Getting to Know Keyword Popularity: A Beginner’s Guide


Hey there! Are you curious about how often people search for the keywords you’re thinking of using for your website? Understanding keyword search frequency is super important in the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Let’s break this down into easy-to-understand bits.

Why Does Search Frequency Matter?

Imagine you’re number one on Google for a phrase nobody searches for. It’s like throwing a party no one shows up to – not very useful, right? Finding out how often a keyword is searched helps you pick the ones that will bring people to your site.

The World of SEO Tools

There are heaps of tools out there to help you figure out keyword popularity. But here’s the catch – different tools might give you different numbers. Why? Because they all have their own ways of estimating search frequency.

Some Popular SEO Tools:

  • Google Ad Planner: This one’s tied to Google AdWords, but be cautious, as it might not always be super accurate.
  • SEMRush and Ahrefs: These guys are known for giving more reliable numbers.
  • SEOPowerSuite, Moz, UberSuggest, and KW Finder: Each uses a mix of their own data sources and Google’s data to estimate search frequency.

In the article “How to do Keyword Research” I go into more depth about this topic.

Picking the Right Tool

When you’re choosing a tool, it’s like picking a good fishing spot. You want a place where you can trust the fish (or data) is abundant and accurate. It’s a good idea to use a few tools and see which ones give similar results. Consistency is key – stick with the same tools to keep your data comparable.

Long-Tail Keywords: Less Search, More Value

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases. They might not get searched a ton, but they’re gold when it comes to bringing in the right visitors. For example, “blue widgets in Upper Michigan” might not have a high search volume, but if it’s exactly what you offer, it’s super valuable.

Example of Search Frequency:

  • “Widgets”: Searched 16,910 times per month.
  • “Blue widgets”: Searched 20 times per month.
  • “Blue widgets in Upper Michigan”: Hardly ever searched, but highly relevant to the right audience.


Understanding how often keywords are searched is a crucial part of SEO success. Remember, it’s not just about being popular; it’s about being relevant and useful to your audience. Happy keyword hunting!