7 Ways You Are Doing Keyword Research Wrong and Here is How to Fix!
No matter whatever online business you are managing, getting more traffic always remains an extreme desire. Increasing website traffic may bring more visitors to your site and consequently better chances for increasing sales as well as revenue. On a planet where every business is running in a rat race to get more eyeballs and turn prospects into customers, you need to do things differently.
None can deny by the fact that organic search engine traffic is the most effective free source of web traffic that smart businesses are looking for. Organic traffic is not only free but also has the potential to bring highly targeted visitors to your site.
In other words, such visitors are :
- interested in your services
- eager to take actions on your site
- looking to contribute your revenue growth and earning increment
- interested in becoming your regular customers
- having the potential to build your long term business
That is why the smart marketers are preferably focusing much on search engine marketing. When it comes to search marketing, any SEO campaign is incomplete without keyword research. In fact, search engine optimization starts with keyword research. Targeting the right Keywords may increase your blog traffic by 3 folds effortlessly while wrong Keyword selection may cost you money as well as efforts in content creation and promotion.
7 Ways You Are Doing Keyword Research Wrong and Here is the right thing to do!Please click to tweet
Many marketers commit simple mistakes while performing keyword research and they regret later. If you are unknowingly doing keyword research wrong then you need to read this as you’ll learn to fix it. I’m listing few common mistakes while doing keyword research. You might not be committing all of these keyword research mistakes, but I am sure at least one of these mistakes is reducing your business growth and making you leave money on the table.
Keyword Research Mistake #1 : You are Relying on Google Keyword Planner Data
No doubt, Google Keyword Planner is most effective free Keyword research tool for beginners as well as advanced users. But executing a Profitable Keywords Research Technique using Google keyword planner is not so easy for beginners. A typical keyword research data from GKP looks like this :
As you may see Google Keyword Planner categorizes keywords in three types :
- Low competition keywords
- Medium competition keywords
- High competition keywords
The common marketers think that GKP hints them that how competitive is a keyword for their content creation and consequently how difficult it would be rank their website for that keyword.
The common rule of thumb is : Target low competition keywords from Google Keyword Planner because high competition keywords are tough to rank.
It is the most common mistake. Because the reality is different. The fact is that Google Keyword Planner is a keyword planning tool built for Google AdWords users. So basically it shows the competitiveness for a particular Keyword in Google’s advertising network. Although it is still helpful for publishers but relying on GKP’s data heavily is your mistake.
-> How to Fix it ?
First, you need to understand that competition whether – High, Medium or Low is calculated by counting the number of advertisers bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. Here is how Google explains it :
Don’t rely heavily on Google Keyword Planner data. What seems to be highly competitive, the same keyword may be ideal option to make $$$$ because if that keyword is competitive in GKP that means more and more advertisers are bidding for that particular keyword. In result, you have an opportunity to make profits by crafting your content around that keyword. And who knows, your site’s authority and your personal abilities might together make it count really big.
Keyword Research Mistake #2 : You are not Understanding User Intent and Behavior
SEO landscape is quickly changing. What used to work earlier is now a thing of past. Even what’s working now might not be effective tomorrow. Same is the case with the importance of understanding user intent in keyword research. Understanding user intent is the art of detecting and fulfilling users need. It is the ability of any marketer to learn his/her user behaviour and know what they are looking for. Knowing what your users want is crucial for providing your visitors most exact information.
A person who is looking for “best Nike running shoes” may be looking for either of these :
- best Nike running shoes
- best Nike running shoes for men
- best Nike running shoes for women
- best Nike running shoes for soccer
- best Nike running shoes for tennis etc.
Now suppose if you are a female searcher, don’t you hate it ? if Google shows you result for “best Nike shoes for men”. You’ll certainly hate it ! As a result, you’ll instantly leave that site and turn back to search results to choose other options. This is what we call it : Pogosticking.
Cyrus Shepard at Moz, explains Pogosticking as
The behavior of users that click on a result, then “pogostick” back and forth between the search results and different websites, searching for satisfaction.
