How Keyword Selection for SEO Can Go Horribly Wrong

By Ishan M
Keyword research, planning and management are critically important for search engine optimization campaigns. Months before you start targeting the keywords, the entire team should understand the kind of phrases that will bring right kind of traffic in.

People who visit the website should buy or at least subscribe to what you offer. However, it seems like most SEO agencies and even experts fail short of what’s required. Here’s what actually goes wrong.

  • Highly Competitive ‘One-Word’ Choices

How do you think a new website will take to rank on something like ‘shoe’ or ‘pen’? It can take anywhere over a couple of years even if you are at optimistic best. There is no way the website will be able to compete against giants of the industry. Even if you are ever able to throw in huge amount of money and sincere efforts, the ranking will never be stable.

What’s wrong with it: The competition is outrageous and you will end up spending a lot for little improvements.

  • Vague Keyword Phrases

Let’s assume that you sell a specific kind of weight loss supplement made with herbal ingredients. The results are great but users need to take this supplement for over 6 months. Now your SEO agency targets ‘weight-loss’, will that be a best choice? Not exactly. People will be looking for all kinds of information when they search for the term. From tips to lose weight to fat-burning machines, you can never predict what they seek. So, even if you manage to get rankings, traffic will not convert to sales very often.

What’s wrong with it: Such traffic is not relevant and conversions are low.

  • Something You Don’t Sell

Just because many people are looking for something of if your competitor is earning a lot of money with a certain product does not mean that you should target it too. You might rank on the page but what will it bring? Will visitors looking for those products buy anything similar from your website? It’s highly unlikely.

What’s wrong with it: People are never going to buy even if you rank.

  • Wrong Location Based Keywords

‘Roofing solutions San Francisco’ is a great keyword to bring right kind of traffic but you cannot work on it if you offer services in one city only. Will you drive across the cities or states to install roofs? It’s illogical to consider every location-based keyword suggested by some tool. You should rather focus energies and resources on better things.

What’s wrong with it: You will be generating wrong leads.

So what’s a good keyword research plan?

It is wise to consider all kinds of keywords. Competitor analysis is also smart, but at the same time you should also focus on nature of your business. Find the right query phrases where you can rank. At the same time, study all long tail keyword options and how can they benefit you.

  1. Analyze competition
  2. Choose long tail phrases
  3. See where competition is low
  4. Review keywords periodically

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