SEO can be a game changer
When done well, Search Marketing has the ability to bring sales, leads, and awareness for your business.
Yet only a very few businesses are seeing the kind of result they want from their SEO efforts.
There are a lot of potential reasons for this. From choosing the wrong SEO agency to a bad hire, there are tons of reasons why SEO can fail.
But in this piece, I want to share a very simple SEO error that most people are making without knowing it. This error has caused more damages than good and it is one of the many reasons people believe that SEO is dead.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are described as the phrases or words that people type into Google search bar as they begin to search online (insert pic here)
People search online for different reasons. When people go online, there is three major type of keywords that they use. These keywords can be:
- Informational Keywords – These are keywords people use when they are looking for information about their problems or at the beginning of the buying cycle. These keywords usually include phrases like “how”, ”what”, ”why”.
- Navigational Keywords – This is phrases people use when they are kind of familiar with the website. Eg a person using the phrase “marketingsolved.com” is performing what is called a navigational keyword search
- Transactional keywords – The last but not the most common type of keywords that most people focus on is transactional keywords. These are keywords that indicate a buyer is ready to buy a service or products. Eg “buy”, “best”, “product A vs Product B”
Now that we understand what keyword phrases are and how people search as they complete their customer journey, let us look at the common keyword mistakes people are making that are making their SEO campaign perform poorly.
- Not Doing Keyword Research Right
The first major mistake people make when it comes to picking the right keyword is doing their keyword research wrong. There are different ways to conduct a comprehensive keyword research but when you are just starting, the best way to start is to take a look at your competitor’s website and find out which keywords are driving traffic to their website.
You can do this by simply taking your competitor’s URL and dropping it into either Google keyword planner or any of the third party SEO tools like SEMRush. When you do this, you will see all the keywords they are ranking for. This can help you especially when you are a brand new site.
- Choosing the wrong Keyword to focus on-
As an addendum to our first point, the next mistake people make is picking the wrong keyword to focus on. Not all keywords are created equally. Some keywords are just going to be impossible to rank for and if you are a brand new site or you are a site looking to get wins, you will want to pick your website keyword carefully.
One thing you can do at is the keyword difficulty. Keyword difficulty is a measure of how difficult it will to rank for a particular keyword phrase. You can get this by looking at the website ranking for a particular keyword. You want to check out their
- DA – Domain Authority
- PA – Page Authority
- No of backlinks pointing to the URL
- Onpage SEO – How effective their onpage SEO for that particular page is.
When you combine all these factors, you will quickly know how long or how difficult it will be to rank for a particular phrase. Normally, except you are a big brand, you want to stay away from keywords whose difficulty is above 60%
- Not Understanding the Intent behind A Keywords
Every page on your website should have a particular keyword they are targeting but these keywords should be part of a larger strategy targeting the customer lifecycle. You should have keywords targeting the informational stages of a particular keyword phrase you want to rank for. Such pages should reside on your blog or as resources on the site.
Also you should have keywords targeting the transactional part of a keyword phrase. These keywords will best fit your landing pages, services pages and product pages.
The major mistake people make is not understanding this different keyword intent. When you understand the intent behind the keywords, you can quickly know how to allocate keywords, prioritize them and know where to expend the majority of your SEO efforts.
- Focusing on the Longtail keyword only
You must have heard how important it is to focus on long tail keywords due to the fact that most long tail keywords have low competition.
But I bet you that over-focusing on long tail keyword might not be the best strategy. Long tail keywords are keywords that contain 3 or more phrases.
As much as this is good, you will quickly find out that longtail keywords have lower search volumes which means the quantity of traffic you will get from focusing on a longtail keyword will be extremely low.
The best strategy is to find a middle point. What these means is that you should focus on ranking for medium tail keywords. These types of keywords have just enough volume and a middle-level competition that still makes it okay to target
- Not considering the value of your keyword
Another mistake most business make is not understanding the value of a keyword to their business. So I like to do this exercise.
Let say I target a keyword phrase called SEO services.
I usually begin by asking myself these questions. If I rank for SEO services or whatever keyword at say the position
- How much traffic will I get?
- What is my website conversion rate?
- What is my in-house conversion rate?
- How much a customer that I find through ranking for X do pay me?
This quickly helps me determine if it is worth putting efforts into ranking for that particular keyword phrase or simply letting it go.
SEO keywords are a fundamental building block when it comes to getting good results from SEO campaign. When done right, the potential it holds for a business is massive. Miss it and you will probably struggle through the rest of the campaign.