An In-Depth Guide to Keyword Search Volume and How to Use it for Your SEO
As you dive into the fast-paced world of SEO (search engine optimization), it’s important to understand the key concepts that will help you crush the competition and dominate the first page of Google search results.
And one critical aspect of this world is understanding keyword search volume, a metric that reveals the popularity, trends, and competition surrounding specific keywords.
By understanding the search volume of specific keywords, you can effectively optimize your content to target relevant keywords and drive organic traffic—and potentially claim a spot on that coveted first page. So I’ve prepared a quick but in-depth guide to keyword search volume to help you out:
What is Keyword Search Volume?
Keyword search volume is a metric that indicates the popularity and demand for a specific keyword in search engine queries. It represents the number of times a keyword is searched for within a given timeframe, usually on a monthly basis.
Why is Keyword Search Volume Important?
Keyword search volume is a valuable metric in SEO because it shows you the popularity and demand for specific keywords. By analyzing search volume data, you gain insights into the keywords that potential visitors are using to find information related to your industry or niche.
This knowledge empowers you to optimize your website’s content and meta tags to target those keywords effectively, increasing the likelihood of ranking higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). In essence, keyword search volume allows you to align your website with the interests and search behaviors of your target audience.
The Difference between Seasonal and Evergreen Keywords
It is important to consider the variations in search volume, whether they are consistent or seasonal. Within this realm, two primary categories emerge: seasonal keywords and evergreen keywords.
Let’s look at one keyword: ”number coding in Manila.”
Keywords like “number coding in Manila” are a kind of keyword that you can bet a few hundred people search for every day since the need for information on this topic exists no matter what time of the year it is. This consistency means they’re evergreen, and evergreen keywords have a relatively stable search volume for pretty much the whole year.
On the other hand, seasonal keywords are directly tied to specific times of the year, which means you can see regular fluctuations in their search volumes. For example, as the holiday season approaches, people are more likely to search for terms like “holiday gift ideas.” During this period, the search volume for such keywords sharply increases, only to fall off after the holidays have passed.
To effectively evaluate keyword volume, you have to consider the potential seasonal fluctuations in search volume. By understanding which high-volume keywords are evergreen, versus what keywords might be trending because of the current season, you can better optimize your content strategy to align with your target audience’s search intent throughout the year.
Determining Good Keyword Search Volume
The definition of good keyword search volume can vary depending on various factors, including the industry, niche, and goals of a website.
Generally, a good keyword search volume is considered to indicate a healthy level of demand and relevance for a particular keyword.
While there is no universal threshold, keywords with higher search volumes often show greater potential for attracting organic traffic. However, high-volume keywords also tend to be more competitive, making achieving top rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) more challenging.
On the other hand, keywords with very low search volumes might not generate significant traffic to your website, but they may have lower competition and therefore may be easier to rank top-of-page for. So, striking a balance between search volume and competition is crucial.
Factors to Consider in Keyword Search Volume
When evaluating the search volume of keywords for SEO, it is important to consider the following factors:
Aligning your keywords with the interests of your target audience is arguably the most important factor. What’s the point of using a high-volume keyword, if none of the people who click on it are your target audience?
Understanding your audience’s needs, preferences, and search behaviors enables you to create content that addresses their specific pain points and provides valuable solutions. By doing so, you increase the chances of attracting qualified traffic and improve user experience (which we know to be important for a website’s visibility in search engine rankings).
The more volume a keyword has, the more competitive it likely is. It’s because they present something very enticing to any webmaster: more views, more clicks. That means there are going to be more websites targeting these keywords, and your website may not have what it takes to come out on top.
So, you have to understand how much competition you’re dealing with before settling on a keyword. While seeing a keyword volume of, say, 10,000 per month feels really tempting, it will require a ton more resources and effort to achieve high rankings on the SERPs.
By strategically targeting keywords with a balance between search volume and competition, you can increase your chances of achieving higher rankings and attracting valuable organic traffic to your website.
That said, how competitive a keyword can be will vary across different industries, niches, and geographical locations. You might come across a highly searched and potentially lucrative keyword in your research, and find that the competition for it is moderate or low enough to be a good opportunity for you.
As in many of my other guides, my advice here is the same: remember to do your research when you look into potential keywords.
Unlike generic, broad keywords, long-tail keywords are more specific and usually consist of a phrase or a long string of words. While they may have lower search volume compared to broader keywords, they can drive highly targeted and valuable traffic to your website.
It often reflects a more refined search intent. Users who search using long-tail keywords have a clearer idea of what they are looking for. The more specific the query, the more likely that this person is really interested in what they’re searching for.
For example, someone searching for “best running shoes for flat feet” is more likely to convert into a customer than someone searching for just “running shoes.” By targeting long-tail keywords, you can align your content and offerings precisely with the needs and preferences of your audience.
