Getting better search volume data from Google AdWords

When you first look at search engine optimisation, the first thing you should do is understand how many people are likely to search for the phrase you are going to optimise for.

It’s simply no point optimising for a phrase that does not drive traffic, it’s a wasted effort.

For years Google has provided a traffic estimation tool for search phrases, but by default it can lead to over inflated figures, leaving you to think the pond is bigger than it actually is.

The first thing you need to look at is when Google says there are ten searches a month to understand this is up to ten searches a month. In reality when Google shows ten of anything it actually means that someone does search for it, but it’s so rare as to actually be worthless.

The next aspect really is the definition of what the search volume represents. And that’s the total amount of searches for a given phrase, in other words even if you are number one in the organic results, in reality you will only receive a proportion of this traffic.

And the research is shocking.

If you are at number one for a specific phrase you will roughly get a third of the traffic, position 2 is closer to 15% and position 3 is closer to 10%, dropping to 3 to 4% at the bottom of the first page.

Or In plain language, if there are ten searches a month for your phrase, the actual amount of clicks you will get for a position one is about 30, for position two – 15, and so on, so it’s also important to realise unless you are chasing massive search volumes, actual traffic can be a lot less than you think.

The last issue is even these figures tend to be optimistic, but why is this?

Well apart from being an estimation, search traffic will also include those searching to gather search data.

Finally most business will get most of their trade from the local area, so when using the keyword tool its worth reducing the default targeting area (he world) to just include your local area, or in other words if your targeting ‘window cleaners Oxford’ reduce the geographic area to Oxfordshire will allow you to include anyone searching in the Oxfordshire area and exclude those who are unlikely to be interested in your product in service.

By using the above techniques you can concentrate your SEO effort in promoting phrases that will actually push your business forward.