What is Keyword Search Volume? A Complete Guide For Beginners


Search engine optimization (SEO) serves as a cost-effective and powerful marketing strategy used by numerous businesses and marketers to organically capture the attention of potential customers, and deliver value without incurring additional marketing expenses. However, a pivotal aspect of achieving SEO success involves conducting thorough keyword research to determine what the target audience is currently looking for on search engines, thereby helping these businesses create tailored content that fulfills those needs.

Central to this process is identifying the search volume for keywords, which indicates how frequently a particular keyword is queried within a specified timeframe. If you’re a business owner, online marketer, or content creator unfamiliar with this concept, don’t worry. This article will provide an overview of keyword search volume, identify its benefits, outline effective methods for conducting keyword search volume analysis, and introduce the best keyword research tools to help you find relevant keywords.

What is Keyword Search Volume?

Keyword Search Volume

Keyword search volume is the total number of times a specific keyword or phrase is entered into a search engine within a particular timeframe, typically monthly. It serves as a crucial metric in SEO and digital marketing because it indicates the level of interest or demand for that keyword among users.

Understanding keyword search volume helps businesses and marketers identify popular and relevant keywords that they can target with their content or advertising campaigns to reach their target audience effectively. By analyzing search volume data, they can prioritize keywords that are more likely to drive traffic to their website or attract potential customers.

What are the Benefits of Keyword Search Volume?

Keyword search volume refers to the number of times a specific keyword or phrase is searched for within a specific time frame, usually within a search engine like Google. Understanding the search volume of keywords can offer several benefits:

1. Insight into User Interest: Keyword search volume provides valuable insights into what topics or products users are interested in. Higher search volumes indicate greater interest, helping businesses prioritize their content creation or product development efforts.

2. SEO Strategy: Knowing the search volume for specific keywords helps in formulating an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. By targeting keywords with higher search volumes, businesses can increase their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more organic traffic to their websites.

3. Content Planning: Keyword search volume can guide content planning by identifying popular topics and keywords that resonate with the target audience. It allows content creators to tailor their content to meet the needs and interests of their audience, ultimately driving engagement and conversions.

4. Competitive Analysis: Analyzing keyword search volumes can provide insights into the competitive landscape within a particular industry or niche. Businesses can identify keywords with high search volumes and low competition, offering opportunities for them to rank higher in search results and gain a competitive advantage.

5. PPC Campaign Optimization: For businesses running pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, keyword search volume data is crucial for optimizing ad targeting and budget allocation. By targeting keywords with high search volumes and relevance to their offerings, advertisers can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their PPC campaigns.

6. Market Research: Keyword search volume data can serve as a valuable component of market research, helping businesses understand trends, consumer preferences, and emerging opportunities within their industry. It enables informed decision-making and strategic planning to stay competitive in the market.

Overall, keyword search volume provides valuable insights that can inform various aspects of digital marketing and business strategy, helping organizations better understand their audience, improve their online visibility, and drive growth.

How Do Keywords Work?

Keywords are fundamental elements in the realm of search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing. They are words or phrases that reflect the main topics or themes of online content, and they serve as the bridge between what people are searching for and the content that meets their needs. Here’s how they work:

1. User Intent Understanding:

Keywords help search engines understand the intent behind a user’s query. For instance, if someone searches for “best Italian restaurants,” the keyword is “best Italian restaurants,” indicating that the user is likely looking for information about Italian restaurants that are considered the best.

2. Content Relevance:

Websites and content creators strategically incorporate keywords into their content to make it relevant to specific topics. By including keywords naturally within the content, it becomes more likely to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for those terms.

3. Ranking Factors:

Search engines leverage algorithms to determine the relevance and authority of web pages about specific keywords. Factors such as keyword placement, density, and relevance to the overall content contribute to the overall ranking of the content on search engines.

4. Organic Traffic Generation:

Websites that rank highly for relevant keywords can attract organic traffic, meaning visitors who find the site through unpaid search results. This traffic is valuable because it often consists of users who are actively seeking information or solutions related to the keywords they used in their search.

5. Competitive Analysis:

Keyword research allows businesses to understand the competitive landscape within their industry or niche. By analyzing which keywords competitors are targeting and how they are performing, businesses can adjust their own SEO strategies to capitalize on opportunities and differentiate themselves.

6. Content Strategy:

Keywords inform content strategy by guiding the creation of blog posts, articles, product descriptions, and other types of content. By identifying the keywords that are most relevant to their target audience and aligning content with those keywords, businesses can attract more qualified traffic and improve their chances of conversion.

