Yes, the title of this post may seem a bit depressing, but just hear me out.
I’m here to talk about the top mistakes that people make in SEO in relation to keywords, which in turn, basically guarantees that they will never reach the top of Google.
Let’s say that I’m starting an online shop focusing on baby products. The problem that most people encounter in relation to keywords is that they use terms like “baby products” in their SEO campaigns without recognizing the popularity of that term or exploring other options. There are many problems with using generic, short phrases like “baby products” as your main keyword that you would like to market to search engines.
For example, consider online entities like Babies-R-Us and Graco that have hundreds of thousands of dollars to commit to online marketing. Large companies like these dominate the online marketing world because they have almost unlimited resources while, sadly, you do not.
Also, consider how search engines like Google rank sites: the shorter the keyword, the more searches you will have. Therefore, the shorter the keyword or phrase, the harder it is for you to rank number one in Google, for the search engines understand that shorter phrases are more popular and more indicative of relevance.
Basically, when people start a site (or start optimizing their site), they tend to choose keywords that are all wrong for them. In order to avoid this, use the Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool to research key terms and phrases. First, I would make a list similar to this:
baby productsdesigner baby productsbaby itemsbaby gifts
These are common keyword phrases that others with similiar online stores will use to generate traffic to their site. Once I enter in these keywords (and check the “use synonyms” box), Google will generate information on these terms and other similar phrases. You can use this information to pick keywords that are popular, but not over-saturated with competition.
By using what are called “long tail keywords” (phrases of three or more words) you will have a much higher chance of getting a great ranking in Google. This works to the smaller online business’ advantage, because longer keyword phrases have less competition and will allow them to rank on Google’s top page.
Although the traffic generated from these words is quite a bit less than the traditional two-word phrase, it’s better to be at the top of Google for “cheap handmade baby products” than on page 24 for “baby products”.