Most people before they start a website or blog, they usually research search queries on Google(Let’s ignore other search engines, most of them aren’t worth mentioning).
How to research keywords for SEO purpose smart?
Researching a keyword isn’t easy at all. Especially if you are interested in some micro niche.
Why? Because it’s hard to determine how much traffic you should expect. Traffic can vary a lot. First what I usually do is search on Google for search terms I’m interested in.
Let’s say this time I want to make a micro niche website how to install Windows OS. That’s maybe a bad example but you that’s first that came to my mind, sorry :-p
Now, think what people usually would type in if they would like to learn how install Windows 7 on their PC.
Search queries would be something among those lines:
- How to install Windows 7
– Windows 7 Installation Tutorial
– How I can install Windows 7
Search queries varies and if you are going to plan make a website about it, you should include all of those keywords in the content part of your website.
As you can see, Google found 385 000 000 results for given keyword. That’s huge number and it means huge competition. But how strong is that competition? I think it’s very strong.
I think that because when I look at titles of search results most of them have those keywords in title:
- Installing Windows 7
- How To Install Windows 7
- Learn How To Install Windows 7
If you still don’t believe that competition is quite strong you can check by clicking on page 2 of Google Search Results Page (SERP).
- How To How to Install Windows® 7
- How To Reinstall Windows 7 Easily
But is competition that hard?
Let’s check on Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Most of people make a mistake and they don’t filter searches. Why? Because you can’t really target all computers on the world. If you are planning to make a website that will be on English language, you need to filter it to US and language as English.
If you don’t do that it means that you are targeting your website for every language and every country and that’s impossible to do. Not really impossible for keywords that uses just certain group of people or keywords that are part of domain of website like “facebook” or “youtube”. You get the point?
So filtering should be something like this
I will search for term “How to install windows 7″ in my case. And I got this:
Google gave us a few search terms that people usually type in Google Search Box.
Global Monthly Searches shows us this huge number 2,740,000.
Oh wait, that means I can expect a lot of traffic?
Not really. It’s total global number of searches that may be or not be exact number of searches. Google simply can’t update their tool like every day. That number is approximated even if, let’s say, in past month Google had exactly 2,740,000 queries for that term. But not only that, there are other conditions that takes part in deciding how much traffic you can expect and how much you will actually get for certain keywords. 2,740,000 is global number of queries. We need to filter those queries to US and English language and then compare it to Exact match type.
Exact and broad match types
Previously we used broad match type. That means that search query “How to install windows 7″ include also synonyms and search queries that are requesting pretty much same information. So it includes
- Installing Windows 7
- How To Install Windows 7
- Learn How To Install Windows 7
and many other long tail keywords similar to those.
You need to make difference between exact and broad.
Broad Global Monthly Searches for Keyword “How to install windows 7″ is 2,740,000.
If we filter it to only one location United States and set our main language as English we see that our
Broad Local Monthly Searches is 673,000.
And compare it to Exact Global Monthly Searches.
Exact Global Monthly Searches for Key “How to install windows 7″ is only 60 500.
Broad match type localized to US and to English language is showing us figure of 673 000 monthly searches. But that still include multiple keywords. If you are going to make website about certain keyword, then you should use synonymys of that keyword. But you should focus on Exact Match type that’s showing to us that exact search query “How to install windows 7″. 60 500 is enough of search queries to make a website on that topic, but also we need to optimize it to other keywords and synonyms that people could use when searching.
So when we compare those 2 figures we see that we can expect something between-
60 500 and 673,000 monthly impressions that’s related to installing Windows 7.
Every time someone search for certain keyword and your website is shown up in Google SERP, you get 1 impression and more possibility that visitor will click on your website in list of results.
We will derive most traffic for exact keyword if we optimize it for exact keyword, that’s sure thing. And that’s showing us if is our website good optimized we could get 60 500 impressions for this exact keyword. But if we optimize our website for synonyms like “Installing Windows 7“, “Tutorial how to install Windows 7“, we can get up to 673,000 impressions monthly. But taht’s not all.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool is quite accurate but you need to know how to use it
Because all people who are looking for that keyword might not look for it actually. It sounds like oxymoron but here are possible reasons why you won’t get that number of traffic registered on your website:
- Google Lists most popular keywords
And users use Google just to see what search queries Google would offer. They usually end up writing long tail keywords that Google may offer to them and then they end up on search terms like “How to install Windows 7 Themes” or “How to install Windows 7 Gadgets”.
