes sense to focus on high-intention keywords. These are keywords where people are ready to act immediately – think buy, book, sign up, contact or call.

If you want to target the bottom of the funnel keywords, just make sure you have clear and concise content on your website to communicate your unique value propositions (free shipping, over 30 years of business, 5 star reviews, etc.) you don’t have the benefit of a slow education process.

Marketing funnel

more on funnels in our blog:

Self-invented terms

Each successful business must stand out in its own way and offer something unique to the world. To do this, companies often rename the services to better represent their values. This is fine if you want to call yourself a “luxury dining place,” but if your customers Google “restaurant” this is the keyword you should target.

As machine learning evolves and semantic indexing becomes even more nuanced, there is no doubt that we will come to the point where every regional variation, slang, and alternate name is properly linked. But where we are today, you have to use the terminology that your target customers use if you want to be found by them.

Keyword research can be a daunting process, but when done right, it can lay the groundwork for a transformational method to get more visibility, traffic, and leads. Avoiding these common mistakes will move you closer to a solid keyword list that you can start optimizing.

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