the google keyword tool isn't accurate.

by Charles AK 29 replies
I am ranking for a keyword that's suppose to get 18000 searches a month, and I should be getting about 7,000 searches per month, a little over 200 searches a day, but i'm only getting about 20 visitors per day, so whats going on with the keyword tool?

I assume it's because i'm only ranking #1 in certain parts of the world, however the local and global search volume was the same.

I checked the rankings in all major countries and I'm ranking #1.
#search engine optimization #accurate #google #keyword #tool
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Were you looking at "broad match" or "exact match"? If you weren't looking at "exact match", you made a mistake.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles AK
    I was looking at exact match, broad match was over 200,000
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Not trying to be a smart azz, but is the keyword seasonal (ex: halloween costumes)?
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  • Profile picture of the author mindwire
    You should also take only about 40% of the search volume since this is the average percentage about how many people click through the first page on the search query.

    Sincerely,
    mindwire
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonAaron1
      That is a pretty drastic difference, but I have found the google keyword tool to only be a rough estimate. It has worked to my benefit sometimes too. I have one search term that was only estimated to have 140 exact searches per month, but we sometimes get over 300 uniques a month.

      (It is a high ticket item, so even with that amount of uniques it is very profitable).

      You also might want to use something like long tail pro to see what other long tail keywords you can set pages up for to capture some additional traffic.

      Just my 2 cents.
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    • Profile picture of the author Charles AK
      Originally Posted by mindwire View Post

      You should also take only about 40% of the search volume since this is the average percentage about how many people click through the first page on the search query.

      Sincerely,
      mindwire
      thats where I got the 7,000 visitors a month estimate from. It's a brand new site so maybe the rankings haven't exactly stuck yet, I been checking everyday.

      it's not seasonal though, its a review site for an in demand product.

      I had the keyword tool work for me to, as I get traffic for keywords that don't even show up in the keyword tool.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hansons
        Originally Posted by Charles AK View Post

        thats where I got the 7,000 visitors a month estimate from. It's a brand new site so maybe the rankings haven't exactly stuck yet, I been checking everyday.

        it's not seasonal though, its a review site for an in demand product.

        I had the keyword tool work for me to, as I get traffic for keywords that don't even show up in the keyword tool.
        If you are getting 7000 then it is good...

        It is estimated to get 40% visitors if you are on first position in Google
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    • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
      Originally Posted by mindwire View Post

      You should also take only about 40% of the search volume since this is the average percentage about how many people click through the first page on the search query.

      Sincerely,
      mindwire
      That's hugely optimistic, we average about 20% of search volume from a no. 1 spot. In the modern day, it's increasingly the case due to so many variables:
      1. Increased prominence of paid search listings i.e. paid search results box is becoming more and more transparent.
      2. Universal search.
      3. Microformats integration.
      4. Localised/Geo results.

      Etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Originally Posted by Charles AK View Post

    I am ranking for a keyword that's suppose to get 18000 searches a month, and I should be getting about 7,000 searches per month, a little over 200 searches a day, but i'm only getting about 20 visitors per day, so whats going on with the keyword tool?
    That sounds about right. There are 10 positions on page one of Google - not everyone clicks the top result.

    7,000 per month = 233 per day, divided by ten positions = 23.
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    • Profile picture of the author panic
      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      That sounds about right. There are 10 positions on page one of Google - not everyone clicks the top result.

      7,000 per month = 233 per day, divided by ten positions = 23.
      He said there are 18000 searches per month according to GKT

      Given Position #1 he expects 7000 searches on his site.

      He should be getting 233 but is only getting 20 per day
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      • Profile picture of the author ronrule
        Originally Posted by panic View Post

        He said there are 18000 searches per month according to GKT

        Given Position #1 he expects 7000 searches on his site.

        He should be getting 233 but is only getting 20 per day
        A better question would be why he's expecting 7,000 - in my last example I didn't account for PPC ads, so lets redo the math.

