In PPC, we hear a lot about keyword search volume, yet much less attention is paid to this crucial metric compared to, say, click-through rate or cost-per-click. Although these metrics are very important, search volume can be equally important – especially for SEOs.
In today’s post, we’ll be exploring all that you should find out about search volume: what it is, why it’s important, and ways to use it within your marketing campaigns, all with real-world examples to illustrate the primary points. We’ll be centering on these concepts primarily from a search engine optimisation perspective, but we’ll additionally be dipping into some PPC-related topics, too.
What Is Keyword Search Volume? Since the term implies, keyword search volume refers to the volume (or number) of searches for the keyword in a given timeframe. Keyword search volume is typically averaged spanning a set timeframe to offer marketers using a general concept of searching term’s competitiveness and overall volume. This information is often contextualized within specific timeframes to permit SEOs and marketers to see how certain keywords drive traffic over time.
Seasonality often plays a substantial role in keyword search volume. Yes, probably the most diligent bargain-hunters may begin their hunt for “Christmas gift ideas” in July, but most people will wait until October or November before conducting this kind of search.
Other search terms are “evergreen,” meaning there’s no seasonal or timeliness connected with them, along with their search volume stays steady with time. Of course, it’s worth remembering that the evergreen keyword in one country or region may be seasonal in another.
Why Does Keyword Search Volume Matter? Search volume matters because search engines are one of the key methods sites attract new visitors and traffic. As an example, at WordStream, organic search drives about 70% of total traffic! So it’s essential to target keywords inside your content that really have real search volume – if no one is looking for the keywords you’re targeting, nobody will see your articles. However, if you’re only targeting keywords with extremely high search volume, it will probably be difficult to compete with bigger sites and get your content ranking.
Search volume can also be important to your PPC bidding strategy, since high-volume terms will tend to be competitive and much more expensive when they are also commercial in terms of intent.
Ways to get Keyword Search Volume Data. Before you could begin to use keyword search volume data to inform your SEO or PPC strategy, you need to actually get hold of it. Below are some tools you can use to find and look at your keyword search volume data.
As you can see within the figure above, SEM Rush has an at-a-glance dashboard overview for specific keywords, in this case “ski jackets”. We could see the approximate average search volume, along with the CPC and competitiveness from the query. We’re provided a graph breakdown of how keyword trends change with time, along with related and phrase-match keywords which can be highly relevant to our original query.
Google Trends offers some interesting perspectives on this kind of data, including geographic popularity, growth and decline data for specific terms, and related topics, which is often extremely helpful for identifying branded terms related to more generic keywords. Take a look at the Google Trends data for the term “ski jackets”:
It’s worth noting, however, that after recent changes towards the AdWords interface, this information is now only accessible to users running active AdWords campaigns. In the event you aren’t, you’ll visit a simplified, truncated version in the data, without any graphs or other visual representations from the data.
Which Keyword Search Volumes Should You Be Targeting? Whether you’re a search engine optimisation, a PPC specialist, or perhaps a digital marketing generalist, keyword search volume is an important metric that is certainly often overlooked in support of other metrics like click-through rate. However, keyword search volume needs to be part of the foundation upon which your efforts needs to be built – but exactly how sudpzu you already know which selection of volumes you ought to be targeting?
Balancing Volume with Competition
In terms of keyword search volume, there are 2 primary factors to take into consideration: volume and competitiveness. Keywords with higher volumes mean more potential exposure (or impression share), but will probably be a lot more competitive. This, consequently, causes it to be harder to rank for these terms as you’ll probably be increasing against well-established publishers and sites, or higher CPCs if you’re bidding on these terms included in a paid search campaign.