What Is Search Volume? A Beginner's Guide

Do you want to know why search volume is important for driving traffic to your business website? It’s a key metric that you need to understand to rank for keywords with the potential to bring you a steady stream of customers. 

However, it’s not as simple as going after the highest search volume keywords in your niche. We’ll reveal the best practices for incorporating search volume into your marketing and SEO strategy. We’ll also show you how to find keyword search volume with the help of the software here at Hike SEO.

For example, in Hike, you can easily see the average monthly search volume in its keyword research tool, under the "Search Volume" column.


What Is Search Volume?

Search volume is a metric that refers to the number of times a keyword is searched for on average each month. You can also average keyword search volume over custom timeframes. 

It’s worth looking at search volume to determine the popularity of a keyword and its traffic potential. Hence, search volume is vital for evaluating product demand and customer interest levels of various topics. Also, as a rule of thumb, the competitiveness of a keyword increases with the search volume which increases the difficulty of ranking for that keyword. 

It’s worth understanding that search volume doesn’t equate to the amount of traffic you can expect. That’s because:

  • Not all searches lead to a click.

  • You share the search volume with competitors in the SERPs.
  • Search volume is an annual average, and current demand may be way lower.

The Benefits of Using Search Volume for Businesses?

Businesses have a lot to gain from paying attention to the search volume of keywords in their niche. Here are some of the top ones:

Improve SERP rankings: Search volume helps you identify the keywords that are worth adding to your content in pursuit of more traffic. In fact, search volume can act as a roadmap for crafting content, since you can create topics around the most highly searched terms.

Increase traffic and sales: Generally, going after high search volume keywords will increase your website traffic. More traffic equals more sales, so the effort will be reflected in your bottom line. However, it’s important to consider search intent to ensure you target searches with an interest in buying products.

Expand marketing scope: Your keyword research may uncover high search volume for unexpected terms that point to new marketing opportunities. Therefore, you can use search volume to guide you toward making the right decision for what topics to publish.

Identify seasonality: By looking at monthly search volume, you can see how topic interest changes during the course of a year. While some topics may have steady interest, others are highly seasonal. Search volume will help you understand what months of the year you can expect to sell the most units.

Discover customer pain points: You can uncover high search volume terms that indicate customer pain points. These searches may not have buying intent, but help you understand your customer needs. Therefore, you can develop solutions to address those pain points. 

How to Get Keyword Search Volume Data

You can get keyword search volume data with various tools. Alongside search volume, you’ll also see other data such as CPC (Cost per Click), competition, trends, and more. 

Look for a search volume tool that offers all the information you need to make the right marketing decisions. In this section, we’ll provide the best tools, which include free and paid options. 

Google Trends

Google Trends is a basic and free tool that focuses on helping you understand how a keyword trends over time. It’s great for spotting seasonality and overall interest. The tool allows you to customize the results based on location, time range, and category. 

However, it lacks a lot of data that marketers or SEOs need, such as competition level and advertising cost. It’s a good choice for beginners because of the ease of use, but serious businesses should invest in other tools for in-depth search volume research. 

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is another free tool that supports their Google Ads program. It offers a range of useful data, including search volume, trends, click, and cost performance forecasts. Also, you can filter results based on location, language, and search network, and exclude negative keywords. 

The only catch to the tool is that you need a Google Ads account, which takes just a few minutes to sign up for. Also, the Google Keyword Planner can overestimate search data by up to 91%. Therefore, you should use the tool as a guide instead of taking the data at face value. 

Hike SEO

You can find search volume data with our in-house tool here at Hike SEO. We’ll support you in the pursuit to find the keywords your customers search. Furthermore, we can uncover these keywords from your topics, or your competitors. 

Next to the search volume data, we’ll assign each phrase with a “difficulty score.” This score is calculated based on the search volume and competition, so you can identify achievable keywords at a glance. 

What Is a Good Keyword Search Volume?

Good keyword search volume depends on your industry or niche.  For example, a high cost product would only need 10-100 searches per month to potentially get a conversion - whereas other industries play the volume game. 

Here are some factors to help you think about what is good search volume:

Competition: Keyword difficulty or competition is a vital factor to consider when evaluating search volume. For example, high search volume keyword might be out of reach for you if the competition is too high. However, a lower search volume keyword may be easier to monetize if the competition is low enough.

Search intent: There’s no point in targeting keywords with the wrong search intent - even if they have an extremely high search volume.

Industry or niche: Search volume levels vary significantly based on your niche or industry. Hence, you need to set the right expectations based on your market. 

How Seasonality Affects Search Volume

Some keywords have high seasonality, which means they may get the majority of their search volume in just a few months of the year. For example, you can expect the search term “Halloween costumes” to have the bulk of the search volume in the months leading up to Halloween. 

Spotting fluctuations in search volume throughout the year is vital for setting up your marketing campaigns and managing inventory. Hence, you can align your marketing budget with high search volume months of the year to target the right topics. 

Are you not interested in selling seasonal products? Then you can avoid going after seasonal keywords and focus on evergreen ones. Some business owners prefer to go after products or services that sell consistently throughout the year. 

Best Practices Related to Search Volume

Do you want to make the most of search volume to enhance your marketing strategies? Then consider the best practices in this section to hit the ground running. 

Balance Competition Versus Search Volume

High search volume and competition go hand in hand. You might be tempted to rank for keywords with the highest search volume, but then you’ll be up against the competitor with the deepest pockets and most experience. 

A better approach might be to go for low or medium search volume keywords that you have a realistic chance of ranking for on the first page of Google SERPs. In fact, the top 3 SERP positions receive 68.7% of clicks, so this is where you’ll want to rank. 

Do Competitor Research

You can save a lot of time with keyword research by reverse engineering your top competitors. Identify the top keywords your competitors use to drive sales. Hike SEO allows you to research search volume based on competitor topics to understand what you’re up against. 

Also, marketers can find long-tail keywords used by competitors. Long-tail keywords are phrases typically made up of three to five words. These can be hard to find, yet can drive a lot of highly converting traffic when you add many of them to your content. 

Add Localized Keywords

Optimize your marketing campaigns by uncovering localized keywords for the geographic areas you’re targeting. This is ideal for businesses that rely on local foot traffic for sales, and want to improve their local SEO. You can use search volume data to figure out what your customers are looking for in specific areas. 


How Does Search Volume Help Marketers Get More Customers?

Search volume helps marketers get customers by identifying what keywords to rank for in the SERP to drive more traffic. You can also identify high search volume keywords in adjacent niches. Hence, you can get more customers by expanding your offerings. 

What Factors Affect the Difficulty to Increase Search Volume?

The factors that affect the difficulty to increase search volume include keyword competition, website authority, technical SEO factors, trends, budget and resources, and SEO experience. Increasing search volume is a long-term project that can provide an avalanche of constant traffic, so it’s worth pursuing for businesses. 

How Long Does it Take to Increase Keyword Search Volume?

The amount of time it takes to increase keyword search volume depends on the amount of work you put into SEO and the competition. However, there’s a general consensus that it takes about 4 to 12 months to reach your search volume's full potential. 

Hike SEO

We understand that it can be overwhelming to get your head around the best way to utilize search volume data to generate more customers. However, it’s one of the key metrics that businesses must pay attention to allocate marketing budgets in the right direction. 

You can take advantage of the software available at Hike SEO to learn the search volume of keywords related to your topics. We’ll also provide you with a “difficulty score”, so you can start optimizing for the right keywords. Alternatively, you can outsource the SEO to us and our experienced team of professionals will begin work on your business website to rank for high search volume phrases.