A problem I have run into with many website owners during the keyword research phase of their SEO campaign is that they are hesitant to incorporate new keywords into the mix. They have a core list of 10 keywords they want to rank well for and want to know why those keywords can’t be targeted on every page of the site. Surely the more times those keywords are used the better, right? Here is the thing, sure, you can target whatever keywords you want on any page of your website but if the content doesn’t back them up you won’t get very far. The search engines look at the page as a whole, not just what keywords you have in the Meta tags. If you say the most important for a page is “apple” and the page is talking about “banana” there is a disconnect and your site won’t be successful.
Don’t be afraid to add new keywords to your website (provided they are relevant to the content), even if they don’t have the most search volume. Long-tail keywords may not look as impressive on a spreadsheet when compared to how much activity surrounds broad keywords, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be incredibly useful. For one thing, searchers using long-tail keywords are a much more targeted visitor and more likely to be further along in their buying cycle. Long-tail keywords are, in essence, a form of lead qualification. If someone finds your website through a long-tail keyword you can be pretty confident that they are the kind of customer you want finding your site.
Secondly, just because a keyword has a low monthly search volume, that doesn’t mean that it can’t have a positive impact on your visitor growth over time. Let’s say through the course of your keyword selection process you incorporate an additional 40 (brand new) keywords throughout your website. Even if each of those keywords only brings 5 new visitors to your website each month, that’s an additional 200 targeted visitors every month. In a year that is going to be an uptick of 2,400 new visitors, just from those long-tail keywords! Visitor growth aside, imagine what your online business could do with an extra 200, highly targeted and well-qualified visitors each month!
Another problem website owners run into when conducting keyword research is that they think they have to get it right the first time. There is no rule against going back and redoing the keyword research on underperforming pages (provided you’ve given them enough time to gather some solid data). That is where your Google analytics account can come in handy. You not only see how many visitors each keyword is bringing to your site, you can also see what keywords you are NOT actively targeting that are driving traffic.