Understanding Keyword Search Volume: A Guide to Search Dominance

Written By Otilia Crizbasan | 15 January, 2024

The basics of getting noticed online

Are your keywords worth the effort, or are you just wasting your time?

Let’s talk keyword search volume – the compass that guides you through the ever-twisting, turning world of digital content.

Navigating this landscape requires more than just understanding numbers. Firstly, it involves a strategic approach to align with your target audience’s interests while standing out in a crowded space.

So keep reading to find out what keyword search volume is, how to measure it and critical insights you need to know to make it work for you.

What is keyword search volume?

Keyword search volume shows how often people search for a certain word or phrase each month. It’s useful for marketers using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click) strategies because it helps them understand how popular a keyword is. 

A high number usually means that many people search for that keyword, making it popular and competitive. 

So knowing this can help you choose the best keywords to focus on and attract more visitors to your website.

What is a good keyword search volume?

What makes a keyword “good” for your website isn’t just about how many people search for it. Additionally, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve and on other related factors.

So here are some things to consider before you pick your keywords:

  • Industry: Search volume for keywords can differ significantly across sectors and topics.
  • Competition: To maximise effectiveness, Semrush advises focusing on keywords with strong search demand and manageable competition.
  • Platform: Search volume and keyword performance may vary across different search platforms, so adjust your strategy accordingly.

And remember – if you choose keywords with little to no search volume, there is no audience actively searching for your content for it to be discovered. At the same time, focusing solely on keywords with very high search volumes might result in competition against bigger, more established websites which is hard to compete with.

How do you measure keyword search volume?

If you’re looking to find out how often people are searching for specific keywords, there are various keyword research tools that you can try. Here are examples and a simple guide on using them:

  1. Keyword Tool.io
  • Use Keyword Tool.io to type in your keywords and discover search volume across the entire searchable web from TikTok to Youtube and eBay. 
  • The tool will show you how many people search for these words each month and how much you might pay for ads using those words.

This is what you’ll get if you’re interested in how the keyword ‘headphones’ is performing on TikTok:

keyword 'headphones' search volumes on tiktok
  1. Semrush
  • Within the Keyword Overview section, type in your chosen keyword to get to access a variety of information, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and click metrics.
  • Also, the tool also tells you about trends, gives you ideas for related words, and shows what questions people ask that include your keyword, helping you better understand what users are searching for.

Here’s an example of how the keyword ‘marketing agency’ performs on Google:

keyword 'marketing agency' search volumes on google
  1. Ahrefs
  • Use the Keywords Explorer tool to type in your chosen keyword to access a wealth of data – search volume, keyword difficulty, and click metrics on Amazon.
  • Ahrefs offers a unique view of how many clicks result from searches, an overview of global volume, and related keyword ideas, giving a well-rounded perspective on keyword potential to improve your producing listing.

Take a look at what you can find out if you are interested in ‘laptop backpacks’ on Amazon:

keyword 'laptop backpack' search volumes on amazon

3 things you need to know about keyword search volume

  1. High keyword search volume ≠ more clicks

Just because people search for something online doesn’t always lead them to click on the search results.

A recent study found that around 67% of Google searches didn’t result in a click. This is mainly because Google often provides the needed information immediately on the SERPs, reducing the need to visit websites. 

Let’s look at the example query “eiffel tower height”. People can search this question many times a month, but only a few of these searches will result in clicks.

That happens because Google gives an instant answer to that question using its Rich Result format, as you can see below:

google results to search query "eiffel tower height".
  1. Look beyond traditional search engines

We often see Google as the king of search engines, but now new user behaviour is giving it some competition with people searching across other search platforms. 

Now, channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Amazon are where many people search for things. Even though a keyword isn’t a big deal on Google doesn’t mean it’s not very popular on another platform like TikTok. This is especially true with younger people (like Gen-Z) who are looking for things that match what they need and want and match current trends.

It’s important to understand that each platform has its own way of searching and to change how you use keywords for each one. For example, TikTok’s search algorithm will prioritise user engagement signals like the duration for which a video is watched, while Amazon’s A10 focuses on relevance to the user query and the product’s performance, like reviews.

You’ve got to be quick to react in this game. Just checking out search volumes on Google is not enough anymore to really nail your content and marketing strategy.

In the past, if many people searched for something on Google, it was considered significant. Now, we should look at many different data points to figure out what’s trending. This way, we can ensure our content is always up-to-date and attractive to our target audiences.

  1. Conversational search is on the rise

Voice-activated devices are everywhere these days, and people use them to ask questions, just like talking to a friend.

This translates into users conducting natural-sounding searches, which don’t always fit the mould of the old-school keyword research previously conducted. A search volume only strategy in this situation could miss the mark. 

Voice search is something brands should think about. But, if they only focus on keyword search volume, they will miss out on this whole area. And because voice search queries typically mimic natural speech patterns, with 65% of them having a conversational format.

And let’s not forget about Generative AI search. In 2023, we witnessed Google introducing SGE (Search Generative Experience) and Microsoft unveiling The New Bing. These technologies encourage conversational search and have the potential to shake up how brands think about making content. 

Final thoughts

In keyword research, one of the top things to look at is how frequently each keyword is searched. But you need to consider one thing before – the world of searching online is constantly changing. 

What was important yesterday might be less important today. A SERP is not a Google-only phenomenon anymore. Brands must consider other search platform opportunities.

In this emerging change in search, focus on broadening your horizons and adopt a more holistic approach to keyword research.

To become a dominant force in the keywords crucial to your business, contact, get in touch.