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How to Avoid Making Common Keyword Mistakes

Before you delve into murky waters of keyword research for your website, you must consider some common mis-steps that are often the cause of difficulties for SEO firms.

Ensuring these mistakes are avoided, will give your marketing strategy a shot in the arm, and drive the right kind of customers to your side.

Picking Keywords Without Relevance

SEOs often pick keywords with high search volumes in their area, unfortunately it is often the case that they aren’t researching the relevance of these keywords to their target customers. You must choose your keywords to match your client’s interests.

If you’re targeting high income families who are looking for high quality whiskey, for example, then you wouldn’t pick keywords that don’t reflect what these targets would be searching for. Taking the time to think carefully about what kind of client would be looking for high quality whiskey would probably produce ideas for key words like, ‘high quality whiskey’ or ‘whiskey over £100’. You’d be looking to target more affluent people and these kinds of people wouldn’t be looking for ‘low quality whiskey’ or ‘whiskey under £40’.

Each set of target customers have different requirements and desires, and they all use different search terms when they search for products and services. It’s important to understand your customers and the language they’d typically use. Every searcher has an end goal in mind and your page needs to be there to find the answer.

Picking Too Specific Keywords

If you’re working on a large site with many different variations on possible keyword opportunities, you will probably be tempted to optimise for every single little combination, hoping to soak up every opportunity. This could include things like: colour, price, weight, size, etc. The possibilities are virtually endless.

Many of these combos have low search volumes, no one is searching for them, and they can become an unnecessary distraction.

Instead, focus on the keywords that have decent search volumes and have the potential to drive business, quality is infinitely more important than quantity.

Don’t pin your hopes on generic keywords, or keywords that are too specific. Think: would someone be searching for, ‘artisan whiskey under £300’. The answer is no, they’d be more general in their searches, however they wouldn’t be so general to put, ‘whiskey in a glass bottle’.

So use niche keywords that people would be using to search for the products or services that your clients are selling.

These are the kind of keywords that provide the easiest opportunities to close sales. Once you have a batch of keywords that suit you, you can expand them to target larger group with different search intents.

Bigger is Better…Sometimes

Large businesses with big websites often make the mistake of focusing

Another mistake that large websites often make is focusing on only a few top keywords. You only see this kind of approach in black-hat SEO claims, like “get top rankings for 30 big keywords” because black hat tactics (such as link networks) are often used to push rankings for a single keyword at a time.

An online marketplace with over 100,000 pages of content once asked us to do SEO for their list of 30 keywords. This SEO strategy just doesn’t make sense. 100,000 pages should be optimized for 300,000 – 500,000 keywords, in order to drive a big amount of traffic and grow the business.

We often follow a simple rule of thumb: each page should be optimized for 3-5 keywords, so the number of keywords is roughly planned by the amount of content.

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