6 Keyword Research Mistakes That Are Slowing Down Your SEO

Posted - November 4, 2020
People Conducting Keyword Research

It’s common knowledge that keywords are a cornerstone of sites that rank well in search. Sure, extensive keyword research can provide a plethora of results that seem like words and phrases ripe for the picking. On the other hand, it’s easy to make mistakes in research. You can waste time and effort on keywords that never pay off. Keep your digital marketing campaign going strong and avoid these six common mistakes that hamper search engine optimization (SEO)!

1. You’re Focused on Broad Keywords

It’s easy to focus on ranking for unrealistic keywords in your industry. This is especially true if you practice in a niche industry or one that bleeds high difficulty ranking common keywords.

For example, if you run a business that sells athletic shoes for children, it’s going to be very difficult to immediately rank for keywords like “shoes” or “kids shoes.” By the time you’ve entered the SEO landscape, national brands and larger local competition have already taken up real estate on these terms and aren’t going to let them go without a fight.

Yes, it’s possible to eventually attain that goal, but it requires your focus on more specific, long-tail phrases, which we’ll delve into later.

For now, focus on what’s unique about your brand or current content and focus your research there. For example, what materials are your shoes made from? Do your shoes provide ample wiggle room for a child’s growing feet? Etc.

It will be much easier to crack into rankings focused on the specifics of your brand, rather than the broad facts.

2. Your Keywords Ignore Search Intent

Jargon terms permeate several industries and are words that only people on the inside would use in a search. Unless your goal is to only attract competitors or in the case of ecommerce websites, those who know what they are going to purchase, your keywords are going to fail without search intent in mind.

Think like your target audience does and take your keyword research from there. Discover more about search intent through the exploration of social media channels, Reddit, or even the related searches that pop up when you Google your industry. From there, your digital marketing team can uncover the most valuable keywords that will actually help you rank amongst your target audience.

3. You Hone in on an Exact Match

Overloading your content with exact match keywords can easily lead to spammy content that doesn’t rank. Proper keyword research requires you to focus on exact match keywords then use semantics and long-tail phrases to spread around your keyword usage and increase your chances of ranking well.

If you need help finding related keywords, keyword research tools like SEMRush and the YOAST SEO premium plugin for WordPress can help you find keywords and phrases that seamlessly weave into your content and make it a piece that hits the keyword you need while providing opportunities for further audience engagement through related search phrases.

4. You Write a Blog Post Only to “SEO” it Up After the Fact

Create content based on your keyword research, not content that forcibly adds keywords into its ideas after the fact. Rather than an afterthought, keyword research should be the foundation of your content strategy. Write about topics that people actively search for. This will naturally insert essential search terms into your content without putting you at risk of spam creation or content that simply doesn’t make sense.

5. You’ve Let Your Competitors Slip By

Competitive keyword research is the key to understanding what search terms will help your brand show up during user searches. You want the competitive advantage over similar products and services in your area,

Failure to focus on what moves the competition makes can lead to two unappealing results:

  • You could rely on keywords that you feel are important, but in reality aren’t what people are actively searching for
  • You could miss a valuable keyword opportunity that your local competitors have already taken advantage of

A digital marketing team can help you understand where the competition stands against your site’s used terms and how you can readjust your strategy for future success; but more on that is below!

6. You Need Professional Help

OK, you may not personally need professional help 🤣… but as a business, you may have a big focus on the #1 keyword in your industry. That focus can hurt your rankings for many other valuable terms! Instead, use keyword research to create a list of the most important keywords in your industry.

Most business owners who create their own lists only focus on what their direct competitors are using ⁠— then they try to undermine that effort. Targeting keywords out of vanity or spite for your competitors usually leaves your brand sitting in traffic with little to no conversions

An SEO team can help you uncover qualified synonyms and related keywords that you didn’t realize were rankable in your content. You can still rank well enough to beat the competition, but why not organically improve your overall rankings along the way?

Accomplish Keyword Research That Boosts Your Brand With Dallas SEO Dogs

If you’re a business owner who wants to get ahead of the competition on search engine results, great keyword research is one of the first steps of your SEO journey. The road to digital marketing success is one that can always feel smoother with an experienced digital marketing team on your side.

At Dallas SEO Dogs, we have the tools and expertise to help your brand use forward-moving keywords, create unique content, and maintain the backend of your website to current search engine standards.

We’d love to meet you! Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.