Keyword research involves evaluating and compiling keywords that might be the most lucrative and relevant for your online content. Keywords themselves are words that you incorporate into your content for it to rank well on SERPs. These are phrases or terms that people search for on the internet when they need information about something.
Keyword research is vital for SEO. Thinking about the quality and type of keywords you want to target should be your priority if you want your SEO strategy to work like a dream. Still, keyword research can be highly challenging if you don’t know which steps to follow and avoid. In this post, we will go through a few common keyword research mistakes that you should avoid. Being aware of them will help you develop an effective keyword research strategy and avoid missteps that might harm your SERP rankings.
Targeting Unrealistic Keywords
It would be best if you targeted realistic keywords. Some market segments are pretty competitive. And ranking in these competitive segments is hard, especially if it is your first time foraying into the world of SEO. In such a case, you should avoid targeting short-tail, high-competition keywords. Instead, focus on targeting long-tail, low competition keywords, which will give you a better chance of increasing your conversion rates.
For example, suppose you have a fitness blog. In that case, it will be difficult to rank high on SERPs if you target the keyword “fitness.” It would be better to make your keyword selection unique and targeted. Writing about different exercises to help people lose weight is a far better option. In that case, you can target long-tail keywords such as ‘weight loss exercises.’ It will give your website a better chance of ranking for these types of keywords as they are unique and target a particular audience.
Only Targeting Keywords With Less Difficulty
Some website owners and content marketers think that the lower the keyword difficulty, the higher their chance of improving their SERP rankings. However, they are mistaken. While such a strategy makes sense, it is better to target keywords that have varying ranking difficulties.
For example, a better keyword usage practice would be to target long-tail keywords to rank for critical search terms and short-tail keywords to increase traffic and engagement. A well-rounded approach that includes targeting both easy and challenging keywords will keep your SEO strategy diverse and varied.
Not Keeping Searchers’ Intent In Mind
Keeping an eye on search intent is extremely important when targeting keywords. It would be best if you always had a clear idea of the searchers’ intent and the type of keywords that will fulfill their needs. A person could be looking for a particular website, a specific piece of information, or a product.
In other words, if your content and its accompanying keywords don’t match the searchers’ intent, good luck making it to any SERP. You must constantly evaluate whether your content and keywords are in line with what people are searching for. You can do this by monitoring search results. What are people searching for on search engines? Is your content relevant to these searches?
For example, suppose you recently wrote a wedding dress buying guide to rank for the term “wedding dresses,” but only see online stores renting wedding dresses on the SERPs. In that case, you should stop and rethink your entire keyword strategy.
Targeting Irrelevant Keywords – Keyword Research
Such a mistake is related to the one mentioned above. If you don’t know about the searchers’ intent, you will probably target keywords that potential visitors won’t search for on search engines. Two things might happen. Either the keywords you target are too long and don’t get any engagement, or you do target the right ones, but people use different search strings, making it difficult to find you.
For example, imagine you sell dresses for extravagant galas. In your SEO strategy, you target the keyword “gala dresses.” However, most users won’t search for gala dresses. They will search for either evening dresses or gowns. Your content won’t get much online traffic of the keyword’ gala dresses’ compared to keywords such as ‘evening dresses’ or ‘gowns.’
The second problem occurs when you target absurdly long keywords that cannot generate any traffic at all. Although targeting long-tail keywords will give the best bang for your buck, but if you target too specific of a keyword, it will lead to less traffic. So, ensure that you aim for ones that actually generate traffic and increase conversions.
Only Using One Keyword Per Article Or Post
Suppose you have written an excellent article or blog post and want to increase its ranking on SERPs. In that case, your keyword options are not limited to only one exact keyword. For example, if you write a blog post about “best SEO tips,” you should target the long-tail keyword “best SEO tips” as well as other related keywords such as “great SEO tactics” and “SEO improvements.”
When you target more than one keyword, your chances of becoming visible to users will drastically increase. It is the case because not everyone will search for the same thing on search engines. Search strings can vary from person to person. So, it would be best if you tried to target a handful of keywords in all your article or blog posts.
Not Knowing Whether To Use Singular Or Plural Keywords
You should always know whether to use a singular or plural form of a specific keyword, especially your main one. for example, do people search for “football shoe” or “football shoes?” Do they search for “sock” or “socks?” while Google’s SEO algorithms can easily recognize that both these versions mean the same things, the search engine results will be different as users’ search strings will vary.
In such a case, again, you must know the searchers’ intent. Someone searching for the keyword’s singular form might only be looking for some information, while someone searching for its plural form could be looking to buy or compare products. Whatever the case, whether you go for singular keywords or plural ones, always take searchers’ intent into account.
Executing a successful keyword strategy takes, well, tons of research, time, and effort. Take your sweet time and conduct thorough research about the keywords you wish to target. It’s true that particular keywords have high engagement rates and will bring more traffic to your website. However, it doesn’t mean that you go berserk and incorporate every keyword you can find. Google will know and will penalize you by placing your website way below your desired rank.