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Content writers aim to rank high for competitive keywords. However, it’s challenging to use them for short-term goals. More so if your website is new or not yet known.

Well, we’re not saying you should not target competitive keywords. Today, we are suggesting you pursue lower-competition keywords for short-term goals.

As you go further, you will learn how to find low-hanging keyword opportunities and ensure that they are low-competition. Grab the chance of knowing a few simple steps in researching low-competition keywords that are easy to rank for.

Simple Steps in Searching for Low-Competition Keywords

There are 3 simple steps you can follow in searching for high-volume, low-competition. The steps are pretty straightforward, and it provides fast results.

1. Brainstorm Topics

You have to think about the possible queries your target audience will search for in Google. Take note of the ideas that pop into your head. You do not have to guess the exact phrases. All you need is a broad theme of the possible queries.

Let’s say if you sell computers and accessories, some of your keywords or topics may be:

  • Computer,
  • Hard drive
  • iMac,
  • Laptop,
  • MacBook,
  • Windows Software

You don’t have to overthink the first step. All you need to do is write down what pops into your mind. If you have 10 ideas on the list, move to step two!

2. Use Keyword Research Tool

It’s time to make use of the topic ideas you have written down. You need a reliable keyword research tool like Ahref Keyword Explorer.

Once you entered the keywords in the keyword explorer tool, go over to the phrase match report. You will notice thousands of keyword ideas with critical SEO metrics.

3. Filter Low Difficulty Keywords

Several keyword research tools have difficulty scores; in Ahrefs, they call it Keyword Difficulty (KD). It is a numerical representation of how difficult it is to rank on the top search query in Google.

In the phrase match report, you filter keywords with their KD score between 0 to 10, and you will find low-competition keywords.

Is finding low competition keywords simple and easy to do?

The most honest answer for this is, it depends.

Google uses several ranking algorithms, making it impossible for any third-party SEO tool to decrypt and accurately compute the keyword difficulty metric. It’s unrealistic to say it’s simple and easy to beat the ranking factor algorithm when most of these are mere speculations and never confirmed by Google.

Moreover, you need to consider each SEO tool, as they use a unique formula in their keyword difficulty score. Thus, difficulty scores are often quite different from tool to tool. Since we are considering Ahrefs Keyword Research Tool, let’s figure out their difficulty score calculation.

Ahrefs take the weighted average number of the referring domains at the top 10 pages. It means that the high-ranking pages with high keyword difficulty scores have several backlinks. Meanwhile, the high-ranking pages for low keyword difficulty scores only have a few.

Why do Ahrefs consider backlinks more?

It’s a known fact that backlinks are one of the critical ranking factors. Ahrefs uses their Keyword Difficulty score as a decent substitute for ranking difficulty. If the keyword has a low Keyword Difficulty score, it’s considered as “low-competition.” Low-competition keywords do not need to build and gain several backlinks to rank high.

However, you should not weigh the competitive value of the keyword on this metric. There are some factors you have to consider in targeting a keyword.

Search Intent

Even if you have keywords of super-low KD scores, you will struggle to rank for them if you do not have an idea what type of content your target audience is looking for. Thus, when you do keyword research.

You can differentiate your target audience’s intent into four types:

1. Informational: The target audience is looking for information about the topic.

2. Navigational: The target audience is looking for a specific website.

3. Commercial investigation: The target audience is looking for a particular product or service to buy but hasn’t made up where or what variant to buy.

4. Transactional: The target audience is looking for something to buy.

It’s pretty easy to differentiate which keyword falls into the type of search intent. You only have to look for the keyword modifier. If the query contains the modifiers “cheap” or “buy,” the content is most likely transactional. Meanwhile, if it has “how,” then the readers expect its an informational content.

Search intent affects the keyword competition.

Website Authority

Website authority is measured by the Domain Rating (DR) from 0 to 100 on its backlink profile. 

Some keywords with a low difficulty score but has an impressive domain rating prove that SEO is not all about website authority. Some are saved with brand equity. Big brands dominate the SERP because they are more known, and it’s where most people shop.

Unfortunately, if you choose to use these low-competition but high DR keywords and you have a weaker brand and website, you will probably have some ranking difficulties in ranking. 

That’s when you have to remember: the ranking difficulty is relative. 

If you are a well-known brand, some keywords are low-competition for you because you have already built brand equity and web authority. However, if you are a small pop-up store, their low-competition keywords may be high-competition for you. You are not on the same level as the big brands that dominate the SERP.

Thus, keep in mind to look for the keywords used by well-known brands because they might be low-competition keywords that are hard to rank.

High-Quality Backlinks

Keyword difficulty score is somewhat relative to the number of backlinks of top-ranking pages into account, but not their quality. You have to consider some factors in assessing the backlink quality:

          • Anchor text of the link
          • Authority of the linking website
          • Follow vs. Nofollow status
          • Link placement
          • Relevance of the linking website

It’s nearly impossible to take everything into account. That’s, that’s why we often check the average Domain Rating of a website instead.

Should you avoid using high-competition keywords?

Several content writers only use low-competition keywords because they think they can’t rank for other keywords. Although high-competition keywords are at a disadvantage in the short term, they provide several opportunities for different reasons.

Let’s put it this way: Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty Score is calculated on backlinks. In that sense, top-ranking pages use high KD score keywords, and these pages have several backlinks. Thus, high-competition keywords are the best topics for link bait. These types of content are purposely created to attract links.

If you want to use high-competitive topics, you have to do the opposite steps. Instead of filtering the low KD score keywords, you have to filter the keywords with high KD scores.

You should:

  1. Go to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
  2. Enter a relevant keyword from your list.
  3. Head on to the Questions report page.
  4. Filter keywords with high KD scores.

If you check the keywords on the SERP and look into the top-ranking pages, you will notice they have several backlinks.

Given the situation, if you create the best content on the topic, those websites linking to the existing top-ranking pages will become excellent link prospects. But you need to give them a compelling reason why they should link to you.

You can have enough high-quality backlinks to your page and have a high chance of ranking, even; even content.

If you do not do this before creating content, you will end up using high-competitive keywords. Although it is fine to use them, it’s not recommended for short-term targets.

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