Updated February 3, 2020
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.
How To Get Keyword Search Volume Data
Best 5 Keyword Tools To Find Keyword Search Volume Data
If you’re still new to the marketing space and you’re wondering “How to know keyword search volume data?” we get it! This isn’t an intuitive step for new marketers, but it is a technique that is easily learned thanks to keyword research tools.
With access to the right tools, you’ll be able to look up and understand the impact of keyword search volume data as you work your way through future marketing campaigns.
- Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner: AdWords Keyword Planner is a very useful free tool that can help you assess potential keyword performance. This planner can be found in the Planning section of your AdWords account. The tool will show you the average search volume for entered keywords, but the monthly ranges can be quite large, which makes it hard to narrow in on a marketing strategy.
- Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest, hosted by SEO marketer Neil Patel, is another tool that can show you optimized data to improve your SEO practices. Each entered keyword will be ranked with search volume, difficulty levels, and backlink information. The volumes listed by this tool are divided into mobile and desktop categories for further optimization.
- KeywordTool.io: This is a powerful, free-of-charge tool that is great for new marketers that is serious about learning their way around keywords, but the search volume, CPC, and competition data are locked behind a paywall. The free tool is great for finding variations of your keywords for longtail keyword research and more.
- Long Tail Pro: Long Tail Pro takes the ideas that can be extracted from hours spent on free tools and makes it accessible within minutes. Rather than doing dozens of searches to optimize your potential keywords for their search volume and other data, Long Tail Pro makes it simple with in-depth keyword metrics and a free 7-day trial.
- SerpStat: SerpStat is another all-in-one SEO platform that compiles useful keyword data, such as search volume, into a single dashboard so that you can explore your options. Limited features are available to try for free, but a paid account is required to do complete analyses.
Using Long Tail Pro For Search Volume Data
If you’re interested in trying out one of these tools for yourself right now, 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.
what a good search volume looks like. Now that you know how to find search volume of a keyword, let’s talk about choosing which search volumes to look for and
Which Keyword Search Volumes Should You Be Targeting?
After you have done some analysis of your potential keywords and gathered the search volume data about each keyword and its variations, you might be wondering what to do next.
How do you decide which search volumes are the right ones to target?
There are a few different factors that you should look at when choosing keywords based on their search volumes. The fact of the matter is that search volume cannot, on its own, predict the success of a keyword. It is simply a data point in a larger picture.
To determine which keywords to target after researching their search volume results, consider the following three factors:
- Does it have a good search volume for your niche?
- What is the keyword competition like?
- Is there buying intent for the keyword?
Let’s get into more detail about each of these factors so that you can complete each analysis to create a final, tailored list of keywords.
1. 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.
Here’s the Backlink Analysis feature in action:
2. Why Does Keyword Competition Matter?
The next factor that needs to be considered is the keyword competition. Put simply, keyword competition lets you know how difficult it will be to rank highly in a search about the given keyword.
For popular keywords, it will be very hard to beat out long-established sites, and the effort that you put into a keyword might end up wasted. Keywords with high search volumes may also have very competitive keywords, so you need to find an achievable balance.
A real golden ticket moment is when you can find a keyword with a good search volume for your industry that does not have a very high competition score. Those are the keywords that you should aim to secure!
Check out this complete post to find out more about how to research the KC of a potential keyword.
3. Buying Intent And How It Affects Keywords
If your goal in driving more traffic to a particular site or page is rooted in the desire to sell more products, then you need to consider if the keywords that you find with good search volume also have buying intent.
Buying or purchase intent is the idea that people who search a keyword with buying intent will, at the end of their searching, make a purchase. By targeting keywords that have buying intent, your work will have a better chance of converting into a sale.
Working the keywords into your site’s content and product listings will help drive home the conversion.
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.
Keyword Search Volume FAQs
What Is Search Volume?
Search volume is the number of searches that happen for a particular keyword. The volume can usually be filtered to cover a specific timeframe, and often, the number given represents an average.
Search volume is used by SEO marketers to consider how different keywords work over time as well as how frequently those particular keywords are used to drive traffic. Search volume data is used in many different ways to make decisions about keyword selection, phrasing, and ads.
What Does Keyword Search Mean?
A keyword search is a search conducted to find information about a particular topic or idea. For example, someone may type “what is keyword search volume” into Google and find their way to this page.
When they type in “what is keyword search volume,” they are doing a keyword search.
Despite “keyword” being a singular term, it does not always refer to a single word. More often than not, it refers to a string of words. A keyword search, then, is when someone searches for that particular string of words.
What Is Keyword-Based Search?
Keyword-based searches are searches that are based strictly on how often a page mages a keyword exactly and how many times it matches. In the early days of SEO, this is how strictly how search engines operated. That is why keyword stuffing, or repeating the exact keyword as many times as possible in the content, became popular.
Today, however, semantic search is more widely used. Semantic search engines look for full sentences and natural integration of keywords rather than repetitive overuse of those same words.
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 Long Tail Pro’s free 7-day trial now.