Search volume

David Kusserow



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The number of queries to a search engine for a particular term in a given period of time is called the search volume. The search volume can be analysed with different tools and plays an important role for search engine optimisation and the success of websites.


The search volume describes the number of search queries to a search engine for a certain word or phrase in a certain period of time. The search volume is used in search engine optimization to find good key words and phrases(keywords) in a keyword analysis.

In order for a page to show up for relevant search engine queries, the keywords on that page must be aligned with the current relevant search queries. You can find out which topic-relevant search queries are currently being searched for most frequently with tools such as the Google Search Console or Ahrefs .

Based on the results of such a keyword analysis with these tools, you can see which information is currently in high demand and which topics, products or services are of particular interest.

There are no precise results

A query of the search volume cannot provide absolutely exact results, since the search queries on the individual topics naturally fluctuate strongly. That’s why the values you can get from Ahrefs are only estimates or forecasts. The most accurate values are those you find in Google Search Console or Google Analytics.

The search volume for the individual keywords is subject to different factors that lead to the fluctuations. These include time of day and time of night or the seasons for products or services that are in seasonal demand. In summer, the demand for the keyword “winter jacket” is naturally lower than in winter.

There are also regional variations. In the low-snow winter in the Lower Rhine region, “snow chains” will be sought much less frequently throughout the year than in the wintry Alps.

How can you determine the search volume?

In order to be able to use the most suitable keywords for your website, you must first analyse which keywords your target group is currently searching for the most. For this, you can check different keywords with different tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs. These tools then show you in their lists different values for the keywords, keyphrases or typical search queries. You will also be presented with estimates of the average search volume over the course of a month.

Based on these results, you can align your content – both your texts and the URLs or ALT tags – with your currently important keywords. The better your content matches the search queries of your target audience, the higher your page will be presented on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Of course your result depends on other factors like your Domain Authority.

Today, the algorithms of the search engines are so sophisticated that they can recognize and devalue texts in which the keywords appear too often . Therefore, when writing your texts, you should primarily have your human users in mind and not the crawlers. Semantic optimization will help you with this.

To be able to determine if you have a high enough keyword density, you can then always do a WDF*IDF analysis.

Search volume at ahrefs.

Are you using high or low search volume keywords?

Once you have done an initial keyword analysis, you will find that there are many terms with a high search volume and others with a low search volume. It is important to bear in mind here that terms are often subject to greater competition the more often they are searched for. So the competition is usually high here – but so is the traffic. For terms with low search volume, the competition is usually smaller and you can more easily draw attention to your site.

A balanced mix of keywords with large and small search volumes is usually the best way to go. Exactly what that mix looks like depends on your topic. Your over topic could be a highly competitive keyword – but a term with low search volume accurately describe your market niche.


The search volume is a key figure that describes how often different terms are requested by a search engine in a certain period of time. It is subject to temporal and regional fluctuations. The higher the search volume for a term, the greater the competition for that keyword.

For your search engine optimization it is important to find the right keywords and to know their search volume. Through ongoing review, you can adjust your keywords to continue to occupy good positions in the SERPs.


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