5 Signs You’re Targeting The Wrong Keywords

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Keywords might not be quite as relevant to search engine optimization as they used to be, but they’re still a cornerstone of building a useful website. Every topic on your blog begins with keyword research. Every page is built out of search terms.

Then, that you want to make sure you’re targeting the right keywords. While a lot of that involves doing your research, you’ll also want to monitor your site for signs that you’ve made a mistake. I’m going to discuss three of the most common. 

People Aren’t Staying on Your Site.

As noted by the marketing publication Search Engine Journal, the bounce rate is one of the least-understood SEO metrics of all.  In essence, it’s a measure of how many visitors leave a page on your site without taking any other actions. Something referred to as a “bounce.” Bounce rate can be measured on a per-page basis, across a segment of pages, or as a sitewide metric.  

However, it should not be measured in a vacuum. Taken without context, it isn’t significant. A high bounce rate on a contact page, for instance, could mean your customers are finding what they need.

If, however, a page has a high bounce rate and people aren’t spending much time there, it may indicate that the keywords you’ve targeted aren’t attracting the right audience. 

You’re Not Showing up on the Search Engine Results Page

If your site is suffering from low organic visibility, this could indicate a few things. First, it could be that no one is searching for your chosen keywords. Their traffic is so restrictively low that you aren’t likely to gain anything from targeting them, even if they are relevant. 

It might also indicate that your keywords are too competitive. For instance, if you’re directly competing with a major retailer or massive corporation like Amazon, you may want to refocus your efforts. Sure, there’s a small chance you’ll get more eyes on your content, but there’s a far greater chance you’ll end up lost in the collective noise.

This also tends to happen with highly generic keywords. There needs to be some degree of personalization on your site, some means of distinguishing yourself from 

Finally, it might indicate that your content isn’t of high enough quality to rank. Either it’s too thin, too similar to another page on the web, or isn’t aligned with your keywords. You’ll want to go back to the drawing board and either put in a bit more effort or else hire someone to create the content for you.  

In the meantime, I’d advise using something like Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Try for something with moderate traffic and relatively low difficulty. 

No One’s Viewing Your Content

Last but certainly not least, are you getting a ton of impressions on the SERP but no clickthroughs? This could be indicative of a few things. First, take a look at your headline/title tag. Make sure to apply Moz’s best practices to it.

  • Keep the length below 60 characters. 
  • Put your most important keywords first, such as your brand name, product category, and product name.
  • For non-sales-related content, focus on only a single topic keyword, and avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Write the title with your customers in mind, and consider what they may find compelling.
  • Make it unique. 

Next, look at your meta description. While there’s evidence to suggest that Google doesn’t crawl this section of a page, it’s still important to give visitors an idea of what they can expect. Keep your language conversational, include a call to action, keep it relatively short (a paragraph at most), write it in the active voice, and include a call to action. 

Proactivity Is The Key To Success

Keyword research is the bread and butter of successful SEO. But even with proper research, you need to stay proactive. You need to monitor your site’s pages to ensure you’ve chosen the right keywords and take action if you haven’t. 

About the Author: 

Daniel Page is the Director of Business Development for ASEOHosting, a leading provider in SEO hosting and multiple IP hosting. 

5 Signs You’re Targeting The Wrong Keywords

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