Overall, keywords play a crucial role in connecting users with the content they are looking for on the internet, making them an essential component of digital marketing and SEO efforts.

How To Find Keywords?

Finding the right keywords involves a combination of research, analysis, and understanding your target audience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to find keywords:

1. Brainstorming:

Begin by brainstorming a list of topics and terms that are relevant to your business, products, services, or content to generate keyword ideas. Think about the words and phrases that your target audience might use when searching for information related to your industry.

2. Use Keyword Research Tools:

There are several keyword research tools available that can help you discover relevant keywords and analyze their search volume, competition, and other metrics. Some popular tools include:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Ubersuggest

3. Competitor Analysis:

Look at what keywords your competitors are targeting. Analyze their website content, meta tags, and backlink anchor text to identify keywords that are driving traffic to their site. This can provide valuable insights into which keywords are worth targeting in your own SEO strategy.

4. Long-Tail Keywords:

Consider using long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases that typically have lower search volume but also lower competition. Long-tail keywords often reflect more specific user intent and can help you attract highly targeted traffic.

5. Google Suggestions:

Use Google’s autocomplete feature to see suggested search queries related to your topic. These suggestions are based on actual user searches and can provide ideas for relevant keywords to target.

6. Google Search Console:

Analyze your website’s performance in Google Search Console to see which keywords are driving traffic to your site and how your pages are ranking for those keywords. This data can help you identify opportunities to optimize existing content or create new content around specific keywords.

7. Social Media and Online Communities:

Monitor social media platforms, forums, and online communities relevant to your industry to see what topics and questions are being discussed. This can provide valuable insights into the language and terminology your target audience uses when searching for information.

8. Refine and Prioritize:

Once you have a list of potential keywords, refine it based on relevance, search volume, competition, and your own business goals. Prioritize keywords that have high search volume, moderate competition, and are closely aligned with your products, services, or content.

By following these steps and continuously monitoring keyword performance, you can develop an effective keyword strategy to improve your website’s visibility and attract more targeted traffic from search engines.

What Determines a Good Keyword Search Volume? 

The effectiveness of a keyword search volume depends on several factors, including your specific goals, target audience, and competition. Here are some considerations when evaluating the search volume of a keyword:

1. Relevance

A good keyword search volume is one that is relevant to your business, products, or content. Even if a keyword has high search volume, if it’s not relevant to your target audience or doesn’t align with your offerings, it may not be worth targeting.

2. Traffic Potential

Keywords with higher search volumes generally have the potential to drive more traffic to your website if you can rank well for them. However, it’s essential to balance search volume with competition and user intent to determine if the potential traffic is valuable to your business.

3. Competition

Consider the level of competition for a keyword. High-volume keywords often have higher competition, which make it more challenging to rank them in search results. In contrast, low-volume keywords may have less competition but also lower traffic potential. Aim for keywords with a balance of decent search volume and manageable competition.

4. Long-Tail Keywords

Long-Tail Keywords

While long-tail keywords typically have lower search volumes compared to broad, generic terms, they can still be valuable. Long-tail keywords often have less competition and more specific user intent, leading to higher conversion rates. Evaluate the search volume of long-tail keywords in the context of their relevance and potential for attracting highly targeted traffic.

5. Seasonality and Trends

Consider the seasonality and trends associated with certain keywords. Some keywords may experience fluctuations in search volume throughout the year or in response to current events or trends. Analyze historical search data and trends to understand the seasonality of keywords and adjust your strategy accordingly.

6. Localized Search Volume

If your business operates in specific geographic regions, consider the search volume of keywords in those locations. Localized keywords can help you attract relevant traffic from your target market.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of a keyword search volume depends on how well it aligns with your overall SEO and business objectives. It’s essential to consider a combination of factors, including relevance, traffic potential, competition, and user intent when evaluating keyword search volumes and selecting the most appropriate keywords for your strategy.

How to Find Keyword Search Volume 

Finding keyword search volume involves using keyword research tools that provide data on the average number of monthly searches for specific keywords. Here’s how you can find keyword search volume:

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a powerful tool within Google Ads that provides insights into keyword search volume, competition, and suggested bids for advertising. To access keyword search volume:

  • Sign in to your Google Ads account or create one if you don’t have one already.
  • Navigate to the Keyword Planner tool under the “Tools & Settings” menu.
  • Enter a list of keywords or phrases relevant to your business, products, or content.
  • The Keyword Planner will display search volume data for each keyword, helping you understand their popularity and relevance to your target audience.

