10 most typical keyword planning mistakes in order to avoid

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
8 min read

Don’t flunk of the common search engine marketing mistakes

It seems almost too easy initially. It certainly does. You discover a keyword tool and you also enter whatever key phrase that involves mind. Voilà! As promised, you discover out just how many people are looking for your keyword, in addition to a whole slew of other useful statistics just like the keyword’s average cost per click, competition, suggested bid, along with other data – based on which keyword tool you’re using.

However, before you obtain too before yourself and select a keyword to focus on, know that there’s more to keyword planning than meets the attention. There are a great number of nuanced factors you will possibly not have accounted for that may entirely change your keyword strategy. To ensure you obtain it from the get-go, listed below are ten common mistakes that you’ll desire to stay away from.

1. Not realizing that Google Keywords Planner can provide more accurate results

Let’s kick things off with probably the most basic mistakes you may make. The initial keyword planning tool you’ll probably begin using is Google Keyword Planner. That is Google’s own planner in the end, so you’d be to believe it’s probably the most popular and reliable possibilities.

If you quickly join a Google AdWords account (to be able to access the keyword planner) and enter “content marketing,” this is exactly what you’ll see:

google adwords account

The “Avg. monthly searches” column shows a variety of 10K – 100K. That’s a fairly wide variety, isn’t it? Fortunately, you may get a far more specific estimate for those who have an AdWords campaign running. When you have it set, wait each day or two and you’ll start getting more accurate numbers such as this:

Average monthly searches

Much better! However, there’s an excellent chance you don’t desire to be spending a huge amount of money on an AdWords campaign at this time – in the end, you don’t even understand what keywords you’re targeting! To save lots of yourself money, set an extremely low daily budget and put filters which means that your ad is displayed several times each day. You do need ad impressions though, if not you won’t have the ability to access the more accurate keyword statistics.

2. Not distinguishing singular from plural

Google Keyword Planner lumps plural and singular keywords together. In the event that you devote “whiteboard animation” or “whiteboard animations” in the planner, both will yield results for what is apparently the keyword’s singular form, as shown here:

single and plural keywords

While it might seem Google email address details are a similar for both singular and plural type of a keyword, they’re surprisingly not. Try testing this out yourself. You’ll probably see similar, but slightly different results for whatever keyword you’re looking for.

Unfortunately, Google no more gives you the opportunity to tell if the singular or plural type of a keyword is popular. The good thing is, both SEMrush’s and Moz’s keyword planners are worthy alternatives that provide you this data. Listed below are the keyword results for “whiteboard animation” when working with SEMrush’s keyword tool:

SEMrush keyword tool

Amazingly, “whiteboard animation” is sought out 2,400 times monthly while “whiteboard animations” is sought out only 110 times monthly. Positive thing we made this distinction before we ranked for the plural version of the keyword!

3. Ignoring search trends

It’s an easy task to fixate on the full total average monthly search volume and ignore any potential variation in monthly volume in the last year.

To be fair, quite often the quantity numbers are pretty consistent from every month, but it’s always easier to play it safe and have a glance. Many keyword tools curently have these details neatly shown on a graph there for you personally so it’s not an excessive amount of extra work.

Some keywords could have gradually increasing search volume while some could have gradually decreasing search volume, and you’ll have the ability to extrapolate those trends to create decisions about those to target. The quantity of certain keywords could also exhibit seasonality, perhaps being popular during one season than another.

4. Not accounting for keyword match types and location

If you’ve got a knack for watching detail, you may have noticed the huge discrepancy in volume for the keyword “whiteboard animation” across different keyword tools in the examples earlier.

Google shows 12,000 searches monthly while SEMrush shows 2,550 searches monthly if we include both singular and plural versions of the keyword. So what’s going on here?

Really, you can find two major factors creating this discrepancy. The foremost is match type. I would recommend studying each match type by reading the one and only Google’s own support page. Google Keyword Planner defaults to an easy match type while SEMrush defaults to a phrase match type.

The other factor is location. Google defaults to including searches from the complete globe while SEMrush defaults to only including those from within america. Once you take into account both these differences, you’ll get volume numbers which are a lot more in alignment with each another. The main element would be to contextualize your outcomes and become careful when coming up with assumptions about your keywords data.

