More content today, in keeping with a cadence that one can only describe as “halting, at best.” But, in spite of my failings, on we go with the SEO for non-scumbags series.
Defining the Important Terms
Last time out, I introduced the idea of keywords, focusing on searcher psychology as the foundation. In this installment, I’m going to get more into the nitty-gritty of keyword selection.
But before doing that, let’s define some terms of art. And I mean really define them, rather than just saying that “difficulty” describes how hard it is to rank for a keyword.
I’m listing these concepts in order of ease of understanding, from easiest to hardest. So, let’s start with a softball in the form of keyword “volume.”
Keyword volume is simply the approximate number of times per month that somebody types this keyword into the search engine and examines the results.
I say approximate because none of the tools you’ll use will know the exact number. And, even if they did, they’d know historical numbers and, obviously, not be able to predict the future. As for why “per month” is the standard denominator convention for this, I must confess, dear reader, I do not rightfully know.
Mystery conventions and approximation aside, searches per month does give you a sense for the traffic potential to your site, should you write content targeting this keyword. (Recall from the last post, “targeting the keyword” really means answering the question that you deduce the searcher is asking with this keyword.)
As you brainstorm keywords, I definitely suggest tracking them and their stats with a spreadsheet. When you do this, you’ll acquire enough data to view the keyword volumes in relative terms which, I would argue, is more important than the actual number, per se. In other words, the value in recording keyword volume comes less form the actual number and more from having a sense of “high volume” and “low volume” keywords.