Ack! Don’t Make these 5 Keyword Mistakes

Winging It

Brainstorming a list of words that you think matter isn’t going to cut it. You are then writing to an audience of one – you. You need to know what your audience wants.

Take time to dive into the language of your audience. Which words do they use? What terms do they search for? Which terms are competitive and which less so?

Casting a Wide Net

You think your business is the tops at what you do and that is great. But online you are competing with national and international brands. Your window covering business is never going to rank for the word “blinds.”  That’s too general.

Make sure you aim for realistic keywords. Some niches are very competitive. Ranking in competitive niches is hard, especially if you’re just starting your website or business. Focus on long tail keywords which are easier to rank for and have a higher chance to convert. Think, “installing new window blinds.”

Ignoring Search Intent

You need to have a clear idea of the kind of intent that’s behind your keywords. People could be looking for information (informational intent), a specific website (navigational intent), or they might want to buy something (commercial or transactional intent).

Pick keywords with intent that matches what you offer. If your content doesn’t match  a searcher’s intent, it probably won’t make it to the results pages, no matter how great and well-optimized it is.


Your content may be most relevant to one keyword, but don’t ignore the others. Be sure to use all related terms. Whenever it makes sense, your keywords should be the vocabulary you use in your writing.

Stuck in Time

It’s easy to get comfortable with a list of keywords and forget to redo your research. Searches really do change over time. (How many searches do you think there were for COVID-19 in 2019?) You need to change as your target audience changes. New concerns and new needs are reflected in how people search and should be reflected in your marketing content.

Focus, and Succeed

Search engine marketing isn’t easy. By avoiding mistakes and keeping up with best practices, you set yourself up for success. Know your keywords and use them!

Do This Before You Publish

You are in a groove with producing content for your online marketing. Great! Make sure you get the most from your efforts, by minding these important factors before you publish each piece of content.

Search Engine Optimization

Take a look at the content. Are your important keywords included? Can more be built in? Do all the images have ALT tags. Can any internal or external links be added to enhance SEO value? Run through your SEO checklist and make sure the content is working as hard for you as it should.

Human Spellcheck

Ah typos. I have many more of them than I care to admit. We all do.

Before you hit publish, have someone other than you give it a spell check. A fresh look should only take a few minutes and will almost always catch something you don’t see as the author.


Flawless grammar isn’t enough to make a sale, but poor grammar may be enough to lose one. Again, a human reader can help with this. There are also grammar checkers built into Word and online tools like Grammarly.

Rightsize images

Take time to optimize the size of images for the platform you are publishing on. Autosizing is nice, but the results aren’t always great and can detract from your content.

If you are publishing to your website, optimizing image size also helps your site speed, important for both user experience and SEO.

There are many resources online to give you ideal image sizes, including this sizing guide from Buffer.

4 Big Questions to Save Time and Money

You want your marketing to achieve your goals, save you time and save you money. That makes sense, and it’s really not a big ask. You can achieve all that and more with the right digital marketing strategy.

Developing a marketing strategy does not add time to your marketing. Quite the opposite. Having a written plan streamlines your efforts and makes it easy for you to assess and pivot as needed. A marketing strategy saves you time and money!

How do you get the right plan in place? It starts by answering four questions.

4 questions for your digital marketing strategy

What is my goal?

Your plan centers around achieving your goal. Do you want to increase sales? Get more repeat business? Build a larger community? Every business is different, and every business has a different marketing goal. Take time to define your goal.

What does my best customer care about?

Who is your best customer? Consider everything you know about the people who make up this group. What do they value most about your business? What are their needs?

The better you understand your best customer, the more you can target your marketing to get their attention and business.

What are my resources?

Set yourself up for success by being real with yourself when you create your strategy. How much time do you have to devote to marketing? How much money? Don’t plan to do 40 hours of marketing a month if you only have 1. That won’t work.

Gauge your marketing strategy to optimize on the resources you can actually devote to it. You can get more out of planning for 1 hour, than constantly being behind with a plan that requires much more time.

How will I measure progress?

Strategy builds in measurement. Those measures tell you what’s working and what needs to change. You save time and money by having a clear focus on what matters. Strategy helps you to stop investing in tactics that aren’t working. It helps you quickly evaluate new opportunities. (Does this new idea help me reach my goal and fit with my resources?)

Write it down

Take time to write down your digital marketing plan. It will pay dividends as you focus your marketing on your goals and your customer.