The Complete Guide to Fixing the “No Keywords Found” Issue and Boosting Your SEO

That heart-sinking feeling when you see the dreaded “No Keywords Found” error is all too real for SEO pros. But before you panic, take a deep breath – this common issue can be fixed with the right strategies.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore what “no keywords” means, its impact on SEO, the root causes, how to confirm there’s a problem, and the step-by-step process to resolve it through better keyword research and optimization.

You’ll also learn advanced tactics for stubborn keyword situations, along with key takeaways to turn even a lack of keywords into an opportunity for improving search visibility. Let’s get started resurrecting those missing keywords!

What Does “No Keywords Found” Mean and Why It Matters for SEO

Ah, those dreaded words – “No Keywords Found.” As an SEO professional, seeing that error message is like hearing nails on a chalkboard. But before we dive into fixes, it’s important to understand what keywords are and why they’re critical for search engine optimization (SEO).

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines like Google to find information online. For example, someone looking for the best running shoes might search for “best running shoes 2022” or “top rated running shoes.” These are keywords.

As an SEO expert, your goal is to create content that targets these types of keyword phrases so your pages show up in search results and get traffic. But you can’t do that without actually including some keywords!

The “No Keywords Found” Error

When you run an SEO analysis on your website, you want to see your targeted keywords highlighted nice and green in the content. But if you get the dreaded “No Keywords Found” error, it means your pages are missing those critical phrases.

Specifically, it means that none of the keywords you want to rank for were found in important page elements like:

  • Title tag
  • Headings
  • Image alt text
  • Meta description
  • Body content

So all that valuable real estate has no SEO juice from keywords. Not good!

Why Keywords Matter for SEO

Including keywords throughout your content in a thoughtful way serves two key purposes:

  1. It helps search engines understand what your page is about so they can determine if it’s relevant for a user’s search query.
  2. It provides signals to search engines about which keyword phrases you want that page to rank for in results.

Without those keywords as guideposts, search engines have a much harder time properly indexing, ranking, and surfacing your pages for those valuable keyword searches.

And that means you miss out on organic search traffic! Studies show 59% of website clicks come from organic search results. So ranking well for your target keywords is critical for driving visitors.

The Many Negative Impacts of Having No Keywords

Not only will you miss out on search traffic, but a lack of keywords can create other problems:

  • Google may struggle to understand your content’s topic and theme without those keyword signals. This can lead to irrelevant rankings for searches unrelated to your business.
  • Your rankings and click-through-rate may decrease over time as search engines favor newer, more relevant results.
  • Search engines may resort to focusing on secondary words and phrases in your content which likely aren’t your optimal keywords.
  • With no keywords to track, you lose insight into your page’s search performance and rankings. It’s harder to diagnose issues.
  • You cede an advantage to competitors who are optimizing with keywords you could be targeting. Their pages outrank yours.
  • Pages on your site end up competing with each other for the same keywords. A lack of keyword targeting focus dilutes the power of each page.
  • Long-tail keyword variations don’t get any SEO value without deliberate optimization around core phrases.

Clearly, not having any keywords interwoven naturally into your content can sabotage your organic search visibility in myriad ways. So fixing this issue needs to be a priority!

In the next section, we’ll explore common causes of the “no keywords found” problem so you can get to the root of what’s going on. Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to SEO! Understanding why keywords are missing paves the way for implementing the right solutions.

Common Causes of the “No Keywords” Issue

So you ran that SEO analysis and got the bad news – no keywords were detected on your site’s pages. Bummer. Before you can fix this issue, it helps to understand what causes it in the first place.

Let’s explore some of the most common reasons you might see the “no keywords found” error, so you can pinpoint what needs to change.

Forgetting to Include Keywords in Title and Content

Well this one may seem obvious, but it happens! In the rush to develop content, it’s easy to completely forget to incorporate your target keywords intentionally.

Many factors can lead to slipping up on keyword integration:

  • Writing general content without keyword research beforehand
  • Having a different focus like engaging writing or design visuals
  • Assuming secondary keywords are enough
  • Forgetting to optimize new pages launched

Since search engines weigh page title and H1s heavily for understanding topic relevance, not having keywords in these fields is particularly problematic.

