To produce tangible results for your business (and balance sheets), a website now has to be search engine optimised and Google friendly. But being searchable is not always easy for businesses, who often find themselves embroiled in the dos and don’ts and complex disciplines of SEO. Keywords are one of the principle elements of good SEO – get it right, and you’re halfway there. Get it wrong however and you could be attracting the wrong type of custom – or no custom whatsoever. In this post we explore how using keywords effectively and getting to know how they work can reduce bounce rates and improve your website’s SEO significantly.
Which common keyword mistakes do businesses make?
When approaching keywords it’s important to remember that there isn’t just one type. SEO novices find themselves thinking about the nature of their business or the products they offer alone. For example, you sell fishing supplies in Lancashire. So you assume your keywords will be ‘fishing supplies’ and ‘Lancashire’. Discovering the best keywords for your business can be a lot more complex than that – and the first step is understanding which types to go for, and which to avoid.
Forgetting about negative keywords
Negative keywords are keywords you can actively exclude from your paid advertising (PPC) or SEO campaign to ensure you’re not getting the wrong sort of traffic. For instance, you sell children’s clothes, but only up to 9 years of age. You don’t want people searching for clothes for 11 year olds clicking through, discovering you don’t have what they’re looking for and going elsewhere.
Often people spend so long thinking about their keywords that they neglect to consider the terms related to their business that they don’t want to rank for. Success online is all about streamlining and targeting – so creating a negative keyword list is essential.
Not thinking carefully about long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases made up of four to five words creating a clear impression of what it is you are selling online. Effectively they are sentences or strings of words that are very specific to the type of service or product you offer. Many businesses use long tail keywords – but they neglect to think carefully about how effective their choice will actually be. To discover highly effective long tail keywords you need to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customer. Think about all the relevant searches they could possibly make – and the type of terminology and wording they’ll use when they are looking for you. Google has a handy tool for generating long tail keywords – but other tools are available. More often than not you or anyone with a good understanding of your business and your clientele should be able to determine a few good phrases to get you started – a brainstorm with partners, colleagues and staff might be an effective, easy way to do this.
Using vague keywords which describe your product or service too broadly
Keywords that are too broad and vague are bound to attract the wrong sort of traffic to your website. Cue high bounce rates, disappointed visitors, poor performance and disappointing results. Always make sure that you are being as specific as possible when scoping out your chosen keywords. Keywords that couldn’t be misconstrued for anything else and lead directly to your business result in more clicks and most importantly higher conversion rates as relevant searchers find you and engage with you.
Not recognising when it’s time to enlist professional support
We encounter many businesses that have wasted plenty of time, money and energy attempting to conduct their own SEO campaign, only to find that it has been fruitless. SEO is a complex discipline requiring a dedicated, professional approach. With this in mind you should always call in the experts if sales via your website form a significant part of your business strategy. In the long run you’ll save time, money and hassle – and can also enjoy faster, more reliable results to ensure you’re increasing profitability in no time.
To speak to a dedicated, professional team about your search engine optimisation and online marketing ambitions, why not get in touch today? Read our case studies and testimonials here to see how our expertise can benefit your business.