What is Search Volume?
Search Volume is the average amount of monthly searches made for a given keyword. It shows the number of people searching for a particular query.
Taking search volume into account is vital when creating your content strategy because it reflects the popularity of the query. It's important to find keywords with a high search volume and a low rate of search competition.
Why is Search Volume Important?
Keyword search volume is important for a number of reasons.
It enables you to identify how valuable a keyword will be to your strategy, allowing you to understand whether or not it is highly searched for and its fluctuation.
A high search volume means the term is popular and if you rank for it, you'll get more traffic.
This metric shouldn’t be solely relied on though. Things such as conversion rates, UX (User Experience), and the likelihood of your website ranking for a keyword are also important.
When should you Ignore Keyword Search Volume?
While keyword search volume is an important metric, there are some scenarios where it can be overlooked.
1. If A Keyword Has Strong Buyers Intent
When a keyword has a low search volume, but a strong buying intent, it makes sense for you to incorporate this particular keyword. This can help achieve a higher conversion rate on your website, because searchers using these terms are usually seeking to buy. These keywords should be accompanied by qualifiers such as “cheap prices for”.
2. If A Keyword Perfectly Fits Within Your Niche
If you are very well versed in your niche and your website has been writing about a particular topic, or selling a particular item for years, you should not be afraid of utilising a keyword that fits perfectly with your brand.
How to Navigate Search Volume
There are a few things to consider when trying to navigate search volume.
1. Look At Your Competitors
Once you have collated relevant keywords that are effective for your marketing campaign, you should take a look at your competitors. Analyse which high search volume keywords they are and are not ranking for. You can use your findings to inform you of the directions you may be able to take to beat them in rankings.
2. Look At The Trends
Due to keyword search volume constantly fluctuating, you should always keep an eye on changing trends and analyse how they affect keywords.
For example, seasonal changes. Searches for ‘bikini’ would be a highly popular keyword in the spring/summer months as people are preparing for their holidays, but less so as weather declines into autumn again.
You can visibly see the rises and falls as the seasons change in the below screenshot from a quick search in Ahrefs.
3. If You’re New To The Game, Don’t Get In Over Your Head
If you have a new website, or one that has low domain authority for whatever reason, it’s probably best to target low-volume, low-competition keywords at first.
This is because high-competition keywords are not viable in the infancy of a website. Instead, low-competition, low-volume keywords help improve your visibility gradually.
As your site gains authority go for higher-volume keywords.
4. Keep In Mind Your Location
Just like changing trends, it is important to take into consideration location specific search volume, especially for local businesses. Not only do location-keywords ensure you are attracting the right audience, but Google’s Possum algorithm actually promotes content that focuses on location.
Keyword Search Volume Tools
There are a few tools that can help you uncover keyword search volume data. These include:
SEMRush is a popular SEO tool often used for keyword research as well as SERP ranking. Its database has about 17 billion keywords, sourced from Google and Bing search engines. This data can be filtered based on several parameters including search volume, location and 12-month trend analysis.
Its Keyword Overview tool reveals the number of searches of a particular keyword in your preferred country as well as globally.
The Keyword Magic tool can generate as many as 14 million keywords including variations, questions and related keywords, all with their corresponding search volume, trend analysis, etc.
KWFinder is a great tool for sourcing popular keywords with low competition. It gives you access to as many as 700 keywords along with their monthly search volumes and Google trend, making it easier to track seasonal keywords. This tool allows you to search by keyword or domain.
The keyword search option not only displays the exact number of people who used your preferred keyword in their queries (an option that even Google Keyword Planner can’t match) but also provides you with a range of alternative long tail keywords and their corresponding search volumes.
It retrieves all its data from the Google search engine.
Long Tail Pro is a SaaS tool that researches high-value long tail keywords with minimal competition. These keywords are often captured as questions, phrases and sentences.
This keyword research software allows you to use as many as 5 seed keywords for your search and, depending on your subscription, grants you access to 800 to 2500 keywords within its database. Unlike its counterparts, LongtailPro doesn’t provide any search volume trend data.
AnswerThePublic is a search listening tool that retrieves data from Google’s autocompleting suggestions, listing out every phrase and question ever asked around your seed keyword.
This search result is arranged in 5 categories: Questions, Propositions, Comparisons, Alphabetical, Related. Each category is displayed either pictorially or as raw data.
One downside of this keyword research tool is that it does not generate search volume or trend data. A workaround for this would be to use an add-on like Keywords Everywhere to access metrics such as search volume and cost per click.
Wordtracker is a keyword research tool designed specifically for search engine optimization.
This software analyzes data from organic search results as opposed to counterparts like Google Keyword planner that focus more on paid search. And because its results also include keywords from YouTube as well as Amazon, one can expect its search volume and trend metrics to be more accurate. Wordtracker can generate as many as 10,000 results per seed keyword.
Another great thing about this software is that its search volume is exact and not estimated like other keyword planners which is great because it helps inform your decision.
Other tools: Moz Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, etc.
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