When you hear the words “search engine optimization”, the first thing you probably think about are keywords, but are you thinking about keyword mistakes? After all, keywords are the backbone of any search engine optimization strategy. But if you’ve ever used a keyword tool, like the HubSpot keyword tool or Google’s keyword tool, you’ve likely discovered just how many keywords are out there. So how can you choose the right ones? Read for more to ensure you don’t make the keyword mistakes that could affect your ranking.
First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to check out all of the resources out there about SEO and keywords. We recently published a free Ebook “Ten Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your SEO.” That will tell you what you SHOULD do. As for what you SHOULDN’T do, keep reading our top 5 keyword mistakes to avoid.
Keyword Mistakes to Avoid #1: Don’t Choose Bad Keywords
Sounds pretty easy, right? Surprisingly, a lot of our clients who are inexperienced with keywords and search engine optimization get caught up in the keyword searches and end up choosing keywords that are… well… bad. What we mean by “bad” is choosing keywords that your target audience wouldn’t use to find you.
Some things to avoid right off the top include:
- Industry-related jargon
- Use of branded terms
- Terms that aren’t frequently used by your target demographic (i.e. if you’re target demographic are 60+ years old, would LOL or ROFL make any sense to them?)
If you aren’t sure what terms those in your industry do or don’t understand, tap into your social networking sites and see how your visitors and leads speak. Talk to leads on the phone or by email and get a good feel for their language and level of understanding of your industry.
Keyword Mistakes to Avoid #2: Don’t Choose Words that Don’t Make Money
One thing that we really like about the HubSpot keyword tool is that it will actually tell you how many leads were obtained through particular keywords. Remember, the primary reason that you even want to be found on the internet at all is to get leads, so this should one of your top priorities.
When you bring up the HubSpot keyword tool, begin by performing a keyword search. Then:
- Prioritize any of the keyword results that show to have the best lead to customer conversion rate
- Look at which keywords drove in the most customers
Keyword Mistakes to Avoid #3: Don’t Forget your Competitive Keyword Analysis
You need to know what your competition is doing before you settle on any keywords. There are two primary reasons for this:
- Choosing a keyword that your competitor is already ranked #1 for won’t help you any. Optify recently reported that websites that appear first in Google for a keyword have a CTR (click-through rate) of 36.4%, those in second have a CTR of 12%, and those in third place have a 9.5% CTR. Focus on getting the #1 ranking, otherwise you’ll always be falling behind your competition
- You may neglect to use important search terms that your competition is using and miss out on some great search engine optimization opportunities
Keyword Mistakes to Avoid #4: Don’t Focus Only on One Type of Keyword
Many clients have been misinformed to believe that they should only use long tail keywords or short tail keywords. The benefit to long tail keywords is that you do get a lot of highly qualified traffic coming to your site as a result, but you’re also severely limiting your scope as a result. But if you exclusively use short tail keywords, then there’s a good chance that your site will never be found.
The solution: use a mix of the two.
Keyword Mistakes to Avoid #5: Don’t Neglect your Area
This one’s especially important if you’re trying to target a particular geographic location. For example, if you plan on primarily doing business in the Las Vegas, Nevada area, then you’ll want to use your keyword search tool to really hone in on which keywords work best in Las Vegas. You may be surprised (or not) to find that a search word that ranks to high in Nebraska isn’t really such a great keyword in Nevada.
There are a lot of “do’s” when it comes to SEO, but there are a lot of “don’ts” as well. Some of the most important things to keep in mind are:
- Choose keywords that your target market would logically use
- Choose words that are statistically profitable
- Check to see how your competition’s ranking for any keywords
- Use short tail and long tail keywords
- Keep your geographical location in mind
If you’re interested in more effectively optimizing your website for the search engines, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.