Keyword research mistakes worth avoiding

Every marketer today understands the importance of proper keyword research. After all, how can a business hope to secure leads and revenue if it lacks the knowledge of what audiences are searching for? That is where the importance of keyword research and optimization comes into play. However, while this process might appear simple to business owners, the truth is far from it. Identifying the right keywords requires proper tools as well as the experience to use those tools to their best abilities. And any digital marketing agency NYC will testify to the many wrong turns that you can. In this article, we discuss the most usual keyword research mistakes in hopes of helping businesses stay on the right path.

Work desk with an illustration of Keywords on it.
At the very core of every digital marketing solution, you can find keyword research.

What are the consequences of making such mistakes?

As an essential part of any SEO or PPC strategy, keyword research is the guiding light for your digital marketing efforts. It is a way for your business to understand potential customers and cater to their needs. And as such an important factor, it directly impacts the long-term performance of your company. When you make critical errors in choosing your keywords, it sets off a domino effect of:

  • Wasting time and resources on irrelevant terms;
  • Not gaining any quality leads for your business;
  • Your brand not being competitive;
  • Losing revenue and having to close your business.

And this is just a roughly summarized process. That is why consulting with a professional New York SEO company can play such an important role. After all, there are fewer chances of mistakes when you have a professional guide to point them out to you well in advance.

7 keyword research mistakes to pay attention to

Magnifying glass leaning on SEO AUDIT spelled out with wooden cubes.
The best way to avoid mistakes is to first understand how and why others make them.

1. Choosing irrelevant keywords to focus on

It’s a very simple notion – you choose the wrong keywords and you end up with a “swing and a miss” every time. And as obvious as it sounds, it is still the most common among keyword research mistakes today. Why? Because people don’t spend enough time on the research process. Instead, they focus on SEO trends and building the best possible strategy or other factors. But none of that matters when you mess up the preparation process.

Just take into consideration the most obvious cultural difference between American English and British English. Consider the choice of words and the spelling of those words that these two groups of people will search for. If you are an American company targeting a British audience, you can’t hope to win them over with terms that you are comfortable with. Instead, you need to adapt to their vocabulary if you hope to get their attention.

2. Neglecting long-tail keywords

A lot of businesses jump into the keyword selection process thinking that they can just waltz in and target the most popular general keywords from the start. Of course, nobody is stopping you from doing just that, but it won’t get you far and you’d only be wasting resources. The fact of the matter is that the search volume for general keywords such as “moving company” or “self-storage unit” is sky high, but so is the number of other companies looking to compete for rankings. And when you are competing against brands that are nationally or globally recognizable or have been in the industry for far longer than you have, it becomes unrealistic to expect overnight success.

Instead, what you need to do is focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific in terms of the services/products you offer. They might have a lower search volume, but they also have less competition and higher chances of ranking for them on SERPs. A lot of businesses make the mistake of disregarding the idea of long-tail keywords, thinking that it’s not worth the time when it in fact is. Not only does it offer higher success rates, but it also helps improve lead quality.

3. Not looking at competitors

Know your competitors in order to beat them. It’s just that simple. If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, how can you expect to be better than them? Your competitors are doing the same keyword research that you are, given that it is a fundamental part of digital marketing strategizing today. Therefore, instead of disregarding them as irrelevant, count them in as a valuable source of information. Competitive analysis does matter, especially when it comes to digital marketing solutions and tactics.

So, if you want to avoid one of the more common keyword research mistakes, use the tools at your disposal to analyze your competitors. Look at the keywords they are appearing for and compare them to your own. With tools such as SEMrush, you can run cross-comparisons with multiple competitors and determine where there is room for improvement.

4. Ignoring search intent

Search bar
Search intent plays a very important role in determining the best keywords for your business.

You need to understand the reasoning behind the searches of your target audiences. In the past, we discussed the different types of site visitors based on user intent, where we explore the purposes behind online searches. The better acquainted you are with the intent of your potential customers, the better equipped you will be to target the keywords that they will use in searches. And once you have the right keywords, it’s a simple matter of optimizing your content to answer those queries.

5. Not differentiating between singular and plural keywords

The devil is in the details. One of the most common keyword research mistakes that companies come across is that one letter that makes the difference between singular and plural forms of a keyword. And no, they are not the same. Search engine algorithms see them as separate terms based on search volume. That means that you need to do the same. For example, searching for “digital marketing agency” will not give you the same results as “digital marketing agencies”. And you need to make sure to choose the right form.

6. Don’t focus on a single keyword

This is one of the common mistakes that companies make when creating and optimizing content. When you focus on a single keyword, you put all your eggs in one basket. If it works, great! But if it doesn’t work, then you wasted a whole lot of content for nothing. So, why not have a contingency in play?

Instead of making the keyword research mistakes of optimizing content for a single keyword, use synonyms. By using synonyms and variations of a term, you open the door to ranking higher on similar keywords if not the primary one. It’s a simple matter of covering all your bases with the content you create and invest in.

7. Ignoring conversions

While attempting to rank for irrelevant keywords is one part of the keyword research problem, the death sentence would be to ignore keywords that have the greatest conversion potential. And there are a lot of business owners out there that choose to be subjective and ignore keywords that attract the highest volume of searches. While ones experience in a certain industry does count for a lot, and while you can’t target keywords that you can deliver on, there is still room to compromise. But you need to be willing to look at the results and trust in digital data.

Start working on your keyword research with the help of professionals

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Digital Dot can help you avoid keyword research mistakes and monitor them.

Having gone through the most common keyword research mistakes that companies tend to make, we created a general idea of just what can go wrong from the very start. However, there are still a lot of other errors in judgement and miscalculations that a company can make when choosing keywords to target. Digital Dot NYC can help you not only choose the best initial keywords for your business but we can also help you monitor them and adapt to them. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn how to target the best keywords for your business!

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