Why are my SEO keywords not producing conversions?

We can not stress the importance of researching your SEO keywords before implementing them.

The number of people we speak to who haven’t done the research and as a result have a website that is not converting for them is astounding. Websites will not work without a well-researched SEO keyword analysis – FACT.


SEO keywords are phrases of two or more words that you want your website to rank for. They need to be:

  • Relevant to your product/service/offering
  • A mixture of short and long-tailed i.e. “SEO keywords” as well as “how to implement SEO keywords”
  • Attract your target audience to content they expect to see
Unfortunately, we often see bad practice being carried out. This is mainly due to a lack of knowledge. So, this blog will explain the common reasons why SEO keywords are not working how website owners would hope to, and what to do to remedy this.

1.You think you know what your customer is going to search.

One of the most common issues that we come across is when website owners and businesses think they know what their audience is searching for without doing the research.

Once you start a website to either sell or promote something, you will never see it in the same light ever again. You stop being the customer or consumer and so you will start thinking differently. So, you need to be ok with that.

With that in mind, make a list of the things you ‘think’ someone might search to find you and analyse them. By doing this, you will be rewarded with a whole heap of SEO keywords that you would not (or, should I say, could not) think of because you are no longer the consumer.

2. Keywords are too broad

This can be an issue which catches many people out, especially if they work in a particular industry.

Trying to optimise a website with common words is a waste of time for a few reasons:

  • You would hope the common terms used would be throughout the site.
  • If the common word means too many different things for too many different audiences, you will not rank.
  • If you do manage to rank, you will draw in a high proportion of the wrong audience, which will increase your bounce rate, and search engines will then re-rank you for that keyword accordingly – and not in a positive way!
So, when carrying out your analysis, pick out the gems that are specific to your offering with two or more words.

3. Failing to review keywords

Just because your keywords seemed relevant at the time, doesn’t mean they are forever. Has your business evolved at all? Technology and search behaviour certainly has.

Is anyone searching them anymore?

Do you even know?

Setting aside time each month or quarter to review the keywords that are on the site is vital to understand if they are working as you intended. If they are not, by doing a fresh SEO keyword analysis, you may find a new keyword to use instead. Then, make a plan of action to change that element of the site. Don’t forget re-directs if you change the URL.

4. Don’t read well

That header was intended.

Some SEO keywords you come across during the research stage seem like gems – they have high search volumes and low competition. This may be just what you were looking for. But, sometimes, there is a reason for that. They are just impossible to use in a well-written sentence and this will impact on readability from a user perspective, which is a huge ranking factor.

Now we are going to suggest something here that is a bit of a contradiction to everything we preach…

You have a piece of content that is burning a hole in your computer but you are struggling to find a keyword for it. Once in a while, it is ok just not to have one! Readability trumps keywords every time. Just make sure that the content still has an SEO title, headers, alt tags, a meta description etc, even if there is not a keyword.

5. You have too many highly competitive words & you aren’t putting in the graft

Just because your website has been optimised at the beginning, after the initial ‘crawl’ from search engines if you are not building it, it will not get very far. A static website will have a hiatus before it starts to crash.

This is notably true if you have a high volume of highly competitive keywords. Basically, the higher the competition, the more graft you need to put in to compete for them.

Tool we recommend to analyse keywords

We have covered a lot already, but where do you start with a keyword analysis?

Firstly make a list of keywords you *think* your audience is searching for.

Then analyse them. Most tools you need to pay for if you do not want to be restricted. However, a good place to get a feel for search volumes and competition is:

  1. Google AdWords and their keyword planner. If you are running Google Ads, you will get more detailed information than those that are not.
  2. Web CEO. This is the tool we use to do our audits and track our clients (and our own) SEO performance.
Make a list of keywords that are specific to your offering.

Implement into your site (or get someone who knows where they should go to do this!).

Review, refresh and start a list of those that can be used in new content.


SEO is not a one-off thing. It touches every part of your digital presence and, like anything, it needs to be nurtured. Some of the necessary activities that need to happen on a regular basis to help improve your websites presence are:

  • Adding new, not-sales, valuable content for your audience onto the site (using keyword data of course!)
  • Social media
  • Growing your high-quality backlink profile
  • Regular website performance reviews and improvements


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