Keyword research is the heart of SEO. Learn to do it right, and your website will enjoy all the long-term benefits that it brings. You’ll make your content more relevant, more people will find you through organic search, and Google will love you.
However, even though people know that keywords are essential, most don’t understand how keywords work, so they make errors picking them. Of course, we don’t want that to happen to you, so today, we’re talking about the keyword research mistakes to avoid.
Keeping up with how keywords work isn’t the easiest job these days. Google roles out at least four big algorithms update each year, and they don’t even tell us what they’ve changed. So, SEO experts read all the release notes they can find and do a plethora of A/B testing until they figure out what’s different.
Of course, no one expects you to do that if you’re a small business owner. Instead, you can just read this article and get all the info you need. Let’s dive in.
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Ignoring Search Intent
When researching keywords, many marketers focus on the search volume metric and take it as a vital one. And although important, you should look beyond it and try to learn from the most searched keywords.
Try to figure out why people are using that exact phrase. You want to understand the intent behind the words they typed in. That way, you’ll be able to create content that will be exactly what they’re looking for.
And if you create that content, Google will be glad to push it. Their algorithm is now intelligent. It understands the search intent and displays the result it thinks will answer the question best.
Furthermore, you’ll want to differentiate your content depending on the intent. For example, some keywords you’ll use to build trust, while others will be there to get you a sale. Don’t mix and match your messaging between them, as you’ll only confuse your site visitors.
Not Looking at the SERPs
There are many keyword research tools that you can use to help you and make your job easier. They allow you to dive deep into the historical data, audit your site, and even see your competitors’ ranking. And these are all great tools, but relying on them too much could make you miss the essence.
You’re trying to rank on the SERPs, so it makes sense to look there for insights when you think about it. Sometimes, you can even skip the KW research tools altogether and go straight to SERPs. It saves time, and if you know what you’re doing, it gives excellent results.
Look at all the different phrases that come up when you search for a specific query and check out the ”related searches” section at the end of the page. You might get some content ideas you’ll be thankful for.
Avoiding Long-Tail Keywords
As we mentioned, targeting only high-volume keywords is one of the keyword research mistakes to avoid. Not only do these lack intent behind them, but they’re also highly competitive. So, you’ll put more effort and time into making it on the first page of search results, and you won’t get much from it. But what’s the alternative?
Long-tail keywords have a low search volume, but people who type them in are usually much further down the sales funnel. Hence, users who find your site will be more likely to buy from you. Still, to give yourself the best shot, add in a few variations of your long-tail keywords to spread your online presence web a bit further.
Not Paying Attention to What Your Customers Say
Your customers are why your business exists, and you have to listen to what they say. Sometimes, they’ll use different words than the ones you’d use to describe your products or the problems they’re facing. Of course, if you’re ranking for other terms, Google might have difficulty connecting the dots and showing them your content.
We’re not saying that you should let your audience pick the keywords you will use. However, keep them in mind and consider using them in addition to your regular phrases. For example, you can use them in your PPC strategy to give you more leverage.
Read the comments that your clients write and if you’re talking to them on the phone, note the words they’re using. Using their language in your marketing strategy will make it easier to connect with them and get your message across.
Not Focusing on Topics
As we established, focusing on one keyword will get you nowhere. So instead, you should spread your efforts more and concentrate on getting authority over a topic. Here’s what we mean by that.
Come up with a list of topics you want to write about. Once you have them all pinned down, do your research and find as many related keyphrases as possible for each topic. Then, set off to create content in which you’ll use all of these keywords naturally and where it makes sense.
The more high-quality content you can put out on the topic, the higher your authority over it will be. You’ll become the source everyone refers to and dominate the SERPs.
You’re Focusing on the Wrong Channels
When we’re talking about SEO, we mostly think of Google. And it makes sense that we do. It’s the biggest search engine with over 92% of the market share. That said, it’s not the only place people get information on the internet.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are also great channels you can use to reach your audience, but you’ll need to create separate content for them. They don’t use the same algorithm, so you may have to use different keywords to perform well on them.
If you want to learn more, you can check out our guide to improve your Instagram SEO for better visibility. It’ll help you understand how IG works, and the tactics we talk about there are quite useful for Facebook as well.
Don’t let anyone fool you – keywords are still important for SEO, and that’s how things will remain. However, to use them to their full extent, you’ll need to learn about the keyword research mistakes to avoid. Steer clear of all errors, and you’ll get to the top of the SERPs in no time.
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