Keywords play an important part in the ranking of a website.
Keyword research is one of the most important strategies of SEO if you want your website or blog to be ranking higher than your competition.
Keyword research is not an easy task and it can be quite tedious at times.
So, what mistakes should you avoid at all times in your keyword research?
In this article, I will guide you through the most common, but relatively important keyword research mistakes that can create problems in getting your website ranked.
Knowing about these mistakes will help you set up a successful keyword research strategy which will in-turn improve your rankings.
Mistakes To Avoid
Below is the list of the most common mistakes that people do that harm their website’s ranking,
Not Doing Your Keyword Research Properly
Believe it or not, there are people who think that keyword research is not important & it can be completely avoided. But that is not a correct notion to have.
Keyword research is a powerful tool which can do wonders for your website or a blog.
However, doing proper keyword research can be tough & time consuming but it can give you amazing results too.
Ranking high isn’t just a matter of stuffing the right keyword in your text.
Ignoring or skipping your keyword research simply means that you create content without any idea of what your potential users are searching for.
One of the dumbest mistakes one can make is thinking that they instinctively know what their audience wants.
While doing your keyword research you can base it on a few questions given below:
- Which words do the audience use?
- What terms does the audience search for?
- Which terms are more competitive and which are not?
The result of your keyword research should be an extensive list of keywords that you would like to rank for.
You should also update your keyword research list regularly depending on your audience & their needs.
Not Thinking About The Search Intent
What is a Search Intent?
Search Intent is intent to use the search term for describing the purpose of an online search. It’s the main reason as to why someone carries out a specific search.
Anyone who does an online search is obviously searching for something.
There are a few questions that come to mind when you think of Search Intent.
- Is someone searching because they have a question and want is answer to that question?
- Search being made for a specific website?
- Audience conducting the search because they want to buy something online?
Over these past years, Google has updated it’s algorithm religiously to get a grasp of audience’s Search Intent, so why should you ignore it!
You have to make sure that, your article or a page fits the search intent of your audience.
Right Keywords But Too Much Competition
Sometimes, it happens that you have got all the right keywords but there is a fierce competition for the same keywords. This usually happens for niches that are highly competitive.
I started my blog in a very competitive niche & so the competition that I faced was overwhelming.
If you are starting a new website or a blog in a competitive niche, you will face the same problem. In that case you should not aim for the competitive ‘head’ keywords yet.
Instead, focus on long tail keywords, which are comparatively easier to rank for and in-turn have a higher chance of conversion.
For example, if you are starting a blog related to food, it will be too hard to start ranking immediately for ‘food’.
Instead, use long tail keywords such as ‘food for people above 60’ or ‘food for children with diabetes’.
This will give you a better chance of ranking much higher than simply using the keyword ‘food’.
Using Keywords Nobody Is Searching For
This is one thing that you should completely avoid, otherwise, you would be wasting your time & energy.
This is also related to the ‘Search Intent’ term that we discussed earlier.
If you don’t understand the ‘Search intent’ of the audience, you will end up using keywords that no one is searching for.
To simply put it, the keywords you aim to rank for should be the same words your audience use.
Always try to think what the audience is thinking & typing on the search engine.
For example, if you are selling medicines online, nobody uses the term medicine. The audience will search for specific medicines such as diabetes medicines, blood pressure medicines etc.
There is one more thing that you should avoid at all costs – the use of long tail keywords that are ‘unknown’ to majority of the audience.
Those words simply won’t generate any traffic.
Focusing On Exact Keywords Only
If you write a nice article, its ranking opportunity may not be limited to one exact key phrase but includes related terms as well.
So, if you can optimize your content for related long term key phrases without stretching it too much then you have a better opportunity of ranking higher.
To optimize your content for related keywords and keyphrases you can use Yoast SEO Premium plugin.
The plugin allows you to optimize your content for related focus keyphrases & also gives you the option to define synonyms for your focus key phrase, so that it can take them into consideration.
Not Checking Whether Singular Or Plural Should Be Used
Many people don’t know that there are singular & plural forms of a specific keyword.
Should one aim to rank for ‘5G Mobile‘ or for ‘5G Mobiles‘?
Does the audience search for ‘Single Family Home‘ or ‘Single Family Homes‘?
Google can very easily recognize that the plural and singular versions of a word refer to the same thing.
Having said that, the Search Engine Result Pages [SERP] and the number of results are still different, because what users are looking for slightly differs.
In this particular case, again, it’s important to think about the intent of people searching for a keyword.
People looking for the singular version of a keyword may be looking for just the information.
Whereas, people looking for the plural version could be looking to compare different products.
In any case, whether you should use a singular or a plural depends on your specific keyword and its intent.
Using Same Keyword On Many Pages
In case, you haven’t heard of the term keyword cannibalization your website ranking is going to suffer a lot.
What is Keyword Cannibalization?
When two or more articles uses the same set of keywords, they end up eating away each other’s chance of ranking for those keywords in the search results.
This happens because your website has many articles that can rank for the same keywords & this is really bad for ranking purposes.
To avoid this from happening, try using different keywords for different pages or articles.
Forgetting To Evaluate
This is one of the most important aspects of keyword research. Many people forget to evaluate if their efforts have borne fruit.
If your aim is to rank higher for certain terms then make sure to check whether you have succeeded in it.
You need to evaluate regularly whether the audience is actually finding your articles.
One way to go about it is to google your keyword for the specific article & check the results.
Another way is to use a private browser session, or a tool like https://valentin.app/ and check if your article turns up in the results.
If you forget to evaluate then you won’t know if all the steps that you have followed have actually succeeded in ranking your article higher.
Keyword Research is a tricky business & it often takes a lot of time and energy. But if you do it regularly, you can rest assured of ranking higher than your competitors.
The only thing is that, you have to do it every now and then to make sure that you are avoiding all the mistakes in your keyword research.