Keyword research is an important part of SEO, and finding the right keywords will add value to your website in the form of organic traffic. So, you can easily neglect the basics of keyword research, especially because most people dread doing it. But it must be done.
We have put together this guide to help you avoid keyword research mistakes that you might be making without realizing it. When you are aware of these mistakes, you will keep them in mind when you do your next successful keyword research.
Top 10 Keyword Research Mistakes
1. Not performing Proper Keyword Research
Unfortunately, getting the proper keyword research takes time. The person performing the research needs to look into the language of the audience. Look into the kind of words they use to search and which of the terms are competitive or not.
When you look into these things, you should develop an extensive list of keywords that you would like to rank for. You also need to keep in mind that the audience changes and changes how they search for information, affecting your strategy.
2. Overlooking User Intent
We often focus a lot of our attention on driving traffic instead of user intent. But then what is the point of getting your site to rank when the query used doesn’t match what your user is looking for. You also need to drive conversions, and this is where search intent comes into play.
Search intent explores what your user is looking for when they search on the internet. For example, if you are looking for a brownie recipe, you don’t want to know a personal story about them. You just want the simple steps to make the brownie.
So, when you have a look at your content, does it match what your user is actually looking for? If it does not, you will work on it to answer the right queries.
In our case, you will probably look at pages with high impressions but no clicks and make sure that they answer user intent.
3. Choosing Irrelevant Keywords
You have to find keywords that your users search for to answer their queries. You won’t drive traffic or conversions if you use the wrong keywords. So, try not to optimize your content with keywords that users don’t search for.
Another thing to take into account is the language difference. Depending on the language you are targeting, terms can be expressed in different ways. For example, British English and American English have similar but may be different in spelling. So, it is important to check the right spelling for keywords in your market.
4. Not Differentiating Between Singular and Plural
Singular and plural keywords are not the same, which means you have to consider them as separate keywords. What’s more, they don’t compete with each other for traffic.
So, when you are doing your research, check for both the plural and singular of a keyword. This can also help find the right keyword to go for, especially one that most users search for.
Ahrefs is the best tool to compare the keywords because of its search per data information.
5. Not Taking Actual SERPs into Account
The best way to understand user intent and search engines is to look at actual SERPs. Most of the time, we spend using tools to find keywords and not look at what is ranking for keywords.
This means that you might find that what Google serves users for a particular keyword might not be the same as what you have in your content.
You might be writing a page for a query that Google deems as more of a blog query or vice versa. So, look at the type of content that is ranking for the keyword, then model your content to that.
6. Overlooking Long-Tail Keywords
Single keywords have high competition, and well-known brands are more likely to rank in the top 10 for them. So, if you want to appear in the top 10 keywords that have less competition, then long-tail keywords are your best choice.
Long-tail keywords can be anywhere between three and five words. They are also more exact in terms of what people search for, which means that you can easily answer a user’s search query. This will help in also being considered an expert, and users will easily trust your site.
Long-tail keywords are also best for a website or business starting because of their low competition. Your website can easily rank for keywords and drive traffic.
7. Adding Keyword on an Already Written Article
Keyword research is not meant to be something that is done after an article is written. What’s more, repeating the keyword several times on the article is also not the best SEO practice.
Keyword research needs to be a foundation for all content strategy, SEO, and PPC. You will unlikely meet the user’s needs and rank well if the research is done after.
8. Using the Same Pattern
You can easily fall under doing the same thing over and over again, especially if they have worked before. However, SEO is always changing, and it is always best to update according to the changes.
So, you have to constantly keep checking the latest trends in SEO and apply them to your research and content. This way, you will be one step closer to meeting the user intent and get your website ranking.
9. Not Scrutinizing Competitors
Most of the time, we know who our competitors are, but that may not be the same as who your competitors are on SERPs. So, it is important to know who your SERPs competitors are for your keywords.
This will help you know what the search engines consider to be the type of content that answers user intent. As a result, checking your competitors on SERPs is an important part of your keyword research.
10. Disregarding Evaluation
If you aim at certain keywords to rank for your content, you have to check if you succeeded. So, you have to evaluate the keywords you used in your content to see if users find your content.
One simple way is to search for the terms you want to rank for in Google to check if your content is coming up. However, keep in mind using a private browser to check because Google can be biased because of personalized search. Or you can use https://valentin.app/ to check. So, evaluating if your efforts have made a difference is just as important.