Avoid These Top 15 Keyword Research Mistakes with SEO

Keyword Research Mistakes

Written by Jeremy Earle, JD

June 13, 2022

The first step in an SEO marketing plan is to do proper keyword research. These 15 blunders might slow down your performance.

7You can’t speak about search engine optimization without discussing keywords. Like a cheeseburger without the cheese, it’s delicious.

Keyword research is the first step in most SEO marketing strategies. (Or, at the very least, they ought to).

It seems like a throwback to the early 2000s, when Britney Spears and Justin Bieber wore the same pair of jeans when it comes to keyword research.

Competitors are strong since just 9.42% of terms get more than 10 monthly searches. As a result, the tried and proven methods of the past no longer work.

Keep your campaigns on track and avoid losing money (and customers’ money) by doing better keyword research.

A look at 15 errors you can be doing when it comes to keyword research and how to fix them.

1.First, ignoring the searcher’s intent.

Too many individuals are preoccupied with the number of results rather than the quality.

People use a certain term because of what?

Find out what your visitors are looking for when they visit your site. Do you know what that person is trying to convey when they use that phrase?

Furthermore, what is the use of being number one for a phrase if it does not generate any revenue?

It is more important to pay attention to why someone is looking than how many people are utilizing a search query.

  • a user’s purpose may be divided into two categories:
  • Assuring that your material provides the finest alternative for those people

What if you were selling fresh Nike shoes?

[How to clean Nike sneakers] isn’t worth targeting since those folks aren’t likely ready to purchase; they’re trying to maintain what they currently own.

As a result, you’d be better served by focusing on [buy Nike sneakers near me].

To be fair, you might create trust using [how to clean Nike sneakers]. However, this must be done with purpose.

2.Assisting Customers in Choosing Their Keywords

The most common keyword research error is to perform no research at all.

Almost all of us have dealt with a customer who tries to “assist” by providing a list of keywords they want to rank for. These keywords are generally too wide, don’t fit search intent, or are too competitive to bother with.

That list of clients should serve as a starting point, not a final destination.

Many company owners (and even SEO professionals) believe that they know what searchers are searching for, but keywords should be based on evidence, not vanity or gut instincts.

There’s no good reason to find yourself in a situation like this one:


When a customer inquired about our SEO services, he demanded why we didn’t include any meta keywords on any of his pages.

Gifford’s tweet was retweeted over a million times on March 13, 2017.

3.The Failure to Pay Attention to the SERPs

Powerful keyword research tools abound, making the process of finding relevant keywords much simpler than it otherwise would be.

If you have the time and resources, you can go through massive amounts of information and even check your competitors’ ranking.

Among other things, WordStream’s keyword research tool provides this list of data:

It’s reliable and valuable information.

However, there is a limit to how much good can be done.

With so much focus on research tools, many marketers neglect to look at where it all begins – the SERPs.

Do not rely just on automated keyword research tools for the whole procedure. Spend some time researching what kind of content you are currently ranking for your most important keywords so that you can incorporate those ideas into your campaigns.

4.Using only one keyword in each piece of content

“An SEO enters into a bar, Irish pub, club, beer, whiskey” is an old joke in the field of SEO.

Some SEO marketers, on the other hand, prefer to focus on only one keyword per piece of content to avoid cramming in several irrelevant keywords.

In other words, it’s a blunder and a miscalculation all in one.

Search engines are growing better at deciphering contexts, which implies that optimizing for just one keyword for each article is out of the question.

Gregg Gifford has shared the following additional information with us:

A1 – (continued) Traditional SEO methods like targeting one keyword per page without considering targeted ideas are no longer effective, and you should discontinue them immediately. Because of this, some of you may be concerned about BERT, but it’s just standard SEO, so don’t worry about it! #SEMrushChat

Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) November 20, 2019

Instead of targeting a single keyword, seek phrases that support the primary term and use them in your content.

For instance, an article on keyword research should also target related phrases such as keyword research tools.

Make sure you don’t overdo it and only employ phrases relevant to your content.

5. Only focusing on keywords with high search volume

How do you decide on which keywords to target based on metrics?

You may be overlooking better choices by only using high-volume keywords to identify relevant terms.


This is because the previously mentioned issue of user intent is being overlooked in favor of sheer volume.

Competition for high-volume contracts is also fierce. It’s difficult to stand out if you target the same keywords as everyone else.

Don’t forget to search for low-volume keywords that match search intent since these are simpler to rank for and cheaper to bid on.

6.Keywords with long tails should be avoided at all costs.

For this reason, fewer people search for long-tail terms. That’s a costly oversight you must avoid.

There are situations when a low search volume is beneficial. Users are more likely to purchase while searching for lower-volume key phrases.

If you use a wide range of contextual keywords, your content is more likely to give visitors what they need to convert.

7.The Failure to Communicate with Your Clients

There are instances when we use the wrong words to describe our product or service to the people who buy it and utilize it.

As well as using keyword research tools, it’s important to listen to what your consumers are saying and respond to their feedback.

Assess the difficulties, solutions, and/or goods desired by your target market.