5. Underestimating long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords tend to be more specific search term phrases that always get less traffic, but could have an increased conversion rate. For example, ResumeGo doesn’t target generic keywords like “resumes” or “CVs”. Instead, they aim for long-tail keywords like “professional resume writing services.”

While we’d easily have more traffic if we were ranked for the keyword “resume,” a lot of people who enter that in to the search bar aren’t really thinking of buying a resume. They could be interested in, say, studying resume tips or finding resume templates. However, people who seek out the long-tail keywords that people target would probably be thinking about our resume writing services, if not they wouldn’t have sought out those specific keywords in the first place.

It’s an easy task to underestimate long-tail keywords because of their lower search volumes. However, unlike what many might think, long-tail keywords make up about 70% of total searches so make sure to have your eye out for them!

6. Failing woefully to recognize that being on page two means nothing

Think about how exactly frequently you go to the second page of Google’s serp’s. Not all too often right? You may even have trouble remembering the final time you achieved it.

If you’re likely to target a keyword, make sure to aim for the initial page, because in accordance with studies like Chitika’s, leading page collectively gets 91.5% of a keyword’s traffic. Page two only get 4.8%.

google traffic by results page

7. Not doing enough research

Some keyword tools offer you data that miraculously shows how difficult a keyword would be to rank for. For example, Moz’s Keyword Explorer includes a difficulty and opportunity statistic as shown below:

Moz's keyword explorer

While this may seem super useful, and perhaps it is to some extent, it’s vital that you take this number with a grain of salt. A far more thorough method of studying your rivals will be through MozBar. This tool enables you to research your potential competitors’ backlinks and examine other metrics. From there, it is possible to decide whether you can contend with them in the SEO game.

8. Judging difficulty solely predicated on page authority and links

Many people use MozBar or perhaps a similar tool to assess keyword difficulty by considering the page authorities (PA) of your competition. It’s tempting to summarize that if the initial page of the keyword “infographics” is full of 70-80 PA results, then it’d be far harder to rank in serach engines for that keyword than “essay writing,” that the initial page may have results with only 50-60 PA.

Making that assumption could be very misleading. The reason being some keywords are harder to create links for than others. For example, someone could devise a technique where they create free infographics for high authority blogging sites and, in exchange, they’re rewarded with plenty of links back again to their very own site with the anchor text “infographics.” This may be a neat strategy, and something that can allow you to get plenty of links fast. However, this same strategy can’t be employed to rank in serach engines for a keyword like “essay writing.”

Despite a keyword having competitors with high PAs, sometimes it could still be an easy task to rank for based on what SEO strategies in store for that one keyword.

9. Not identifying your goal

When we discuss keyword difficulty, exactly what are we discussing? Are we discussing how difficult it really is to obtain onto the initial page? How difficult it really is to be on the list of top three results? Or how difficult it really is to seize that initial spot?

For some keywords, it may be fairly reasonable to obtain onto the initial page, but extremely difficult to beat the very best three results. That is why it’s so vital that you clearly construct what your SEO goals are for every keyword, and measure the difficulty of achieving those specific goals. For a few tougher keywords, you could be in a position to generate a good revenue stream by just being in fourth or fifth invest the serp’s.

On another hand, for other keywords – maybe long-tailed ones which have less volume – only when you are the very best result can you get enough visitors for the SEO effort to be worth your while.

10. Not realizing your competitors are receiving new links too

It’s really natural to check out a competitor’s PA and links, and tell yourself, “I could beat that, just give me four months!”  It’s awesome to possess that sort of confidence, but don’t forget your competitors are constantly building links too. By the finish of four months, you may have exactly the same quality links as your competition had in the past, but maybe your competition have already been gaining links even faster than you, and today you’re even more behind.

Assessing difficulty is a lot more than just taking into consideration the PA and links of one’s competitors now. It’s about gauging where they’ll maintain the near future, and whether it is possible to accumulate links faster than they are able to.

A smart way of seeing how active a niche site has been its SEO efforts is by using Moz’s “Just Discovered” feature, as shown below:

moz's just discovered feature

As you can view, Neil Patel’s site has been obtaining a ton of recent links. You certainly wouldn’t desire to compete with he! In the event that you did, you’ll desire to learn the techniques he could be using.


Keyword planning is like playing chess. You can find a wide variety of possibilities, it’s impossible to learn for several whether you’ve made the proper move. Whatever you can perform is think critically, research your opponent, understand yourself, and make whatever move you imagine is most beneficial.

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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