SEO basics: How to know how many keywords you need to track

This is a question we’re often asked by novice SEO users. While the final answer to this question is really up to you and is measured individually by the needs of the website and business, the most common advice for beginners is to start with 5-10 low competition, low monthly search volume, high quality long-tail keywords to promote and grow from there. But the big question is how to find and then choose those 5-10 keywords. In this article, we’ll give you some tips and insights on how to figure this out more clearly using PRT’s unique features.

About long-tails search volume

Before we get to the actual keyword research, we need to talk about these two subjects since it will help you conduct keyword research and choose the right keywords.

Search volume determines how many people search Google for a keyword in a month. While it isn’t a clear indicator of how powerful a keyword is, it shows that the particular keyword garners some interest. Following the search volume of keywords on Google can reveal various trends and insights about the economy, politics, tech trends, memes and just about anything you can imagine.

Next, long-tail keywords are keywords consisting of three or more words. They are the holy grail of SEO and are considered higher quality than one-word keywords. The search volume usually drops as the keyword becomes longer. One-word keywords have a massive search volume and may look impressive at first, but are useless for SEO in most cases. Long tail keywords with seemingly low search volume, however, may prove to be extremely useful: they might be easier to rank due to lower competition, and people searching for a long-tail keyword are often more focused on what they need. Targeting them may give considerably better results and conversions. For example, a person only searching for “shoes” might be in a random mood, or they may be harvesting images for a graphic or website — but probably not searching for their holy grail of footwear. In contrast, a person searching for “Adidas superstar gold black shoes buy online” is looking for a very specific model they’re actually looking to BUY. That means this long-tail keyword will have a low search volume but is pure quality with the potential organic traffic it can bring to a business.

Think about it for a moment… would you rather get traffic from 0.01% of 10,000 low-quality, hard-to-rank monthly searches or 10% of 100 high-quality, attainable long-tail monthly searches?

Following search volumes can also reveal viral trends that SEO experts and marketers can benefit from. For example, fidget spinner-related searches saw a huge increase in search volume when they were popular. Interestingly enough, other than “fidget spinner”, all related search queries were medium- to very-long long-tails:

Image by 1010DATA

Google processes—in total—more than 65,000 search queries per SECOND! That’s 3,900,000 per minute, 234,000,000 an hour, 5,600,000,000 per day, and more than 2 TRILLION a year!

16% of that figure is new search terms never seen before. That means about 896,000,000 completely distinctive keywords are searched for every day! How many of those are budding new trends? That’s for you to figure out in your SEO quests! Each and every one of those keywords could be the next ‘Fortnite’-related long-tail.

If you want further proof in favor of long-tails, you should know that about half of all searches are made up of 4+ words, emphasizing the importance of having high-quality long-tail keywords that fly under the radar. And in total, 70% of ALL searches are done with long-tail keywords


Search volume used to be available for all Google users—that is, until they started limiting it in 2016 for high-paying AdWord users only. PRT quickly stepped up to the plate and started offering our users their much-needed search volume at no additional cost, starting with our most basic entry-level paid monthly plans. This is how it looks in our main data table:


Exact monthly search volume was discovered using PRT’s search volume reveal feature


Fun fact! The keyword with the highest search volume on Google is “facebook” which we see above, with a whopping 2,520,000,000 monthly searches.

Now that you know the basic logic on how to pick the right keywords, it’s time to show you how to discover them from just about any niche in existence!

The ultimate keyword research method for beginners and experts

Coming up with keywords out of nowhere can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Even worse, it might yield poor-quality results, which is why these days you must use some sort of SEO tool to help you with that. With the right method and tools, keyword research can be very fun and is considered a low-difficulty task for most cases because of it (it’s certainly easier than actually promoting those keywords!).

The first step is finding as many keywords as you can that are specifically for the niche your website operates in. There are a bunch of keyword research tools on the market (some free and some paid), and keyword research is a whole field with many methods and tactics to go about it, but believe it or not, there is a method that trumps all others.

What if we told you (using Morpheus’s voice from the movie Matrix) there is actually a way to discover virtually ALL of the keywords with real search volume behind them existing within any niche by using PRT?

Sounds pretty amazing, right?! Well, you will soon see how.

If you haven’t been following our blog, last week we posted a huge feature article about an amazing method to discover possibly hundreds of thousands of niche-related keywords from just a SINGLE keyword! Read about it right now if you haven’t already because this is a game changer:

How to discover thousands of keywords from just a single keyword for virtually any niche: Step by step visual guide

We believe our method of keyword discovery and research is currently the best, most thorough method on the market. Not to reveal any trade secrets, but we can tell you it relies on two of our tools which might function like similar tools on the market—however, they have unique algorithms no other tool has.

