May 11, 2018
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It’s very easy to be drawn to a keyword because of its associated search volume. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is all about building up the visibility of your site within the search engines, so you’ll naturally want to target highly searched phrases. However, there’s more to SEO than search volume.
For example, say you operate an online pharmacy. The search term ‘tablets’ receives 90,500 searches per month on average — great, you think. However, it’s important to consider search intent around a particular keyword before you jump in and create a campaign centred on a particular keyword.
While ‘tablets’ has a high search volume, a quick search online confirms that Google associates this search phrase with tablet computers. Remember that Google’s end goal is to improve a user’s overall search experience — Google has assigned purchase intent to this keyword, which is why tech retailers and buying guides dominate the first page of search results.
So how can the online pharmacy navigate this issue and still rank for the keywords that are relevant to them? Through further refinement, we can see that ‘tablet medication’ receives 70 searches per month. While this is a sharp drop from the 90,500 searches associated with electronic tablets, we can also see high volumes around more specific subcategories within the umbrella category of tablet medications — for example, ‘heartburn tablets’ receive 1,900 searches per month.
What is the lesson here? While generic search terms like ‘tablets’ will always carry a high search volume given how broad they are, you must consider the relevancy to your brand. While ranking for ‘tablets’ would be difficult for an online pharmacy given the tech-association that Google has made, we must also consider user expectations.
If users are looking for a tablet computer and they land on a page selling tablet medication, bounce rates will rise and essentially, your position on the SERPs would be rendered useless. Think of it this way: would you rather have a physical store with 90,500 customers in but none of them make a purchase, or a store with 1,900 customers in where 85% make a purchase?
This is essentially the decision you’re facing when selecting your target keywords for a search marketing campaign. While you should factor in the associated search volume of a search phrase, you must also consider keyword relevancy in relation to your web page and brand, as well as how competitive the keyword is.
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