5 Tips for Interpreting Keyword Metrics

Want to have a successful SEO campaign? Then you need to know which keyword metrics matter most. In the previous chapter, How to analyze keyword data, we discussed extracting meaningful insights from keyword data. In this chapter, we’ll highlight some key information you should have at the back of your mind as you review your keyword metrics.

1. Look at the SERPs

Most people discount looking at the SERPs manually because they have access to fancy SEO tools to automate the process. But there’s nothing better than typing your keyword into the Google search box and seeing the results in real time.

This manual process deepens your understanding of the type of content Google is prioritizing for a specific keyword. You’ll also see the SERP features — like images, infographics, and videos — that accompany top-ranking pages. These insights provide a clearer picture of what you need to do to stand out in the search results.

Say you notice that articles with videos rank higher in search than text-only blogs. In that case, you’ll need to plan to add a video to your article.


2. Understand Search Volume

Search volume is a keyword metric that indicates how often a particular keyword is searched for in a given period, usually on search engines like Google. It helps you gauge the popularity and potential traffic a keyword can bring to your website.

High search volume keywords have the advantage of reaching a larger audience, but they also tend to have higher competition. On the other hand, low search volume keywords may have less competition but might not attract significant traffic. Striking a balance between search volume and competitiveness is crucial. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Seobility, and Ahrefs can provide valuable insights into search volumes.

For example, if you have an online store selling sneakers, you might discover that the keyword “running shoes” has a high search volume of thousands of monthly searches. However, it also faces stiff competition from major brands and established websites. In contrast, a long-tail keyword like “best lightweight running shoes for women” may have a lower search volume but can attract a more targeted audience.

3. Consider Keyword Relevance

Keyword relevance refers to how closely a keyword aligns with the content of your website or the intent of your target audience. Choosing relevant keywords ensures that your website’s content matches what users are searching for, which increases the likelihood of attracting qualified traffic that converts into customers or fulfills your desired goals. Relevance is crucial for both user experience and search engine rankings.

For instance, if you run a blog about healthy recipes, using keywords like “healthy dinner ideas” or “quick and nutritious meals” would be highly relevant to your target audience. These keywords align with the content you provide and reflect the intent of users seeking healthy meal suggestions.


4. Analyze the Competition

To assess competition, examine the search engine results pages (SERPs) for your target keyword. Look for factors like the authority of top-ranking pages, their backlink profiles, domain strength, and the quality of their content. Tools like Moz, Keyword.com, and Seobility can provide valuable competitive insights and metrics, such as domain authority and backlink profiles.

For example, if you’re operating in a highly competitive industry like online marketing, targeting broad keywords like “digital marketing” might be extremely challenging due to the presence of established players. Instead, you could narrow your focus and target long-tail keywords like “social media marketing for small businesses” to find a more manageable level of competition.

Learn more about finding the right competitors’ keywords to track.

5. Explore Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases. They typically have lower search volume but often result in higher conversion rates.

These types of keywords help you target users with a clearer intent, allowing you to provide more relevant content and attract qualified traffic. Long-tail keywords are particularly useful when you have a niche audience or offer specialized products or services.

For instance, if you have a website selling handmade leather bags, targeting the broad keyword “bags” would be extremely competitive and challenging to rank for. However, targeting long-tail keywords like “handmade leather tote bags” or “minimalist leather backpacks” would narrow down the competition and attract users specifically interested in those products.

Additionally, long-tail keywords often reflect users who are further along the buyer’s journey, as they have a more specific intent. This can lead to higher conversion rates and better ROI for your SEO efforts.


Key Takeaways

  1. Interpreting keyword metrics is a critical skill for successful SEO and digital marketing.
  2. By combining keyword analysis with a comprehensive strategy, you can maximize your chances of ranking well in search engine results, driving targeted traffic, and achieving your business objectives.
  3. Remember to regularly evaluate and refine your keyword strategy as search trends and user behavior evolve over time.
  4. Incorporate keyword metrics when doing keyword research so that you can get better quality and more business relevant search terms.