I was cornered and asked this yesterday :
How much traffic can you guarantee I will get from a number 1 spot in Google natural (unpaid) listings?
and this seemed like the most accurate answer I could give…..
….more traffic than you would get if you were in number 2 position
Most keyword data tools are inaccurate.
Without actually being number 1 for a term, it’s impossible to say for sure. Google Adwords of course is very useful (the best keyword research tool?) but your paying a pretty penny for all that intel and often, the client has no data to share.
If you’re a seo with a few number 1 terms, you can look see what traffic you get and compare it with any keyword data tool for that key phrase, and then make some assumptions from any normalised data. You can also mine for opportunities in your niche comparing keyword volumes with keyword competition etc etc. – you can even look at Alexa (!) and Compete and a few other places.
I use SEMRUSH and Google keyword tools to give myself an idea of the most popular keyterms, but then again, I am a link builder, not a keyword monkey, or a soothsayer.
I only need to do the easy bit – change rankings for as many keyword terms as possible – usually by building domain authority.
I hate wasting too much time on something when it’s little better than a surmising that’s been calculated. I’d rather spend that time thinking about getting real links from real sites (where possible). 6 months ago Google told me a keyword sent 20,000 visitors a month – today it is 18000 – local, it is 9000 searches. I am no2 for that term plural and single word) after wikipedia now in google.com, and getting 200 visitors a month from both terms.
That’s a pretty big discrepancy even between the local numbers. I got 10 visitors on that term today. 10×30 is 300. Even if I triple that for the number one spot, that’s still a bit difference!
Then again, I get 11,000 visitors a month to a term/keyword combo that doesn’t even register in any keyword tool lol!
I certainly never trust the actual volumes I’m told about by these keyword tools. Often I’ll turn to Google Analytics to spot more likely/ achievable opportunities in traffic.
But as an seo, I’m supposed to know about keyword research, linkbuilding, server responses, pagerank, relevance factors, ranking benefits ET AL.
When I am speaking to potential clients, I’m usually in, just after some swanky salesman from another seo company, has hit the prospect with GUARANTEES and FIGURES I think to myself I’m not even bothering trying to compete with this because most claims like this in seo are nonsense – a best guess at the very best.
And I’m not saying keyword research isn’t important. It is a fundamental part of any campaign – perhaps the most important part. It’s just not my favourite bit of seo (getting real links to relevant pages is), and I hate making any kind of predictions in any market I don’t have years of experience in – and there’s a lot of markets out there.
I pointed out to the prospect if whether I win this contract or not is based on whether or not I can guarantee anything about traffic levels, I’ll bow out of the negotiations. Whatever I come up with is a best guess.
We did win the business….. proof you don’t always need to talk b*llocks to get on in seo or online marketing.
If you’ve any tips on keyword research, do share – I am always learning to do things better :)