If you’re thinking about what you need to do to select the right keywords, then you’re already on the right track with your SEO strategy.

It is helpful to think of a keyword as a sort of arrow sign that should point people to your website. If you’re making mistakes with keywords, then you may be pointing people, not to your website but away from it. In this article, we will share with you 7 common mistakes with keyword selection and usage.

You will find these points practical for your small business. You want your keyword strategy to be properly informed, so keeping these points in mind is really going to help you. Read on so you can get your overall SEO strategy off on the right footing.

1. What Are People Really Looking For?

In SEO-speak this is referred to as ‘Search Intent.’ This is the information that the user wants when they use the search engine to perform a search inquiry. The relationship between search terms and search intent isn’t always clear as most often the search term is only brief and quite ambiguous.

So when you’re developing content for your site, you need to make sure that you’re offering content that really meets with the needs of your users, rather than simply contains words associated with the subject. You can check this by performing searches using the planned keywords and see what the results are. This will help you get a sense of what the overall trend is on the results page.

2. Small Business Short Tail

This is a common mistake; put simply this is using keywords that are too broad in their meaning. Short tail keywords are either one word or very few words that make a phrase. For example ‘good coffee.’

If you’re a small coffee shop or coffee supplier, it is going to be difficult to create online content that will compete with the likes of big businesses like Starbucks. So although it is good to write general content about coffee it is wise to use long-tail keywords that further specify the search.

Long-tail keywords are used less often than short-tail keywords but they most likely represent the customer who is further down the sales funnel. In other words, they’re more likely to buy as they know what they’re looking for. In the example of coffee, it could be ‘best price arabica coffee’ or some variation of this.

3. Not Getting the Full Potential From Content

Creating content is timely and is an investment. It is a common mistake to write content with only one keyword or phrase. Instead, think about one or two other keywords that can be included in your content.

To do this well, your keywords need to be carefully thought out and planned. Keyword research and including those keywords in content can’t be an afterthought. If you plan your content with this in mind, then you will get the full benefit and return on your investment.

4. Forgetting the Relationship Between Keywords and Traffic

This is one of the bottom lines you need to keep an eye on and relates to your choice of keywords and their difficulty. In simple terms, the higher the ‘difficulty’ of your keyword the harder it will be to rank on the first page of google. However, this is also associated with the highest traffic.

So it is an excellent idea to write content using low competition keywords as this will give you a better chance of ranking in the search results. However, don’t solely focus on these words as the traffic associated with some of these may be almost negligible. The answer to this problem is to use several keywords that vary in their difficulty level.

5. Think Plural Searching Single

Google is more ‘intelligent’ than it has ever been in assessing search terms and returning results.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that when people are looking for a product they often think in the plural, like they’re looking for ‘second-hand cars.’ However, when they perform the search they may use the term ‘second-hand car.’

6. Not Using Local Search Terms

It is a common mistake to try and rank for keywords that are associated with your product or industry but not to include a local term. It is true, you can buy almost anything online and from anywhere but people still prefer to buy local if the price is competitive.

So when you do keyword research, make sure you combine these terms with the location. This way, the client that uses this search term is more likely to come to you. Sometimes you may want to repeat the same keyword but with several locations. Copy and paste on Macbook or another device will save you some time.

7. Not Reviewing Search Words Often Enough

Keywords and the type of content that internet search engines associate with them, change over time. The internet is an ocean of words that is constantly changing and evolving. It is a common mistake to think that your keyword research is done and now all you need to do is create lots of content for those words.

You need to make keyword research a continual part of your SEO strategy and content creation. This way your content will always be fresh and in tune with the search habits of potential clients.

No More Mistakes With Keywords

In this article, you have read about the common mistakes with keywords that small businesses tend to make. The size of your business, your industry, and location in the country all make a difference to your keyword research strategy. Remember that using the right keywords is the foundation on which all your content is built.

Follow the tips in this article and you will be on track for improving your search rankings. Don’t stop reading here, you can check out lots of other fascinating articles on our site that fit with your lifestyle.