Keyword Research Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Keyword research is not a piece of cakewalk. We’ve been doing keyword research for years and we still struggle sometimes finding high potential keywords. That being said, if you’re a beginner who’re just getting started with keyword research, here are few biggest mistakes you must avoid to attract more search traffic.

Targeting “short phrase” long tail keywords

We all know long tail keywords are easier to rank for because of their low competitiveness. But here’s the thing. If you’re targeting “short phrase” long tail keywords, you’re NOT going to get any results (especially when you’ve a new website with low backlink profile or domain authority).

Here’s what we mean by “short phrase” long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords can contain 3 or more words but it doesn’t mean you should be targeting a 3 word long short tail keyword as it will definitely have a lot more competition when compared to a 5 word long short tail keyword.

You can’t compete for the short phrase long tail keywords because you can’t rank for them unless you’ve a ton of budget and quality backlinks.

Not checking keyword competition

This is a HUGE mistake while doing keyword research. If you’re not keeping an eye on the competition for the keywords you’re going to rank for, how can you even get into top 10 search results?

That being said, here are few keyword metrics you need to find out to easily discover the competitiveness of any keyword that you are trying to rank for.

Google SERP – top results from Google search for the selected keyword. Overall SEO score is computed as the average of the SEO competitiveness of the top 10 pages. Red colour = big SEO competitiveness. Green colour = low SEO competitiveness.

DA – Domain Authority (developed by Moz) predicts how well a website will rank on search engines

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PA – Page Authority (developed by Moz) predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines

MR – MozRank of the URL represents a link popularity score reflecting the importance of any given website on the Internet.

MT – MozTrust of the URL is similar to MozRank, but rather than measuring link popularity, it measures trustworthiness of the link

Links – the number of external authority-passing links to the URL

FB – the number of Facebook shares for the URL

Rank – SEO competitiveness rank – the higher it is, the harder it is to compete. (min = 0; max = 100)

Est. visits – estimated visits per month on this SERP position

Not finding multiple LSI keywords for the primary keyword

LSI Keywords are essentially keywords which are related to the keyword that you search for on search engines. In short, LSI keywords are those keywords that are related to your main term.

For example, “apple laptop” can be an LSI keyword for “Macbook air” or “Macbook pro”

You can easily find a ton of LSI keywords using tools like

LSI Graph



Google autosuggest and so on

LSI keywords help Google to better understand the relevancy of your pages. A legitimate page about ‘Apple computers’ will likely contain a set of other words that are related to Apple computers such as ‘apple phones’, ‘apple iphone 5’, ‘apple new ipad’, ‘apple stock price’ and so on. On the other hand, a keyword stuffed page about ‘Apple computers’ will probably just contain that one keyword.

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That’s the reason why Google has moved from “keyword stuffing” era to “LSI indexing” era. So make sure to find multiple LSI keywords when you’re finding a primary keyword to rank for your website.

Ignoring commercial intent

Whether you know it or not, there are several types of keywords which include;

Commercial intent keywords also known as transactional or buyer keywords (the intent is to buy something online or looking for best deals online)

Informative keywords (the intent is to acquire more information about a product or service)

Navigational keywords (the intent is to reach to a particular site or brand, for ex: “twitter”, “Amazon” etc)

If you’re ignoring commercial intent keywords and only focusing on either informative or navigational keywords, you’re NEVER going to attract people who will actually buy stuff from you.

Here are few examples of commercial intent keywords just in case if you’re curious to know.

Best discounts on macbook air

SEMrush free trial

Grammarly promo code

And the list goes on

If you look at the above examples, they are all commercial intent keywords where people are actually looking for “best deals” to buy online.


You need to first work on finding the right kind of keyword ideas for overall your site and make your site search engine friendly by optimizing it for those keywords.

Once you analyzed your keywords, start focusing on writing quality content (nothing beats quality, you can’t expect great results from Google by creating thin content) to boost your organic traffic. 

About the author

Alvin Uchenna

A Passionate Blogger With A Keen Eye In Helping People To Develop, Design And Monetize Their Blogs.

1 Comment

  • Hey Alvin,

    First, thank you very much for sharing this with us. Honestly, I didn’t care much about keyword research for my blog posts because my primary goal was to improve my writing skills.

    However, after reading your very informative article, I decided to do proper keyword research for the next article. Hope it’ll help me to have good traffic.

    Thanks again.

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