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Keyword Research For Newbies – 10 Keyword Research Mistakes to Avoid

June 20, 2017

Last Updated on - July 6, 2020  

minutes read

keyword research for newbies

This is a guest post from one of our Guest Authors.

Speaking about SEO you will always stumble upon one key element called ‘Keyword Research’. Some SEO experts say that ‘Keyword Research’ is the first step you should do; the others don’t include this strategy on top of everything else though. Nevertheless, each of SEO experts will agree that “Keyword Research” is an integral part of general SEO analysis.

Targeting the right keywords might help save your time, make your marketing strategy easier and see your website on the first page of Google.

Yeah, it sounds pretty intrigued, right?

But what do you have to do to see the positive results from your own keyword research?

And my reply to your question is as obvious as it seems – you should avoid doing basic mistakes.

Keyword Research for Newbies – Mistakes to Avoid

Practice shows that almost every newbie marketer makes mistakes during keyword research. Despite the fact these mistakes have been covered a dozen of time, I believe it won’t hurt you to run through 10 keyword research mistakes once more.

Perhaps, you’ve missed something before and you will find answers to your questions reading this post.

So here are the 10 keyword research mistakes that you should avoid.

You Forget Doing a Proper Keyword Research at the First Set-Out

I won’t state that a keyword research is a simple task. No, it takes lots of time and you will have to do it on a daily basis. However, here marketers do a mistake thinking that they know perfectly the niche they work and what a target audience is going to search on Google.


Image Source: Tubular Insights


Keywords can’t be in a static mode all the time. As needs of your customers might change, the same happens to keywords – they can change their form. Your first step should be identifying potential keywords you want to rank for. Afterwards, you should do keyword research update as regularly as you can. I encourage you to do in-depth keyword research even if you think there is no sense in it.

SIDENOTE: if you need more pieces of advice on how to do a keyword research in a proper way, you should check out this guide.

Using Irrelevant Keywords

It goes without saying that we tend to rank for those keywords that have a high search volume. I don’t see anything unusual here except one moment. In chasing for keywords with a high search volume, lots of marketers shy away from relevant keywords to a particular niche. In other words, you deceive yourself thinking that ranking for keywords with a high search volume will bring you positive results. No. Only related keywords to your niche are able to help you see your website gets traffic. Thus, keep an eye on relevant keywords first.

Stick to ‘No Sense’ Keywords

Your desire to cover as many keywords as you can doesn’t surprise me. You simply want to create and implement all possible keyword combinations believing that this strategy will attract traffic to your web resource.


Image Source: Clever Gizmos


It is a kind of lottery where only a few of keywords will have a high search volume, while the rest – low. When you try to rank for each and every keyword, it may lead you nowhere. Especially, you can loose your time, patience and, of course, those keywords that worth ranking for.

Remember that quality is over quantity. There is no need in recreating the wheel in targeting for keywords. Focus on the words related to your niche and to your production. Make sure people use these words as inquiries in Google searching for something in your niche.

You’ll see when you will have a list of core keywords, it would be easier for you to expand more new keyword opportunities to rank for.

Targeting for Competitor Keywords

How do we estimate a power of a particular keyword? Right, by checking its search volume. Let me give you a brief explanation for a search volume. Search volume is a metric that shows how often a target keyword is searched per month in a given country. Following the idea of getting competitor keywords with a high search volume, newbies do a big mistake.

Image Source: Word Stream

You might ask “what kind of a mistake?”

Well, if you run an online business in a particular niche, you will definitely have “sharks” brands that are already kings in this area. Reasonably fair, if you think that the keywords these “beasts” rank for are a good soil for you to start with your own SEO strategy. And you’re aiming to rank for these keywords as well. Here is you got trapped.

I would like to give you an example for the better understanding what I mean.

If you rank for a keyword, for instance, “online games”, it has 305K search volume; in contrast to it, a keyword “free online games for kids” has 9.4K search volume. The last example of a keyword has a lower level of competition and it would be much better for you to rank for this keyword. As the result, you will get more benefits from it, rather than ranking for competitor keywords.

Keyword Allocation

When you have a list of keywords you want to rank for, your next step is to place them on your website. This process is called keyword allocation. The main mistake website owners do is adding irrelevant keywords within the content that have nothing in common with these keywords. In other words, you could add a keyword that doesn’t match a search intent.

Image Source: 904 Broker

My advice to you – pay attention to inquiries people use.

