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There’s a lot to understand about SEO.

It’s not an impossible marketing tool to learn to utilize, but for many people, it’s more involved than other marketing tasks like blogging, email newsletters, or social media activity.

Hearing words like “keyword research” can make it feel even more labor-intensive than other marketing tasks, too.

Keyword research is absolutely essential when working on your site’s SEO, but is one of the most common steps in the SEO process that leads people astray.

More times than not, I see people approaching the SEO on their existing site in the wrong way.

What they do is this: They perform a ton of keyword research, often using some type of keyword research tool. Then they take this list of top phrases that they think are the best and most popular ones for their business, and then start sticking them in to their site.

Doing SEO Keyword Research Wrong

Why You Are Doing SEO Keyword Research All Wrong

What’s the SEO Problem?

Adding the most popular keyword phrases for your niche into your site is notgoing to help you rank well if those most popular keyword phrases aren’t the best phrases to use on the website pages (or blog posts) that you put them on.

Related to this, I sometimes also find business owners who don’t stop to consider, listen or ask what words their customers use to describe what they do and what they sell.

Customer research like this doesn’t have to be a hard or complicated process; just paying attention to words used when speaking to a customer on the phone, in person, or through emails, will show you what you need to know in this regard.

And remember, your potential customers are the ones googling for businesses like yours, so you need to make sure that your chosen keyword phrases incorporate the words they typically use to describe your business.

So, what comes first? The chicken or the egg?

If you are optimizing content that already exists on your website, you need to research phrases that best represent that content. So, basically, let the content of each page drive the keyword research for that page.

But, I want to utilize those popular SEO keyword phrases!

That’s great and awesome, too! But plan to write new content (hint, hint…blog posts) designed to make the most of those keyword phrases.

To maximize your SEO, the keywords chosen for any given page needs to correspond to the content on the page. If you keep that in mind as you dig in to your site’s SEO, you’ll stay on the right track.