Keyword Suggestion Tool

Unlike other keyword-suggestion tools on the market, ours doesn’t just offer arbitrary keywords that don’t make sense and waste time to look through. It generates great-quality long-tail keywords that have REAL search volume behind them that you can actually use.

Best of all, you can use these tools starting from our most basic entry level monthly plans.

Using these tools, you might discover thousands of keywords, which might look intimidating at first. What you need to know is you don’t need to promote ALL the possible keywords that you’ll be able to find, since no one has the time nor budget for such an endeavor. But you do need to focus on the ones that are the most relevant for your websites, have high-quality potential traffic behind them, and preferably low competition. Picking keywords is simply easier than coming up with them from scratch.

Keyword Discovery Tool

The emblem of the mysterious Keyword Discovery Society. Keepers of the sacred keywords of old. Such as Bumbershoot and Flibbertigibbet.

The keyword discovery tool essentially reverse-engineers the search process and shows you high-quality long-tail keywords that are already ranked for virtually any website in any niche. Ranked keywords mean they’re tested and proven keywords that have power behind them. Not only that, but the tool will also reveal various Google ranking factors and locations where these keywords are dominant for those websites!

Another cool aspect – it will show you ranked keywords not just from Google, but also from Yahoo! and Bing.

Bing’s SEO is considered easier than Google’s, and best of all, Bing has some unique demographics. Certain keywords can actually be more powerful on Bing than on Google, especially keywords that target older and wealthier audiences.

If you want to know more about Bing’s surprising value for SEO, here’s a quick read for you:

Is Bing really a failure? Should you even track your Bing ranks?

After initiating your SEO campaign, and as you publish high-quality and diverse content to promote those selected 5-10 keywords, other related long-tail keywords will be organically positively influenced, and those can then be promoted to higher positions with relative ease because they have already gained some initial traction. The beauty of the ranking discovery tool is that its greatest value is for your own websites. With the tool, you’ll be easily able to discover any new keywords that enter Google’s top100 that you didn’t promote directly. So be sure to check the tool 2-3 months into your SEO campaign, and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover for your own website!

These two tools can actually be used in cool ways other than keyword research. Such as helping you to close more deals and demonstrate more value for your potential clients! Here’s more about that:

5 amazing things you can do with PRT’s Ranking Discovery tool

Trash solution for keyword management

If you discover more valuable keywords than your current monthly plan can handle, that’s ok—you don’t have to lose them! PRT offers the Trash feature so that you can easily manage your quota and store the keywords you currently don’t need. “Store” them in the trash for rifling through in a future time of need. The trash quota is significantly higher than your rank-tracking quota, so you can keep A LOT of potential keywords in there.

For example, here are the stats for PRT’s most popular entry-level Bronze+ monthly plan:

  • $39 USD
  • Track up to 800 terms
  • Unlimited amount of URLs
  • Unlimited amount of white-label reports
  • Unlimited amount of white-label templates
  • 1 update-on-demand ranking per day (in addition to your regular automated ranking update)
  • 2 sub-accounts
  • MyRanks white-label client app with an unlimited amount of users

Hopefully, you’ve leveled up on your keyword research lore and will be able to choose the best keywords to promote and track for your SEO campaigns!

If you found this article useful, be sure to share and comment, and don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll get updated on the latest search engine news and rank tracking tips.

PRT is an industry-standard SERP tracker with over 50k users. Besides the awesome tools mentioned in this article, we’re the only rank tracker on the market that offers 100% accuracy for all the ranking types that we support, and we guarantee your ranks are fetched daily—up to 3 times on demand!

The scope of search engines and Google ranking factors we cover is the most advanced you will find. We offer rank tracking for unique Google ranking layers that will determine SEO for 2019, so choosing PRT is future-proofing your rank tracking.

We are also the only ones who currently offer affordable entry-level monthly plans for SEO novices and small businesses. As low as $19 a month and $0.06 per tracked term (the lowest price-per-tracked-term on the market for an entry-level plan)

Now that you know everything you need to start your campaign, it’s time to take PRT for a real FREE 7-day trial with all of our features unlocked, and see your real ranks for the first time. And when we say free, we mean – FREE. We will not be asking for your credit card details, and there will be no auto-renewal traps, since we believe in our tech more than we believe in shady tricks and grey fees!

After the trial is over, you’ll simply be moved to our regular free monthly plan that has no time limit (but also offers limited features, a 20-term quota, and no white label support).

Want a sweet bonus for your monthly income for the next few years? Link to us through our amazing Affiliate Program and enjoy a 20% recurring commission from the referred account for the ENTIRE lifetime of that account.