Another very important consideration when doing keyword research is keyword search volume.
Keyword Volume is an estimation of the number of searches per month for a certain keyword or keyphrase.
Higher search volume means more potential traffic to your website, but really high volume keywords can often be more competitive as well as more broadly targeted.
You can divide keyword phrases into several categories based on volume. Those categories include high volume keywords, intermediate keywords, and long-tail keywords.
1) High Volume Keywords (Short-Tail Keywords)
High volume keywords are often very competitive and broadly targeted.
Although ranking for such keywords can send a lot of traffic to your website, it may not be worth the effort because they are too competitive and will require too much time and money to rank.
High volume keywords might also not be worth it because the keyword phrase is very broad.
For example, let’s take the word “computers”.
Some people searching for that keyword might be looking for information about computers, while others might be shopping for a new computer.
People searching for this keyword are less likely to actually buy a computer than someone searching for a specific brand or type of computer.
High volume keywords might be worth targeting for your home page if they are not too competitive or if you have the resources to outperform the competition.
Such keyword phrases can take longer to rank for, but they can drive a lot of traffic to your website.
2) Intermediate Keywords (Medium-Tail Keywords)
Medium tail keywords can drive a significant amount of traffic to your web pages and can also be specific enough to drive targeted traffic and conversions.
Although there is no strict definition, medium tail keywords generally contain 2-3 words.
For example, if you are selling a specific type of computer like business laptops, then ranking for “business laptops” might be more worthwhile than trying to rank for “computers”.
Although the search volume is lower, the phrase is more targeted towards someone who is likely to buy what you are selling.
The keyword phrase is still competitive, but probably not as competitive as “computers”.
3) Low Volume Keywords (Long-Tail Keywords)
Keywords that have low search volume are often referred to as long-tail keywords. Although these keyword phrases can be lower in volume in comparison to short-tail keywords, they often send highly targeted traffic that is more interested in what you have to offer.
For example, if you are selling a specific type of computer, like a Dynabook Toshiba Terca, then you might be better off targeting the phrase “Dynabook Toshiba Terca” instead of “computers” or even “laptop computers”.
You will receive less traffic for that search term, but the traffic you do receive will be much more likely to buy and you will also have less difficulty ranking for that lower volume keyword phrase.
When creating informational content like blog articles, sometimes you can get traffic for long-tail keywords by simply including them on the page.
Some long-tail keywords have very low search volume, but the cumulative traffic from lots of long-tail keywords can add up. In fact, an estimated 70% of all search traffic comes from long-tail searches.
Other Important Factors
Keyword volume is not the only factor to consider when trying to rank for keywords. Click through rates (CTR) are also important, so generally, you will want to target keywords that are highly relevant to your content.
Strong click-through rates will result in more actual visits from search engines and is also a positive signal to the search engines that your web page is relevant to what people are searching for.
Although keyword search volume is important, don’t put too much weight on the keyword volume number for one keyword phrase. Be sure to also note that web pages tend to rank for multiple keywords, even keywords that you are not intentionally targeting. Ranking for multiple keywords can result in additional traffic to your web page.
When selecting the right keyword phrases to target, SEOs need to not only find phrases with adequate search volume, but also find keywords that match the searcher’s intent.