When doing keyword research, you often bump into keywords with no search volume in Google Keyword Planner. What does this mean, how accurate is the keyword planner, and should you completely ignore these keywords?
First things first, a keyword with no search volume is a keyword where the Avg. monthly searches data is represented by a dash sign (–) (see example below). In theory this would imply that there is no search at all for that keyword in particular.
This generally happens for your own search terms, but once in a while you can even find keywords with no search volume in the keyword suggestion list, below your own keywords.
To make the long story short, let me just show you a quick example. The one that actually made me write this article.
In my Search Console Search Analytics data I found the keyword “no search volume”, at position 50-51, with 128 impressions. If you’re new to Search Console, this means than even on the 6th page of Google this keyword appeared more than a hundred times in the last 28 days. Pretty interesting I thought, and dove into the Keyword Planner.
And then I got pretty shocked. In the Keyword Planner you can clearly see that there is no search volume for “no search volume” 🙂
So we can safely say that Keyword Planner data is not always 100% accurate, and you cannot just rely on it. If you see that a keyword appears in the search results, there must be some search volume for this keyword.
It depends on the situation. Of course you can just type in some silly keyword or even a typo and there will not be search volume for that phrase, and you just shouldn’t care about it.
On the other hand, if you see some kind of evidence that there is in fact search for that keyword – like the one in the example above – then you should treat it as you would with any other keyword.
In this case, if I see monthly 120-140 searches in Search Console, it means that this keyword definitely has some search volume
If such a keyword only appears in the Keyword Planner keyword suggestion list, I advice you not to target a whole article (or page) with that keyword, just use as a variant in the text.
There is one special type of keywords that behave differently as far as search volume data, the seasonal keywords or date specific keywords. That is any keyword with a date (a year).
Look at this example below. I’m writing this article in April 2016. Just because there is no search volume for “seo tips 2017” or even because “seo tips 2016” seems less searched for then “seo tips 2015”, this doesn’t mean the former keywords are not important. In fact we all now that this data comes from the past 12 months, and nobody would try to target a keyword with 2015 anymore.
So next time when you find a keyword with no search volume, evaluate if it is important for you, or maybe it might become important in the future, and target it or ignore it accordingly.