Thus, if a person searches for “buy bass guitar in canada”, it means the inquiry comes from people who are interested in buying instruments only in Canada. Following this obstacle, the page optimized for this keyword should reflect a proper content material. From the other hand, if the person searches for “buy bass guitar in toronto”, here your content should contain more additional information around Toronto city.

Remember – there is nothing difficult in putting keywords on a page; it is more difficult to try to adjust each keyword according to the search intent.

Singular vs. Plural Form Keywords

I, personally, don’t know but lots of website owners rank for a plural form of keywords instead of singular one. Especially, this mistake is peculiar to eCommerce websites because these resources do a mass sell-out of the production and, as the result, count on the plural form of keywords. For example, instead of using “mp3 players” with 18K search volume, you focus on a singular form “mp3 player”, which has 103K search volume. If you compare these keywords with each other, you will see that a singular form keyword has a higher search volume result.

Despite the fact that Google considers both forms singular and plural as the same thing, they give different results. Due to this fact, you should check what form of keywords to use with the help of Google Trends.

Keywords That Bring Less Traffic

It goes without saying that using long-tail keywords is a great way to attract people on your resource and, moreover, convert them into buyers. It is obvious that specific keywords (especially detailed ones) are a good opportunity for users to get exactly what they need. For example, you will have more chances to get a customer if you rank for, let say, “buy black t-shirt for kids” but it is not as cool as it seems.

Using keywords that bring less traffic is pointless in terms of SEO. I don’t want to say – forget about ranking for long-tail keywords. No. Please, try to focus and pick only those long-tail keywords that might bring you traffic.

No Keyword Evaluation

Good news when website owners prefer to rank for keywords with a high search volume. Literally, such kind of keywords really brings a bulk of traffic and your position in Google seems to change from day to day. However, when these people see they’ve already reached the top in Google search, they stop do keyword evaluation.


Image Source:Lodestar

It is a big mistake!

You should never forget about evaluating the keywords you rank for all most on a daily basis. Without this tactic, you won’t know whether there is any necessity in using these keywords or not anymore. Perhaps you should change your focus on long-tail keywords. Or start searching more competitive keywords.

Place Your Stake on a Singular Keyword

When you’re willing to write a piece of content, you must add some keywords you rank for. You try to choose the ones with a high level of search volume – and it is all right. But why do you think that using a singular powerful keyword in your content will bring your awesome results?

Because you rank for a relevant keyword?

Nope, you are wrong. I won’t reject that a strong keyword brings more traffic than other long-tail keywords but using singular keywords throughout the entire article won’t help you for 100%.

You should use a few keywords per article. It all depends on the size of the content you create. For example, if your piece of content contains 1,000 pages, thus it should be optimized for 3,000 – 5,000 keywords.

In other words, stop optimizing your content for a singular keyword.

Ignore Conversion

As you’ve already noticed I mentioned about the importance of traffic your website gets but I haven’t said anything about conversion. It is very important to do a keyword conversion audit if you want to see your sales skyrocket.


But it would be fair if you ask “What’s a conversion audit?”

Conversion audit is the process when you look at your website from customer’s perspective trying to add various improvements for attracting your clients. It includes such directions as SEO, design and layout, checkout process, and, of course, content.

Let’s put aside the whole conversion audit process and focus just on keywords. Must underline that it is a bit tedious and time-consuming work but the results you’ll get worth it. There are words “indicators” that you should pay your attention to. For example, if you see that a keyword phrase starts with “buy”, thus the traffic from it might convert.

I encourage you to do a keyword conversion audit and to see what keywords you should rank for.


Taking all the foregoing into account, I would like to say that making mistakes is an integral part of our nature. Without mistakes, we would have never made any progress at all.


Thanks to various articles and guides you have an excellent opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others. Thus, I hope this brief article has lifted the veil of a keyword research mistakes website owners tend to do.

If you have anything to add, please, feel free to share your thought in a comment section.

Don’t forget to share…:)

About the Author:

Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at andcards (SaaS company developing coworking software solutions). Apart from exploring different marketing and SEO things he likes reading, playing the bass, and studying martial arts.”

About the author

These posts are submitted by our Guest Bloggers. We accept guest posts on topics that are relevant to our blog like blogging, internet entrepreneurship tutorials, affiliate marketing, social media etc. You can read more about how to submit guest posts by visiting our write-for-us page.

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