Why Your Keyword Strategy Is Incomplete, Inefficient, and Missing the Mark

A keyword strategy serves as the original base for any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign to launch from.

When built correctly, keyword strategies help businesses and brands understand how to:

  • Build out a website that aligns with their target audiences’ top of mind awareness
  • Develop a hierarchy of services, products, and/or information
  • Create a user experience that supports their intended conversion funnel
  • Understand what forms and subjects to use when creating content
  • Engage social audiences in ways that solicit reaction

Although most businesses and brands have some type of a keyword strategy that was created either internally or by a third-party vendor, most miss the mark when it comes to:

  • Considering consumer resonation or how a particular target audience relates to specific products/services/subjects
  • Understanding how offline variables like seasonality and location affect organic search intentions
  • Utilizing tools that go beyond monthly search volume and offer insight around keyword and/or concept variations
  • Connecting their brand with relevant audiences
  • Knowing what specific forms of content (videos, infographics, blog articles, etc.) to develop around their keyword strategy

Common Keyword Strategy Mistakes

These blind spots can lead to the loss of quality traffic and conversions because of how poorly they align with the intended audience’s online search behavior.

Before creating a new keyword strategy, make sure to avoid these three common mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not Using Enough Insight Tools

Ever hear of Google Keyword Planner? Chances are, yes.

What about:

  • Soovle
  • Google Trends

Most marketers and SEOs tend to rely upon Google Keyword Planner exclusively, despite the fact that this singular tool only offers keyword suggestions and estimated monthly search volumes.

In order to understand how particular keywords are affected by offline variables or how consumers use these terms when searching on their desktop vs. using their mobile devices, SEO strategists need to incorporate more tools into your strategy.

Soovle

Allows SEO strategists to understand what specific words or phrases online consumers use the most within every major search engine including YouTube and Wikipedia.

If have two key terms that similar in nature and are struggling to decide which should be used a primary keyword, Soovle can demonstrate which term is more predominantly used by online consumers.

Soovle is also helpful when trying to understand what other key terms or information should be used when creating content, as it populates terms that are often used by online consumers in conjunction with others.

Soovle

In the example above, the SEO strategist would know that I should create content around:

  • Coupons
  • Toothbrush holders
  • Toothbrushes for kids
  • “Best” kinds of power toothbrushes

Based on how often theses references are searched for within Google, Bing, Amazon, and Yahoo.

Google Trends

This free platform allows SEO strategists to compare keyterms and phrases that are similar in nature, but are referred to differently.

Instead of displaying information that highlights monthly search volume, Google Trends populates information around consumer resonation as it pertains to seasonality, geographical location, and date.

Google Trends - Consumer Interest

Using the example of “power toothbrush” vs. “electric toothbrush,” Google Trends demonstrates that the form “electric” aligns more with consumer resonation and has so since 2004.

Google Trends - Regional Interest

If a particular business or brand is interested in marketing their products within specific locations or communities, Google Trends can highlight what states and regions think of such products top of mind.

With this, strategists can begin to develop a new category within their keyword strategy that’s dedicated to geo-location and geo-modifiers and includes details they learned using Soovle e.g. Best electric toothbrushes in Oklahoma

Mistake #2: Only Focusing on Monthly Search Volume

Although Google Keyword Planner is extremely useful when trying to understand how popular a particular keyword is, it still has two critical flaws:

  1. It is not 100% accurate
  2. It does not offer information around long-tail keywords, statements, or questions that are used when searching online

Basically, Google Keyword Planner does not offer insight around actual consumer behavior as it applies to the way most people search in 2016

Just because Google doesn’t show search volume around phrases, does that mean consumers aren’t using complete sentences when searching? No!

Take a look at this example.

If someone is optimizing a Chiropractic clinic’s website in Atlanta and wants to attract consumers who have been in a car accident, it would be reasonable to believe that such potential patients search for the best place to immediately go in order to receive medical treatment.

If someone is involved in some type of auto accident near Atlanta, it’s likely that their only means for searching online is through a mobile device. According to Google, approximately 20% of all mobile queries are voice searches.

Although Google’s Keyword Planner shows that nobody under the sun searches for the phrases:

  • Best chiropractors in Atlanta
  • Who should I call after a car accident
  • What should I do after getting into a car accident in Atlanta

Google Keyword Planner

The fact of the matter is that this type of question is completely appropriate considering the circumstances.

In fact, when searching with the phrase, “what should I do after getting into a car accident in Atlanta” you can see that the number one ranking is dedicated to a specific Chiropractic clinic.

The phrase is relevant to an audience interested in locating medical support and is used by such consumers as proven by the fact that other government and professional medical systems also rank for this phrase, and their meta descriptions speak to this question.

Search Listings

Don’t hesitate to develop content around long-tail keywords, questions and statements that show zero monthly search volume. Instead, perform a manual search of the questions or phrase that is of interest and see what type of content populates.

If the competition or other relevant sources are speaking to this, then that means there are interested online consumers who are searching for this information.

Mistake #3: Trying to Optimize for Invented Terms

Many companies try to develop their own jargon or vocabulary for particular services in order to stand out from the competition, as well as to improve top of mind awareness for their target audience.

However, this can lead to a number of issues from an SEO perspective, especially if such terms or phrases haven’t been vetted.

Without mentioning names, there was one particular client that invented the term “Unglossary” as a way to reference their content marketing services.

When they received their original keyword strategy, they couldn’t believe that this term wasn’t included and were quite upset.

Their team of strategists had to show them that when “Unglossary” is searched for, the type of listings that appear predominantly skew towards information about the United Nations.

unglossary

Although they rank well for this term, it does not contain any monthly search volume, it is not in line with their competitors or their target audience’s intentions, nor does it lead to search results that are relevant for marketing.

Avoiding These Common Mistakes Is the Only Way to Achieve Success

The value of any keyword strategy is completely dedicated to how well it considers the behavior and intentions of its intended target audience.

Anyone can create a long list of keywords that reflects a particular company’s services and industry.

Being able to develop a strategy that understands:

  • Whether or not consumers use one form over another (e.g. power vs. electric toothbrush)
  • What type of content should be use to bolster the authority of a particular keyword (blog article vs. video)
  • What type of positioning will solicit positive results

Takes a significant amount of time and research in order to accomplish.

For businesses and brands that are interested in maximizing their monthly traffic and conversions, make sure to avoid these common mistakes.

What mistakes do you think strategists and marketers make when creating keyword strategies? What tools and advice do you have?

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.

Author: Julian Connors

Julian Connors is an experienced search marketing director who has developed complex, wide-scale search and social campaigns for brands that include: P&G, The Source, Papa Johns, GiveSmart, and more. A published author on the concept of "Social SEO", Connors contributes to a number of recognized publications and speaks at digital marketing conferences throughout the country.

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