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The Truth About Search Volume Data & Market Demand

By Adam Patel on May 12th, 2021

Search volume tools have long been used as a means of gauging whether a product or service is in demand or not, but it’s only one way of doing it and it doesn’t always show you a true and accurate picture.

In this article, I explain three situations where the search volume data isn’t telling the truth about market demand.

Just because nobody searches for it, doesn’t mean nobody wants it…

It just means the people that do want it don’t know that they want it, or have a better way of finding it than typing it into Google.

For example, the term ‘javascript developer’ is searched only 140 times a month on average, here in the UK. But checkout LinkedIn and you’ll see that javascript developers are in high demand. But I can’t really see many hiring managers looking for a javascript developer by googling it. They instead put an advert on Indeed or LinkedIn and let javascript developers come to them.

And search volumes can be substantially lower than sales figures…

Meanwhile, a term like wedding dresses is searched approximately 49,500 times a month and yet I’m willing to bet there are far fewer weddings in the UK each month than that. It’s also the case that this figure is dramatically higher than the search volumes for other things and people you need on a wedding day, such as musicians, magicians and florists. Even something like a photographer – that is pretty much as quintessential as a wedding dress (if not more so, now that there are weddings where nobody wears a dress) – has a far lower monthly search figure than that of dresses.

So why the high search figure? Well… I have it on good authority that there is a demographic of women who like to look at wedding dresses even when they’re single. It’s just something they like to do.

What have we learned? That search volumes aren’t everything. They may be an indicator of interest in a subject or thing, but not necessarily.

Here’s a question…

What is the story behind the search query?

If we were to always take search volume data at face value, that would mean that all humans out there searching for things on Google were completely self-aware and knew exactly what they needed to solve their problems. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. And because of that, sometimes we need to read between the lines to see what’s really going on.

Suppose I’m selling an online course to help people find their dream jobs. But the term ‘how to find your dream job’ only gets 90 searches per month. Even if all 90 of them buy my course (highly unlikely), I’m still not going to do massively well out fo that.

It would be reasonable to assume that everybody would want their dream job and going by various statistics, it would be reasonable to assume that most people actually don’t have their dream job. So why the low search figure?

I’m willing to bet there’s a lot of murky thinking surrounding the issue. Many have jumped to the conclusion that they want to escape from working altogether. They’ve bought the ‘passive income’ lie that the Internet loves to peddle.

So let’s suppose somebody, Eric, searches for ‘invest in property’. I’m willing to bet that they don’t actually WANT to invest in property. Who would? It involves getting into debt. There’s risk involved. It could be very stressful. I’m willing to bet that most people looking to invest in property have a job they don’t like and they’re really looking to escape from that job. They have rationalised that if they had a property that a tenant was paying rent for, they wouldn’t have to do their crappy job anymore.

There will of course be people looking to invest in property for other reasons. But I believe in my theory that a proportion of people searching for that term are just looking to escape a day job they hate.

If my theories are true, then it is the case that the Eric is actually somebody I can help with my online course about finding your dream job. But rather than trying to figure out how to find a job he’s better suited for, Eric has decided to try and escape from work altogether by investing in property.

I want Eric to see my website. I think that if he does, he will like what he sees and at best, buy the course, and at worst, at least attend a free webinar.

How do I make my website visible to Eric, who doesn’t know that he’s looking for it?

Here’s my plan:

In this instance, I’m not immediately going to try and rank a page for the term ‘invest in property’. There are a number of reasons for this.

First of all, I’m quite sure there are in excess of 10 property ‘gurus’ out there who are selling week long seminars teaching people how to actually invest in property. They are charging thousands of pounds for their seminars so it’s going to make ‘invest in property’ a difficult term to rank for. There will almost definitely be a costly SEO campaign involved.

Secondly, I’m not sure my theory is true yet. What if I spent time and money ranking a page and then it turns out that my thinking, how ever logical it seemed, is just wrong.

So instead, I’m going to hit a bunch of the many property investment Facebook groups and I’m going to post genuine articles about ‘how to invest in property’. I have a targeted audience, so I’d expect a reasonable click-thru rate. On all of thse pages, I have Facebook Pixel setup.

This means that every time somebody clicks my link and lands on my page, they’re being added to a custom audience I’m created in my Facebook Ad Account. They don’t even have to read the article.

Next, I’m going to create an add titled something like ‘Escape The Day Job You Hate’ and I’m going to target my custom audience.

I will soon find out if my theory was correct. If it was, my ad will achieve a high click thru rate because I’m offering all the Erics an alternative method of getting what they really wanted in the first place. If I’m wrong, the ad will flop.