The term ‘keyword search volume’ refers to the number of search queries for a specific keyword within a given timeframe.
Based on data averaged over a set timeframe, marketers can get a general idea of the competitiveness and overall search volume of any given search term. This allows SEO professionals and marketers to find out how certain keywords drive traffic seasonally or within a specific period – creating a detailed SEO strategy based on this information.
Keyword search volume data is important, as search engines are critical to attracting more traffic and new visitors to your website. If no one is using the keywords you’re targeting in their searches, your content won’t be found.
Using an accurate keyword research tool
It is crucial to target the best keywords that make sense for your business and have real search volume. Then, use these keywords and work them into you your SEO optimised content – think service pages, product pages and blog posts.
However, you should not only be targeting keywords that have extremely high search volumes, as doing this will render you incapable of competing with bigger, well-established sites and prevent your content from ranking.
Essentially, the more established your business and brand, the easier it will be for your content and website to rank – as a brief overview. In the SEO realm, this is usually due to backlinks playing such a major factor in the rankings of websites for particular keywords in search engines.
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This usually means local Perth business should focus on more long-tail keywords which have less competition – think of search terms such as ‘can I do driving lessons in my own car’ rather than just ‘driving lessons’.
So, to identify the winning keywords you should be targeting, you need to find the right keyword research tools that will yield the data (such as Google search volume and competition).
But what happens if you have a limited budget and have nothing earmarked for paid keyword research tools?
To see keyword search volume for free, here’s a list of five keyword research tools to get you started:
1. Google Trends
Google Trends illustrates a keyword’s relative search popularity over time.
Let’s say you’re selling men’s jeans to a young demographic in your store – which ships across the globe. A check on Google Trends shows that the monthly search volume for men’s jeans is trending upward in America.
However, you also want to know which keywords to target, how to name your product categories, and how to optimise a blog post that talks about men’s jeans.
One thing you can do is to check out the ‘related queries’ by clicking on it.
You might notice that most queries include a callout to the cut, style or colour (e.g., black, skinny, etc).
Based on this data, you might decide to create a product category that considers style, such as men’s skinny jeans, and so on. This makes complete sense because the words have search volume and are also relevant to the product type – it’s a win-win.
You should also consider including these new keywords you’ve found through basic keyword research on your product pages or as product names.
We recommend using Google Trends to identify keyword trends and look for opportunities, before completing a more in-depth keyword analysis.
However, note that Google Trends can only churn out relative values on Google search volume, so there’s no way to obtain exact numbers. You need to conduct other searches and analyses to get more accurate results.
2. Keyword Surfer
Keyword Surfer is a free extension on Google Chrome. It shows the estimated monthly search volumes regarding any Google search query within your browser after making a search.
After installing and activating the Chrome extension, when you made a search in Google, the search volume will appear in the search bar, included expected CPC if you were to run a paid search campaign (such as Google Search Ads).
If you scroll down the page, the right panel includes a lot of useful information, such as:
- Keyword ideas: related keywords including the number of searches for each keyword;
- Traffic correlation: expected traffic numbers for the URLs in the top positions for your given keyword;
- Word correlation: the word count of top position pages for that keyword. This can be very useful to give you an estimate of how long your webpage should be;
- Exact match keywords: the number of times each website mentions the exact keyword term throughout their page.
While there is no ‘bulk analyse tool’ available in Keyword Surfer, this keyword ideas tool is perfect for small businesses looking to start out or quickly checking potential keywords before conducting more in-depth keyword research with paid SEO tools.
Even as a business with access to all the paid SEO tools and keyword research platforms out there, this one comes in handy so often for quick information on common keyword searches!
3. Keyword Generator by ahrefs
To get a quick snapshot of keyword search volume for a given theme or category, Keyword Generator by ahrefs works great. This tool will help you quickly find keywords that are related to the single seed keyword you input.
Using the single seed keyword (such as online marketing), ahrefs Keyword Generator provides a list of 100 keyword ideas complete with search volume data and keyword difficulty (competition).
Keyword Generator also includes a list of 50 recommended questions to use within your content, based on search volume numbers and provides a free keyword difficulty finder. This can not only guide your keyword research, it gives you an idea on what topics you should cover on your page.
When creating the page with these questions answered, we also recommend implemented FAQ schema. This notifies Google that particular information is answering a question, providing you with richer search results. This can help boost your click-through-rate.
This tool is a more restrictive version of their paid tool, Keyword Explorer, however, it still helps at the start of your keyword search journey.
