Search Volume

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jun 6, 2023

Search Volume

What is Search Volume?

Search volume refers to the average number of times users search for a particular keyword over a given timeframe. 

It can vary depending on the type of keyword or according to the trend. It means that it can vary according to local, seasonal and trending keywords.

To further elaborate on it:

Local keywords: These keywords are defined by the locality of the business and are specific to a region or its neighbourhood e.g., “eye clinic near me” or “best pepperoni pizza in Karachi.” These types of keywords will have different search volumes with respect to the place.

Seasonal keywords: These keywords are related to events or a particular time of the year. For instance, “Christmas gifts” or “Sapporo Snow Festival.” Such keywords will have a high search volume around a specific time of the year.

Trending keywords: They emerge from time to time or only when a newsworthy event happens. For example, “earthquake in Turkey” or “spike in petrol prices.” Their search volume will be higher only when the event gains popularity.

Why is it important?

Search volume is important because it provides valuable insights into the popularity and relevance of specific keywords.

By understanding which keywords are frequently searched for, you can optimize your content to better target your desired audience and improve your rankings.

Additionally, analyzing low-search volume keywords can help you identify opportunities to target niche or long-tail keywords that have less competition.

Prioritizing your content based on search volume can also help you allocate your resources more effectively and achieve your marketing goals more efficiently.

Facts about search volume

There are certain facts about the search volume that every webmaster should know.

Annual reports do not determine the monthly average

As we have discussed earlier that the search volume can fluctuate according to trend and season, and an annual report cannot tell you the monthly average accurately.

Many tools will give an annual report but it is not a good estimation of monthly volume. For instance, keywords related to Christmas will be popular in and around December.

If for “Christmas gift ideas” you have 16k annual searches, you can estimate around 1.3k searches every month which is not accurate. It is because December will have most of the searches.

Searches are not equal to clicks

According to Rand Fishkin’s article, most of the searches on Google do not get a click.  His study found that in 2020, two-thirds of Google searches did not result in a user clicking on any of the search results.

The reason can be the featured snippet or knowledge panel that saves users from clicking the link because they get the information right there on the SERPs.

This way, high search volume can result in a small number of clicks and you cannot relate it to the number of visitors (or traffic).

Cannot determine the number of visits

It is important to understand that search volume is an estimation and cannot accurately determine the number of visitors to your website.

For example, if a keyword has 10 searches, it does not necessarily mean that 10 people have visited your site. It could be that only 2 people visited your site but used the keyword 10 times combined.

However, search volume is still a useful metric to track the performance of your keywords and make appropriate adjustments based on the number of searches.

A low search volume is not useless

Having a low search volume for a keyword does not necessarily make it useless for your website. In fact, such keywords may bring valuable traffic to your website, even if the volume is low.

They may have a higher potential to generate conversions, especially if they contain terms that indicate buyer intent.

You should not ignore low-volume keywords as they can be good for your website’s SEO in several ways:

Topic clustering

Low-volume keywords can be good for topic clustering. While they may not individually drive a lot of traffic, they can provide valuable content ideas for subtopic pages that link to a main, high-volume keyword page.

When used in the aggregate, these low-volume keywords and their corresponding pages can bring significant traffic to your site and help establish your authority on a particular topic.

Niche industries

Low-volume keywords can be good for niche industries. Since these industries may have less competition, using low-volume, longer-tail keywords that are specific to the industry can help attract highly targeted traffic and establish your website as an authority in that niche.

This can lead to better search rankings, more traffic, and higher conversion rates.

They are estimations and are still useful

Search volume data is an estimation and prediction, and we do not have access to the exact numbers of searches.

However, even estimated search volume data can still be useful for comparing different keywords.

By using search volume estimates from the same source and using the same method, we can make accurate comparisons about the relative popularity of different keywords over time.

While it is not possible to know the exact number of searches, having access to search volume estimates can still help businesses make informed decisions about their SEO strategy and content optimization.

How to work on search volume?

Check out what competitors are doing

You can check the competitor’s search volume for finding the keywords that are searched the most.

Likewise, you should also look at those with the lowest search volume. This idea will give you a better understanding of how the users look for answers to their queries and how can you benefit from the keywords to provide them with targeted answers.

Look at what’s trending

You should never forget the trends or seasons while creating content. For example, if it is winter, your content should include topics related to the season, such as winter fashion, winter sports, or holiday activities.

Advertising products that are not relevant to the current season or trends, such as flip-flops in the winter, can be irrelevant and ineffective.

Don’t ignore keywords that define your niche

Never ignore the keywords that define your brand even if they have low search volume. It is because they are likely to bring a lot of profit to your business.

Deciding what qualifies as a good keyword search volume is not always a straightforward process and depends on various factors.

Pursuing keywords with a low search volume, such as 10-100 searches per month, can still be worthwhile if they have high potential value for your business.

For example, keywords that indicate strong buyer intent or are specific to your niche or industry can be highly relevant and lead to valuable conversions.

Conversely, high-volume keywords with even 20k or more searches per month may not always be relevant or suitable for your business.

Focus on local searches

If your business targets a local audience, it is important to focus on local keywords to improve your search engine rankings and attract more relevant traffic to your website.

Local keywords often have a high search volume within their specific locality because they reflect the search habits of the local audience.

However, outside of that locality, the search volume for those keywords may be relatively low.

Tools for checking search volume

You can use any of the following tools to check the search volume.

Google Keyword Planner

It is a free tool to check the monthly search volume. If you have a Google Adwords account, you can use Keyword Planner.

After logging in to your Adwords account, click on “Tools” and choose “Keyword Planner” and then you will have “Search volume and forecasts.” You can enter a list of keywords to find their monthly search volume. 

SEMrush’s Keyword Overview Tool

Keyword Overview gives you monthly global volume and volume per region. You can enter keywords into the search bar to check their search volume.

Also, you can check out keywords with high search volume that you can utilise for your next campaign.

SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool

This tool works almost the same way as Keyword Overview Tool. It will give you “Volume” and “Trend” for keywords individually.


It allows you to find out search volume by either keywords or domains. It will give you monthly search volume and trends.


Search volume refers to the average number of times users search for a particular keyword over a given timeframe. It can vary depending on the type of keyword or according to the trend.

It is important to remember that search volume is only an estimate and cannot accurately reflect how many people visit a website.

Still, understanding and utilizing search volume data can help businesses improve their search engine rankings and attract more relevant traffic to their websites.

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