UNDERSTANDING SEARCH VOLUME
The higher the search volume for a given keyword or keyword phrase, the more work is typically required to achieve higher rankings. This is often referred to as keyword difficulty and occasionally incorporates SERP features; for example, if many SERP features (like featured snippets) are clogging up a keyword’s result page, difficulty will increase. Big brands often take up the top 10 results for high-volume keywords, so if you’re just starting out online and going after the same keywords, the uphill battle for ranking will take years of consistent effort and inevitably, a huge budget.
So, the higher the search volume the greater the competition and effort required to achieve organic ranking success. Go too low though and we risk not drawing any consumers to your site. This is why, in many cases, it is most advantageous to target highly specific, lower competition search terms. In SEO, we call those long-tail keywords.
WHAT ARE LONG TAIL KEYWORDS?
In an ideal world it would be great to rank for keywords that have 30,000 searches a month, or even 3,000 searches a month but these popular search terms only make up a fraction of all searches performed on the web. In fact, keywords with very high search volumes tend to indicate ambiguous intent – in other words, that potential customer is still at the very beginning of their search journey. Even if they reach your site because you bid on those terms using PPC, they will probably bounce straight off. Instead, we want to aim for the 75% of search terms that are far more specific and known as the long tail because of their position on the search volume graph:
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