The use of search volume as one's north star for all keyword research is the biggest mistake that we see from an ideation and a prioritization metric. It's just natural because of the tomes of information in SEO to believe that using demand in isolation is good enough. Google trained the market to believe this because the only keyword research solution that they released was the Google AdWords keyword planner, the results it returns is their MSV or their search volume data point.
It also has pay-per-click competition, which has nothing to do with organic search and SEO. It can give you a relative reference of commercial intent, but that's about it. And their perspective on pay per click competition. So this created a market where keyword research was driven by search volume as the north star. And I'll walk through why this causes such tremendous problems
and some examples where it causes significant problems for teams. And then I'll walk through where it causes significant competitive risks.
The first one is that all I need to focus on as a business are keywords with a particular level of search volume.
When the reality of content strategy is that you need to build robust, comprehensive collections of content, that exhibit expertise that tell the story that you understand the entire buyer journey. And what that means is you're going to be writing content that contains topics that have lower search volume naturally to round out that as collections of content.
So what happens when a team is heavily focused on search volume only is that they're not writing in depth content that speaks to all the stages of the buy cycle. And that covers really specific user intents that people are looking for, either in the content that they land on or the content that's being linked to in that content.
Strong SEO teams will look for this. They look for someone who's looking for a keyword volume list, sort descend, and they've exhibited the pattern that they're just walking down the list. It puts you in a tremendously susceptible position to strong content teams. And I'm talking the best publishers in the world.
When they have a publisher adversary, who's doing this, or they've exhibited this signal in the clusters that they create. They will do multiple techniques in order to invade that person's turf. Hilarious reality here is when people are doing these predictive research using search volume as the north star, they're almost never right.
And I've looked at so many people's estimate programs, and there's so many other factors that have to be involved. Should you use keyword research? Should you use search volume at all in your process? Absolutely. It is a very important directional metric. It also can give you a sense of if I were to gain authority on this high search volume term, I'm going to unlock the ability to rank for a lot of other things and I need to also do that research. But it's truly a directional metric because let's say the search volume is very high, but this might be a zero click search. No one clicks on it. Why? It could be a, what I call a know, K N O W, simple intent. What's the capital of North Dakota? Bismarck, right? Click through rate on that query is extremely low because Google answers the question right there.
So you've got all different types of things that need to go into your analysis of words and teams that work with solely keyword research as that north star that drives the bus make mistake after mistake.