A lot of bloggers and website publishers think that keyword research is an exact science. Although some people may want you to believe this, it really isn’t so. The truth is the hunt for good keywords is more of an art form.
Although there might not be an exact science behind it, keyword research is critical to the success of a website, or can be. There are some very common mistakes that many make when researching their keywords. Knowing about them is half the battle in avoiding them.
The biggest keyword related mistake, hands down, is failing to see how important they are. It’s a simple fact that keywords are very powerful marketing tools. They help sites earn traffic, ranking and even revenue. They can even help focus the entire theme of a site. Although hiring an expensive firm isn’t required to see results, selecting goods keywords is important.
The research process itself tends to stymie some. The biggest pitfall here is incorrect use of keyword research tools. For example, many believe keyword counts revealed by these tools are accurate. The truth is they are just estimates. Tools that can help you see these estimates are useful, but they don’t reflect the total number of searches from all major search engines. It is possible to compensate by using several tools for research. Programs like Ad Word Analyzer, and Wordtracker are both great. And you will find unique keywords with each, so your list will be more complete.
Another issue that crops up a lot is the use of only a single keyword or phrase on a site or page. The truth is it is simply much smarter to select a theme and then choose multiple words and phrases to support it. This works to boost latent semantic indexing, too. Picking niche phrases can be done with a little help from WordNet and other similar tools.
Another sticking point centers on Keyword Effectiveness Index reliance. KEI is the ratio of the number of times a particular keyword is searched in regard to the number of sites ranked for that word. It is meant to help webmasters figure competition for a term. KEI is useful, but the thing to look for is how SEO strong the top sites on the list happen to be. Tools like SEO for Firefox and SeoQuake can help with competition checks.
Sometimes webmasters get into keyword research too much. These folks can make the mistake of not using keyword management tools. Although they have keywords, and likely a lot of them, these webmasters don’t have the ability to easily filter, sort and refine their keyword lists. Ad Word Analyzer is a fantastic tool to help with this.
Publishers sometimes jump the gun on doing their research. It is important to remember that tools like Wordtracker store data for the past 90 days. This means researching words at off times can result in skewed numbers. Doing a Christmas keyword search in June, for example, will not produce the world’s greatest results. Timing research is important.
The last two things to watch out for are greed and waste. Many publishers go after keywords that pay out well. This can be great, but the truth is lower paying niche keywords can bring in more earnings over the long haul. They tend to have less competition. Waste comes into play when webmasters get over excited about research. Often, they will create list after list of targeted, niche keywords and never put them into action. It’s smart to focus on a single niche, implement the project and then move onto the next.
Keyword selection is an art form that can deliver some major perks to a site. Although finding the right keywords to use can take time and effort, the payoff can be big in terms of visitors and even revenue.