Keyword research mistakes you need to avoid

  • 18th June 2014
  • SEO

The prospect of carrying out keyword research might seem to be a bit daunting or distressing, but it is a fundamental and essential aspect of digital marketing. Failing to recognise its significance or simply skipping through this process can have substantial consequences.

Thankfully, there are an abundance of tools and data you can utilise in order to execute keyword research effectively. Having said that, several marketers still make big mistakes that have the potential to render any campaign useless.

Targeting single word phrases

Not only will you struggle to achieve a high-ranking status with single-word phrases, due to the exhaustive and extensive nature of the Internet, conversions are bound to be lacking as well because traffic won’t be targeted.

Users also tend to refine their search with additional keywords after scanning initial results. Even if they do click a single-word link, the majority end up bouncing back anyway.

Targeting broad phrases

Even after you’ve added some additional terms to your single-word, the subsequent phrase could also be too vague and irrelevant. Fundamentally, you need to find out what the phrase means on search engines and what users are looking for after typing it in.

To do this, look at the qualifiers that are being searched alongside your phrase and decide if they’re relevant to your business. On top of that, see whether broad phrases are bringing back the kind of results you’d like to see and build from there.

Targeting inaccurate descriptors and qualifiers

Some descriptors or qualifiers might be completely useless, as they are simply to too broad or don’t apply to your business.

A travel agent that specialises in camping might be wasting their time with the term ‘holiday’, as a great deal of traffic will be looking for package deals or weekend city breaks. Therefore, it is important to narrow down keyword selections and concentrate on ROI, not volume.

Targeting competitive phrases

There is a slight chance that competitive phrases will pay off in the long-term, but it is far more beneficial to concentrate on relevant keywords first before attempting to conquer the big time.

If you manage to optimise more achievable keywords first, rivals will find themselves losing out in just as valuable areas. Over time, you may end up succeeding with competitive phrases as a result of all that devout groundwork.

Targeting inappropriate geographical phrases

While the Internet’s global reach has enabled brands to target customers on the other side of the world, geographical phrases are still important for numerous businesses. However, if you’re looking to attract local customers then stick to local keywords.

You should only optimise for terms outside of your reach if that’s where customers actually are. There is no point researching non geo-targeted phrases.

Targeting keywords that don’t reflect user intent

In order to secure the most appropriate traffic possible, every keyword you target should relate to a product or service on your website. It is sometimes tempting to target closely or partially related terms, but the algorithms of today’s search engines won’t appreciate it.

Think carefully about what your target audience is searching for, avoid broad or obvious terms and optimise the minor details.

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