Keywords are an essential part of Search Engine Optimization and PPC Advertising. But all marketing efforts, and money, can go to waste if they are not properly utilized. Here are the most common keyword pitfalls websites and advertisers often dive into.
1. Hiding and Shrinking of keywords.
Using your keywords for your website's content will highly optimize your site. But try going to a website and finding small words just below the copyright or press ctrl-A to highlight all the text. Hiding or shrinking keywords within a website have terrible consequences. Not only will your website not be shown for those keywords, you can actually be banned from search engines.
2. Keyword Overstuffing.
When you are finished with your website's content, read it aloud at least twice to measure how it sounds. When you repeat the same keyword phrase twice in the same sentence or three times in a single paragraph, you have gone overboard. Select the best keywords to use in your content and stick to them. If there are too much to talk about, break them down in sections or use them in other pages of your site.
3. Having your content or keywords as an image.
Search engines have yet to develop a way to index text within an image, so until then, avoid having your content and keywords within images and pictures in your website.
4. Over tagging.
Inputting your search phrases in the meta title, description and keywords of your site is advisable. But do not just insert them for the sake of indexing, there is no point repeating your keywords over and over again in your metatags.
5. Generic Keywords.
This is practically a major mistake. Not only do using generic one-word keywords generate too much competition, they are expensive and oftentimes not as effective as people would think.
Let’s try the consumer perspective. If we are looking to buy a specific product, we would not just search for a general term. We would look for a specific brand, model, and when necessary if it’s affordable. So, people searching for "cheap ipods nano-chromatic" are more likely looking to purchase than people keying in just "mp3 players" or even "ipod".
6. Choosing Competitive Keywords.
Choosing popular keywords often has an immediate consequence of having too many websites using them or advertisers bidding on them.
For SEO, it is hard to compete with other websites, especially older more established ones, for a great position. For PPC, bidding on popular keywords with too much competition is a money losing scheme.
7. Choosing Keywords with NO competition.
Keywords with 0 competition can mean that no one is using them. There is no point ranking number one for a keyword no one looks for. Enough said.
8. Bidding on unrelated keywords.
For PPC advertisers, this is a common mistake. Even if there is low competition and high popularity for this keyword, it would not matter. Imagine bidding on a keyword that will not generate money for your website because that was not what the searcher was looking for in the first place.
9. Not knowing your competition.
If you are an up and coming website, this is a common mistake. Bidding or taking on long tail keywords hoping that alone will be enough. There are billions of websites out there employing the use of keywords to sell. You can’t ignore competition.
There are advanced keyword research tools that provide you with information on competitors’ keywords as well as statistics on how these terms fair in the market. You find out what other advertisers or websites are doing either to improve on their strategies or to avoid them all together, just the same, you cannot avoid not knowing who your competitors are.
10. Not monitoring your keywords.
Some keywords will work for your ad campaign or website for a particular month but come the next season hit an all time low in search or click through rates. It pays to monitor what works and what doesn’t.
It is true that keyword research and application is not an exact science and takes a lot of work. But taking time in properly analyzing, choosing and utilizing your keywords will bring more good in your business in the long run.