SEO & Keyword Research Selection: 3 Mistakes to Avoid.

In my last article I touched on some of the factors that make the process of keyword research so important. Following on from that I thought I would share with you some common mistakes people make when it comes to selecting their keywords to include in an SEO campaign.


A lot of people who are engaged in the art of SEO often have a misguided notion of what their best keywords are. They include what they have perceived in their own mind to be the “perfect keyword” without giving it a second though. Business Owners, Webmasters and even marketers may have a preconceived idea of the ideal keyword and for one reason or another they include it in their SEO campaign. It happens all the time and it’s an easy mistake to make, without endearing to the benefits the process of some rigours keyword research can reveal (see my last article). Here are 3 examples of common mistakes people make with their Keyword selection.


Focusing too much on the business name as a keyword:

Some people who conduct SEO (albeit who may not be the wisest practitioners) put too much emphasis on ranking at number one for their business name. In organic search, ranking at the top of the SERP’s for your business name is in-fact quite an easy feat to pull off most of the time. However accomplishing this task is by no means the be all and end all of your SEO efforts.

If you think about it, optimizing for your websites name is only going to yield traffic from people who already have a working knowledge about your website or company. But what about all those people who never heard of you? What about all those unsuspecting suspects and potential prospects you would like to have the opportunity to attract to your website? Surely that’s the type of traffic you want to capture a slice of.

You should view the process of optimizing for a business name as a first step only and not an end in itelf . The optimization of a select few keywords and phrases should be seen as the next natural evolution in the process and ultimately the more rewarding objective in your SEO campaign.


Focusing Too Much On Uncommon Keywords or Phrases

How can this happen your asking yourself? Sometimes site owners may fall into the trap of trying to optimize for an especially obscure term which could be well known to the supply side of a business but may not at all be known to the people that matter more i.e. the vast quantity of people who will eventually buy your product or service.

If for example a supply side phrase only gets 50 searches a month and the end-user side phrase gets 1000 searches a month and the margin of returns is greater on the the end user side of things, where do you think the money is at? It would be futile to optimize for the supply side term in this scenario when the end user term in this case is the keyword that will help pull in the more profitable traffic.

I recently had to intervene with one of my clients who was about to make a similar mistake. He was amendment about using a particular industry type phrase which turned out to be a relatively unknown phrase to his typical customer. By using the Google Keyword tool as part of my keyword research and analysis I was able to show him 2 or 3 more keyword alternatives which were more in keeping with his type of audience and volumes of traffic he was hoping to attract. Hopefully he will thank me for it later when he realizes the amount of leads coming his way.

Copying your Competitors Keywords

A third trap people might fall into is with the urge to directly copy their competitors for keyword selections.. Focusing on your competitors keywords can definitely have its drawbacks with out examining the alternatives .Instead of using the “I must select his keyword because he is number one approach” dive a little deeper and conduct more keyword research. You might just get a pleasant surprise when it comes to the number relevant keywords that are not being targeted by your competitors. It is often theses very keywords that crop up from a little keyword research on your competitors keywords that will bring you the best rewards from your SEO efforts.


The best way to avoid making these 3 Keyword Research mistakes is to:


  • Put your self in your customers shoes and try to understand what terms and phrases they would use to describe your business. Imagine them searching for your product or service with the terms and words they use and not yours.
  • You also need to distance yourself from certain terms or phrases you had a notion of ranking for until you can draw the conclusive evidence from your keyword research to see if that keyword is indeed a winner.
  • Don’t just jump on the bandwagon and copy your all of your competitors terms. Identify gaps in the search market and exploit untapped keyword opportunities.


By avoiding theses keyword selection mistakes you should find the task of developing your SEO and Link Building strategies to be much more rewarding.

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  1. Deon says:

    Please teach the rest of these internet hooligans how to write and reesrach!

  2. Nonie says:

    Enlightening the world, one hfelpul article at a time.

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