Keyword Research- 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Keyword research is very important to SEO professionals, as it is through this that they are able to generate traffic to websites and ultimately earn money from them.
By researching on your niche’s keywords, you not only get exposed to your consumers’ needs but also understand your potential customers and build solid relationships with them. It is however important to emphasize, that you just don’t want any kind of visitors; you want to have the right kind of visitors.
Keyword research has been deemed to be pretty easy, but this not always the case and as a result tons of mistakes are made. So, if you’re just venturing into SEO writing or have never really understood the keyword research process, here’s what you need to avoid:

1. Don’t Ignore the Long Tail Keyword

Long tail keywords are basically the three of four words used to describe your product vividly and very specifically to your consumers. Most SEO writers mistakably search for webpages for with high volume keywords. Well, it only makes sense, where there is a high search volume; there are more potential clients, right? Well it’s enough already to have to deal with a keyword with 5000 searches a day. These popular search terms only make up thirty percent of the total web’s searches. The other seventy percent is comprised of the long tail keywords, and that’s what you ought to target. You want to use longer, very specific tail words with low search volume instead. So once your consumer inputs this on their search engine, they are more likely to find you. Long tail keywords convert better as they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle.

Source: Moz

2. Ignoring current searches

Most SEO writers tend to overlook current keyword search rankings. It is extremely important to consistently know where the page ranks, that way, you will know which type of content is being ranked every day. So before ranking your webpage, check to see that it fits in with the content ranking in the search results. Then evaluate the search results for competiveness before attempting to rank your webpage for a keyword phrase.
3. Ignoring Click-through Rates
Most SEOs target high volume keywords. However, low volume keywords with high click through rates are more likely to attract new customers. Take for example, a key word like, using a search word like perfume’. Millions of results will be yielded. Consider another keyword Japanese Cherry Blossom Perfume’. A person making this such is very specific with what he/she wants is likely to find it at your site if you’ve used such a keyword. He/she is more likely ready to purchase from you. It is extremely important to test the click-through rates on the web before investing any of your resources.

 

4. Ignoring the Adwords value of a keyword

Adwords value is more applicable to commercial keywords. Adwords value help give an indication of how valuable and competitive certain keyword phrases are. Advertisers in most cases invest their money on certain keyword phrases with the simple premise that they are acquiring customers from these keywords. The higher the value of the keywords, the more they are willing to pay. Take some time and find out which keywords are valuable to advertisers, what their value is before trying to rank your content for any keyword phrase.

 

5. Mistaking informational search with commercial intent

When a person makes a specific search, he/she could be looking to buy or gather information regarding that search term. Both are totally acceptable. So consider if you’re going to use your website to provide information or for commercial purposes and decide upon the right keywords to use. Do a proper search for the keyword phrase you are trying to rank for to see what kind of results show up. If you are trying to rank an informational article and only commercial results show up or vice versa, you may want to re-evaluate your options.

SEO copywriting writing best practice

This SEO copyriting best practice is all about Getting traffic from Google and other search engines. Writing for search engines is not that difficult as long as you follow some simple ranking rules about:

1. Writing appropriate original content that people are looking for.

2. Make sure you use keywords and synonyms in writing so that Google know what your content is all about.

3. Linking to and from relevant content via hyperlinks, images and video.

4. Giving images alt (alternative) attributes.

Keyword research

It is a good idea to do some basic keyword research before writing any content in order to know what people are searching for. You can easily do this by:

  • Searching in Google and seeing what other relevant content is suggested as being popular.
  • Gauge the keyword commercial values by seeing the number of advertisers appearing in the PPC section. But note not all newsworthy material has commercial value and some future events may have no PPC interest at present.

There are also free keyword research tools like the following:

1)      [if gte mso 9]

2)      [endif]

AdWords Keyword Planner

You now need to create an Adwords account to use the Google keywords tool. It shows how popular a particular keyword may be based on the number of people searching for it. There are several filtering methods including country, language, include/exclude words etc.

 

Although this information should be taken with a pinch of salt, you can gauge the popularity by simply looking at the following factors:

•           How often a Search phrase is used Monthly

•           How Competitive the Term is in Google

Ubersuggest

Another excellent keyword research tool is ubersuggest.org. This tool simply scrapes Google suggest list of keywords to show what is popular in searches related to your keyword. This is quote useful because Google suggest influences searchers behaviour in some cases. You can take suggested keywords and use them in Adwords keyword planner to see how many people are actually searching with that keyword.

Below is by no means a full list of best practice but inclusion of some of these factors will help to get your article/blog ranked well and thereby able to get good traffic from the search engines. When writing content we should try to follow some of these simple guidelines:

SEO Perfectly optimised page

  • Keyword research: This forms the basis of how you will structure your article based on what people are searching for. Use at least one or two variations of a term and potentially splitting up keyword phrases
  • Keywords Spread: Good practice is to include the phrase towards the top of the document and then a few times through the document and again towards the end of the document with possible hyperlinks of where to go for more information. Aim for no more than 1-3 keywords and synonyms per article blog post.
  • Keyword Repetition: Repeat keywords two to three times every 100 words- i.e. keyword density 2%-3% and try to make use of.
    • You can use this link for keyword density analysis: [endif] .
  • Write original content: Use content that is not found elsewhere online. It is thought that Google ignores duplicate content when ranking. If you are basing article on content from elsewhere then make sure to change phrases and paragraphs (or use quotation and refer to source).
  • Keyword rich URL: Include keywords in urls where possible. Further reading [if gte mso 9]
  • Page Title: Use the exact target keyword phrase in the document’s title. The most important of on-page keyword elements, the page title should preferably employ the keyword term/phrase as the first word(s). Further reading [endif].
  • Document Length: Try to write 350-500 words on a single ranking subject (keyword).
  • Bold Highlight: You can highlight some (bold) important words in a paragraph.
  • Page Headers: Break long articles into headers (H1, H2, and H3) with section keywords if possible.
  • Link to relevant content: Use keywords to link to main site and other relevant articles in order to pass link value and call to action.
  • Link out to Authority sites: Link some important words to [if gte mso 9]/pages when appropriate but not the main keywords and not competing sites. E.g. if you are writing about sports you can link to uefa.com, fifa.com, icc-cricket.com where relevant.
  • Link Internally: Try to link internally within blog with related topics in order to boost value of blog by linking to other blog story about similar subject. Also link to main site for passing SEO value and a call to action.
  • Image alt tags: Use a keyword rich alt tag that describes the image. Google uses this as further evidence of what the page is about.

Don’t let these guidelines procrastinate you!

Finally, do not let any SEO copyriting best practice guidelines hold you back from creating content as any content is better than none. Also ensure the guideline are not going against the tone of voice of the organisation communication.

Does having more pages make it easier to rank?

many pagesWell, yes and no. Many webmasters and SEO may assume that the more pages you have on your site the easier it is to rank for anything. But, according to Google’s Matt Cutts, that is no necessarily the case. More web pages do not equate to easier rankings for a target keyword. However, having many pages on a site can help rankings by getting deeper crawling and attracting more links for those pages and therefore passing page rank around the site. Having more pages on a site also gives you better chance to rank better for more targeted keywords of individual pages.

What is duplicate content?

duplicate contentDuplicate content is a case of percentages – if all of your content is exactly the same as found elsewhere (e.g. Affiliate feed) then that can be considered duplicate content and cause your web page (or website) not to rank.

However, if your content contains only a small amount of content from elsewhere and you have added value to the original source (e.g. Recipe list in an article or content creation) then it may not be considered duplicate.

Matt Cutts explains the difference in the video below.