        #1 is actually #4 with 3 paid ads above it, plus any possible local results could add 3 more. Then there can be up to 8 on the sidebar. So for a highly competitive phrase, we could see as many as 25 possible destinations on page one.

        18,000 searches / 25 possible results = 720 per month or 24 per day. So we end up at about the same number on a highly competitive phrase. Even if we assumed the #1 result got 40% of the clicks, #1 organic is coming in at #4 so it's more likely to be only 10% of the searches. Even that would only average out to 60 a day.

        The keyword tool isn't inaccurate. Most people just aren't thinking the math through.
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        • Profile picture of the author panic
          Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

          A better question would be why he's expecting 7,000 - in my last example I didn't account for PPC ads, so lets redo the math.

          #1 is actually #4 with 3 paid ads above it, plus any possible local results could add 3 more. Then there can be up to 8 on the sidebar. So for a highly competitive phrase, we could see as many as 25 possible destinations on page one.

          18,000 searches / 25 possible results = 720 per month or 24 per day. So we end up at about the same number on a highly competitive phrase. Even if we assumed the #1 result got 40% of the clicks, #1 organic is coming in at #4 so it's more likely to be only 10% of the searches. Even that would only average out to 60 a day.

          The keyword tool isn't inaccurate. Most people just aren't thinking the math through.
          My main discrepancy here is that you are dividing the searches by the number of matches evenly, and not giving higher % to the higher serps.

          The point about 3-6 searches above a #1 ranking is valid though, and that would definitely drop his ctr result to about 5%...if those are indeed showing up.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Is the #1 organic position actually the first listing on the search page or do you see paid Ads, local listings? Those two things can change the amount of traffic the 1st ranked organic page receives.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles AK
    I am expecting around 7,000 because of the 40% that I can expect to get from being #1, there isn't any ppc, videos, or local listing above me, I also rank above the authority sites like cnet and forbes.

    This site is less than a month old so maybe it hasn't fully stuck yet but like I said I been checking everyday in the main countries, I think I should use another method to confirm the traffic in the keyword tool.

    I could try to rank for keywords that have videos on the front page, by checking the statistics for the video and making sure there is daily traffic coming from google.

    I want to mention that I also made sure I wasn't getting personalized listings.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronrule
      Originally Posted by Charles AK View Post

      I am expecting around 7,000 because of the 40% than I can expect to get from being #!, there isn't any ppc, videos, or local listing above me, I also rank above the authority sites like cnet and forbes.
      That's what I'm saying is the flaw in your logic ... you're taking a broad published estimate that "40% will click the #1 result" but the truth is that's just an average across every search phrase Google has ever returned results for.

      What the 40% average really means is that Google's algorithm can only correctly guess what 40% of searchers are looking for - the remaining 60% weren't impressed with the #1 result. For some phrases, 80% are clicking the #1 result - for others, less than 10% are. It all depends on the phrase and who's competing for it.

      I would bet that Forbes or CNET are seeing more traffic than you are in spite of being below you, simply because the searchers have an expectation of what they're going to find there and believe their page is a better fit for this particular phrase.
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      • Profile picture of the author Charles AK
        yes I'm sure I checked while signed out, I also checked in other countries.

        Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

        That's what I'm saying is the flaw in your logic ... you're taking a broad published estimate that "40% will click the #1 result" but the truth is that's just an average across every search phrase Google has ever returned results for.

        What the 40% average really means is that Google's algorithm can only correctly guess what 40% of searchers are looking for - the remaining 60% weren't impressed with the #1 result. For some phrases, 80% are clicking the #1 result - for others, less than 10% are. It all depends on the phrase and who's competing for it.

        I would bet that Forbes or CNET are seeing more traffic than you are in spite of being below you, simply because the searchers have an expectation of what they're going to find there and believe their page is a better fit for this particular phrase.
        I didn't even think about forbes and cnet getting a higher click through than me, do you think their diluting the chance of someone clicking on the first result due to their authority? I am going to give it another month to stick and see if traffic for that page increases, then ill see if its worth while to knock cnet and forbes off the page, which wouldn't be hard to do with this keyword.

