How to Use Search Volume for Competitor Analysis

How to Use Search Volume for Competitor Analysis

Today, SEO is one of the main channels for bringing in business revenue. Research shows that around 2-5% of conversions come from organic traffic. This is a pretty good number when you consider the industry standard conversion rate is usually around 1%.

And therefore any businesses regardless of size, looking to invest in SEO need to do some competitor analysis. Using the search volume for keywords that competitors are already ranking for is one of the useful metrics to analyze and benchmark against.

This search volume analysis can help shape your SEO campaign strategy when done properly. It allows you to set realistic goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to work towards.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can do a competitor analysis focused on keyword search volume. This can give you a much better awareness of the competitive landscape you’re operating in.

What is Search Volume?

Search volume refers to the estimated number of times a specific keyword or phrase is searched on a search engine like Google within a given timeframe, usually per month. This data provides insights into online users’ popularity and demand for that particular query or topic.

Major search engines like Google offer keyword research tools like keyword planner, which allow you to access search volume data for keywords. It provides estimates based on historical search data, which can be filtered by location, language, and other parameters.

However, keyword planner when used free, gives the range that has a very low limit and very high upper limit and therefore isn’t very actionable data. For example, if you look for the keyword “rank tracker” in the Google keyword planner, you will get the data in the following format.

Google Keyword Planner

Therefore with this tool, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the search volumes because of the range thing that it gives.

A better solution is, however, Serpple’s keyword suggestion tool, which gives the correct estimation of the volume of a particular keyword. We will discuss more features of this tool in the later section of this blog.

Keywords with higher search volumes indicate that more people are interested in or actively searching for information related to that topic or query.

This makes higher search volume keywords more valuable targets for search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as they have the potential to drive more organic traffic to your website if you can rank well for them.

When conducting competitor analysis, examining the search volumes for the keywords your competitors are ranking for can provide valuable insights into their content strategy and areas of focus. If a competitor consistently ranks well for high search volume keywords within your niche, it may indicate that they have a strong content strategy and targeted optimization efforts around those topics.

Why Search Volume Matters for Competitor Research

Analyzing search volumes for the keywords your competitors are ranking for provides crucial insights into their content strategy and focus areas driving organic traffic.

By understanding the high-traffic, high-demand topics and keywords they are targeting and optimizing content around, you can identify potential gaps or opportunities where you may need to create more targeted, SEO-optimized content.

If competitors consistently rank well for keywords with high search volumes within your niche, it indicates areas where they have a strong advantage and you may need to step up your optimization efforts. Conversely, low competitor search volumes for specific topics could represent opportunities to create superior content and outrank them.

Monitoring search volume trends over time also reveals shifting user interests, allowing you to adapt your strategy accordingly. Understanding pages that are driving traffic to their website and their relative keywords with search volumes helps prioritize your focus on SEO efforts for maximum impact, providing data-driven insights to pivot the content planning, keyword targeting, and overall competitive positioning.

Also Read: Best Tips for Small Businesses to Grow

How to Gather Search Volume Data

To understand the search volume data you can use the Serpple keyword tool. The tool enables you to get as many keywords from a seed keyword you put in. However, you can just do the opposite with Serpple, which is you can put in the domain of the website for which you want to gather keywords and you get all the keywords the competitor is ranking for.

For the sake of this blog, I am using, we will use a keyword suggestion tool from Serpple.

Serpple - Keyword suggestion tool

In the screenshot, we can observe that “” is ranking for keywords like “data analyst job description” with a monthly search volume of 6,600, “recruitment marketing” with 1,000 monthly searches, “recruiting strategies” with 1,900 searches, and so on.

This level of insight into a competitor’s ranking keywords and their respective search volumes is incredibly valuable for understanding their content strategy and focus areas.

You can easily identify the high-traffic topics and keywords they are targeting, as well as potential opportunities where you may have an advantage based on search volume discrepancies.

Further, with these volumes in hand, you can do a SWOT analysis under the SEO.

What You Can Do With These Search Volumes

Analyzing the search volumes reveals keywords with significant monthly search demand that your competitors may not be adequately serving. For example, “employee value proposition examples” has an estimated 720 monthly searches, yet the current rankings don’t seem to thoroughly cover this topic.

By creating an in-depth, authoritative piece of content optimized for this high-volume keyword, you can capture that valuable search traffic.