Pogosticking hurts your site’s SEO. Even if you are ranking on top #1 position for a particular keyword, your search ranking may decrease gradually due the Pogosticking. Google understands that your top ranking content is failing to provide quality information to users. Hence, slaps your content and rewards those who are making users happy.
The root cause of Pogosticking is – keyword research mistake while understanding the searching intent of your users.
-> How to Fix it ?
Understand your users well. Know your audience demographics, location and their behaviour well. Create content around their intent to fulfil their needs. Alexa siteinfo is an ideal place to know your site’s audience demographics at beginner level while Google Analytic helps you learn your users at advanced level.
Alexa hints me that TechReviewPro visitors are mainly male. So if I’ll have to choose from any of these two keywords :
- Best Free Android Apps for Women
- Best Free Android Apps for Men
Knowing my audience well, I’ll prefer to go with 2nd keyword because that’s how I’ll be able to satisfy my audience perfectly. You need to do the same with your niche.
If you are running a sports blog that mainly focuses on soccer, targeting keyword like “best Nike running shoes for tennis” is a keyword research mistake while “best Nike running shoes for soccer” is an excellent option. However, an average user who is looking for “best Nike shoe” might be interested in “Nike fashionable shoes” rather than “Nike shoes for running”.
Know your audience searching intent and create content accordingly.
Keyword Research Mistake #3 : You are not Looking into Your Strength & Limitations
When performing keywords research, many marketers forget about looking into their strength and limitations. Google Keyword Planner shows the same data for everyone – whether you or your competitors. So targeting keywords that your competitors are targeting is a bad idea and may be considered as yet another keyword research mistake. Because you and your competitors have the different set of limitations and strength.
Your site might be less authoritative than your competitors and in such case, targeting the same keywords that your competitors are focusing will lead you to nowhere. Because it would be easier for them to outrank you as they have higher authority (in eyes of Google) than yours.
-> How to Fix it ?
Know your strength and limitations. If you have a brand new site with less authority and not many (quality) backlinks, you can’t really compete with them for keyword phrases having high search volume. So it is recommended that instead of targeting the same keywords like your ideal competition, create high-quality content around keyword phrases having low search volume than what they are targeting
Keep adding valuable stuff keeping an eye on blog post ideas that attract backlinks and build some backlinks from untapped backlink sources but make sure you don’t overdo it. Building backlinks from the sites having less authority and at more frequent pace may be detected as manipulation hence responsible for ruining your blog SEO.
As your site’s authority increases, you’ll be able to get desired results with even better keywords.
Keyword Research Mistake #4 : You are Targeting Traffic Building Keywords Only
Admit it ! We all want more traffic. And proper on-page SEO may help you increase targeted traffic. That’s the reason why many marketers keep themselves busy in finding traffic building keywords. If you are also working hard to find traffic building keywords, then you are right to some extent because more traffic means more sales and revenue.
Although, it is not a keyword research mistake yet it is net less than a mistake. Targeting traffic building keywords is a silly idea. A better option is to target keywords that drives sales. Quality traffic with better conversion rate always outperforms huge traffic.
-> How to Fix it ?
Learn that there are two types of keywords :
- Information keywords : To inform and educate your audience
- Commercial keywords : To increase the sales and revenue
Usually, how-to tutorials and guides in your niche are meant to solve people problem, help them learn and easily educate themselves. These are the keywords that bind your audience with the emotional trigger. But commercial keywords are keyword phrases containing prefix or suffix like : buy, sales, reviews, order, best etc. This is where the real game begins.
Build your content not just around the informational keywords with high search volumes but also around commercial keywords with low search volume. That’s how you may increase your blog revenue and sales without worrying about traffic.
However, again there is a warning : Don’t overdo it ! Your ultimate goal should be providing valuable information (even if it is a commercial keyword).
Keyword Research Mistake #5 : You are not Focusing Longtail Keywords
Gone are the days when you could build content around short tail keywords and rank on 1st page with some blackhat techniques. The SEO landscape is changing. Although popular brands are still targeting popular keywords. But smart marketers are proceeding with long-tail keywords because long-tail keywords are comparatively easier to rank in Google.
