When any SEO professional does keyword research, usually, the first part of the process involves brainstorming words that potential customers would use to find that particular product or service.
After brainstorming this list, the list would be further refined by plugging these keywords into a keyword research tool for their search volumes.
There may also be additional research involved, including mapping keywords to user intent, and mapping keywords to be assigned to specific web pages.
In any event, there is still another dimension one can use to go beyond search volume and user intent: solving your audience’s core problems.
The beginning step in solving your audience’s core problems begins with user intent and solving the user intent issue based on keywords.
What Is Keyword Search Volume?
The first step in understanding how to go beyond search volume is to understand what keyword search volume actually is. Search volume is the number of times a particular keyword has been searched for in a given period of time.
For example, if you were to measure the search volume for “plumber” in Los Angeles over the course of one month, you would find that the average monthly search volume for “plumber” is 8,100.
This does not mean that there are 8,100 plumbers in Los Angeles. It means that over the course of one month, there were 8,100 searches for the keyword “plumber” from people living in Los Angeles.
It also does not mean that 8,100 searches are going to turn into 8,100 clicks for that particular keyword.
Because those 8,100 searches could result in people leaving the SERP (search engine results pages) to go somewhere else, or they find another result that matches their intent better (even if that intent was not their original intent).
Also, people could refine their searches. They may find that their original search did not yield exactly the results they were looking for, so they might add a keyword or two in order to refine their query enough so they can find what they are looking for.
And this may not result in your site showing up for any of those particular queries.
This is why going beyond search volume is important. If you look at only one metric, you only find one dimension of metrics that may not yield the results you are looking for.
How Do Keywords Work?
Before we get into how to go beyond search volume, it is important to understand how keywords work.
Keywords are the foundation of SEO (search engine optimization). They are the words and phrases that people use when they search for something on the internet.
SEO is the act of optimizing your site with the ultimate goal of achieving higher search engine rankings for those targeted keywords.
The higher your website ranks for a particular keyword, the more traffic you will get from that keyword.
This is why it is so important to choose the right keywords. If you choose keywords that are too difficult to rank for, you will not get any traffic from them.
If you choose keywords that are too easy to rank for, you will not get any traffic from them either because everyone else is already ranking for those keywords.
You need to find a balance between difficulty and competition in order to be successful.
These tools will help you to find the right keywords for your website.
How Keywords are Traditionally Used in SEO
Keywords are traditionally used in SEO in two ways: on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
On-page optimization is the process of optimizing your website’s pages for certain keywords.
This includes things like using the keyword in the title tag, using the keyword in the meta description, using the keyword in the header tags, and using the keyword throughout the body of the page.
Off-page optimization is the process of optimizing your website for certain keywords by building links to your website.
This includes things like guest blogging, forum posting, directory submission, social bookmarking, and social media marketing.
Both of these methods are still important today, but they are no longer enough.
Google has become much more sophisticated over the years and they now take into account many other factors when ranking websites.
This is why it is so important to go beyond search volume.
What Is User Intent?
User intent is the second step in understanding how to go beyond search volume. User intent is the reason why someone searches for a particular keyword.
There are several different types of user intent. They include the following: informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional.
Navigational intent is when a user is trying to find a specific website. An example of this would be if someone searched for “Facebook” in Google.
The user’s intent is to find the Facebook website.
Informational intent is when a user is looking for information about a particular topic.
An example of this would be if someone searched for “symptoms of the flu.” The user’s intent is to find information about the flu and its symptoms.
Commercial intent is when a user is looking to buy a product or service. An example of this would be if someone searched for “buy running shoes.”
The user’s intent is to find a website where they can buy running shoes.
Transactional intent is when a user is looking to complete a transaction. An example of this would be if someone searched for “book a hotel room in New York.”
The user’s intent is to find a website where they can book a hotel room in New York.
How to Go Beyond Search Volume
Now that we have a better understanding of keyword search volume and user intent, we can begin to understand how to go beyond search volume.
The first step is to understand that not all keywords are created equal. Just because a keyword has a high search volume does not mean that it is the best keyword to target.
The second step is to understand that user intent is more important than search volume. A keyword with a low search volume can still be a good keyword to target if it has a high commercial intent.
The third and final step is to understand that solving your audience’s core problems is the best way to go beyond search volume.
The best way to do this is to create content that solves your audience’s core problems.
If you can do this, you will be well on your way to going beyond search volume.
Search Volume is Not the Be-All End-All Metric in SEO
Keyword research is an important part of SEO, but it is no longer enough to just focus on search volume. You also need to understand user intent and how to solve your audience’s core problems. By targeting user intent along with the topics, you increase the chances that you will find success in your SEO efforts.