Optimize Existing Content for More Traffic

Look through your existing content and identify pages that already rank for keywords with decent search volumes. Then, focus on further optimizing those pages with additional targeted content, better keyword integration, content refreshes, etc.

This allows you to incrementally improve rankings and drive more traffic for terms you’re already visible for, like “recruiting strategies” with 1,900 monthly searches.

Find Low-Hanging Fruit for Quick Wins

The search volume data also highlights keyword opportunities with relatively high search demand but low competition levels. These “low-hanging fruit” keywords, such as “recruiting ideas outside the box” with 110 monthly searches, offer chances to create optimized content and potentially rank faster than highly competitive terms. Capitalizing on these can lead to quick, early traffic wins.

Read More: How To Find Low-Hanging Fruit Keywords for Your Website

Reveal Competitor Blindspots & Gaps

Even your strongest competitors will likely have gaps or blindspots in their content strategy based on keywords with high search volumes they aren’t ranking for.

Identifying these opportunities, such as “tech companies hiring” with 1,000 monthly searches, allows you to create superior, SEO-focused content that fills those gaps before your competition.

Plan a Balanced, Data-Driven Content Strategy

With visibility into search volumes across your content landscape, you can develop a more balanced, data-driven strategy. Prioritize content production for topics with high search demand, but also create target content for specific long-tail variants to cover all bases. Maintaining a good mix of high-volume “head” terms and long-tail terms optimized for different search intents is crucial for a well-rounded SEO approach.

The key is using these search volume insights from Serpple’s tool to identify new opportunities, optimize existing assets, exploit competitor weaknesses, and ultimately execute a powerful SEO content strategy that is aimed at maximizing your organic traffic.

Monitoring Competitor’s Keyword Search Volume Over Time

Monitoring competitor search volumes isn’t a one-and-done task. it should become an ongoing part of your workflow that you consistently revisit over time. As your competitors create more content targeting new keywords, their search landscape will continuously evolve.

Regularly checking in on search volume data using tools doesn’t just reveal what areas your competitors are focused on currently. It also provides valuable foresight into where they may be heading next and what topics could rise in demand.

For instance, if you spot competitor search volumes spiking during certain months for keywords around “recruitment marketing,” that uptick likely indicates an upcoming seasonal hiring rush. With that insight, you can proactively adjust your own content strategy and SEO efforts to better align with those predicted periods of peak demand.

Conversely, if a competitor’s search volumes steadily drop off for keywords tied to their existing content, it may signal a need for you to update or shift focus with your content to better reflect current user interests and search trends.

Read More: How To Find Trending Keywords in 2024

The reality is, that effective content marketing for your business isn’t a project with a clear start and end date. It’s an ongoing, evolving effort that will continue as long as your product exists and your target market seeks out related information. As your industry grows, content consumption habits will naturally evolve too.

Monitoring how demand fluctuates for the keywords your competitors rank for is key to ensuring your content stays aligned with what your audience wants to consume.

Some Best Practices for Effective Search Volume Analysis

While search volume is an invaluable metric, it shouldn’t be looked at in isolation. Follow these best practices to get the most out of your competitor’s search volume analysis:

  1. Combine search volume with other keyword metrics like competition score, SERP features, etc. This gives you a more holistic view before prioritizing keywords.
  2. Account for geographic and language differences that impact search demand. A high-volume keyword in one region may be less relevant in another.
  3. Always verify search intent alignment before targeting high search volume keywords. Make sure your content matches what users are looking for behind those queries. One of the best methods to understand search intent is to look at the top 10 results that search engine shows for the keyword you are targeting.
  4. Balance volume priorities with your overall business goals and target audience. Popular keywords are great, but they need to be relevant and valuable to your niche.
  5. Use search volume as one part of a comprehensive keyword research and competitor analysis process that also looks at backlink profiles, on-page optimization, content quality, and more.

Final Word

As you conduct thorough competitor analysis and search volume research, don’t try to overextend by tracking every single competitor in your space. Instead, focus your efforts on monitoring the closest, most relevant competitors that heavily influence your target audience and market.

When creating content for your website from this analysis, be sure to consistently track important KPIs like your rankings for those targeted keywords. As you publish new pages, monitor how search volumes and CTR evolve. This data-driven approach allows you to validate whether your content truly satisfies search demand.

However, the work doesn’t stop once a page goes live. Search intent and demand constantly shift, so you need to keep optimizing content with fresh, updated information. Google rewards pages that maintain relevance as interests change.