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The Internet is a cornucopia of keyword research tools for building SEO and AdWords campaigns. The most popular and widely used are Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz, Wordtracker, Ubersuggest, and Wordstream. These platforms have a wealth of statistics that help identify the right keywords to use in a campaign – including keyword difficulty, level of competition, average cost per click, and the most common of all: average monthly searches.

Yes, keyword research is mostly reliant on the average monthly search volume; however, it is important to learn about the misconceptions surrounding it to make sure it is viewed and applied properly.

It is NOT absolute and precise


The data is not 100{7763190c2940bc922582f128c4646ce172bb5ab5f2af15fda6a3585effc19535} correct. For one, instead of exact figures, Google’s Keyword Planner shows an approximate range of average monthly searches: 1k to 10k; 100 to 1K; or 10 to 100. Google’s Keyword Planner is configured to use keyword search data gathered for the past 12 months for the specific location you have selected. The number of searches is then divided by 12.

Though it factors in the seasonal nature of the keywords, there are months where there is less traffic for those keywords compared with other months, but the data will not show a different figure. Why? Because the average is still the same. Hence, the average monthly search volume for a certain keyword should not be the sole basis in measuring the potential of a campaign.

You will only get a slice of the pie


Let’s say the average monthly search volume is 100{7763190c2940bc922582f128c4646ce172bb5ab5f2af15fda6a3585effc19535} precise – it still does not mean your website will get the total traffic for a particular search query as you are not the only one using those search terms, and you are not the only option out there. In addition, there are other factors that may influence how much traffic you will get for a specific search query. These include the quality of your copy for AdWords, your meta description and SEO title, and your website’s ranking in the SERPs.

It is not a foolproof yardstick for SEO


In contrast with AdWords, you can only have a limited view of the search queries that generate traffic to your website via Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools. So, it is not always crystal clear which search queries actually direct visitors to your website. In some cases, your SEO campaign may bring in traffic from variants of your target keywords or from related search queries.

To illustrate, imagine a business website that uses the following keywords for majority of their organic traffic:

interior design in Dubai
interior designers Dubai
best interior designers Dubai

However, it may also land on the first page Google for other search terms such as:

interior fit out design Dubai
interior fit out companies in Dubai
interior design companies Dubai
Conclusion: Keyword research tools are sure handy in determining keyword potential, but the numbers they provide should not be taken at face value to assert the potential of an SEO or AdWords campaign.

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