Why Most Keyword Research Fails, and How to Do Better

January 7, 2022

Posted by: DevDigital

Why Most Keyword Research Fails, and How to Do Better

Making sure prospects can find your business online is a challenge, one in which search engine optimization (SEO) should play a pivotal role. This is why making mistakes in your keyword research can prove expensive. Not doing keyword research is a mistake, of course. Using the wrong words in the wrong way, not talking to customers, and focusing too much on numbers are also mistakes. On the other hand, with the correct research and utilized keywords, your business can soar to success and make you a standout compared to your comeptitors!

Relying on Numbers

Relying solely on numbers will almost guarantee your SEO is less effective than it could be. The key metrics of search volume and competitiveness are certainly useful and can’t be ignored, but giving them too much importance can be an expensive mistake. For one thing, you end up spending money to try and compete with multiple businesses with big budgets. More importantly, the numbers don’t tell you why people use those search terms. Work with your team to establish KPIs that matter to your organization and celebrate the non-numerical successes that can come from proper SEO efforts.

Forgetting That Search Intent Matters

SEO gurus often talk about two basic motivations for searching the web: people want to buy, or they want to gather information. If you run an online store, you want people to find your goods and buy them. If you sell accounting services, you could share information that positions your business as an authority. In the first example, you want to attract people looking for sales and discounts. In the second example, you want to reach business owners who wonder if investing in search engine marketing makes sense.

You also want to understand where they are in the buying process. A business owner who is new to digital marketing isn’t going to pay for your search engine marketing service right away. Offer them information and advice. An outdoor enthusiast looking for hiking boots wants prices and specs, not a buying guide.

Focusing too Much on Single Keywords

Writing content for one keyword might be a mistake. Think about related terms and how people use them. Someone decides to shop for hiking boots. Write about “hiking boots for men” and your content may never rank high enough to be found. Add “insulated hiking boots for men” and “men’s waterproof hiking boots” to your page. Those keywords get less search activity but signal an intention to buy. A law firm specializing in copyright law would use several terms that appeal to potential clients looking for information on copyright law.   

Reviewing Data, Neglecting People

One common keyword research mistake doesn’t concern search engines or search behavior at all. Some business owners don’t talk to customers and prospects enough. Talking to them offers insight into what language they use when they talk about their challenges or goals. This information helps you understand what search terms your customers might use. Use those terms in your Web copy, blog articles, and social media posts.

Ignoring What SERPS Reveal

Don’t ignore search engine result pages (SERPS) because they can tell you what resonates with your customers. Running searches that your customers would use is free market research. How? You can see what comes up on page one, not the companies but the topics they talk about and the terms they use. Look for your search term in their page titles, meta-descriptions, headings, and in the body.

If you aren’t satisfied with your digital marketing results or want to launch a new Website in the best way possible, you will want to hire some experts. The team at DevDigital has done search engine optimization work for dozens of clients in a variety of industries. Contact us to find out how our SEO team can help you meet and exceed your digital marketing goals.

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