In the world of SEO, keyword research is critical.
Essential for helping brands identify and target keywords most relevant to their audiences, keyword research can make or break the success of advertising campaigns, blog content, website optimization and more.
Brands that understand how to conduct proper keyword research are already a step ahead. Unfortunately, keyword research isn’t always easy. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the eight most common mistakes marketers make with keyword research, and how you can avoid them. Read on to learn more…
What is Keyword Research, and How Does It Affect SEO?
Keyword research is the process of compiling and evaluating keywords to determine which are most relevant and lucrative for your company.
Keyword inclusion has been critical to SEO for years, and although it’s not as essential today as it used to be, Google still looks at keywords to determine how and where to rank a page, which, in turn, helps make it more visible for users.
While keyword research is commonly overlooked in the world of digital marketing, it’s critical for any business that wants to deliver more targeted content to its users.
8 Common Keyword Research Mistakes to Avoid
Although keyword research is crucial, it’s also difficult, and marketers who avoid the following eight mistakes will notice increased ROI from their keyword research efforts.
Targeting keywords that are too broad
One of the largest (and most common mistakes) marketers make with keyword research is targeting keywords that so broad they’re not realistic for their company. Unrealistic keywords are very broad search terms with massive monthly search volume.
For example, a small, handmade shoe company isn’t likely going to hit the first page of Google under the keyword “shoe.” Instead, they’d be better off targeting a long-tail keyword like “handmade felt shoes for women.”
While this long-tail keyword has a lower monthly search volume, the people using it are likely ready to convert, which is ideal for the company in question.
Focusing on keywords that aren’t relevant to your audience
If you’re targeting or researching keywords that aren’t consistent with the language your audience uses, you’re likely wasting part of your advertising budget.
Even if a keyword is close to your audience’s preferred language, it won’t be beneficial to your company until it reflects, exactly, the terms in which your audience thinks and speaks.
Researching plural keywords rather than singular
According to Moz, people search in the singular more often than they do the plural. While many marketers target the plural versions of keywords (likely because they’re considering a target audience rather than a single person), it may be wiser to target singular keywords instead.
While it’s true that Google is now smart enough to understand that the singular and plural forms of a keyword are likely one and the same, it’s still wise to shift your research to focus on singular keywords more often than not.
Not reviewing your chosen keywords often enough
The world of keyword research is dynamic and fluid, and you need to re-visit your keywords of choice on a regular basis to make sure they’re still working.
With this in mind, conduct regular keyword audits and reviews designed to locate and remove keywords that perform poorly, identify more lucrative keyword opportunities, and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
Targeting keywords that are all the same difficulty
Some marketers believe that it’s smart to target keywords that are all only moderately difficult to rank for. Unfortunately, they’re wrong. While this may seem like it makes sense, it’s much wiser to target keywords with a wide selection of ranking difficulty.
According to HubSpot, the best way to structure your keyword strategy is to target long-tail keywords that allow you to rank for critical search terms and to target other long-tail keywords for traffic and engagement.
A well-rounded selection of keyword difficulties will help keep your strategy varied and diverse.
Failing to keep a close eye on search trends
Search trends can have a significant impact on target keywords, and it’s wise to keep your eye on them. Some keywords rise or fall in popularity over time, and keeping tabs on these trends is a great way to plan your keyword strategy as effectively as possible.
Only focusing on one keyword at a time in your content
While many marketers assume a well-written blog can only target a single keyword, this assumption is wrong. Blog posts, articles, and other web content can target multiple search terms at once, and may rank for all of them!
Opting for keywords that have no (or almost no) traffic
While it’s true that long-tail keywords are more specific than their broad counterparts and, thus, that they typically rake in less traffic, it’s not a smart use of resources to target keywords that get no traffic.
Even if you optimize beautifully for these keywords, they won’t boost your SEO, since they won’t draw anyone to your page! Instead, look for keywords with moderate but existent traffic numbers.
The Foundation of Great SEO is Effective Keyword Research
Keyword research is still essential to reputable sites, and companies that do it well can enjoy a big SEO boost and spikes in both traffic and engagement.
For help conducting keyword research, and ensuring you avoid these eight common keyword research mistakes, contact Thrive Internet Marketing. We’re here for all of your SEO needs!