The 3 Most Common Mistakes Made When Choosing Keywords

Keywords — most people know they’re important, but few truly know how to best make them work for their site. Choosing keywords is one of the most common areas of search engine optimization where thousands of people make mistakes. Some sites choose keywords and don’t mirror them in content, some don’t have keywords at all, and others simply target the wrong ones.

Here are the 3 most common mistakes people make when it comes to keywords. Avoid them, and your search engine positioning will thank you.

Keyword Mistake #1 Not Doing Your Homework

Doing adequate keyword research is the biggest mistake most companies make when it comes to search engine optimization. Finding the best keywords for your target market can mean the difference between ranking on the 10th page of Google and the 1st.

There are many ways to research the appropriate keywords for your business. Online keyword trackers, keyword list generators, and Google’s Adwords keyword tool are all great places to start. If you crack the right keyword mix for your site, the quality of your website traffic will improve significantly.

Keyword Mistake #2 Copying The Competition

Choosing keywords by looking at what the competition is using is a common strategy. Fundamentally, this is a good thing to do and can be vital to a search engine optimization campaign. However, if you’re a start up business and you’re trying to compete on the same keywords as an established, popular competitor, then this could hinder your search engine positioning.

Basically, search engines take in a myriad of factors when determining the ranking of a website. This can include the age of the website, the relevance of its content, the number of quality backlinks a site has, and the list goes on. Unless you are confident in your ability to compete head on with your competitors in all aspects of search engine positioning, it is a far better strategy to differentiate yourself from the competition in your choice of keywords.

Keyword Mistake #3 Only Choosing The Most Popular Keywords

This mistake is intertwined with the first two common mistake of choosing keywords. It has to do with differentiation, research, and thinking outside of the square. In search engine optimization, there are keywords that consistently win the popularity contest for each industry. As a new player in that industry the most popular keywords will always be the keywords on which you struggle to rank well.

A solution to this problem is not to limit your search engine optimization to these popular keywords. Instead, choose niche keywords, or keyword phrases, that have a lower search traffic volume but are easier to compete on.

What this method does is allow you to attract targeted traffic from not just one keyword, but many. Even though the specific niche keywords have lower search traffic than the more popular single keywords, optimizing for a number of them can give you the same amount of traffic collectively than that single popular keyword.

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