Keyword research FAQs
Updated over a week ago

What is ASV?

ASV stands for Average Search Volume. This refers to the ‘Volume’ data – the monthly average of how many times a keyword is put into a search engine over a year.

Is it okay to repeat 2 versions of the same thing (‘white sheets double bed’ and ‘double bed sheets white’)?

No. Always choose more diversity. Choose what makes more grammatical sense/has the higher ASV, and continue. Remember, the idea for the keyword research is to inform writers what they should be writing about, as well as capturing as many people as possible who are searching for something. Variety is important!

If the keyword is misspelt (e.g. missing accents, missing apostrophes), should we leave it as is?

No. Enter the keywords with the correct grammar – Google will read the keyword either way, and we want our writers to always use correct grammar. This applies to any spelling mistakes you might find. Please correct them when delivering your keyword research.

What approach do I take for category pages like ‘New Arrivals’ or ‘Best sellers’?

For these types of categories, remember that the products on these pages will change. Don’t select keywords that are about a specific product, available at the moment. Also, you don’t want to compete with/duplicate keywords from other big categories like ‘all products’. The best approach for these categories is:

  • New arrivals: focus on keywords around ‘new’, ‘new season’ and see what you can find. Also, in the semantically related keywords section, include [brand name] new arrivals if it appears as a popular keyword.

  • Bestsellers: focus on keywords around ‘popular’, ‘good’ etc. Avoid keywords like ‘best running shoes’. The search intent for the keyword is wrong: people will likely be looking for a list or guide on running shoes, not a product page.

What are long-tail search queries?

‘Long-tail’ refers to phrase keywords – keywords of more than one word. For example, ‘Bahamas’ might be very high ranking with 40.5k monthly searches, but it isn’t necessarily a useful keyword to select, as it’ll be included in the copy anyway.

‘Bahamas all inclusive holidays’ (ASV 720) is an example of a long-tail compound keyword with clear user intent and detail that’s relevant to the content.

Even better (for clear user intent) is the long-tail search query, which is a keyword (often phrased like a question) where the searcher is clearly looking for an answer, such as ‘where to stay in the Bahamas’ (ASV 210).

Can we use keywords that include banned words from the client brief? For example, some clients ban the word ‘cheap’ etc.

No, always prioritise the client's tone of voice. If you include keywords with banned words, writers won’t be able to use them and you’ll need to provide replacements.

For a category such as ‘jackets & vests’ should I research using 1 seed term or both? If only 1, should we choose the one that ‘dominates’ the category?

Yes, always base your seed word around what the dominant product in the category is. Consider doing another search with the secondary seed word to check if there are relevant keywords for that (in which case, choose various keywords: some with the dominant seed word, and some with the secondary one). A great solution is to find keywords that reflect both products: eg ‘outerwear’ in this instance.

All the really relevant and specific keywords have a low ASV. Should I pick more popular, high-ASV keywords – even if they are not really relevant to the URL – to drive more organic traffic?

No. The priority for selecting keywords is always how relevant they are to the given topic/product. If you choose to use unsuitable but high ASV keywords:

  1. The page might not rank because so many pages are competing for that keyword.

  2. Even if lots of traffic comes to the site, users will probably leave because they can’t find what they want.

The more relevant and specific the keywords are, the more qualified traffic you’ll get. This traffic is then more likely to convert. Read this short article for more information on choosing the right keywords: SEO Journal: Choosing the right keywords.

What is search intent?

This is the reason for someone entering a certain keyword into a search engine. Are they looking to buy something? Are they looking for help? Are they wanting information? Are they looking for a good offer, or do they want to find something luxurious?

E.g. ‘best designer handbags’

This keyword may seem like a good option for a handbags category description for a luxury client, as we want to be talking about the handbags as being the best.

However, the search intent for that keyword is someone looking for a guide, a list or a YouTube video, which reviews and provides opinions on a variety of designer handbags. No one entering that keyword into a search engine is likely to click on a product page of a specific luxury designer.

If you are in doubt:

  1. Imagine yourself as the searcher. What you would want to see on a results page?

Put the keyword into your search engine and see what is currently ranking well.

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