7 Mistakes to Avoid When Researching Keywords

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Researching Keywords


Are you planning a pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaign, social media marketing, email or just an organic search marketing campaign? One of the first steps toward success is researching relevant keywords.

You can’t expect to launch a successful digital marketing campaign without first identifying target keywords.

These keywords are essentially what you will build your marketing campaigns around, attesting to their importance.

However, you’ll want to avoid making the following critical mistakes when researching keywords, as it could prove disastrous to your campaigns.

Focusing Strictly on Keyword Volume

Search volume is an important metric to consider when researching target keywords, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should focus strictly on volume while disregarding other metrics.

A keyword with high search volume, for instance, often has lots of competition. And conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that highly competitive keywords are more difficult (and costly) to rank for.

So, consider search volume as only one factor when researching your target campaigns.

Non-Profitable Keywords

Another all-too-common mistake made by business owners when researching target keywords is choosing keywords that are simply not profitable.

Regardless of your industry, chances are there are plenty of keywords that fall under this category. If you sell antivirus software, for instance, targeting keywords like “free antivirus software” and “free virus scanner” isn’t exactly the best choice.

Users who search for keywords including the word “free” typically aren’t in the mindset of spending money, in which case you’ll have a difficult time converting them into paying customers.

Skip the non-profitable keywords such as these, focusing your efforts on profitable keywords instead.

Overlooking Competitors’ Keywords

When you’re busy researching your target keywords, you may forget or fail to see the importance of analyzing your competitors’ keywords.

If a competitor is targeting a keyword that you overlooked, they will capture all of those leads and sales. HubSpot has an excellent tool designed specifically for researching competitors’ keywords.

When using the site’s Keywords Tool, simply click the “Competitors” tab on the far right, at which point you’ll see a comparison of your site’s target keywords versus those of your competitors.

Keep an eye on your competitors’ keywords to see whether they are gaining momentum on your site’s rankings.


Don’t try to guess whether a keyword is relevant and useful in your digital marketing campaigns.

Sure, some target keywords are obvious, in which case it’s perfectly fine to include them in your campaigns, but you should still analyze their metrics to see exactly how they perform.

If you run a website that sells diamond engagement rings, for instance, some obvious keywords may include “buy a diamond engagement ring,” “diamond engagement ring for sale,” “shop for a diamond engagement ring,” etc.

  • But do you know how many searches these keywords receive?
  • How many other sites are ranking for these keywords?
  • How many links your site has with this anchor text?

You’ll need to answer all of these questions when choosing target keywords for your digital marketing campaigns.

Not Using Keyword Research Tools

If you can’t guess on your target keywords, how are you supposed to identify them? The answer is to use a keyword research tool.

There are dozens of tools designed specifically for researching and analyzing keywords, some of which are free while others are paid. If you’re looking for a free and effective research tool, try Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner.

It pulls data from Google’s servers, so you can rest assured knowing it’s accurate and up to date. Using the AdWords Keyword Planner tool, you can find keyword search volume, average bid cost (for AdWords), competition, related keywords and more.

It’s an invaluable tool when researching relevant target keywords for your digital marketing campaigns.

Unequal Distribution of Target Keywords

What does this mean exactly? It means you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Perhaps your business has an obvious target keyword that customers are constantly searching for, in which case you invest all of your resources into targeting this keyword. In doing so, however, you overlook other relevant keywords.

Even if these secondary keywords receive fewer searches, they are still effective sources of leads and sales, assuming they are relevant to your target audience.

So, make sure you have an equal distribution of target keywords; otherwise, you’ll leave leads up for grabs, and it’s probably your competitors who will nab those leads.

Not Monitoring Search Trends

Just because a particular keyword has a significant number of searches today doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have the same search volume tomorrow.

If a keyword is trending, chances are it’s going to have more searches. And targeting these trending keywords can prove beneficial in your digital marketing campaigns.

So, how do you know if a keyword is trending? Again, there are tools designed to reveal this information, including Google Trends.

Enter a keyword into Google Trends, and it will reveal whether it’s trending up or down, over the course of a specified time frame. Google Trends can even provide future insights into keyword popularity and search volume.

The Bottom Line

Keyword research is only a piece of the puzzle of a strong and successful digital marketing campaign. It involves identifying and analyzing keywords that are relevant and profitable.

After doing so, you can use them in your marketing campaigns. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of some of the most common mistakes made by small business owners when researching keywords.

By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll have an easier time connecting with your target audience and convincing them to buy your product.

What keyword research mistakes are you guilty of making? Let us know in the comments section below!


Not sure if you have the time to do all of this research? Schedule a business review with us to see how we can help solve your digital marketing campaign needs.

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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Researching Keywords
Want to connect with your target audience and convince them to buy your product? Yes! One of the first steps toward success is researching relevant keywords.

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