        I'm not even thinking about other peoples personalized listings, and those authory sites could already be in there personalized listings, which is why giving it another month to stick could be worth while, I'm assuming the 40% rule is calculated with personalized listings and what not.
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        • Profile picture of the author ronrule
          Originally Posted by Charles AK View Post

          yes I'm sure I checked while signed out, I also checked in other countries.



          I didn't even think about forbes and cnet getting a higher click through than me, do you think their diluting the chance of someone clicking on the first result due to their authority? I am going to give it another month to stick and see if traffic for that page increases, then ill see if its worth while to knock cnet and forbes off the page, which wouldn't be hard to do with this keyword.

          I'm not even thinking about other peoples personalized listings, and those authory sites could already be in there personalized listings, which is why giving it another month to stick could be worth while, I'm assuming the 40% rule is calculated with personalized listings and what not.
          What I'm saying is look at your own search behavior. How often do you actually click the #1 result yourself?

          You're searching for something ... #1 is a site you've never heard of, keyword is in the title and meta description, essentially all of the "tricks" we use to rank our own pages. #2 is a page on Forbes. #3 is a page on CNET. Are you really gonna click #1? Remember the "40% click #1" rule should be discarded long before the keyword tool results should. If only 40% click #1 that means Google's #1 result on 60% of searches wasn't what people wanted, so pages other than #1 would be receiving more traffic on those words.

          Also, another thing I didn't mention earlier - remember that keywords aren't passed to the pages from signed in users, because the SSL protocol doesn't transfer referrer information. So if I am signed in to my Google account, and I'm on the https version of Google, even if I click your link you won't be able to see what keyword brought me to your site in your analytics unless the version of your site indexed in Google is the https version.

          If your site gets a lot of visitors with no referrer, those visitors are probably coming in off of one of your keywords, you just have no way of seeing which one because they went from an HTTPS search to an HTTP page.

          As for the Google keyword tool itself, my experience has been that it is pretty accurate once you understand the math. I have one particular keyword where I actually own page one ... no paid ads, and all ten results are pages on my site. The Google keyword tool showed 1,300 local results. The combination of this keyword and direct-type-ins (which I feel I can safely attribute to SSL users coming in via this keyword because NOBODY is typing in this domain), my analytics showed 1,318 visitors for the previous month for the same keyword. I'd say that's pretty accurate.

          The results shown are basically for the previous month, so as others have mentioned the "seasonal" aspect can have an effect. If you start optimizing your site in January because the keyword tool told you there were a lot of searches, it may have been above normal due to holiday shopping so you might not get that many throughout the rest of the year.

          As a side note, this conversation has inspired my next blog article.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Are you sure your search results aren't being personalized?
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
    Banned
    You should be getting way more visitors.

    To verify things a bit you can login at Google Webmasters and look at the conversion vs impressions for that specific keyword.
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  • Profile picture of the author ziubzia
    Personally I see Google Keyword tool as a great free general indication tool but it's certainly not the only tool I use and I would never rely solely on what it is telling me.

    It's part of the overall keyword pie to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    The GKT, at best, is a rough estimation.

    If you're REALLY interested in a more reliable estimation, your best bet is to invest a few buck and let an Adwords campaign run for about a week or so, targeting the keywords you're interested in. This will give you a much better idea of the actual search counts.
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    • Profile picture of the author ronrule
      Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

      The GKT, at best, is a rough estimation.
      No, it's not. The keyword tool is VERY accurate. It's showing the (rounded) figure of the previous month's search volume for the keyword.

      The mistake people make is in "guessing" how many clicks they'll get based on what the keyword shows as search volume. There are anywhere between 10 and 25 destinations on page one of Google. And a large number of users still find their way to pages 2 and higher as well.

      It's not the keyword tool that's inaccurate, it's the method internet marketers use to guess how many of those results will translate into clicks to their site that's flawed.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    As stupid as this sounds, it never gets mentioned on here. But it could be something as simple as the name of your site.

