If content is king, then the right keywords are the king's knights. Your website might be assigned to obscurity because you picked the wrong keywords for your SEO effort. Here are four mistakes you should avoid when choosing keywords for your SEO effort.
Before we discuss this topic further, keep in mind your target audience (we hope you have already worked on building your customer persona in advance).
#1: Blindly copying the competition
Just because your competition picked a series of keywords for optimization does not mean you should go after the same keywords. Without a doubt, what your competition is doing is a good place to start. The problem with blindly following your competition is that you are making two major assumptions. They did not make a mistake and that the market has not changed since they made their SEO efforts.
It is important you start with your competitors keywords but also conduct independent research on keywords. You might end up coming to the same place but that will confirm that no mistakes were made by your competition when choosing keywords.
#2: Going after highly competitive keywords
So the CPC of the keyword you are after is nearly $50, great place to start? Not always. The fact that the CPC of a keyword is so high tells you it's very competitive and it also tells you that the keyword will also be very difficult to optimize for (organically).
Not to mention, the first page will be filled Google ads on top of the organic search component. So getting to first page will be even harder.
By no means are we saying don't go for the competitive keywords. What we suggest is starting with long tail keywords first and then making your way up to the competitive keywords.
There is a direct co-relation to the amount of traffic you can attract and your ranking on Google. So to begin with, go after the long tail keywords and then work your way to the competitive goal.
The reverse also applies, don't start with keywords that no one is searching. It is awesome to be first page on Google for a keyword. However, if the search volume for that keyword is negligible you just ended up investing in a pointless exercise.
#3: Choosing keywords that don't help in conversion
The entire concept behind choosing keywords for your website is to attract the right traffic to your website. The jury is out on if 'no traffic is bad traffic' but as a website owner you want the right people coming to your website (as that is what results in conversions).
Let's take an example, if you are a web site designer. Would you like to attract people who are looking for the keyword 'web design' or people who are looking for 'web designers in Mumbai'?
The second right? However, you will find so many web designers going after the first keyword in the hope that everyone typing in the keyword web design is looking for web designers and not trying to get training on it (just an example).
In fact, this example brings us to the final mistake to avoid:
#4: Failing to localize your keywords
If you are offering localized services, you need to make sure you go after keywords that are localized as opposed to global keywords. Not only is it harder to compete with global keywords, your traffic will also be vague and irrelevant.
For example, if you are selling used cars in Gurgaon. You don't want to compete for the keyword 'buy used cars' as that will mean people looking for used cars in Kolkata will also get to your website. Instead, you can optimize for keywords like 'Buy used cars Gurgaon'. This will ensure you attract the right traffic and even beat people who were over ambitious and went after the global keyword.
If you need help feel free to send us a tweet on @insideselling we should have some exciting news for you soon! Watch the space.