I’ve been dwelling a lot into keyword research these days and thought it would be an appropriate time to write about the traffic estimates that most of the free tools throw up. Although the traffic estimates thrown up by these keyword research tools seem to be accurate, here are a few thought provoking points which will help you understand why you do not receive the total amount of traffic that these keyword tools throw up
7 Facts about Traffic Estimates from Keyword Research Tools
- All keyword research tools are inaccurate. The only way to know for sure how much traffic the #1 site for a keyword receives is to own this number one spot. When you see these traffic values, they are not accurate. Sometimes they’re close and sometimes they are way off.
- Read how the tool works and understand how the estimate is calculated, and if you’re looking at the broad, phrase, or exact match data. The exact match data will give you estimates for that specific keyword only, so if you’re looking at the broad match traffic you may be very disappointed.
- Some tools output average monthly estimates, so don’t forget to divide that number by 30 to get an idea of the daily traffic values.
- Keep in mind that some keywords are trend keywords. The average search volume may include a 12 month average. The average estimate for Halloween should not be expected all year, it peaks in the fall. Buying and shopping terms peak during the Christmas season. Flowers tend to peak around Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
- Keep in mind the break down or traffic per rank. The #1 ranked site can expect around 40% to 50% of the traffic available for a keyword, and that is if you are constantly ranked #1. Too many people see a #1 ranking one day and claim “I have a #1 ranking”, when they actually bounce all around page one during the day. Considering that the lower ranks may only get 2% to 3% of the traffic, this should be considered. If you’re not holding #1 EVERY time the keyword is being searched, than you should not expect the 40%.
- Universal Search changes the distribution of traffic. The percentage break down per rank is if the top 10 are fairly standard, but if your SERPS has a map & local results, images, or videos; then you can expect a different distribution. That video at #2 might be pulling more traffic than the #1 because it matches the searchers intent (and may grab the searcher’s eye faster than text)
- Personalized search also changes the game. Don’t forget that you don’t rank the same for everyone. There are multiple data centers with different indexes. In addition to that, Google changes results off of behavior, geographical location, recent searches, search history (if logged in), and wiki search actions. It might show #1 for you, but it may be #5 for a lot of other people.
Do share with us your experiences on Traffic estimates from Free keyword Research Tools