- Google Instant
Similar to previous example, sometimes people also when search for certain keywords, use Google just to see what Google would show for certain keyword. It doesn’t mean all those people would come on your website, even if you are first on list of Google SERP. Sometimes users also search for certain keywords and then they click on “Images” tab and end up looking images instead browsing your beautiful website.
- Google profiles
Some users love to configure and change options in their profiles and it may end up that your website is not showing up just because user listed that he wants results with “Bosnian” language but your website is strictly using English language. In that case your website won’t be listed.
- Google Targeting and Geo locations
http://google.ba and http://google.com/ncr (ncr means No Country Redirecting) won’t give same results for most of the searched keywords.
- Google cookies
Most browsers save cookies that determines what users likes and what he doesn’t like.
- Google searching by Time
Some users could search for terms in past 24 hours or past month. But if is your article any older, it usually won’t be shown up.
- Search from different devices
Google most of the time won’t give same results if you are using your PC or your mobile phone. As in previous examples, this time Google this time “manipulate” with search results but all those search queries (keywords) are included in total number of 2,740,000 searches per month.
- Your position on Google SERP
Even if you are first on Google SERP for certain keywords you can’t expect 100% traffic for that keyword. Because, not all people click on first result. Some of them are smart and look through SERP
Those are just few conditions that affect your organic traffic.
Google Insights is one interesting tool that actually doesn’t show total number of searches. It shows when certain keywords got most queries and its change through time.
For example, let’s search on Google Insight for an keyword “Windows 8″. Yes, Windows 8. Windows 8 is almost out and people are interested in it.
As you can see “Windows 8″ is more popular in 2012 then in 2010.
Because in 2010 people usually would search for Windows 7, but almost noone search for term “Windows 8″ This term is most popular in 2012 year and few months back, probably because people were expecting Windows 8 to come on market.
And now search queries are rapidly growing.
Then what’s the point of Google Insight tool?
Point is, it shows you what traffic you should expect in future period. Does it would raise or traffic will be lower then in previous period.
So, what traffic I should expect?
It’s hard to determine but let’s do some math.
673,000 is number of queries for “How to install windows 7″ that are made in US in 1 month (30 days)
673 000 : 30 = 22 433 UV per day
But even if you are first on SERP for that term, you will get only 70% at most. Even 70% is too much but:
70% of 22 433 is 15680
Let’s say 5 000 of those queries, people would end up on Google Images or writing some long tail keyword like “How to install windows 7 Gadgets”
10 000 UV is still big figure.
Google at the moment got 490+ million of users.
Most of them are logged in and they have configured preferences in Google Search.
You are loosing a lot of potential visitors.
That number is even smaller now, maybe 7 000.
But you can’t still expect 7 000 UV per day. Because Google hardly keep any site 100% of the time on top. Google search results varies. Let’s say you can expect 5 000 UV for “How to install windows 7″ search term.
Let’s say that you are 50% of the time first on Google SERP.
If you are 2nd, you will get like 50% of traffic for that keyword. If you are 3rd you will get even less of traffic. Now is our number instead 5 000, maybe 4 000 at the most.
Now if we optimized our website mostly for exact search term “How to install windows 7″ we will get less traffic for synonyms that are related to our topic and our traffic will drop to 2 000 UV.
2 000 UV from Google is now some reasonable amount of traffic you should expect if your website is properly optimized. There is huge numbers of conditions that indirectly affect your traffic because Google constantly changes their results, users change their preferences, they change their locations and languages.
But ofcourse, if you are playing hard enough you can get like 3 000-6 000 UV from Google but you need to make your website brand and popular that offers good content. But that takes time and not everybody could do that.
I hope you understand better now what traffic you should expect for certain keywords and how to research them. Those number may not be correct but it’s a way to show how traffic may be less then we actually expect. This tutorial is just showing that you should consider all conditions and possible reasons why you didn’t get traffic that you expected for certain search query and it’s (probably) not 100% accurate. It’s just teaching you how what you should think about and what you should consider before starting with SEO agency. And never make websites for keywords that gets less than 30 000 global monthly searches for exact match type. In most cases it’s not worth it.