2. Third-Party Keyword Research Tools

Third-Party Keyword Research Tools

Various third-party keyword research tools offer comprehensive insights into keyword search volume and other related metrics. Some popular tools include SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Ubersuggest. Here’s how to use them:

  • Enter your target keywords into the tool’s search bar.
  • The tool will provide search volume data, along with additional insights such as keyword difficulty, related keywords, and SERP features.
  • These tools often offer more advanced features and analysis compared to Google Keyword Planner, making them valuable resources for keyword research.

3. Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to explore the popularity of search queries over time and across different regions. To find keyword search volume using Google Trends:

  • Enter your target keywords into the search bar.
  • Google Trends will display a graph showing the search interest over time, as well as related queries and topics.
  • While Google Trends doesn’t provide exact search volume numbers, it offers valuable insights into the relative popularity of keywords and their trends over time.

4. Google Search Console

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free keyword research tool that provides data on the search queries that are driving traffic to your website. While it doesn’t offer exact search volume numbers, it can still be a valuable source of insights into keyword performance. Here’s how to access search query data in Google Search Console:

  • Sign in to your Google Search Console account and navigate to the Performance report.
  • Select the “Queries” tab to view the search queries that are bringing visitors to your site.
  • While you won’t see exact search volume numbers, you can see which keywords are driving traffic and how their performance has changed over time.

5. Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis

Analyzing your competitors’ websites can provide insights into the keywords they are targeting and how they are performing in search results. While you won’t get exact search volume data from this method, it can still help you identify valuable keywords. Here’s how to conduct competitor analysis for keyword research:

  • Identify your main competitors in your industry or niche.
  • Analyze their website content, meta tags, and backlink anchor text to identify the keywords they are targeting.
  • Look at their search engine rankings to see which keywords are driving traffic to their site.
  • While this method won’t provide exact search volume numbers, it can help you identify keywords worth targeting based on your competitors’ strategies.

6. Combine Multiple Sources

To get a comprehensive understanding of keyword search volume, consider using multiple methods and tools. By combining data from different sources, you can validate your keyword choices and identify trends and patterns. Here’s how to combine multiple sources for keyword research:

  • Use Google Keyword Planner, third-party keyword research tools, Google Trends, Google Search Console, and competitor analysis to gather data on keyword search volume.
  • Compare the data from different sources to identify keywords that consistently appear high-volume and relevant to your target audience.
  • Use your judgment and insights to prioritize keywords based on their search volume, relevance, competition, and potential to drive valuable traffic to your website.

By leveraging these methods and tools, you can effectively find keyword search volume data to inform your SEO and content strategy, helping you target the most relevant and valuable keywords for your website.

What is a Keyword Research Tool?

A keyword research tool is a software or online platform designed to help users identify, analyze, and discover keywords relevant to their business, website, or content. These keyword research tools provide valuable insights into keyword search volume, competition level, trends, and related keywords. Here are some key features and functionalities of keyword research tools:

1. Keyword Suggestions: Keyword research tools generate keyword suggestions based on seed keywords or topics provided by the user. These suggestions often include variations, synonyms, and related terms that users may not have considered.

2. Search Volume Data: Keyword research tools provide data on the average monthly search volume for each keyword, helping users understand how popular and frequently searched a particular term is.

3. Competition Analysis: These tools often offer insights into the level of competition for each keyword, indicating how difficult it may be to rank for that keyword in search engine results pages (SERPs).

4. Keyword Difficulty: Some keyword research tools calculate a keyword difficulty score, which estimates how challenging it would be to rank for a particular keyword based on factors such as competition, domain authority, and backlink profile.

5. Trend Analysis: Many keyword research tools allow users to analyze keyword trends over time, showing how search volume has changed and identifying seasonal or trending keywords.

6. Related Keywords: Keyword research tools provide suggestions for related keywords and phrases that users may want to consider targeting in addition to their primary keywords.

7. SERP Analysis: Some advanced keyword research tools offer SERP analysis features, allowing users to see the search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords, including featured snippets, ads, and other SERP features.

8. Export and Integration: Many keyword research tools allow users to export keyword data for further analysis or integration with other tools and platforms, such as SEO software, content management systems (CMS), or spreadsheets.

Some of the popular keyword research tools include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, and KeywordTool.io, among others. These tools vary in terms of features, pricing, and usability, so users should choose the tool that best suits their needs and budget. Overall, keyword research tools are invaluable resources for SEO professionals, content creators, and digital marketers looking to optimize their online presence and attract organic traffic from search engines.

What Makes the Best Keyword Research Tool?

