If you have an online presence, it is highly unlikely that you don’t know a thing or two about search engine optimization or SEO. Having a website alone on the internet cannot guarantee you all the success. Unless your website ranks well on SERP, it is difficult to climb the success ladder in the online space. To rank well on the search engine results page or SERP, you have to work smartly and diligently on SEO. Yes, it is SEO that makes it possible for websites to break into the top search results page. Hence, if you want to rank high on the search engine results page, you need to have a robust SEO strategy.
SEO has a lot of aspects – on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Some of the SEO activities include content creation, meta title and meta description, keyword, link building, social media, and online directories.
If you are a website owner, you need to work hard on all these aspects. But one thing that you need to focus on more is the keyword research. Many website owners make some common keyword research mistakes, which costs them their ranking.
Here are some keyword research mistakes you need to avoid if you want to climb the search engine ladder.
But before getting to the mistakes let us take you through the importance of keyword research in the game of SEO.
What are keywords and why are they so important?
According to Moz, “Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.” If you boil everything on your page — all the images, video, copy, etc. — down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords”.
The keyword on your page should be relevant so that people who are searching the net can get to your content among the search results quickly.
SEO keywords could be singular words or complex phrases that are used in website copy to attract relevant and organic search traffic.
Why are keywords so important?
Keywords are important because these are what people use to search the content on the internet. And, if your visitor’s keywords match those that you have used in your content, then they reach your site conveniently. When it comes to ranking on search engines, the keywords you choose for your content is what drives organic traffic to your site. For example, if you have a ‘golf shop’, you would like to rank for ‘new clubs’, but if you do not choose your keywords properly, you might attract traffic for something else.
Keywords not only pertain to your audience, but they are also about your content because you can describe your offerings in a different way than how some of your visitors search for it. In case you want your content to rank well organically on search engines, you need to understand the psyche of your visitors which means you should know the language they use and the type of content they want. You can speak to your customers, visit forums and community groups, or do keyword research on your own with a tool such as Keyword Explorer to find out the relevant keywords for your offering.
So, what is keyword research?
Keyword research is a vital SEO task that helps you identify those words and phrases that are popular among the people which they use to search for the content they want. Keyword research gives you a sense of how high the demand is for a particular keyword and how difficult it would be to compete for them in the organic search results which provide you the insight into your search optimization efforts.
7 top keyword research mistakes you need to avoid
Many people make several common mistakes when researching the keywords. Here is how you can avoid these common mistakes and formulate a successful keyword research strategy.
- Not doing your keyword research properly – Keyword research is a daunting, time-intensive, and exhaustive process. Don’t just go by your gut feel; you need to know what your audience is looking for and that is what you need to provide. So, if you are making this mistake of going by your gut feeling, you need to change your strategy and follow the proper process of keyword research to get the desired results. Try to find out the language of your audience, the terms they use, and the words they are fond of using.
You should have in place an extensive list of keywords that you want your website to rank, and this should form your keyword research. Update your keyword research list regularly so that you can cater to your new audience.
- Don’t aim for unrealistic keywords – Realistic keywords are key to successful keyword research. Not all niches are the same, some of them are very competitive, and it is hard to rank high in competitive areas if you have just started your operations. At the start, you should not aim for the competitive head keywords. Try instead to focus on long-tail keywords because they are easier to rank, and you have a better chance of conversions.
But if you are an old warhorse, and you rank successfully for longer-tail keywords, then you should try to rank for more head terms. Include competitive keywords as your long-term keyword research strategy.
- Don’t use irrelevant keywords – You should use those keywords which are used by your customers. What you need to do is use the language of your audience. For example, if you are selling dresses for gala events, and you refer them as gala dresses, then you are not hitting your audience the right way because they mostly search for keywords like evening dress or gown. that is why you need to use appropriate keywords and never use irrelevant keywords.
- Not knowing whether to use singular or plural – You need to know whether you should use singular or plural form of a particular keyword to target your audience. You should know what your target audience is searching for and accordingly use the proper keywords. For example, you need to know whether people search for a holiday home or holiday homes. Or, whether you should use evening gown or evening gowns to rank higher on the search engine. You should check out Google Trends to find out whether you should use singular or plural. You also need to know the intent of your audience. People searching for singular keywords are generally looking for information, whereas people searching for the plural version are usually interested in either comparing the product or buying it. Hence, it is important that you don’t make the mistake of using one for the other. Think carefully before using the keyword.
- Don’t aim for those keywords that don’t bring in traffic – It is always a great way to start your keyword strategy with long-tail keywords. Though these words attract less traffic, still you have a better chance of converting them into buyers when they visit your site. Those who use specific terms as search queries for which you are writing about are generally a good match for your business. But, one thing that you need to remember is that if your keyword is too specific and is not generating traffic for your site, then it will not help your SEO efforts. Hence, you need to ensure that your long-tail keywords should at least attract some traffic.
- Not evaluating your results – It is always advisable to check how you are faring on your strategy. Hence, if you target to rank for some terms, you need to evaluate how you are performing on those terms. It is important for you to find out whether people are getting to your site or not. Make sure that you regularly Google your main keywords to find out whether your keyword strategy is working or not. But you should know that the search results could be biased because Google offers personalized search. Hence, you can use a private browser session to check the results. If you don’t evaluate, you will never come to know whether you should aim for more competitive keywords or you need to focus on long-tail keywords.
- Only focusing on one keyword in every post – You should aim to rank for more than one search term if you write an average blog post. For example, there can easily be two keyword terms for this blog post namely keyword research mistakes and successful keyword research strategy. Make sure to optimize your post for more than one keyword.
As mentioned earlier, keyword research is a time-intensive process. What you need to do is invest some of your time to find out the terms you want to rank for so that you can have a successful keyword research strategy.
If you want to do keyword research the right way or in case you are looking for a smart and successful keyword research strategy, you can get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. We are a Dubai based digital marketing company specializing in SEO, and we can help you climb the search engine ladder.