Our online marketing experts explain competition vs. volume

One of the most common questions our online marketing team gets asked is this: “how do I pick the right keywords?”

And without a doubt, the most important things to understand when selecting keywords for your website and SEO strategy are:

  1. Competition
  2. Volume

If you ask us, choosing the right keyword can mean the difference between getting more business, and a digital strategy that gets you nowhere and simply eats up valuable time and money.  

Say you’re a small tool shop in Melbourne - is trying to compete with the likes of Bunnings for a high competition search like “buy tools online” worth the immense time and effort it’ll take?

If you’re a mechanic, does showing up on a Google search for a niche, low-volume search like “smash repairs for a 2002 Toyota Corolla with scratches on back-left bumper” matter at all to your bottom line?

The answer to both of those is “no!”

online marketing experts

 

What does competition mean to an online marketing team?

Any digital agency you talk to will definitely be paying attention to the amount competition when selecting keywords to target as part of your SEO strategy.

Essentially, keyword competition is an indication of how many other web pages rank for that specific search term or keyword. Think of it as an indirect measure of how hard it is going to be rank on the first page of a search engine’s listing for that keyword or term.

Simply put, high competition means there are more results. That means:

  • More pages, many engaging in their own SEO strategies
  • More daily fluctuations in ranking
  • Big competitors with established websites and high page and domain authority

All of which makes it hard for smaller sites like yours to get a foothold.

As a rule of thumb, broad, general searches tend to be the highest competition. Unless your site has fantastic page and domain authority (more on those below), we suggest avoiding these initially.

If you’re struggling, you can use this Moz tool to determine the height of competition for certain keywords.

When you type a keyword or phrase into Google, the Moz tool will also provide you with details on both page authority and domain authority of individual results.

Page authority

Page authority refers to the authority of one specific page on your website.

Search engines use this as a way of determining how highly other people rank the content on your site, measured through direct links (among other things) - think of it as working a bit like a referral system in that sense.

Needless to say, individual pages that Google determines to be credible are going to perform better in the search results than those that aren’t!

Domain authority

If page authority is the amount of credibility an individual webpage has with Google, then domain authority is essentially that, but applied to your entire website.

The reasoning is pretty straightforward: websites such as Wikipedia, news websites or government organisations are naturally going to rank be seen as more credible.

You can improve domain authority by optimising your own site pages, including keywords in your domain name and improving both external and internal links.

 

Our digital agency explains search volume

Search volume is exactly what it sounds like: specifically, it refers to the average number of searches for a keyword or phrase over a period of time (usually a month).

Naturally, the amount of keyword search volume may be subject to change in certain industries depending on location, as well as the time of year - you wouldn’t expect many people to Google Christmas decorations in April!

Place matters as well - for example people in Victoria aren’t likely to be looking for cyclone warnings. A Darwin resident, however? That’s a different story!

Naturally, you’re going to want keywords that have the greatest number of searches possible.

After all, more searches means more people potentially being directed to your site - taking the #1 spot for a keyword that only has 3 people searching a month doesn’t mean much.

You should always consult your digital agency when you are looking at keyword analysis. They will be able to help you understand exactly how to analyse keywords for your product or service.

If you are looking to find keyword volume data you can use a program like SEM Rush or Ahrefs.

 

Which one matters more when choosing keywords, volume or competition?

Whether you are doing keyword research for SEO or PPC, you need to make sure you get the right balance of competition and volume when selecting keywords.

A lot of people find it very enticing to choose keywords that have higher volume search.

It makes sense right? The higher the volume of searches the more exposure you will have to web browsers- it’s believed that page 1 alone accounts for a whopping 89% of all clicks.

The problem is that if the competition is too high, your chances of getting on that page are slim. This may lead to time and money being wasted chasing an unattainable goal.

Every digital agency in the world will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you’re using high volume keywords unless you can make the first page of a SERP (search engine results page). If the amount of competition is too stiff, it simply might not be worth it.

If you ask us, the best keywords are the ones that are:

  1. High volume
  2. Low competition

Pro tip: if you want to bring down the level of competition, we suggest optimising your online marketing strategy to focus on what we in the business call “long-tail” keywords.

Every time you get more specific by adding words (a “tail”) to the end of a search term, you decrease the amount of competition. For example, “SEO agency” has presents 220 million results - “SEO agency in Melbourne” cuts that down to a quarter of the (5.35 million).

Our advice? Get specific! Keep extending the tails until you’re left with keywords that offer good search volumes, as well as a more reasonable level of competition.

digital agency

 

Ask a digital agency to help improve your online marketing strategy

iformat is proud to provide an online marketing service that will transform your website into a 24/7 marketing and sales teams.

That means you will gain leads while you sleep - yes, that’s right. While you sleep!

And it all starts by helping you choose the perfect keywords to go after.

In addition to planning your online marketing strategy, our Melbourne-based digital agency provides a range of other online marketing services, including:

  • Content marketing and strategy
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Social media strategy
  • Conversion strategy

We can help you select your keywords, create a successful pay per click (PPC) campaign, and create greater awareness for your product or service.

Interested in working with us? We are interested in working with you too!

To get in contact with us you can give us a call on 1300 88 64 50.

If you want to view the quality of our work you can check out our online portfolio.


 

 

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