Are You Using Vanity Keywords?

We all know about keywords. We all use them. We sprinkle them in our copy and use them in our hashtags. But, for the most part, most people aren’t using them correctly, and many people are using vanity keywords and hoping for success. Let me take you through the term ‘vanity keywords’ – what it means and why you’re probably wasting your time with them.


What are vanity keywords?

Vanity keywords are search terms that are too broad and therefore too competitive to be profitable. If you’re a website designer who uses the keyword ‘Designer’ then your keyword is simply going to get lost in the sea of other designers doing the same. Does that mean vanity keywords don’t work? Not at all. They do work, but you need a huge budget and a lot of resources to make it happen. Even then, they still might not do very well.

What’s so wrong with vanity keywords?

Keyword research is incredibly important in a marketing campaign because it helps you target the right audience. But advertising costs money, and if you’re using vanity keywords, you’re wasting money on keywords that are not optimised to create a conversion. In other words, they’re pointless. And if you’re focusing all your attention and your money on vanity keywords, you’re missing out on making money through keywords that actually convert into sales. Because trust me, if you’re using the term ‘designer’ and you’re not a huge company with a massive marketing budget, you’re not going to rank well against other well-known companies. And there’s no point in throwing money at something that isn’t making any difference to your marketing campaigns. You need keywords that convert!

Which keywords should you be using?

When it comes to keywords, you need to get more specific. Let’s look at my website designer example. Using the keyword ‘designer’ is far too broad and you’re only going to be up against bigger companies with more budget to spend. Instead, you should be using long-tail keywords that help you rank due to their specificity. They’re also keywords that people will be searching for in search engines. If I’m looking for a website designer in Brisbane, that’s exactly what I’m going to type: ‘Website Designer Brisbane.’ That’s a long-tail keyword, because it’s more than one word and it’s specific to what I want. Long-tail keywords might not bring as much traffic as short-tail ones. However, they compensate for this with their potential to attract high-quality traffic, face less competition, and yield better conversion rates.

Put yourself in the mind of your consumer. What would you type in to find your service or product when searching in Google. Consider long-tail keywords that are specific to what you’re trying to sell and create a few versions to test out. Don’t forget to track your marketing success and keep adjusting your keywords until you find some that work for you.

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