Updated May 2018
If you’re like most marketers, you’d have probably debated (against yourself) whether or not to write about a certain topic.
On the one hand, you’d like to write about the topic since you think your audience will love it; while on the other, you’re hesitating since your keyword research tool shows that it barely has any monthly searches.
Well, that’s what this guide is all about.
We’re going to look into just how much you should pay attention to the keyword search volume, the factors that make a “good” search volume, and even the instances where you should just straight up ignore the number and write about the topic, anyway.
Let’s hop right in.
Why Check the Keyword Search Volume?
Just like the term implies, the keyword search volume is the number of times (or volume) searches are conducted for a certain keyword for a specific time-frame (often on a monthly setting).
The definition alone gives us a picture of why the metric shouldn’t be ignored when determining whether a keyword is “target-worthy.” After all, if a keyword doesn’t have an ample amount of searches, then chances are, no one’s really using the keyword when searching online.
That tells us that ranking for that specific keyword isn’t worth it since no one’s using it anyway.
If you’re still new to the marketing space and you’re wondering “How to know keyword search volume data?” then you can head over to LongTailPro.com — a trusted keyword research tool that both beginners and seasoned marketers use.
Enter your “seed keyword” in the search box, hit “retrieve,” and the tool will start doing its magic
Here’s what came up after I entered our sample keyword phrase, “Business coaches.”
As you can see, not only will the tool show you several keyword suggestions — which you can use to expand your keyword portfolio — but you can also see other crucial metrics to help you determine if the keywords are worth targeting, like the search volume, Avg. KC (Keyword Competitiveness), Rank Value, and average CPC bid.
Now that you know how to find search volume of a keyword, let’s talk about how a good search volume looks.
What Makes a Good Search Volume?
As much as I’d like to give you a specific number you can use as a boundary of some sort to determine whether a keyword search volume is good enough (or not), I’m afraid there just isn’t a one-size-fits-all number for this.
Depending on the niche you’re in, your marketing goals, and even your budget (among other things), the phrase “good search volume” can look very different.
The better approach, however, is to perform a competitive analysis while using your top competitors backlink data as a benchmark.
Why backlinks? Because they also reveal your competitor’s keyword targets in their link building strategy.
In Long Tail Pro, you can do this using the “Backlink Analysis” tool. All you need to do is enter your competitor’s URL and click “Retrieve” to reveal what’s working for them so far.
For example, let’s say we consider Roto-Rooter as our top competitor.
Initially, this is what their backlink data looks like:
Digging a little deeper, we can unearth certain links with an optimized anchor text.
Entering this keyword as a “Manual Keyword Entry” on Long Tail Pro will then reveal its search volume, which you can use as basis when choosing other keyword ideas:
As far as a keyword’s profitability goes, here are other factors you need to consider:
- CPC (Cost Per Click). This refers to the price you pay for every click your audience makes to your ad campaigns.
- Buying Intent. Refers to the readiness of the searchers to buy a product.
- Competition. This refers to the number of advertisers targeting a specific keyword.
When to Ignore the Keyword Search Volume
At this point, I hope you are now convinced at how important of a metric the keyword search volume is when choosing your target keywords.
With how competitive online marketing has become, you’d be at a big disadvantage if you don’t factor in your keywords’ search volumes.
However, even having said all that, it’s worth pointing out that there are scenarios where it’d make sense for you to ignore the search volume and just target a keyword anyway.
I’m going to share two of those scenarios:
1. Strong buying intent.
When it comes down to it, your goal for conducting keyword research, creating sales funnels, or your overall reason for running a marketing campaign is really to generate sales.
It’s precisely because of this that you should be willing to “let go” of other metrics — search volume included — if you think you’d be able to generate sales.
That being said, if you found keywords with strong buying intent, then it’d make sense for you to target them even if they have a low search volume.
Take the keyword phrase below, for example.
While the phrase “buy light tan shoe polish” might only have a search volume of 10, you wouldn’t be wrong if you’d still targeted it because of its strong buying intent.
2. When it makes total sense for you target a keyword.
If you’ve been operating in your niche for years and you have a solid grasp of the topics that your audience are craving to read about, then don’t let a keyword’s search volume dissuade you from targeting the keyword phrase, writing about the topic, and ultimately help your audience.
Not only will your audience appreciate you for writing about a topic or a guide that would benefit them greatly, but you just might end up ranking for keywords pertaining to the same topic.
The key is to come up with something comprehensive.
Cover overlapping topics that your audience are passionate about.
Remember that it’s a widely-used practice to target multiple keywords on a single piece of content or landing page. That said, you don’t have to worry too much about the search volume and go instead for a set of keywords with a feasible competitiveness rating.
If your content is lengthy and is packed with droves upon droves of golden nuggets, then your audience will keep on coming back to it, share it, and even link to it.
When that happens, you’ll find yourself pulling in traffic from various low search volume keywords.
It’s crucial for marketers to learn how to find search volume when conducting their keyword research.
Not only does knowing the search volume give marketers a better idea of what to expect should they rank for certain keywords — as far as traffic and sales would go — but it also helps them with market research.
However, even having said that, there are occurrences when marketers can straight up ignore a keyword’s search volume.
Two of the scenarios we pointed out are:
- If the keyword has a strong buying intent.
- If it makes perfect sense to target the keyword after learning about your audience’s needs.
If you’re still looking for an online keyword research tool to help you find the best keywords to target, check out LongTailPro’s free 7-day trial now.