The Quest for Website Traffic

How to use Google to find out what people are searching for

The Quest for Website TrafficAre you new to being an author on a website? Do you want to know how to leverage Google to help with your keywords for a particular topic? Then you’re in the right place.

 

In a nutshell, Google is a mine of information


There is immense power there, in terms of providing a service to customers, as well as ranking information, so it’s no wonder that it is also an invaluable tool when it comes to finding out what people are searching for in your chosen field.

It’s not rocket science to say Google knows a thing or two about searches, and with a few clicks and typing in of letters, you can easily see what information people are looking for.

 

“What’s the point?”,  you may ask.

So, what are you going to do about it? Soldier on regardless, or try and give yourself a flying chance? (Warning, if you soldier on regardless, you might end up like this guy….

Being uninformed has its risks

 

Let’s take a look at how you can assess common searches, using Google’s Instant Search

 

What is Instant Search?


Instant search is Google’s clever way of trying to pre-empt what a visitor is searching for. It will look at what a person starts to type into the search bar, and then take an educated guess at what that person is trying to find out.

The more characters that person types in, the narrower and more select Google will be with it’s suggestions. The results can provide you with a lot of valuable information as a content author, and at no cost other than a little bit of your time.

Let’s take a look at an example.

All I have typed in here is “elevated dog” – so Google is trying to show me the most popular phrases that other people have gone on to search for, with elevated dog as a starting point.

 

Google Instant Search Example

 

Now, what say I’m actually looking for elevated dog feeders? As soon as I type in an additional “f”, this is what Google displayed:

 

Google Instant Search Example 2

 

For this example, I’m going to go ahead and click on elevated dog feeder, because that’s what I’m looking to find out information on. This is what is now shown.

 

Google search results example

But what does this mean? What are these results telling me?


Understanding search resultsNear the top of every search results screen, Google will tell you how many results it has found that relate to that term.

For this example, it says “About 214,000 results”, which is a huge amount! From this we can deduce that this is a very popular search term!

The first 10 results (or thereabouts) will appear on the first page. And if like me, you are an author, you will already know this is the holy grail. Not a lot of people go past the first page of search results, unless of course what they are actually looking for hasn’t been revealed by the websites Google has selected. (Discover more about how Google determines site rankings)

 

 

So how can you get yourself there?


If, for example, I want to write about elevated dog feeders on a website, how on earth am I going to get in the first ten results and therefore on the first page?

Bear in mind, for this example that means being ranked in the top 0.005% of search results. For most websites, you may as well say pigs might fly! Unless your site is very well established, with a lot of engagement and therefore recognition, it ain’t gonna happen.

The options are you either have to do it better than the other guy, or do it in a different way.

“So what next?”, I hear you asking?

Well, the only option to improve our chances of ranking highly are to rely on a narrower search term. So, let’s take the above example one step further. When I continue typing and add the word “for”, I see “for great danes” displayed.

 

Refined google search results example

 

I now see there are 148,000 searches on this. Um…still quite a lot!

By refining my original search phrase, I’ve effectively halved the competition and therefore increased my chances of moving up the rankings.

However, this is still quite high competition – so let’s ask ourselves, what else could I do to this search phrase to make it more specific?

What descriptive word can I add in front of the search phrase?

Thinking about what users might want to do with a feeder, they might want to adjust the height of it on occasion – so let’s look for an “adjustable elevated dog feeder for great danes”

 

Further refined google search results example

 

Now we have 33,000 search results – so if I can get ranked for that search term, I have a lot better chance of getting higher up the ladder in Google’s results. I would need to be in the top 0.03% to get on Page 1 for this term, a much easier target than the 0.005% above!

Anyway, I’m sure you get the idea here. Whatever your niche or topic, can play around with Google Instant Search, and it will tell you quite a lot about popular search terms and the level of competition for those terms. You might surprise yourself with results and discover new search terms that hadn’t even crossed your mind!

Using Google for IdeasBelieve it or not, Instant Search is quite a good tool if you have writer’s block – it’s also an ideas generator!

Bear in mind other things like site authority – it might still take time, even if the competition is lower. It’s unrealistic to expect Google to rank you on Page 1, if it’s your first blog post or page. because they want to give their searchers a good experience.

They want to make sure they can trust you and that you’re going to be around for the long haul – that you’re not a “fly by nighter”, that’s here today and gone tomorrow!

There are even more ways to balance out search term popularity ( or traffic) and competition. If you want to learn more about what you can do to greatly increase your chances of higher rankings, then read my article on keyword research.

It’s all about targeting “low hanging fruit” and there are some impressive tools available to take all the guesswork out of the process.

 

==> read more about identifying the best content keywords <==

 

I hope you have found this useful – if you have any questions or want to make any comments, please do so below. I would be happy to hear from you.

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