While you can complete some basic keyword optimisation, we recommend getting in touch with a digital marketing agency that has access to the paid tools for a more detailed and optimised keyword research review and audit.
4. Google Keyword Planner
You can use Google Keyword Planner if you already have a Google account. It’s one of the easiest tools for keyword research and crafting suitable for SEO (search engine optimization) and online marketing strategies.
Through Google Keyword Planner, you get keyword suggestions, monthly search volume estimations, etc. However, if you’re not spending money on Google Ads, the keyword metrics provided and competition metrics are very vague.
CPC low and CPC high is more detailed in Keyword Planner, although these are usually very seasonal which makes them slightly inaccurate to actual figures.
It can combine two or more keywords on your list and populate new unique phrases, and even provide alternatives to the keywords and phrases you originally entered.
It also has a filter feature that lets you include or exclude words from your project.
Google Keyword Planner also makes exporting data easier – you can download an entire keyword list or select individual keyword phrases and export these to Excel.
5. Google Search Console
If you already have an established business and regularly get traffic from Google, Google Search Console will give you an overview of your website users actions.
This data gives you the ultimate insight into how people found your website.
While this tool does not provide specific search volumes for the keyword your website is found for, it does provide information on search impressions and clicks made by users visiting your website.
From this tool, you can find keywords with low click-through-rates and better optimise your metadata to help prompt the click. You and also add structured data to your website to make the data shown to users richer – such as FAQs, product information and review star ratings.
Paid or free keyword research tool?
Using a free keyword research tool is fine if you have little to no budget for keyword search volume data generation. The basic information provided can help your business improve performance in Google’s search engine, by creating content to reach the best keyword available.
However, for serious marketing research that’ll help you make data-driven decisions, you need to invest in some quality paid tools. You can get reliable and advanced data on keyword search volume and competition from tools such as SEMrush or the ahref free keyword research tool – two advanced tools used by our search marketing team here at White Chalk Road daily.
We also utilise premium paid Facebook keyword finder tools that have features such as a focus keyphrase generator. If you’re looking for a cost-effective solutions for the time being, search online for terms such as ‘Facebook keyword research tool free’ and you’ll be able to utilise some excellent free tools. A free tool that we offer is WordBind – this tool is great for creating a range of keyword combinations to broaden your research.
So, if you plan on creating a detailed SEO strategy, keyword analysis, becoming competitive online and want to grow your business, get in touch with the team at White Chalk Road.
Frequently asked questions about keyword search volume
Search volume refers to the number of times a particular query is searched in Google. Search volume is commonly displayed per month and averaged out over a one year period. Google provides some information on search volume numbers in their various platforms such as Google Search Console, Google Ads, Google Trends, however many SEO professionals utilise industry-leading tools for search volume including SEMrush and ahrefs.
To find the search volume for a keyword for free, use tools such as Google Search Console, Google Trends and Google Ads. Some industry tools also provide search volume numbers on their free trial plan. To get the most accurate search volume figures, SEO professionals invest in industry-leading SEO tools.
The monthly search volume of any particular query is usually provided as a monthly figure, including Google's own platforms and across SEO tools. The use of monthly search volume allows online marketing professionals to accurately assess keyword search volume compared to other similar queries.
To see search volume on Google as you're searching the web, there are a few free tools (and some paid tools) that will provide the search volume of your query and similar queries. Two of the most common Chrome extensions to see search volume on Google are Keyword Everywhere and Surfer - both are available from the Google Chrome store.
A good keyword search volume really depends on your industry, location and the intent of the keyword.
Search volume figures change drastically based on the industry, as the potential target market, and the number of users searching is quite different. For example, a good keyword search volume for industrial compressors may be 50, whereas a good keyword search volume for a hamper company may be 1000.
Your service location will also determine what a good keyword search volume is. For example, if you're just servicing Perth metro, you may consider 100 monthly search volume good. However, if you're servicing all of Australia, this may not be considered a good monthly search volume as you have to reach a wider audience.
A keyword with 100 monthly search volume with a good intent behind it (such as 'buy new camera') could be considered a good keyword search volume when compared to a keyword with 300 monthly search volume with less intent behind it (such as 'new camera brands').
The accuracy of Google Keyword Planner can be improved if you are spending additional money on Google Ads. Google limit some data and particular queries, however for the search volume they do provide, it's alright to consider the figures as accurate.
You can use Google Trends data to understand what people are searching for and cater your website to answer these queries and bring traffic through writing content. Google Trends gives a lot of good information on how a keywords search volume has changed over time so you can assess the industry trends and popularity of a particular term. To learn how to use the platform, read out Google Trend guide.