Make a note of the terms and phrases people use to describe their problems and the solutions they’ve attempted and look for them in online reviews, social media postings, and customer support calls.

Customers may not understand what a “website visitor tracking tool” entails if you refer to your product as such.

8..Returning to the Insert Keywords Screen

Rather than for search engines, marketing for consumers is a common mistake made by some SEO experts and practitioners.

Is it really necessary to include the keywords Google wants in your text before it’s finished?

When customers say this, I feel like I’m choking on a cup of hot coffee in my mouth.

There is no doubt in my mind that hiring an SEO consultant/agency is the best option for you if you need assistance with research, direction on generating content that ranks well, and marketing. Search engine optimization (SEO) experts don’t just slap keywords into the content you’ve previously produced.

.Doherty, John (@dohertyjf), November

No way, shape, or form would one season a taco after it had already been cooked.

It’s impossible to go back and “SEO” a post after it’s been written.

Before selecting a subject, keyword research should be carried out, and phrases should be organically inserted where it makes sense to incorporate them into the content.

9. Having No Idea Which Channels Your Customers Are Using To Find Your Products

When most people associate search engine optimization (SEO) with Google, there’s an issue.

If you’re looking for a search engine, you’re not the only one.

People use channels like search engines like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok aren’t Bing or Yandex.

You need to pay attention to the algorithms and preferences of each platform.

No word’s success on YouTube or Twitter is guaranteed because it has a high Google ranking.

Don’t merely pay attention to your customers’ phrases while looking for your products and services.

10.Aiming for Keywords with Exact Match

It’s very uncommon for customers to add phrases like “top Orlando vacation agency” or “computer service Portland.”

Don’t attempt to put meaningless words and phrases into your content and advertising. When it comes to keyword lists, don’t consider them like gold.

Exact match keywords don’t matter as much to Google now.

With an “in” or even multiple words in between portions of a keyword, your audience understands what you’re saying.

Google’s ability to comprehend context is steadily improving thanks to natural language processing.

You can see the search results for [SEO agency chicago] below. Although Google only gives precise matches, you can see that similar terms are also returned.

11.Inattention to Localization of Keywords

Keyword localization, or variations in words depending on geography, may hurt your SEO strategy.

When looking for a product, don’t assume that individuals in various nations (or even in different regions of the same country) would use the same terminology.

The terms “carbonated beverage,” “pop,” and “coke” are all used interchangeably in the United States but in different regions.

Observing the real SERPs is another reason it’s important to pay attention to the results.

12.Refusing to Conduct Relevant Analysis

As previously said, you shouldn’t narrow your search to a single keyword.

Instead, you should incorporate several important phrases closely connected to the primary subject.

That’s because it builds topical authority, or the ability to speak authoritatively on a larger concept instead of one phrase.

The term “topical research” refers to determining what related subjects the primary keyword targets.

A 4,000-word essay about SEO alone isn’t going to get you very far in the search engines, so you’ll need to conduct some research into what other similar subjects people are looking for. This will help you develop keywords that will help you rank better.

13.Forcing Your SERP Rivals Out of the Way

You are likely familiar with your direct market rivals, but are you conversant with your search engine results page competitors?

Competitors in the race for consumers may not be the same as those ranking above you in terms of content.

When selling a particular air conditioner item, you may have competition from other manufacturers and retailers for clients, but a handyman blog may compete for essential key phrases.

If you don’t check in with your rivals periodically, you may miss out on terms you hadn’t previously explored.

14.Asserting That Keyword Difficulty Doesn’t Matter.

Most keyword research tools give information on the difficulty or competitiveness of a specific phrase on the search engine results page (SERP). Many marketers, it seems to me, overlook this fact in favor of the number of search results.

There are certain to be some visitors to our site who are looking for the same phrase as 50,000 others.

Is it worth it if you can’t get into the top three positions in search results because the phrase is too hard to rank for?

It is possible to rank for a lower volume and lower difficulty term that is more profitable in the long run.

There are several elements to consider, but keyword difficulty is one of them.

It’s possible to rank for a highly competitive keyword if you have many visitors and rank well for other related phrases.

15.Neglecting the Conversions

Optimizing an online shoe store is only one example. Tennis shoes vs. boots: Which phrase is more popular?

A trick question, since the answer might be any or both of the following:

As a result, many customers (and some marketers) focus on broad key phrases that are essential in their sector but fail to grasp that they’d generate more sales by targeting key terms that are more likely to convert.

Many people will click over to [boots] while searching on Google, but only around half of those visitors will buy anything. Some 3 percent to 5 percent of those who saw [waterproof women’s snow boots] may end up purchasing the product.

Are You Putting Yourself at a Competitive Edge by Using the Wrong Keywords?

As far as keyword research is concerned, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. It’s fair to say that the motivations are noble, but the methods used are frequently antiquated or reminiscent of the black hat days of the early 2000s.

Even though they all follow a similar method, the meaning behind each keyword is unique.

The reality is that keyword research has become more difficult in recent years.

If you don’t know your audience, you won’t know how to reach them.

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