While long-tail keywords may have lower search volume, they bring numerous benefits to your SEO strategy. By targeting these specific and intent-focused keywords, you can attract highly targeted traffic, experience lower competition, achieve higher conversion rates, and provide an enhanced user experience.
Adding long-tail keywords to your content strategy can help improve traffic and, ultimately, the fruits of your SEO efforts.
Search intent refers to the underlying motivation or purpose behind a user’s search query. Understanding Search intent is crucial in SEO because it allows you to create and optimize content that aligns with what users are looking for, ensuring that your website meets their needs and provides relevant information or solutions.
Search intent can be classified into 4 different types:
- Informational intent refers to users seeking information or answers to their queries.
- Navigational intent occurs when users are searching for a specific website or brand.
- Commercial intent relates to users that are in the research phase and are comparing options before making a purchase decision.
- Transactional intent relates to users who are ready to make a purchase or complete a specific action.
By identifying the intent behind keywords, you can create content that matches the corresponding intent type and guides users through their desired journey.
How Do You Look For Keyword Volumes?
Analyzing search volume helps marketers like you understand the demand for specific keywords and make informed decisions about which ones to target. There are many ways to do this, but the most accurate way to look at search volume data is to use the right SEO tools, which are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular tools:
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool offered by Google Ads. While primarily designed for advertisers, it is also valuable for SEO professionals. It provides search volume data, historical statistics, and keyword ideas. By entering relevant keywords, you can access insights into average monthly search volumes, competition levels, and bid estimates. Google Keyword Planner is a great starting point for keyword research and planning SEO campaigns.
Google Trends is another free tool provided by Google. It allows users to explore the popularity and search interest of specific keywords over time. While it doesn’t provide exact search volume numbers, it shows relative interest and trending patterns. You can compare the search volume of multiple keywords, analyze regional interest, and view related queries. Google Trends is useful for identifying seasonal trends, tracking keyword popularity, and adjusting your SEO strategy accordingly.
SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers a wide range of features, including keyword research and analysis. It provides accurate search volume data along with additional insights such as keyword difficulty, competition analysis, and keyword trends. SEMrush allows you to explore search volume for specific regions and languages, discover related keywords, and analyze the performance of your competitors. With its extensive database and advanced features, SEMrush is a valuable tool for in-depth keyword research and competitive analysis.
Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool known for its robust keyword research capabilities. It offers accurate search volume data, keyword difficulty scores, and related keyword suggestions. Ahrefs also provides insights into keyword trends over time and allows you to track the search volume of specific keywords. With its comprehensive features for keyword analysis and competitor research, Ahrefs helps uncover valuable keyword opportunities and optimize your SEO strategy accordingly.
SERanking is an all-in-one SEO platform that includes features for keyword research and analysis. It offers search volume data, keyword suggestions, and competition analysis. SERanking allows you to track keyword rankings, monitor search volume fluctuations, and identify new keyword opportunities. The tool also provides comprehensive reporting options to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. I wrote a more extensive review on SERanking’s content marketing platform (which includes their keyword tools) if you’re interested.
These tools are valuable resources if you want to get the most accurate and up-to-date numbers for keyword search volume. Plus, they offer some pretty valuable insights into how competitive these keywords are. I recommend exploring the features and functionalities of each tool to find the one that best fits your needs.
Benefits of Understanding Keyword Search Volume
Knowing a keyword’s search volume is crucial because it reveals the trend for that search term. From here, you can infer the keyword’s potential traffic as well as its competitiveness. Understanding that leads to some very important benefits for your SEO, such as:
By understanding the popularity and demand for specific keywords, you can optimize your content to target relevant keywords that attract the right audience.
Optimizing your website’s content and meta tags based on keyword search volume helps improve your chances of ranking higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). This increased visibility drives more organic traffic to your website.
Analyzing keyword search volume allows you to identify keywords that potential visitors are using to find information related to your industry or niche. By targeting these keywords effectively, you can stay ahead of the competition and align your website with the interests and search behaviors of your target audience.
Better Conversion Rates
By using long-tail keywords with lower competition and stronger search intent, you can attract highly targeted traffic to your website. These visitors are more likely to convert into customers or take desired actions, leading to improved conversion rates.
Informed Decision Making
Keyword search volume data provides valuable insights into the popularity and trends of specific keywords. This information helps you make informed decisions when selecting keywords for your content, optimizing your website, and planning your overall SEO strategy.
Now that you’ve finished this guide to keyword search volume, and seen the tools available for keyword research, it’s time to integrate this knowledge into your SEO strategy.
By analyzing keyword trends and demand using reliable tools, you can optimize your content to attract the right audience. Remember to consider important factors like evergreen versus seasonal keywords, competition levels, the value of long-tail keywords, and user intent.
Remember, SEO is a long game, as search engine algorithms continually evolve. Make sure to regularly revisit and assess your keyword search volume to ensure the list you’re targeting is still working for you and your site.
Stay proactive, adapt your strategy if needed, and maintain a strong online presence in the ever-changing SEO landscape.