The best keyword research tool is one that effectively meets the needs of users by providing accurate, comprehensive, and actionable insights into keyword data. Here are some key characteristics that make a keyword research tool stand out:

1. Accurate Search Volume Data: The tool should provide accurate estimates of monthly search volume for keywords across different geographic regions and languages. Reliable search volume data is crucial for identifying high-opportunity keywords and optimizing content for search engines.

2. Competitive Analysis Features: A good keyword research tool should offer competitive analysis features that allow users to assess the competition level for specific keywords. This includes metrics such as keyword difficulty, competition level, and SERP analysis to help users understand their chances of ranking for a particular keyword.

3. Comprehensive Keyword Suggestions: The tool should generate a wide range of keyword suggestions based on seed keywords or topics provided by the user. These suggestions should include variations, synonyms, long-tail keywords, and related terms to help users discover new keyword opportunities.

4. Trend Analysis and Seasonality: The tool should allow users to analyze keyword trends over time and identify seasonal or trending keywords. This helps users understand how search volume fluctuates throughout the year and capitalize on timely opportunities.

5. User-Friendly Interface: A good keyword research tool should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy for users to navigate and access the desired data. Clear visualization, filters, and sorting options enhance usability and efficiency.

6. Integration and Export Options: The tool should support integration with other software and platforms, such as SEO tools, content management systems (CMS), and spreadsheets. Additionally, it should allow users to export keyword data in various formats for further analysis and reporting.

7. Reliable Customer Support: Responsive customer support is essential for addressing user queries, troubleshooting issues, and providing assistance when needed. The best keyword research tools offer reliable customer support through various channels, such as email, live chat, or phone support.

8. Affordability and Value: The tool should offer pricing plans that align with users’ budgets and provide good value for the features and insights offered. Additionally, free trials or demo versions allow users to test the tool’s capabilities before committing to a subscription.

Ultimately, the best keyword research tool depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user, so it’s essential to evaluate different options and choose the one that best fits your requirements.

5 Best Free Keyword Research Tools To Find Keywords

Here are five of the best free keyword research tools that you can use to find keywords:

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a powerful free keyword tool provided within Google Ads that offers keyword ideas and traffic estimates. It’s designed for advertisers but is also valuable for SEO keyword research.

Key Features:

  • Provides keyword suggestions based on seed keywords or website URLs.
  • Offers historical search volume data and forecasts for future trends.
  • Displays competition level and suggested bids for keywords.
  • Access: Requires a Google Ads account (free to create).

2. Google Trends

Google Trends

Google Trends allows you to explore the popularity of search queries over time and across different regions. While it doesn’t provide exact search volume numbers, it offers insights into keyword trends and relative popularity.

Key Features:

  • Shows keyword search interest over time, geographic locations, and related topics.
  • Helps identify seasonal trends and emerging topics.
  • Offers related queries and topics for additional keyword ideas.
  • Access: Free to use; no account required.

3. Ubersuggest


Ubersuggest is a comprehensive keyword research tool that offers keyword suggestions, search volume data, and competition analysis. It provides valuable insights for both SEO and content marketing.

Key Features:

  • Generates keyword suggestions based on seed keywords.
  • Provides search volume data, keyword difficulty scores, and competition level.
  • Offers insights into top-ranking pages and backlink data.
  • Access: Basic features are free; requires signing up for a free account.

4. Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is a Chrome extension that integrates with Google search results to provide keyword data directly within the search engine interface. It offers quick insights into search volume, related keywords, and domain metrics.

Key Features:

  • Displays search volume data and related keywords in Google search results.
  • Offers keyword suggestions and search volume estimates.
  • Provides on-page SEO insights for specific keywords.
  • Access: Free Chrome extension; no account required.

5. AnswerThePublic


AnswerThePublic is a unique keyword research tool that visualizes search query data in the form of a “search cloud” or “search wheel.” It offers insights into the questions and queries people are asking related to a particular topic.

Key Features:

  • Visualizes search query data in a user-friendly format.
  • Provides insights into common questions, prepositions, and comparison queries.
  • Offers keyword ideas based on search query patterns.
  • Access: Basic features are free; the premium version is available with additional features.

These free keyword research tools provide valuable insights and keyword ideas for optimizing your website content, attracting organic traffic, and improving your search engine rankings. Experiment with different tools to find the ones that best suit your needs and preferences.


Understanding keyword search volume is crucial for effective SEO and content marketing strategies. It helps identify high-opportunity keywords, gauge user interest, and inform content creation. By leveraging keyword search volume data, businesses can optimize their online presence, attract targeted traffic, and improve their visibility in search engine results.

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