4 Mistakes You're Making With Keywords

October 6, 2020

Read time:

2 minutes

Keywords are fundamental to SEO.

They seem relatively simple, but there are a few mistakes you could be making.

Let’s dive in.

They’re too general

When we select keywords, we want them to be specific.

General keywords like “therapist” don’t help us at all. Thousands of people search the keyword “therapist” per month, and it’s a more difficult keyword to rank for.

On top of that, if you were to rank for “therapist,” anyone and everyone would be contacting you. You got into private practice to work with who you want to, so you should select keywords that are specific to your ideal clients.

When you see lists about keywords for therapists, don’t use these. They’re not specific enough to your location and specialty.

Your clients don’t use them

Finding the ideal keyword is a beautiful moment.

The keyword is specific to your niche, searched a decent amount of times per month, and not difficult to rank for. It seems perfect.

But if your ideal client isn’t searching using that keyword, it’s not worth your time.

For example, maybe you find the keyword “can’t get out of bed in the morning.” It’s searched a couple of hundred times per month, and you could probably get on page one in a few months.

But when you started a private practice, you knew that your passion wasn’t helping people struggling with depression. Maybe you specialize in working with anxious young adults. Sure, your ideal clients probably feel like they can’t always get out of bed in the morning. But it’s more likely that people with depression are using that keyword. So I recommend skipping it.

Everyone else is using them

This comes down to niche and competition.

To attract clients and rank on Google, it helps to differentiate yourself. That’s why we want to select keywords that are unique to us.

Plus, keywords that your competitors are targeting are likely more challenging to rank for. Competitive keywords aren’t the worst thing in the world, but it will take more time to make progress.

Keep reading, or...

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The search intent is off

Search intent is pretty much how it sounds: the searcher’s intent behind a keyword. For example, when we search “chocolate chip cookie,” we are likely looking for a recipe, not a definition of what a chocolate chip cookie is--so our search intent is to find a recipe.

That’s why incorporating search intent into our keyword selection is so important.

Let’s use the same example of “can’t get out of bed in the morning.” You work with depressed teens and plan to write a blog post explaining why they’re having a hard time getting out of bed.

But before you write content, you enter the keyword into Google to check that the search intent matches your ideal clients’ intents (which I recommend doing anytime you find a keyword).

So we put “can’t get out of bed in the morning” into Google. Much to our surprise, productivity tips are ranking on Google targeting high achievers or active people. We then know that the search intent is off, which means we shouldn’t write content targeting that keyword.

Get help with keywords!

I hope this helped you understand keywords a little better.

If you need help finding keywords, I now offer keyword banks as a service. I find keywords for 12 blog posts and all of your services. If you’re interested, send me a message!

Meet the author

Kristie Plantinga

Hi, I’m Kristie Plantinga, the founder of Therapieseo. After working in the digital marketing industry as a content strategist, writer, website production manager, associate, and content manager, I decided to start my own business and serve a population close to my heart: therapists.

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