How’s your SEO strategy working? Are you getting the results you’re looking for with your online marketing?
One of the most important parts of any SEO strategy is your targeted keywords. Yet people make keyword mistakes all the time.
Keywords are what you center your content around. Selecting a keyword gives you a focus for a particular page. It tells any human that visits exactly what the content is about. It gives Google bots a focus for ranking.
If you’re clear about what you do, who you are, and what type of person you’re targeting, keywords are easier to define. The more you refine your keyword targeting, the better position you will be in to reach your ideal customer.
Be Where You Need To Be
If you’re in charge of marketing, your goal is to be front and center, right where the action occurs. Online, that means being on the first page of rankings for whatever keywords you’re vying for.
There’s a good reason for that.
- When a person searches, the very first Google organic search results get 32.5 percent of the clicks.
- As a person types a keyword into Google, and it brings up the first page, that first Google search results page will generate 91.5 percent of the traffic. If people don’t find what they’re looking for on this first page, very few clicks to the second. In most cases, they refine their keyword search term.
- Organic search accounts for over 51 percent of all website traffic. That means more than half of your potential customers find you via a keyword search.
That makes keywords a vital part of your SEO strategy. Are you making these keyword mistakes?
Mistake #1: Vying for major keyword results
In every category, in every industry, there’s a keyword that starts the process. These are your category keywords. They define the industry, create the niche. They are the most basic words that describe what you do. They are considered king of all keywords.
These are keywords like: golf, plumber, car dealer, or SEO expert. They are so generic, they have millions of search results when that’s the only word typed into the search bar.
If you sold golf clubs, wouldn’t it be nice if you received first rank under “golf?” Maybe. But it’s not something you should ever try for because it’s not something most businesses will ever get.
That may seem obvious with a search term like golf. And even with that term, you can think of many different directions to branch out with. Golf clubs, golf courses, golf vacations, golf tournaments, to name but a few.
If you’re always thinking “golf clubs” for example, with your keywording strategy, you’re missing a lot of opportunities.
- Golf clubs for sale near me
- Golf club repair
- Golf club covers
- Golf club sets
- Golf club driver grip
- Golf club driver reviews
Because searchers are more sophisticated than ever, they rarely start with simple keyword searches. They know they’ll have to dive down to really get what they’re after.
Stop wasting time with high-level focus. Instead, be more realistic with your keyword choices. You’ll actually have better luck if you focus in on narrow searches, and capture potential customers by ones and twos per page.
That’s where blog posts come in handy. When you discover exactly what people are searching for, you can respond by using their words. You can be as narrow as you need to for capturing the attention of your prospects and customers.
Mistake #2: Focusing on keywords that won’t help you
As you perform keyword research and notice highly ranked words your competitors rank well in, you’ll likely find keywords that are relevant to your industry, but not so much to your business.
Golf clubs is a good example. If you sell drivers and putters, you want to ensure ranking to help you sell products. But what about the places – golf clubs – where you practice your game?
It’s important to use keywords that are relevant to your industry and niche. It’s equally important to ensure people are typing the keyword you’re vying for into the search engines. But if the keyword isn’t relevant to what you have to offer, focusing in on it can actually hurt your results.
Of course, it all depends on your target market too. Baby boomers are more patient than millennials; it’s about the worlds we’ve grown up in. But it’s also about convenience and expectations.
You should also think in specifics. Have you heard the term “long tail?” When you focus in on keyword phrases and search queries with more than four words, you’re reaching out to a smaller pool of buyers. Yet the more thought a person puts into what they’re searching for, the closer they are to jumping at the offer. Compare these two searches:
- New car
- 2019 Toyota Rav4 Hybrid review
Which search result would you rather appear in if you are a Toyota dealer? Which do you think will better convert into a customer?
Don’t ignore these long trail keywords; they are extremely important to your online business.
Mistake #3: Overusing keywords
We can’t say this enough: Don’t overuse your keywords on individual pages, and throughout your website.
Yes, we get you sell golf clubs. But you don’t have to stress it in every paragraph you write.
Talk about an individual driver instead of saying “golf club driver.”
Give reviews of specific clubs by using make and manufacturer.
In other words, err on the side of being stingy with your use of keywords rather than trying to stuff them in every place you can. Google is only going to get more cautious with how they rank pages online as they modify their algorithms over time. And with every Google change comes a whole host of sites and pages that lose ranking because they pushed too hard to please Google and not their readers.
There are a lot of different components that go into a successful SEO strategy. If your goal is to be in business for the foreseeable future, focus on making your prospects and customers happy, not Google.
Don’t worry, Google will notice. Think of this as a long term thing. That’s the beauty of SEO for the long term. It’s about doing what’s right for the customer.