Keyword research is one of the most vital parts in SEO. It is the first step, but if you fail on that step, there is a huge chance that your campaign will fail. If you are new at it, here are the most common mistakes that new comers normally make.
1. Checking only the broad search match of a keyword
I can tell that this is the most common mistake new search engine marketers make because I am a victim of this myself when I'm starting out. I'm also receiving many emails asking me to evaluate their website because they are not receiving any traffic, even if the keyword has hundreds of thousands of searches and their website already have good ranking.
I checked many websites of other people, and this is the most common reason that I found. The hundreds of thousand searches they see in their keyword tool is a broad search match and not the exact keyword that people are using to search.
It is important to look at the broad search match, but you should also look at the exact search match of that keyword. In SerpAttacks you can find the filtering beside your keyword, and if you are using google adwords keyword tool, you can find the option in the left sidebar of the screen.
What is the difference?
Let's take a look at the keyword download free games. The keyword returns 5,000,000 broad search match and returns 0 for the exact search match.
That is because users are not really using the exact key phrase download free games when searching. The 5,000,000 broad search results consist of many other related keywords like
free games to download
download games for free
download game free
free game downloads for free
and many others, which are more difficult to compete with.
So even if you rank for the keyword download free games, there is high chance that you will not receive any traffic because you are not ranking for the exact keywords that users are actually searching.
Note: I only used the keywords, for example purposes.
2. Not Checking the Competition Level
Its good to target frequently searched keywords or keywords that have many searches a month but most of these keywords will take you some time to rank, and sometimes it takes forever and put your efforts into waste.
There are many factors that you need to consider when analyzing the competition, age of the website you are competing, how popular it is, how many websites linking to that website and many more. You should at least know the factors of how search engines ranking websites and analyze the top 3 or top 10 results in the search engine and determine if they have those ranking factors. With that you will have an idea how much time you need and how much effort you need to give in order to rank for that keyword.
I prefer looking for many long tailed keywords that have little searches per month but less competitive compared to one keyword that has many searches a month. If you are trying hard to rank for a keyword with 300,000 searches, why not just select 100 less competitive keywords with 3000 monthly searches each?
Here are the reasons why I prefer many long tailed keywords
1. It will need less effort to rank you just need to put up some contents and some backlinks.
2. It is less risky because you are targeting many keywords and not putting all your eggs in one basket, even if you failed on one keyword, you still have 99. Compared to targeting only one keyword, if you failed, your efforts and website will be put into waste.
3. If you plan to put them all in one website, search engines will love you because you have many contents, which are good for long term online business.
4. Not thinking about the intention of the searchers
When looking for keywords, always think about your bottom line. Whether you want to sell something and make a profit, or you are just a hobbyist who loves publishing contents, you should think about the intention of the people who are using that keyword.
If you are selling some product, you might want to think if the keyword is a buying one. If you can see some keywords like.
With those kinds of keywords, you can assume that the other human in the other side of the internet that typed that keyword is ready and willing to buy something, compared to keywords with the How to..., what is.. etc.
Based on my experience and based on results of other people, product related keywords are easier to convert because most of the time, people who are searching for a specific product in search engines are really interested in that particular product.
In search engine optimization, keyword research is one of the most important parts. You mess up with it, and you end up messing your entire campaign. There are many profitable keywords out there, you just need to learn how to find them.
Hope this usefull for you.