By Ari Rush

When doing keyword research, many SEO firms and businesses make some common mistakes that can cost both money and time, yet could have been easily avoided. Rethink your marketing strategy, and go about it the right way. Follow these tips to ensure that you’re driving the right customers to your website.

1. Find Your Target

Picking out keywords can already be difficult enough, and if you don’t know who your target audience is, it becomes nearly impossible. Just because a keyword has a high search volume in your business’s field, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for you. The keywords you choose should be tailored for the needs of your customers. For example, if you’re selling high quality electric scooters, keyword strings like “cheap scooters” may not be the best choice. That’s not to say that you should never use those keywords, rather focus on more fitting ones, like “quality scooters Toronto,” and save the less fitting ones for later. This is assuming that you’re trying to hit a target audience that could easily come purchase your product, as they’re the most likely to invest in your business. Figure out what the searcher is trying to find. Once you know that, you’re on track to provide them with the answer.

2. Quality, Not Quantity

Going with the previous example, if you have a store that sells electric scooters, you don’t want to narrow down your keywords too much. Keywords like “wheel,” “seat,” “electricity” or “transport” could all be effective in the long run. But if they have a low search volume, while more general ones (like “electric scooters”) have a high search volume, you’re better off with the general keywords. Once you’ve conquered the general keywords, feel free to work with the smaller, lower volume keywords. Different combinations of these general and specific keywords are much closer to what you want to focus on, and should be approached gradually, not all at once.

3. One Page, Five Keywords

Even though you should be focusing on quality over quantity, you don’t want to skimp on the quantity. For every one page that your website has, you should be working with 3-5 keywords. This will drive a much larger amount of traffic to your website, and grow your business in the process. You can save yourself time by then combining these keywords into keyword strings, which can also help boost website traffic. Most importantly, any keywords used should be relevant not only to your business, but also to the content on the webpage itself. Keyword baiting is a bad practice, and will only drop you in search engine rankings.

4. Don’t Always Look in One Place

A big mistake that businesses make is searching for keywords on their existing site structure and content. This can of course be effective for finding some of the more obvious keywords, but if you’re not willing to think from the customer’s point of view, and engage with some creative keywords, you’ll be losing out on potential site traffic. There could be information relevant to your business that’s not featured on your website. If this is the case, you should certainly think about changing your site content to updated information. But it should definitely not stop you from first creating keywords for this information, so that consumers have a chance to find your business anyways. Your site structure should be modeled around your keywords, and not vice versa. Once you identify these keywords, perhaps through the use of a keyword tool, you can alter your website to be more accurate.

5. Keyword Allocation

Keywords are not like keys; they shouldn’t be left in the first place you drop them. The keywords you choose should fit the content on the page, otherwise the webpage will not match the users search intent. In fact, if a searched keyword leads to a webpage whose content does not match said keyword, the user is likely to think of the company as dishonest or unreliable. This is a crucial part of doing keyword research and planning. Behind every keyword there is search intent and relevant content; ensure that your website is following this formula.

Users want fast and accurate results, and by identifying which keywords are popular with them, you’re taking the first step to providing this. By matching relevant keywords with your target audiences search intent to deliver them quality content, you are helping your webpage see much greater traffic, and generating both reputation and profits for your business.