For example, a gardening blog post titled “My Summer Garden” is missing the chance to optimize for garden-related keywords right up front. And “no keywords found” will definitely appear in any SEO analysis tools.

Same goes for H2 and H3 tags, image alt text, meta descriptions, URLs, etc. Keywords need to be woven throughout content for maximum impact.

Choosing Overly Competitive Keywords

Another keyword trap that can lead to ranking challenges is selecting high competition keywords too early before you’ve built enough authority.

For a newer website or page just starting out, keywords like “software company,” “weight loss,” or “kitchen remodel” are likely too competitive to rank for initially.

But chasing that high traffic can seem tempting! Unfortunately, targeting these types of extremely popular keywords without enough site authority is a recipe for the “no keywords found” problem.

Why? Because Google will be looking for established sites, external links, word count, and other ranking signals you likely don’t have yet. So you won’t rank, regardless of keyword optimization.

Poor Keyword Research and Targeting

Lackluster keyword research can also contribute to issues ranking keywords, leading to the “no keywords found” result.

Some common pitfalls include:

  • Relying solely on keyword tools without also analyzing competitor content
  • Focusing on high traffic keywords without considering difficulty
  • Not looking at searcher intent for the keywords
  • Avoiding long-tail variations of keywords
  • Failing to expand beyond one-two word keywords

Proper keyword research takes time and should inform content planning. Without this upfront research, you risk targeting keywords that won’t get traction or missing better opportunities.

Recent Website Changes or Migrations

Has your website undergone any major changes recently, like a redesign, domain change, or migration to a new platform?

Big website transitions like these can disrupt previous keyword targeting and cause pages to show “no keywords found” after completion.

Why does this happen? A few potential reasons:

  • Content gets truncated or rewritten in the process
  • URL changes break internal linking structure
  • Pages don’t get re-indexed by search engines quickly
  • New site platform doesn’t allow for proper keyword optimization

Be extra diligent checking for keyword issues following migrations or changes to avoid dropping the ball on established SEO.

Other Causes

While the above are the most common triggers, there are a few other explanations worth mentioning:

  • Poor content structure: Content that rambles without clear headers and organization makes it harder for search engines to interpret keyword targeting and relevance.
  • Thin content: Extremely short content lacks opportunities to use keywords naturally. Prioritizing length helps incorporate keywords in a meaningful way.
  • Over-optimization: On the flip side, “keyword stuffing” triggers red flags. Unnaturally high keyword density gets interpreted as spammy.
  • Site authority volatility: Google may pull back on showing your pages for keywords if a site has faced manual actions or traffic fluctuations.
  • Google algorithm updates: Core algorithm changes can shift how Google evaluates keywords and content. Stay updated!

While not always the direct cause, these factors can contribute to the “no keywords found” problem in some cases.

Now that you know why keywords may be missing for your important pages, let’s explore how to confirm the issue is present before deploying fixes. Catching potential problems early allows for faster resolution.

How to Confirm You Have No Keywords or Related Issues

Suspect your site’s pages may be missing critical keywords after seeing low organic traffic or rankings? Before leaping into fixes, it’s wise to validate that “no keywords found” is in fact present using some quick checks.

This allows you to confirm there is an underlying issue before spending time optimizing pages that don’t actually need it. Here are a few ways to verify a lack of keyword targeting.

Analyze Titles and Content with SEO Tools

One of the fastest ways to check for “no keywords” errors is to utilize SEO browser tools and online auditing software. These tools crawl your site pages and analyze whether keywords appear in key on-page elements.

Some top options include:

  • MozBar – This free Chrome extension displays keyword data right in Google search results, allowing you to easily check whether your target keywords are present on specific pages.
  • Ahrefs – Ahrefs’ Site Audit tool scans pages for missing keywords and other technical SEO issues under the On-Page and Content sections.
  • Screaming Frog – This desktop crawler generates detailed SEO audits showing keyword optimization opportunities.
  • SEMrush – SEMrush checks for keyword placement in titles, headers, meta descriptions, and body content through its SEO Writing Assistant.

Simply enter in your target keywords, run the tools, and look for any “no keywords found” warnings. This confirms if optimization fixes are needed.