The above graphic depicts how longtail keywords are dominating the search ranking. If you are still not focusing longtail keywords, you are way behind modern SEO approach.
-> How to Fix it ?
Start looking for longtail keyword phrases in Google Keyword Planner. Go to Google Keyword Planner and enter your seed keyword. Click on keyword ideas and look for longtail keywords containing 3-4 words like this :
The keywords marked with green color in above pic are longtail keywords. Creating content around these keywords will be more beneficial than that of short tail keywords like : best Nike, best Nike shoes etc.
Although Google Keyword Planner is a free tool to find longtail keywords but finding profitable longtail keywords with GKP is not so easy for beginner. You need to have advanced skills for keyword research otherwise you’ll end up spending long hours only to come-up with few profitable keywords.
Keyword Research software tools like LongTailPro makes it super easy to quickly find profitable longtail keywords in bulk. Simply enter some seed keywords and hit Generate Keywords & Fetch Data button.
Within few seconds, LongTailPro will show you a large number of keywords which are longtail as well as profitable.
Anil Agarwal from BloggersPassion.com has illustrated it in much better way :
How to Use LongTailPro to Find Keywords that Make Money in Any Niche. Must read this to learn.
Keyword Research Mistake #6 : You are not Doing Competitive Keyword Research
A competitive keyword research can help you find more keywords for which your competitors are ranking. Competitive keyword research tools like SEMRush help you do it easily. Ankit Singla from BloggerTipsTricks.com has discussed it intelligently : How to Check Competitors Keywords
But even if you know the keywords for which your competitors are ranking, stealing keywords and building content around those keywords is a bad idea. Because when it comes to keyword research, most of the bloggers and publishers start with finding low competition keywords without understanding whether they are exactly going to rank for that keyword.
It is also a similar keyword research mistake like mistake #3 (discussed above). An ideal content creation goes with uncertainty over whether the content will rank for this keyword or it’ll miss again ?
Throwing stone(s) in darkness and hoping for fruits is a bad wish.
-> How to Fix it ?
Instead of creating content around any low competition keyword blindly, know the exact competition of keyword and how that relates to your blog’s authority. Are you really going to rank for that keyword ? – is a big concern. But here is how to know it :
SEMRush allows you to find competitiveness of any keyword. Simply go to Keyword Difficulty Tool of SEMRush and enter the list of keywords for which you want to know the difficulty level.
Even better option is LongTail Platinum that takes your domain authority from MOZ credentials into account and analyzes page authority, domain authority, link juice etc. factors before providing you exact keyword competitiveness.
Keyword Research Mistake #7 : You are Focusing the Same Keywords that Others are Focusing!
Last but not the least, targeting the same keywords what others are targeting is yet another keyword research mistake that everyone ignores. This is the root cause of all competition in search results. Although it is good for the improvement in the quality of search results as more and more publishers are competing with each other to create better content and provide more useful information to searchers.
But downside is : publishers are running in rat race to prove their supremacy for a particular keyword while ignoring the thousands of other untapped keywords.
-> How to Fix it ?
You need to understand that there is no big deal in re-creating the wheels. However, if you can create and share an even better wheel than what exists, then it is worth it.
If you are doing what others are doing, you’ll be lost in crowd. Instead find and target those untapped keywords which are yet to be explored. Doing so, will help you rank easily as there will not be any such competition. Since no one else will be competing with you, it’ll help you reduce the extra SEO efforts you usually make to rank for your desired keywords. And perhaps, that’s how you may contribute in making the search engines even better place for information on almost any subject.
Keyword research is the most crucial step for successful search marketing. Since search marketing is the future of content marketing, so avoiding such basic mistakes may dramatically improve your search ranking and organic traffic as well. Once you start focusing the right keywords, you’ll no longer have to put extra efforts, time and money for search engine optimization of your site. Consequently, you’ll be able to bring more targeted traffic and drive sales effortlessly.
What other keyword research mistakes you are making ? Your views and queries are highly appreciated in comment box.