Because of Quick Answers, People Also Ask boxes, the Knowledge Graph, and etc., all of those things are slowly eroding at the volume of traffic we can get.
This means that as marketers, we need to start evolving our thinking to instead use how many actual clicks we can generate on a search result, because it’s not always straightforward. And sometimes you can also use that same methodology to actually do the reverse and generate even more clicks than search volume communicates.
An example of this in action would be a search result like “best headphones.” This is actually a positive result, but on a SERP like this, using a tool like Ahrefs, you can actually get clickstream data today and it’ll tell you how many clicks you will get compared to non-clicks.
You can see actual clicks is around 69% of searches on this search, which is not bad for today’s landscape of SEO.
Also, clicks per search is actually 1.2, which means the total clicks is actually 71,000 for this search. If you had been on a very surface level and said, “Hey, we’re getting 59,000 searches per month,” that would be underselling your total opportunity size for this search result.
Therefore, if we instead communicate internally on our spreadsheets to our clients, etc, that there is 71,000 clicks per month for this search result, that better reflects the true value of that search.
The reverse of that would be a search like “content marketing.” This is definitional. It’s more like, “What is content marketing?” Google often will pull in a quick answer that just says that definition, and a lot of people will not click anything.