SEO Basics [Lesson 06]: Finding Acceptable Levels of Traffic

All Keywords are NOT Created Equal

We have been looking at building targeted traffic to your website.  We are only going to focus our energy on terms that meet the minimum requirements and they are relevance, acceptable levels of traffic and commercial intent.

Not all Searches are the Same

In every niche, there are long-tail and short-tail keywords that are searched more frequently than others.  More general terms tend to be used more than specific or long term searches.

It is very important to make sure you are optimizing for terms that are going to generate an appropriate amount of search traffic.  Some terms will generate high levels of traffic and others will generate low levels of traffic.

The reality is that most keyword terms in a given niche, over 90%, have insignificant levels of traffic and are not worth your time and money optimizing for these terms.  The problem that may small business owners face, is they have built a business around these low traffic search terms and then are frustrated that they are not being successful.

The Difference between Search and Traffic

Whenever someone does a search in Google, the results are not clicked in equal distribution.  The research has shown that the first result gets about 42% of all clicks for that search term.  The number two term only gets 12%.  A dramatic drop in clicks.

Click Through Percentage Rate for Google Search Results

Being in the number one position for a search term yields 42% of all potential traffic for that term or phrase.  So instead of spending our time focusing on search numbers, we should focus on potential amounts of traffic.

The SEO Traffic Metric

Measuring this number is a fairly simple process.  It will require you to use a calculator or you can create a spread sheet to analyze the numbers.

We are going to use our sample search term from the previous lesson, Web Design, to study the potential traffic.  We had narrowed our search for potential keywords to “hire a web designer” and “find a web designer.”  We tested for relevancy and found the terms to reach an acceptable level and now we need to determine if there is an acceptable level of trafic.

Acceptable Levels of Traffic

We have found that the minimum level of traffic to justify the time and energy for optimization is 10 visits per day for ‘Exact’ match type, 50 visits per day for ‘Phrase’ match type, and 80 visits per day for ‘Broad’ match type.  These numbers are not absolute, but we do recommend them as a good reference point.

This means that in order for us to select a term from our list, it needs to meet the standards of relevancy and deliver 10, 50, or 80  visitors to our site each day (if we are the number one search result).

We take the total number of daily searches and multiply by 42%, the number of clicks the first position receives.  It that number is greater than 10, 50 or 80, we continue.  If it is less than 10, 50 or 80, we remove it from out list of potentials.

Our Example:

Term: Hire a Web Designer
Match Type: Exact
Monthly Searches: 720
Daily Searches: 24 (720/30)
SEO Traffic: 10.08 (24 x 0.42)

Since 10.08 is equal to or greater than 10, we would include it as a term we would use to optimize on our site.  It meets the relevancy test and the targeted traffic test.  The last test is commercial intent.

Follow through these steps for all of your keyword terms to evaluate whether they would be worth continuing.  If they fail to mee the minimum requirements, we discard the term and move on to the next one.

Next Step.

Now that we have a list of potential keywords that have met our relevancy test and have acceptable levels of traffic, we need to evaluate commercial intent.  Are the terms good for business?  Can we make money optimizing for these terms?

This is the focus of Lesson 06 of SEO Basics.


Did you find this page via Twitter or a link from a friend?

This lesson is one in an e-course on the Basics of SEO. It covers the cornerstones of basic SEO.