Check Search Engine Crawling and Indexing

Another tactic is to look directly in Google Search Console for any coverage gaps where Google hasn’t crawled or indexed pages recently.

Why does this matter for keywords? Because pages that aren’t indexed won’t be able to rank for the keywords on them!

To check:

  • Review your Search Console coverage report for any pages missing or excluded.
  • Inspect crawl stats for drops that could impact keyword indexing.
  • Check indexing status of priority pages and watch for exclusions.
  • Submit new pages to re-crawl if discovered missing.

Issues here can prevent keywords from being seen by search engines initially.

Monitor Rankings and Traffic Sources

Observing changes in rankings and traffic sources can also indicate a growing keyword targeting problem.

Some warning signs include:

  • Pages dropping for known ranking keywords
  • Loss of organic traffic and lower click-through-rates
  • Unexplained surges or drops in rankings across pages
  • Traffic from unrelated keyword searches
  • Competitors outranking for targeted terms

Use analytics software and rank trackers to monitor these trends. Decreasing organic visibility likely means your keyword optimization needs a boost.

Review Any Ongoing Site Changes

As covered previously, site migrations, redesigns, and other major adjustments can wipe out keyword targeting gains.

Be on high alert for new “no keywords found” issues if your site is undergoing:

  • A rebrand or name change
  • A web development overhaul
  • Switching ecommerce or content management platforms
  • Moving to a new domain or consolidation

Review pages closely following these transitions to ensure existing keyword work doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Dig Into Specific Keyword-Focused Tools

For deeper keyword insights, dedicated tools like Übersuggest, Answer the Public, and Keyword Explorer are useful for checking search volume and competitiveness.

If your core keywords have extremely high difficulty scores, it signals ranking will be an uphill battle. This can lead to those pesky “no keywords found” errors.

You may need to re-evaluate your target keyword list and layer in more long-tail variations.

Ask Yourself These Key Questions

Finally, asking a few probing questions can help you self-diagnose a potential keyword issue:

  • Are my page titles and H1s keyword-focused?
  • Did I research competitor keywords during content planning?
  • Are my blogs generalized or targeted around keywords?
  • Am I tracking rankings by keyword in analytics?
  • Have my organic traffic sources changed unexpectedly?
  • Is my site still actively crawling and indexing pages?
  • Have there been technical changes to the website?

If you answer “No” for most of these, it likely indicates an underlying keyword optimization problem exists.

By fully confirming that your priority pages do suffer from “no keywords found,” you can zero in on the proper solutions. Let’s now discuss how to fix this SEO issue through improved keyword targeting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Lack of Keywords

You’ve confirmed those pesky “no keywords found” errors on important website pages. Now it’s go time – let’s walk through an action plan to get your keyword optimization back on track.

Follow these steps to fill those content gaps and boost your SEO:

Step 1: Research and Select Appropriate Keywords

The first task is one of the most important – choosing which keywords to target. This involves:

Brainstorming Relevant Keywords

Start by listing keywords that are relevant to your business based on:

  • Products/services offered
  • Common customer questions
  • Industry terminology
  • Competitor content
  • Popular searches

Aim for a broad initial list, including multi-word keyword strings. You’ll refine later.

Using Keyword Research Tools

Next, use keyword research software like Google’s Keyword Planner, Semrush, or Ahrefs to expand your list.

Sort tools by the following metrics:

  • Search volume – Monthly searches indicates interest
  • Competition – “Low” and “Medium” are easier to rank
  • Relevance – Avoid unrelated or irrelevant keywords

This helps identify hidden opportunities with traffic potential.

Evaluating Competition and Search Volume

Once you have a pool of keywords, assess search volume and difficulty to select your targets.

Aim for a mix of:

  • Head keywords – 1-2 word high traffic keywords as pillar content anchors.
  • Long-tail keywords – Specific 3-5 word keyword variations easier to rank.

Using the 80/20 rule, focus on the 20% of keywords driving 80% of traffic. Be strategic!

Step 2: Optimize Title Tags and Meta Data

With keywords selected, it’s time to optimize:

Include Primary Keyword in Title Tag

Work your most important keyword for each page into the SEO title tag towards the beginning.

Add Secondary Keywords to Meta Description

Next, incorporate secondary long-tail keyword variations naturally into your meta description.