    Or it could be a combination of the name + title + description.

    All I know is I do a ton of searches where I skip the first few positions and sometimes the name of a site sounds spammy, or the title/descriptions do.

    Try to do an objective comparison of how your site appears vs other sites in the SERPs.

    For instance, if I search "mold" and the first listing says something like -


    Get Toxic Mold Out Of Your Home Now
    www.moldkills.com
    Mold toxins are carcinogenic and can cause cancer. Click here to save your home and family!



    I'm very likely skipping that first listing.

    Especially if the 2nd or 3rd listing says something like:


    Don't Let Mold Companies Scare You
    www.themoldcure.com
    Mold can be smelly and foul up your home, but most of the time its not harmful. Let us cure your problem for good!


    The fact is certain listings just sound more credible on first glance. Now thats not a real search, I'm just using it as an example. Fact is if you type in "mold" you get a bunch of definitions of what it is.

    But if I'm a homeowner, I might be looking to remove mold. I probably won't care about the definition. So I'll likely add a second query with "removal" on the end. Which brings us to another fact, if you're targeting a somewhat ambigous keyword or phrase, that can be interpreted in many different ways, I think that alone will kill your CTR.

    I'm no SEO expert, but my background in psychology tends to compensate for that. Really try to get inside the head of the traffic you're targeting. Not just the person you want, but all the different types of people who might be searching for a keyword. It could give you a better idea of why people aren't clicking.

    Good luck

    -Red
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Really try to get inside the head of the traffic you're targeting. Not just the person you want, but all the different types of people who might be searching for a keyword. It could give you a better idea of why people aren't clicking.
      Red...

      I'd bet this never occurred to 99% of the members of this forum. It's SO critical to understand your audience, yet most simply worry about keywords, search volume, etc.

      Great piece of advice there....
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  • Profile picture of the author Iceware
    I have noticed that I will get spikes certain days then others. Otherwise this keyword is for a product where people are looking for the company website. I had a site up for bourjois mascara and if you google it I am number 2 for a search volume of about 500 to 700 per month but I get little traffic because people are going to the company website. So yes you will get some traffic for this but most people will go to the company site or even amazon as they are trust worthy and lots of people are scared about what sites they go to and buy from.

    That is why when I am doing my KW Research for adsense sites I look for KWs with free in it or watch online or along those lines.

    Check this out http://source-wave.com/seo-keyword-research-secrets/
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    All we can do is keep guessing considering we don't know the OP domain or keyword, not suggesting OP share either (I wouldn't). Just saying, it's a guessing game.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles AK
    hello, I'm happy to say that the good old google is starting to send me more traffic for this keyword, and another keyword that is a reverse of it.

    so i'm getting 50-70 visitors a day which is good but should still be seeing more, my click throughs are 15% and sometimes 18%
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  • Profile picture of the author thecableguy
    The GAKT shows an AVERAGE of the previous 12 months, so the numbers you're seeing in your browser may or may not even be close to the actual numbers. Do an exact match search and download the csv file for a monthly breakdown. Do it on a seasonal, fad or trendy item and you'll see what I mean.

    Google seems to have changed it so it's not a default anymore. If the monthly searches aren't showing you may need to manually enable it. Click on "Columns", and I think checking "Local Search Trends" will enable it again.

    Also keep in mind it's only Google's search results, so youtube, facebook, ezinearticles and other searchengines will also produce additional numbers.

    You are checking in "Incognito" right?

    Originally Posted by Charles AK View Post

    I am ranking for a keyword that's suppose to get 18000 searches a month, and I should be getting about 7,000 searches per month, a little over 200 searches a day, but i'm only getting about 20 visitors per day, so whats going on with the keyword tool?

    I assume it's because i'm only ranking #1 in certain parts of the world, however the local and global search volume was the same.

    I checked the rankings in all major countries and I'm ranking #1.
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  • Profile picture of the author squadron
    Try changing your title tag to include an offer or other click bait and see if the numbers improve.
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