Why Keywords Can Be Your SEO’s Best Friend… or Its Arch Nemesis

Keywords hold a ton of power in the internet marketing space. However, many entrepreneurs don’t realize that their keywords can actually work against them. They mistakenly assume more keywords are automatically better for their business, but sadly, it’s not that simple. If they don’t understand what makes or breaks a keyword, they’ll quickly find themselves with high bounce rates, low click-through rate (CTR), and a ton of frustration.

Here’s an example: Let’s say Bob runs a logistics company that offers shipping solutions to small businesses and individuals with low weight, low quantity packages. Bob thinks he knows his audience well, so like any good business owner, he launches some pages that target the keywords “business shipping” and “logistics solutions.” A few months later, he finds that those pages have super high bounce rates and low CTR. Bob is shocked, believing he did everything right to target his audience. What gives?

FURTHER READING: Top Free Keyword Research Tools in 2021

Not All Keywords Are Created Equal

Here’s why so many business owners fail to target their audience. Bob was smart to utilize keywords to attract people, but the issue is that he attracted the wrong people. In this case, Bob’s business is targeted to individuals and small businesses with low weight/low quantity packages. However, because Bob’s keywords were too vague, they attracted medium and large businesses that require many different logistical solutions. Because of this, those people landed on Bob’s site, quickly realized that Bob didn’t offer what they needed, and clicked off.

Let’s take another example: Let’s say John owns a metal fabrication studio. His passion is to transform metal into pieces for industrial use. So naturally, John launches a website and writes some helpful pages all about his products and process. He’s seen similar companies gain a lot of traction from Google search results, so he hopes his website will do the same. 

Some weeks later, John checks back to see how his new website is performing. His impressions are looking good, but unfortunately, his clicks and CTR rates have stagnated. He’s understandably surprised and doesn't understand why his pages didn’t rank well on Google… they were well-written and everything!

The Truth About Google

John may have used the correct keywords, but his mistake lay in his content. John didn’t offer helpful info to those searching for his services, so unless they already knew John and wanted to buy from him, they clicked away. If John wants to rank high in Google’s eyes, he needs to write content that offers actionable information for those in this space. Most people who use Google are asking a specific question, so it pays off to be the one providing the answer.

Today, I want to share three powerful strategies to help you avoid these pitfalls and get your business roaring.

FURTHER READING: How to Discover the Questions Your Prospects Are Asking

1) Know Your Audience Like Yourself

Even with the internet at our fingertips, you might be surprised at how many companies know very little about their audiences. But if there’s anything we learned from Bob’s and John’s examples, it’s that understanding your audience takes more than just the basics. This is because we live in an information-flooded world, so the more you dig into the details, the more you’ll cut through the noise.

To do this, it comes down to what happens before you launch a single website or write a single blog: RESEARCH. A lot. There are endless ways to study your potential buyers, so use those tools to dive deep and know them like you know yourself. The sooner you do, the better you’ll be at creating pages and content that speak directly to them. Never guess; do it right the first time.

2) Long-Tail Keyword Research

Now that you know all about keywords, I want to introduce you to long-tail keywords. The difference? Long-tail, as the name suggests, is longer than normal keywords. For example, instead of “metalworking” or “shipping solutions”, their long-tail counterparts would be “metalworking for industrial installation” and “shipping solutions for small businesses.” 

The power of long-tail keywords is that their conversion rates are higher because they’re far more specific. Their overall impressions will be lower, but if we learned anything from Bob and John, there’s more to converting customers than just getting eyeballs on your website. It’s about attracting the right people, ones who actually want to commit to your offer. That’s the key to conversion and growth. So by deploying long-tail keywords (which require testing and research), you’ll find your content growing consistently.

3) Dial In Your Content

Remember John’s example? He wanted to set up camp on Google’s search results with his metalworking studio, but even with detailed content about his shop, Google didn’t give him the time of day. This was because his content wasn’t answering the questions his audience was asking about metalworking. Content that offers actionable information in a short amount of time will reign supreme.

If you were in John’s shoes, how would you fix this? First, implement steps one and two—they build a stable foundation for understanding your audience well and knowing what keywords to use. From there, you’ll want to write and optimize content that offers helpful and actionable tips to your readers. Imagine what your audience is asking Google, then write the content that quickly and directly answers it. 

Your audience will soon find and thank you.

ALSO READ: Top 4 Beginner PPC Mistakes… and How To Avoid Them

Picture of Nick Ponte

Nick Ponte

Born and raised on Maui, Nick was employed as an automobile mechanic before founding his own local marketing agency. Nick naturally wrestled with the change from tradesman to marketer (not an easy transition) but, like Tom, he wouldn't give up. Through years of commitment, Nick has grown to be a highly skilled web developer and marketing expert with a specialized skill-sets in a variety of fields. He has developed many high-traffic, high-quality websites that incorporate the best practices for today's digital marketing. Today, Nick eagerly shares his experience and knowledge by helping others in cultivating their business.

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