Keyword research is usually one of the first steps bloggers take when they want to focus on SEO. For years, bloggers followed the same process for the most part:
- Think of some popular keywords their audience is searching for.
- Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find the search volume
- Create a piece of content targeting that keyword
But here's the problem. A lot the keywords that get the most searches are dominated by huge sites with more authority and more backlinks than you. So outranking them takes a ton of time and effort. And even after months of link building and promoting your content, you still might not crack into the top 10 results.
So what's a blogger to do? The secret (that I've hinted at before) is targeting low competition keywords.
What Are Low Competition Keywords?
Lowe competition keywords usually have a mix of these elements:
- Lower search volume.
- The pages ranking in the top 10 aren't well optimized.
- The pages ranking in the top 10 don't have a lot of quality backlinks.
- There aren't a lot of sites targeting them.
- They're usually long-tail. (4+ words long)
Basically, they're low-hanging fruit that aren't as competitive as the types of keywords most bloggers think about when doing keyword research. Especially if you're just starting out.
Why Low Competition Keywords Are So Amazing
You probably already started to put it together, but the beauty of low competition keywords is they allow you start getting traffic from Google a lot quicker.
For instance, it would take a new site A LONG TIME to rank for a keyword like "shoes".
But after doing some research, you can find some low competition keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank for like "leopard print shoes".
Once you reach the first page for some of these less competitive keywords, you'll start to get more backlinks from bloggers linking to your ranked pages. That helps improve the overall authority of your site, which eventually will make it easier to rank for more competitive keywords.
That's actually the simple formula myself and plenty of other bloggers have been able to be successful competing against larger sites.
If you've only been using Google Keyword Planner to do your keyword research (before they restricted access) then you're lucky you stumbled across this post.
The problem with Keyword Planner even before it limited search volume data, is it didn't give you a lot of information. Let me rephrase that. It didn't give you as much information as other tools.
That's why when more advanced tools like Long Tail Pro, SEM Rush and Ahrefs came along everyone including myself flocked to them like dogs to a bone. It gave bloggers and online marketers the ability to easily do competitive keyword research.
Instead of looking at just getting ideas for new keyword and looking at search volume, we could quickly see what sites were ranking in the top 10 results for each keyword and get info on each site.
Which brings me to my point. In order to find find low competition keywords, you need a keyword competition tool.
For a long time I was a Long Tail Pro user, but recently switched to KWFinder. KWFinder is an awesome keyword research tool that lets you do everything you need to as a blogger or online marketer like:
- Find new keyword ideas
- Get keyword search volume
- Check keyword competition
- Organize all your keywords into groups
I highly suggest giving it a try. It's the best keyword research tool I've found at this price point. There are more robust tools out there but they cost upwards of $100 per month, and does a lot more than most bloggers will need.
Give the free trial a go and see how you like it.
Ok, so onto the actual process.
Finding Low Competition Keywords
Here's how I use KWFinder to quickly find low competition keywords. Just plugin a seed keyword.
KWFinder will give you a list of keyword ideas based on your search.
You get the search volume and in the column I highlighted in the pic above is the difficulty score. This is a score KWFinder calculates based on the sites ranking in the top 10 search results. It's on a scale of 1-100.
- 0-9: Go for it
- 10-19: Super easy
- 20-29: Easy
- 30-39: Not hard
- 40-54: Possible
- 55-74: Hard
- 75-89: Super hard
- 90-100: Don't do it
When you click on any of the keywords, you can get more details about the keyword competition.
I really like to look at the SERP section. This is where you can see info on the top 10 ranking sites like domain authority, page authority and how many backlinks they have. Plus, you can see the keyword difficulty score of each page.
If you want to keep things super simple, just look at the overall competition score and just off that. I personally go for anything around 40 or lower.
Now if you have a brand new site, you may want to start with keywords with a difficulty score under 30 to get some quick wins. Generally just some amazing content and a few quality backlinks is enough to help you outrank keywords with a difficulty under 30.
If you don't feel like sifting through a list of hundreds of keywords to find the ones with the lowest competition, you can also use filters in KWFinder to only show keywords under a certain keyword difficulty score.
And boom, you have a list of low competition keywords that are easy to rank for.
That's all there is to it! Then just start creating content targeting these keywords. I have to stress the importance of creating great content here.
I don't care how low the keyword difficulty score is, if you're putting out crappy, unoptimized, useless 500 word articles then you're probably not going to rank.
Find low competition keywords with a tool like KWFinder, create better content than what's ranking and try to get a few quality backlinks. It's that simple.