Digital Insights

3 Compelling Reasons for Choosing High Search Volume Keywords

Published: December 10, 2014

Keyword selection is one of the most important determinants of how successful your SEO efforts will be at driving targeted traffic to your website. Pursuing the wrong keywords may deliver insufficient traffic or even worse, the wrong kind of traffic.

That being said, what exactly are the “right” keywords and how do you go about finding them? Many SEO experts feel that optimizing for the highest search volume keywords is the preferred way to go, and there’s a lot to be said for this approach.

The Benefits of High Search Volume Keywords
Targeting those keywords with the highest search volume is the logical choice for many digital marketers. Conventional wisdom tells us that there is safety in numbers, and that a larger volume of numbers may go a long way in covering a multitude of errors.

  • High search volume keywords deliver the greatest number of “eyeballs” or search users to the results listing being displayed for a given search query.
  • The greater the number of impressions delivered, the greater the chance that your listing will be clicked on.
  • The more clicks that your web page receives, the greater the number of conversions that you can expect.

Unfortunately, things in the digital marketing world are rarely as simple and uncomplicated as they appear. There are a few glaring problems with pursuing the highest search volume keywords that you need to be aware of as you search for those elusive “right” keywords.

The Problem with High Search Volume Keywords
Optimizing for the highest volume keywords is a little bit like fishing with the biggest net you can find – you have no way of knowing exactly what you’re going to catch. The keywords with high search volume may generate more impressions but a lot of those eyeballs will typically represent users who are conducting various types of research into your product category.

Assuming that your ultimate goal is to drive clicks to your site and convert a reasonable number of those visitors, focusing exclusively on high volume keywords will see much of your efforts wasted on users who have little or no intention of buying from you anytime soon.

Another problem is that the highest volume keywords tend to have the most competition in the search results. Unless you have the time, budget, and access to the skills necessary to wage a protracted SEO battle against well-entrenched competitors, the lure of high search volume keywords may prove meaningless if you can’t get your web pages ranked for them.

Select a Mix of Keywords for Optimal Results
The majority of search engine users today are actually using long tail keyword phrases that help them drill down to the exact type of information that they are looking for. Long tail keywords typically have less search volume than their shorter “head” term counterparts but tend to deliver more focused visitors who are more likely to convert. The only problem is that the long tail terms may not deliver enough impressions to drive sufficient traffic to your website.

One strategy favored by many SEO experts is to target a combination of shorter head term keywords along with long tail phrases. Depending on your product niche, the shorter keyword terms may actually be more effective in driving quality clicks to your web pages. By including the more popular shorter head terms, you may uncover keywords that convert comparably to long tail terms.