The word typed in to find information on a search engine is called a “keyword.” Keyword selection is the process of selecting the right ones for your campaign. With fifteen years in business and scores of online marketing clients we have been exposed to our fair share of keyword sins. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see.

Sin #1: Failing to grasp what searchers are actually looking for. Frequently, terms used internally have no bearing on what people search for. Be careful of abbreviate terms and company nomenclature. It is best to mine the front end, those who talk directly with the customer. That makes it easier to avoid this mistake. What do customers ask for? What benefit appeals to them?

Sin #2: People love to compete with competitors directly. They think it is aggressive and throwing down the gauntlet. It might be those things but it is pretty much useless as well. For a bunch of different reason this yields no benefit. Mostly, people will search find your site and be befuddled. Then promptly leave.

Sin #3: A lot of people think they have the car, software, book, computer, flight, hotel that will rule the world. Well unfortunately you don't. I know you are excited and you think that is the thing people will be searching for, but it really is not your target market. You are a 'custom software company' or a 'romantic getaway hotel.' Not just a hotel or software. Have some specificity in describing yourself.

Sin #4: After these years in the business, what amaze me is people still don't get analytics. Analysis your web traffic. What is coming in and what is promptly leaving. Do these people even want to be on your site? If you have some sort of elaborate plan that works regardless of the quality of the traffic we wish you the very best of luck. Otherwise, you have to get down into the weeds a little bit more. Find what keywords are bring traffic what people are looking for etc.

Sin #5: Too few keywords. One of my best clients I ever worked with had just two keywords to start with. At the time I found the whole experience a little disorienting. I mean you are about to sign an ongoing search engine agreement with me and all you have thought about is two keywords!? From our perspective, it is awful hard to make two keywords alone work. There is no long tail. There is no building up. It is just a shot in the dark. Anyhow, we sat down and developed 10 more keywords. A much better start. Eventually, it ended up being about fifty keywords. You should work for a decent list.

Sin #6: Keywords often have multiple meanings or at least multiple audiences. Once upon a time we had a client that had a very specific keyword they wanted in their list. After our research we found that this keyword was dominate by adult entertainment industry. Yes, it was bizarre to us too. Quickly realizing you don't want to spend money to end up in that mess, we moved on. They settled on something more specific see #3 above. Use keywords that have multiple meanings judicially.

Sin #7: Frequently we see marketers get into auto pilot mode. They are so happy with the initial results they really don't think about it again. This is dangerous. Rarely does the market stay still. There are a lot of trending tools that you can see what happens. One word eventually looses popularity and another crops up in its place. We recommend annual reviews of this. Reviewing these type of keywords with an expert can be vital for the success of a campaign. It helps decrease cost and increase rate of return. If you happen to need a professional to help you don't hesitate to contact us at or 972-997-8200.

Joe Costantino

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About Joe Costantino

In 1999, Joe founded Einstein’s Eyes, providing internet marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. The company’s services include website development, e-commerce, online marketing, and content development.

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