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After five years in the writing industry, I’ve seen thousands of keywords come across my email.  Some of them are a single word, while others are four or more words. However, there are a few issues that I’ve seen in the selection of many of those keywords. Here are a few issues that I’ve seen with the keywords selected by previous clients:


Too Broad

I once had a client with an online store send me the keyword “online shopping” to use for his content.  The problem with this keyword is that it’s way too broad and when people go online to buy something, they don’t search “online shopping.” They search what they’re looking for and they search as specifically as they can.

At the same time, you also have to consider that a person searching a broad term is probably just doing research and will later narrow their search term down to something more specific.  If someone starts out with the term “ladies purses,” they are likely just looking for information on purses or the latest hot brands and will later search for a specific purse or line of purses, such as “Coach purses.”  The more specific you are in your search terms, the better chance you’ll have of converting a visitor into a buyer.  Broad search times aren’t going to do that for you.


Too Many

It’s fine to have several keywords that you want to rank for, but you should always focus on quality and not quantity.  You can generate more online revenue from a set of low volume, long tail keywords than you can from hundreds of different keywords.  One reason for this is that you can create a handful of high-profit conversions each month than you can hundreds of keywords that are spread out everywhere on your site.

In addition, as a writer, it’s overwhelming (as well as unrealistic) when a list of 100 or more keywords is sent to be used in a batch of 10 articles.  Although you may want to rank for all of these keywords, it’s not feasible.  It’s more feasible to select a couple of keywords and focus your efforts on ranking for those.  If you have a list of 100 you want to rank for, it will take longer to see any results, it will take you longer to get a return on your investment and overall you will be decreasing your web visibility.


Stop Words are Okay!

The final issue I run into is that clients select keywords that will require the use of stop words in order for them to read grammatically correct in an article or piece of content.  I’m always surprised to see how many clients don’t realize that stop words are okay to use and that they don’t have an effect on your ranking.  If you’re a landscaping company in Dallas, the use of “landscaping company Dallas” isn’t going to make much sense in your content.  Stop words are words ignored by the search engines, so it’s okay to use the as needed to make your keywords grammatically correct.



Proper keyword research and usage is vital to your SEO campaign. After all, you want to rank for these keywords and content creation is not cheap.  Do it right the first time and do the necessary keyword research needed to make the most of your SEO campaign.


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