This ensures search engines see your core content keywords right up front.

Step 3: Update On-Page Content

Now build out the rest of the page using keywords where it flows naturally:

Add Keywords to Headers, Body Content, etc.

Use your H2, H3 header tags to structure content around keyword themes. Repeat your keywords in the body content without over-optimizing.

Include Related Long-Tail Variations as Well

Find organic ways to incorporate your full list of long-tail keyword variations throughout the copy.

Step 4: Monitor Rankings and Refine Over Time

SEO is an ongoing process, so track keyword progress:

Check Search Engine Positions Regularly

Use tools like SerpBot to monitor keyword rankings in search engines on a regular basis.

Adjust Keywords as Needed to Improve SEO

Review search performance monthly. Refine keyword lists by dropping low-performing ones and adding new opportunities. Rinse and repeat!

Bringing It All Together

Consistently optimizing pages around target keywords takes effort. But it’s proven to deliver results.

For example, leading SEO company SearchBlox increased organic traffic by 126% using the steps above according to their case study.

Following a keyword-focused approach allows you to move out of the “no keywords found” danger zone and reclaim lost organic visibility.

Advanced Tactics for Dealing with No Keywords

Standard keyword research and on-page optimization should solve most “no keywords found” errors. However, in some cases, you may need to get creative with more advanced tactics.

Let’s explore a few sophisticated strategies for tough keyword situations:

Competitor Analysis for Keyword Opportunities

If your site lacks authority or you’re struggling to identify lucrative keywords, analyze competitors for inspiration.

Use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to discover:

  • Untapped long-tail keywords competitors rank for
  • Keyword gaps where they’re missing opportunities
  • New keywords they’ve recently started ranking
  • Winning keywords for top performing pages

For example, a life coach could look at therapy sites for client-focused phrases like “teen counseling options.”

Leveraging Brand Authority to Rank Newer Keywords

Do you have an established domain with solid brand recognition? Leverage this authority to target fresh keywords.

Even if a keyword is new or competitive, brand trust gains you an SEO boost to rank faster.

For example, when ConvertKit added a blog, they quickly ranked content for keywords like “email marketing automation” by capitalizing on domain authority.

Creating New Keyword Demand Through Content

If you can’t find enough traffic potential around existing keywords, create new demand!

Strategies include:

  • Trendjacking – Capitalize on rising trends with timely content.
  • Thought leadership – Establish your brand as an authority voice on topics.
  • Viral marketing – Create “buzzworthy” content people want to share.
  • Link bait – Produce resources people naturally want to link to.

For example, software startup Hubspot pioneered the concept of “inbound marketing” through education, establishing themselves as thought leaders in the space and creating widespread keyword demand.

Turning No Keywords into a Keyword Opportunity

Sometimes “no keywords” happens because you haven’t approached keywords strategically enough. Shift your mindset to spot new possibilities.

For example, instead of generic keywords around a broad topic, find a narrower niche relevant to your brand. Ranking gets easier.

Or if you have great expertise but low authority, start by creating keyword demand through educating people on an new innovative concept before trying to compete head-on with established sites on existing keywords.

Case Study 1: Marketing Examples

Marketing blog Backlinko case study:

  • Broad topic – general marketing
  • Niche focus – link building specifically
  • Thought leadership – coined “skyscraper technique” for link building

This focus allowed them to own the keyword “skyscraper technique,” despite having a new domain.

Case Study 2: Business Model Innovation

Dropbox pioneered the “freemium” software business model by educating people on this new concept before competitors caught on.

This allowed them to own related keywords even as an unknown startup, supporting incredible growth.

With creativity and the right strategies tailored to your brand, even a lack of keywords can transform into an SEO opportunity.

Key Takeaways for Resolving the No Keywords SEO Issue

If you take away just a few things from this comprehensive guide, let it be these core lessons:

Recap of Main Steps to Identify and Fix “No Keywords”

  1. Understand why keywords matter – optimize content for search visibility.
  2. Diagnose the problem – use SEO tools to confirm keywords are missing.
  3. Pinpoint the root cause – identify why keywords are missing from pages.
  4. Research keyword targets – find relevant keywords with traffic potential.
  5. Optimize on-page elements – update page titles, metadata, headers, content.
  6. Expand keyword scope – include semantic variations and long-tail versions.
  7. Monitor progress – track keyword rankings and traffic over time.
  8. Refine continually – keep improving keyword optimization month after month.

