One of the most cost-effective ways to get found by people is through organic search. It doesn’t come as a surprise when we see SEO professionals and marketers trying to optimize their websites to get the best possible ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). Regardless of whether you are just entered the SEO world or are trying to fine-tune it, you would know the importance of keyword research. In fact, the entire marketing strategies of businesses are dependent on the keywords they are trying to rank for.
With that said, it’s essential to understand and avoid the 7 most deadly keyword research mistakes often made by marketers.
1. Choosing Keywords That Are Different From What People Actually Search
In many cases, companies target search terms they think are related to their industry, but not based on how their audience search for them. Are your search terms chock-full with industry jargon? Is that jargon even known to your audience yet?
Your keyword research should always focus on what people coming looking for and not what you think is right. For instance, take the example of HubSpot, which sells inbound marketing software. Now many of their audience may not know what inbound marketing is. But they might be clear as to what they want. For example, they might search for ‘how to get leads through social media’.
Get your keywords right.
2. Not Performing Competitive Keyword Analysis
The ultimate aim of optimizing for SEO is to appear as high up as possible in SERPs than your competitors do. According to a research by Optify, websites appearing on the number 1 position have an average CTR of 36.4 percent; the second position has a CTR of 12 percent, and the third 9.5 percent.
Who would want to give away all those clicks to competitors?
Unless you perform a comprehensive competitive keyword research, you are likely to face two things. You could either end up targeting keywords that do not help you get the traffic you need, or you might miss out on important search terms that your competitors target.
3. Failing to Focus on Profitable Terms
Regardless of what your competitors are involved in, you should always determine whether or not the search terms that you are targeting will have a positive impact on your bottom line. If a certain competitor has managed to secure number 1 place on Google by using a keyword that is no good for you, there’s really no point in using that keyword for your SEO purposes.
Make sure you utilize closed-loop analytics to figure out which search terms will generate the much-needed traffic that actually converts into leads, so you can correctly prioritize your search optimization efforts. If you want any technical assistance you can always contact SEO professionals.
4. Having Uneven Distribution of Keyword Difficulty
Not all of the keywords you will come across have been created equal. There are some that are very difficult to rank for, while there are others that can win you quick business. You goal should be to get constant gains from your online marketing strategy, which can only be done by targeting keywords of varying difficulty.
If your company targets only the most competitive terms, it may be that you see good returns over a period of several months. However, it could also use keywords with a low search volume to easily rank for a position – these include long-tail keywords, which tend to drive very qualified traffic – all without seeing any traffic from difficult terms.
Experienced marketers often target both types of keywords, and they allow long-tail keywords to feed their marketing campaigns to rank for crucial head terms. With that said, if you are trying to rank for a highly competitive term (such as ‘coffee shops’), you may want to consider spending time trying to enhance our rank for it while getting traffic from long-tail terms (such as ‘coffee shops in new york’).
5. Being Unaware of Your Geography
This is something very easy to skip. Before you even begin targeting a particular search term, make sure that the traffic is indeed originating from an area where your business is located or serves. If your company only sells to consumers located within a certain geographical area, what good would it bring to you if the search term you are targeting doesn’t have anything to do with that area?
Make use of Google’s Keyword Tool to filter searches by location. If you are a local or a regional business, your marketing team should get proactive with certain geographic search terms.
6. Failing to Monitor Search Trends
When targeting specific keywords, think about how the popularity trends with time so you can plan ahead of a prospective search boom, before your competition does. This is also a very important research tactic used by seasonal businesses so they have sufficient content prepared in advance before the rise in search in the season.
If you don’t monitor for search trends, you will have no way of understanding how and when people search for what things. Use Google Insights for Search to determine how specific search phrases perform over time. Check the following graph for term ‘Halloween costumes’:
7. Failure to Adjust and Maintain Over Time
Just like you are supposed to be monitoring search trends for keywords, you should also ensure that you monitor the performance of your keywords over time. Find out whether your link-building and content creation efforts are helping to enhance your listing in the search engine results pages for the keywords you are targeting. In addition to that, determine whether your improved position is driving traffic to your site, resulting in conversion of visitors into leads, and finally, into customers.
It is also important to keep an eye on how your performance tracks for your chosen search terms for which you have gained high rankings for. It happens too often that marketers stop their efforts for optimizing for search terms once they reach the SERPs for those keywords. Don’t forget that you can lose that position if any of your competitor ramps up their efforts.