SEO: Why Not to Focus Only on Keyword Search Volume
As the term implies, keyword search volume is the number of times a keyword is searched for. Once upon a time, search engines like Google were generally matching search terms to keywords in content to provide users with a list of search results. Back then Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was largely a matter of getting onto the first page of search results and then ‘doing the numbers’. More visitors automatically meant more sales simply because of the standard (albeit low) conversion you could expect for various keywords or phrases.
Obviously, it made sense to target the keywords with the highest search volume so marketers and website owners paid a lot of attention to keyword search volume to design their SEO strategy.
Today, we’re a long way from that old SEO model and businesses who have not already aligned their SEO strategy to the goal of the search engines will have almost certainly found their rankings slide. Why? Because search engines are becoming more sophisticated at presenting users with results that are most relevant to their search query and many SEO tactics that worked once are no longer effective.
Keyword relevance matters more than search volume
Now an effective SEO generally revolves around a content strategy and quality content development. Increasingly, the specialties of SEO, website design, content development and digital marketing are becoming inseparable.
Instead of just trusting that your content is about ‘website development’ because your page titles say so and your content mentions the words a lot, Google takes many other things into account.
More and more, SEO is becoming a matter of building quality content to improve your search rankings, so when it comes to selecting the right keywords and phrases to build your SEO strategy around, these three factors now matter just as much as search volume.
1. Consider keyword relevance
SEO is no longer a numbers game, now it’s a relevance game. Search engines recognise and reward sites that produce good content that provides users with the answers and information they’re looking for. One simple way to measure the relevance of content and how well it matches a search query is the time a visitor spends reading it.
A high bounce rate (where users leave your site shortly after arriving) and a low average visit duration are both indicators (in Google’s eyes) that your site is not relevant to a particular search query. And they can actually harm your SEO efforts. Focus on the keywords that are really relevant to the content on your site.
2. Choose keywords for your business goals
Focusing on keywords with high search volume might bring a lot of traffic to your website (although it’s less likely to as you’ll soon discover), but unless those visitors do something to help you further your business objectives, traffic for traffic’s sake is not doing you any good.
Before worrying about generating more site visits, focus on the keywords that will attract the right people to the information, products or services you’re offering with a goal to build stronger conversion rates to leads and sales.
3. Choose keywords you can own
Ranking for your keywords requires an ongoing content strategy that’s sustainable. Once you’ve developed a list of keywords that match your target audience and your business objectives, you can narrow or prioritise that list by considering the feasibility of maintaining the keywords you’ve selected.
Consider your existing website content and the topics you could continue to build content around over time that will be relevant to both your audience and your business.
Address search volume last
The most important elements of choosing the right keyword or phrase relate to relevance and targeting. Once you’ve run your keyword list through the steps outlined here, you should have a shorter list of keywords that reflect the specific queries that your business can feasibly help your typical customer with.
Considering search volume at this stage in your strategy can then provide you with the extra insight to select and prioritise your keywords. Search volume should inform your SEO strategy more than dictate it.
When you think SEO Brisbane and you’re looking for a full service digital marketing agency that can develop an SEO strategy that is integrated with your website design, content development, social media and ongoing digital marketing, why not take us up on an opportunity to get in touch and have a no-obligation discussion to explore the online potential of your organisation.