Keyword research – ask any SEO marketer, and they will readily tell you that it’s quite an integral part of any SEO marketer.

But a recent study showed just the opposite – according to it, more than 60 percent of the people love researching keywords, regardless of their profession.

However, in the words of Alberto Carelyn, a freelance SEO professional, keyword research is actually quite hard and is considered to be one of the top three hard tasks that they have to undertake as an SEO professional. Only a few percents of people will only do and take the task if it’s of utmost importance.

That’s not surprising

According to A. Carelyn, researching keywords can feel quite daunting, and many pitfalls only lead to this outcome. But he’s seen to agree on one thing – yes, keyword research can be quite easy to manage, if only these pitfalls (or rather, mistakes) are avoided.

Lara Cox, also a freelance SEO professional and one of the top talents on the popular freelance platform ‘Upwork,’ too seems to agree with A. Carelyn – both beginner and experienced marketers make the same mistakes when performing keyword research. If they are avoided, then keyword research can be a child’s play.

So, then, where are we doing wrong?

Both A. Carelyn and L. Cox agree on one thing – when making mistakes, almost all of them are the same, and hence, has listed a few of them, which they say, are what we should look out for.

Searcher Intent

‘Searcher Intent’ is one of the biggest mistakes committed in the name of the keyword research. According to Cox, what is the use of ranking a website or even content for a query, if it doesn’t match with what the user will look for?

Many marketers fail to notice this when they are busy driving traffic, and this – according to Carelyn, is where the searcher intent comes in. In short, searcher intent means what the user is looking for when they search online. In the words of Carelyn, the content on a website must be what people will look for and, if possible, ensure that the right content is added to the site for the right traffic.

Long-tail keywords

Don’t ever dismiss long-tail keywords – in the words of Cox, they may have lower volume since they represent the funnel’s lower stage, but this means that a user is quite close to conversion.

According to Carelyn, long-tail keywords should be targeted, as there is very little competition, plus, it means that you are answering an exact query. This will prompt the searchers to trust your brand more as compared to the others and will show you as an expert in that field, and this often comes in handy, when the searchers come back (and they are most likely to do so) and make a purchase.


Carelyn advises to look out for SERPs – and this is because he has seen people avoiding them like the plague. According to him, this is because people spend almost all of their time with the tools, and hence, they forget about the keywords and how they rank.

A recent study also showed the same – and they have provided a way on how to best solve this problem. Damien Ekbai, the lead researcher under whose direction the study was undertaken, has mentioned that one should look out for the content type that is ranking for that particular keyword and should model the content based on the keyword for best results.

Talking to real people

In the world of SERP and SEO, it’s quite integral to talk to real people when dealing with keyword research, Cox mentions.

Ekbai too, agrees with Cox – talking with real people, it will give you a chance to know what language they use, and what are the issues that they have and how they overcome them. Plus, you will also get to know about the type of questions that the customers ask and how to best solve them to their satisfaction.

Know where your audience looks

According to Carelyn, an SEO professional should have an idea of where people would go looking for answers to questions that they have.

In his words, you should check out the actual SERP of the content that the users are looking for answers to their questions. Ekbai also recommends keeping an eye out for other platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, and even non-Google platforms.

Focusing on broad topics

In 2013, a study was carried out amongst some of the new websites that were created at that time. Guess what they found out?

There were 120 websites in total on which this study was carried out – and now, after six years in the year 2019, except for 9, all of the other websites fizzled out.

And what was the reason for them getting abandoned?

In the words of Angelica McHugh, the lead researcher who conducted this study, and a professor of Media Communication at UEASD at Germany, mentioned that most of the websites that they have studied, almost all of them didn’t focus their attention on broad topics. Then, the websites failed to generate new content because of a lack of ideas.

According to her, the websites should always include broad topics, and this, in turn, will lead to brainstorming new and unique ideas, and thus, making the site look more natural by helping with the flow of an individual piece.

Ekbai also nods his head to the above study’s conclusion, and he also recommends that the websites should always create their content to include topics that go beyond the usual keywords – this will help in expanding the capabilities of the material.

Being an SEO professional is not that hard; it is the people who make them hard, simply because they fail to notice the points mentioned above. In the words of Angelica, being an SEO professional is only hard because we make it like that. During keyword research, she recommends looking out for the above points, as they are the biggest mistakes that she has seen many do during their keyword research.

And Carelyn seems to agree with Angelica – SEO is only as hard as we make it. Look out for the pitfalls, know how to avoid them, and you will come out as the winner.