Following this 8-step process methodically will get your important pages ranking again.

Improving SEO Through Better Keyword Targeting

Stepping back, why is all this effort worth it? What does resolving “no keywords” really achieve?

In short – improved SEO, visibility, and organic search traffic.

With keywords woven seamlessly into your pages, you make progress across multiple fronts:

  • Pages become more relevant in search engines’ eyes to ranking keywords.
  • Optimized title tags and metadata provide better snippets to attract clicks.
  • Core concepts are communicated clearly to search engines via keywords.
  • Keyword-focused content is more shareable and engaging for readers.
  • You can now track SEO performance for each target keyword.
  • It’s possible to compete for higher traffic searches by leveraging brand authority.
  • Site visitors from organic searches increase, guided by keywords.
  • ROI goes up from the growth in qualified organic leads and sales.

In essence, intelligent keyword optimization conveys precisely what your content covers, so it can be discovered by the right audiences. This leads to all the SEO benefits outlined above.

So don’t ignore those “no keywords found” errors! Given how fundamental keywords are for discoverability and traffic, resolving this issue needs to be a top priority.

Hopefully this guide has equipped you with the steps and strategies to get your website’s keyword targeting back on track. Just stay diligent, keep pages focused around core keywords, and reap the search engine rewards.

Now get out there, get keyword optimizing, and boost that SEO!

Summary for Fixing “No Keywords Found” and Improving SEO

If you take away just a few core lessons from this comprehensive guide, let it be these:

  • Keywords help search engines understand and rank your content, so are vital for SEO. Fixing “no keywords” errors should be a priority.
  • The main causes of missing keywords are forgetting to optimize pages, targeting over-competitive keywords too soon, ineffective keyword research, and site changes wiping out previous optimization.
  • Confirm keyword issues using SEO browser tools, search engine data, rankings/traffic monitoring, and on-page audits. Validating the problem is the first step.
  • Choose keyword targets strategically based on search volume, competition, relevancy to your brand, and long-tail permutations. Research is critical.
  • Optimize title tags, metadata, headers, content, and on-page elements by naturally working in your target keywords from the research.
  • Expand your keyword scope with related long-tail variations, synonyms, and strategic additions over time as you build authority.
  • Continually track keyword rankings, refine targets, and update optimization to maintain visibility as algorithms shift. SEO is always evolving.
  • Advanced tactics like analyzing competitor keywords, creating new demand through thought leadership content, and finding niche opportunities can also help overcome lack of keywords.
  • Ultimately, a focus on intelligent keyword optimization leads to improved search visibility, traffic, leads, and ROI. So fix those “no keywords” issues!

Frequently Asked Questions About “No Keywords Found”

Still have some lingering questions around resolving the “no keywords found” error? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

What if I’m not targeting the right keywords to begin with?

Start back at square one with thorough keyword research to identity better options. Look for keywords with sufficient search volume but low competition. Expand beyond one-word keywords for more phrases.

What are the best SEO tools for identifying missing keywords?

Some top options are MozBar, Ahrefs Site Audit, Screaming Frog, SEMrush’s SEO Writing Assistant, and ÜberSuggest. Most provide a free trial.

How quickly can I expect to see changes in rankings after optimizing?

It varies, but often within 2-4 weeks you’ll see movement if you fixed the right issues. For new pages targeting new keywords, it may take a few months. Monitor regularly.

What if the keywords on my site changed due to a redesign or migration?

Scrutinize any pages that existed previously to ensure optimization didn’t get lost. Also submit new pages to search engines for re-crawling to detect keywords again.

What is the ideal keyword density for SEO?

Ideally 2-3% density is best. Too low and it’s not enough for SEO value. Too high looks spammy. Focus first on WARRANTED keyword usage.

Should I optimize for semantic keywords and variations?

Absolutely. Layer in semantic keywords and long-tail variations around your core keyword targets. This expands the search visibility.

How often should I be updating keywords on existing content?

Audit keywords every 3-6 months. Retire low performers, double down on winners, and introduce fresh new keywords that fit the content.