SEO keywords are ESSENTIAL to showing up in search results.
They’re the connecting link from your audience + Google…to your website.
They make it possible for people to find your site via search engines.
Makes sense, right?
But the tricky part is avoiding the SEO keyword mistakes that could be preventing you from getting results.
You put so much effort into figuring SEO out….the last thing you want to do is throw yourself off course and totally hurt your SEO ranking.
So let’s dive right into the 5 SEO keyword mistakes:
Mistake #1: Not knowing WHICH keywords and phrases your audience is using
Your website could be as SEO friendly as possible, but if you’re making this mistake, you’re never going to get the results you want.
Using random keywords or keyphrases aren’t quite going to cut it when it comes to ranking in search results for the right audience.
In order to get your content to start working better for you, your SEO keywords should be highly relevant to your audience, their pain points, what they’re searching for, what solutions they need, etc.
Because that’s why we actually Google things to begin with.
- We’re looking for an answer.
- We need to find a solution.
- We’re seeking out specific information.
So, as a website owner, that should be your goal.
“How can I become the solution for my ideal audience?”
Once you know HOW you help your audience, SEO keywords and keyphrases help connect your solutions and info to the problems people are searching Google to begin with.
So for example, if you’re a Copywriter for online business owners, you don’t want to waste your time on the SEO keyword “Copywriting Courses for Business Owners” because you’re trying to target people that want to HIRE you as a copywriter, not people that want to learn how to BE a copywriter….unless, of course, you have a Copywriting Course for Online Business Owners, that that would be a perfect keyword combo.
See the difference?
You have to know the pain points and problems your people are having so that you can get inside their head and create content that will help them when they type in keywords that relate to your zone of genius.
Now step back and think “What will my ideal customer/client type INTO Google when they’re looking for the information, solution, answer that I have?”
That’s SEO in a reallllllly basic nutshell.
Mistake #2: Stuffing keywords into your content like no tomorrow.
You’ve probably seen the other SEO blog posts telling you where to put your keyword within your content….and that’s great and all, but be careful.
The LAST thing you want to do is stuff your content full of the same repeating keywords.
When you do that, you’ll end up sounding like a robot, and no one wants to read robotic sounding content (seriously…no one)
Remember: Your content is FOR your website visitors, it’s not for search engines.
There’s a better way to make sure that search engines know what your content is about.
And that’s keyword relevance.
Keyword relevance is actually MORE important than keyword density.
Back in the day, search engines used to care how many times you repeated the same keyword or phrase in a certain page/post, but that’s definitely not the case anymore.
As search algorithms grow smarter, they’re now being able to examine your content as a WHOLE instead of just a combination of certain words and phrases.
So make sure you’re using variations, such as changing the grouping or order of words in the key phrase, using it in singular and plural formats, and using in different styles of sentence structures.
Just don’t STUFF keywords.
It’s unnecessary and makes your content not only painful to read but also makes it painfully obvious to your visitors that you wrote the content for the search engines and not for them — and no one likes to feel like second best.
Mistake #3: Being TOO basic
Single-word keywords or even double-word keywords are a thing of the past.
They’re too basic….which means they’re too competitive.
Having a target keywords being something like “photography” or “web design” or “Instagram marketing” isn’t going to get you very far.
Don’t get me wrong, those words are TECHNICALLY keywords, but they’re WAY To competitive, generic, and vague to get you any results.
Go to Google now and type in “photography” — look how many random things come up?
You weren’t specific enough in your search so Google doesn’t know what the heck to show you, so it’s just showing you the best “Photography” content it’s got.
And the best content it’s got is going to come from big name blogs and super high ranking websites that are going to be basically impossible to outrank.
AND think about it as the user.
You don’t want to sift through a trillion pages about “Photography” when really you just wanted “Photography Lighting Tips for Newborn Sessions”<—- see that. That’s a decent keyword phrase.
It’s MUCH more specific, and the content that comes up in search results for that will be a lot more targeted on what you, the user, actually want to learn about.
Mistake #4: Reusing the SAME key phrases on every page and post.
If you’re an Instagram Social Media Strategist, chances are that you’re going to have quite a few pages that you could use “Instagram Social Media Strategist” related keyphrases.
But here’s the thing…..you don’t want to target the SAME keywords and phrases on multiple pages in posts.
Why? Because you don’t want two different pages attempting to rank for the same keyword because they’ll end up competing with each other in the Search Engine Results. And usually, when this is the case, it forces Google to determine which page is actually the most relevant for the searcher and it will usually only pick ONE of them to show in search results (and it may not be the one you want it to be).
Also….you don’t want Google to think you’re trying to manipulate the algorithm (yikes).
So instead of using the EXACT same keyphrases, get more specific about EXACTLY the kind of content on that page.
And if you have 2 pages that target similar content ideas, it’s best to use a variation of the keyphrase.
So Instagram Social Media Marketer and Instagram Social Media Marketing Services for example…
Hypothetically, they could both have similar content on them, but they won’t be fighting each other for ranking positions in search results. And if they are closely related, like your About Page and your Services page, just make sure you’re linking to one another within the content so that regardless of which page your target audience lands on, they’ll also be taken to the other page as well!
Mistake #5: Not knowing which SEO keywords you’re ALREADY ranking for.
There’s a thing in the SEO world called “low-hanging fruit” and basically what that means is diving in to see which SEO keywords you’re already ranking for…and going in to make those pages and posts BETTER so that they rank HIGHER.
But how can you figure out which SEO keywords you’re already showing up in search results for?
By connecting your Google Analytics and your Google Search Console. Once you do that, you’ll be able to log into your Google Analytics account, click on Acquisition >> then Search Console >> then Queries.
And if you want to see which posts and pages get the most traffic from Google already, click on Acquisition >> then Search Console >> then Landing Pages.
Being able to see these 2 sets of data can be a HUGE help when it comes to choosing SEO keywords, content topics, and taking better advantage of that low-hanging fruit.
If you don’t have Google Analytics setup on your website already, follow this step by step tutorial.
And if you haven’t signed up for a FREE Google Search Console account, follow this step by step video tutorial that walks you through the setup and submitting your website sitemap so you can start getting found!
If keywords are still a little confusing to you, take a step back and notice how YOU use Google. It will really help to change your thinking pattern when it comes to SEO keywords and how you should be using them on your website and in your content.
And now that you’re thinking about this, you might even start to notice when you’re reading a website post/page that’s been overly optimized and actually chuckle to yourself…..or maybe that’s just what I do.
Want My Help to Find Your Keywords?
If figuring out your SEO keywords or phrases is giving you a headache, or you don’t know where to start or how to figure out which one makes sense then check out The Quick & Effective Guide to SEO Keyword Research