Keyword research is the backbone of any content creation strategy. It helps you understand your audience so that you can create content that is best suited for them. It will also help you determine if a keyword is worth pursuing.
However, you must understand various keyword research metrics for the best results. In this article, we will look at the main keyword research data and how you can use this data to create content that converts.
Why It’s Important to Check Keyword Metrics
By finding the right keyword metrics, it’s possible to:
- Improve your chances of ranking for the target keyword
- Get targeted traffic
- Find a keyword with decent monthly traffic
- Get a positive Return on Investment
Important Keyword Research Metrics
When doing keyword research, here are the most important metrics to check:
This is one of the most important data in a keyword research tool. Search volume will show you how popular a keyword phrase is. You can then target a phrase likely to garner interest and drive traffic. This will help you determine whether a keyword is worth pursuing. This is an important metric to understand when:
- Creating a new site
- Understanding your PPC campaign
- Get organic traffic
- Do pretty much anything that requires driving traffic
Most SEO tools will show you the search volume of a particular keyword. This data is also available in the Google Adword Keyword Planner (GAKP).
While the search volume is the most important metric in a keyword research tool, it may not be helpful. You will also want to see the trends of a keyword. There are many keywords that have a seasonal demand.
For instance, when you check the keyword “Christmas trees” search volume in December, you might be mistaken to think it’s a high search volume keyword. But when you look at the trends, you will realize that the demand for the Christmas tree is only in December. This may, therefore, not be the right keyword to target if you are searching for an evergreen one.
When looking at the trends, some of the factors that you will need to look into are:
- Interest over a certain period
- Interest in a particular region
- The related queries
The best place to see the trends of a keyword is on the GAKP page. When checking for trends, you want to look for keywords with a high search volume throughout the year. This way, you will be leveraging Google trends for keyword research.
When checking keyword data, you will want to see why people search for that keyword. Is the keyword likely to bring in profitability? Determining the profit you will likely make on a keyword can be hard. However, you can determine if the keyword will likely bring conversion.
Most keywords likely to bring profit are those in the transaction stage. These use words such as best, review, vs, and price. On the other hand, keywords that are only looking for information are not likely to bring profit.
For instance, someone searching for the keyword “app development process” is probably looking for general information on developing an app. He is not likely to convert. But someone looking for “best phone under $100” is most likely looking to buy.
If you need to target a moderately difficulty term, you should choose a keyword difficulty of between 10 and 40. Anything above that may be difficult to rank for. However, most of the keyword difficulty produced by most tools isn’t very accurate.
Therefore, you might want to research further rather than rely on this score. For instance, you can look at the top SERP results to see these sites’ content. You can then create better content to see if you can outrank them.
Search Volume Over Time
Another key metric you should look at is how the search volume has changed over time. If there are signs that the interest in a keyword is dropping, it may not be a good choice to target. To get the most out of this data, you should consider the average search volume for the last 12 months.
This metric will show you how hard ranking for a particular keyword is. Unfortunately, many tools have their own way of calculating the keyword difficulty. Generally, the majority of them provide a score after analyzing:
- The domain authority of the top SERP results
- Page Authority of the top results
- The number of links to a page
- How often do the top positions keep changing
When you look at the Ahrefs keyword research tool, you will realize that it gives a keyword difficulty of 0 to 100, with 100 being the most difficult. If you need easy-to-rank keywords, you may want to go for keywords with a difficulty of less than 10. You can check out our guide on how to use keyword difficulty for better ranking.
Cost Per Click(CPC)
Before you try to rank for a keyword, it is important also to consider the cost per click, even if you aren’t running ads. Again, the right tool to provide this data is the GAKP. When you notice that a particular keyword has a high CPC, it shows that many advertisers compete in ranking for that keyword on the SERPs. It will be harder for you to rank for such a keyword organically. Therefore, CPC can be a good metric to consider when using keyword research for content marketing.
It is important to consider all these metrics when doing keyword analysis. However, finding a keyword that meets all these metrics might be hard. Therefore, the most important thing is to find one that meets your individual needs and optimize for it.
For instance, if you have a relatively new site, you will want to consider keyword difficulty as your most important factor. However, the keyword difficulty may not be important if you have an authority site. Instead, you should be focusing on profitability.