If your website’s domain authority is low and the top keywords you want to rank for are out of reach, then the best alternative for you is to focus on low competition keywords.
Usually, everybody wants to rank for the most in-demand keywords. For example, let’s say you run an ecommerce store that sells products for dogs, including food. The most ideal keyword you could rank for is “dog food.” It has a search volume of 285,000.
Ranking for this keyword will get you a ton of high-intent search traffic, which will likely yield significant sales, but actually ranking for that term is easier said than done. This is because all the top sites with high authority are vying for it.
To rank towards the top of page one for it, you need to create an impeccable product/category page and build hundreds of links from high authority sites. And your site’s own authority likewise needs to be high. Even if you build all those links, it will take you months and maybe even a year to rank for this keyword.
This is why if your authority is low or you don’t have a vast budget to build all those links, you should opt for low competition keywords.
An alternative to “dog food” might be “best dog food for senior dogs.” It has a search volume of 2,900, but you can potentially rank for it quickly. An even easier alternative would be “best wet dog food for senior dogs.” It has a search volume of 1,100.
As the keywords and search strings you aim for get longer, they see less volume of people searching for them each month. However, they also get more specific, which means that the bigger businesses you compete with will be less interested. You can use the grep command to search a file for a particular string.
What’s more, assuming that you have a great landing page that offers quality resources about the “best wet dog food for senior dogs,” the people who do search for these terms are all the more likely to actually engage with your content.
As you rank for these low competition keywords, your authority will improve, and you can then set your sights on high competition keywords.
Here’s a step-by-step process for finding low competition keywords you could potentially rank for….
While assessing if they could potentially rank for a keyword, one of the things most people look at is the number of links they need. This matters, but another factor that is arguably equally important is your overall domain authority.
If your authority is higher or similar to the sites that are already ranking for a given keyword, you have a higher chance of ranking. So before you start looking for low competition keywords, you should assess your authority. This will make it easy for you to determine which keywords to pursue.
Another important factor you might also want to consider is topical authority. If your site focuses on one specific topic cluster, then Google will consider your site as an authority on that topic and you will be able to beat generic sites in the SERP, even if they have a higher authority.
Google’s Keyword Planner is extremely powerful for finding keywords, but it is not the richest keyword tool, especially when it comes to competitor analysis. These days, there are several third-party tools that make it easy to analyze competitors’ websites for keywords and then filter them based on difficulty, links, and authority.
This can help you find low competition keywords quickly, instead of looking up individual keywords and then later reconciling them with what your competition is publishing and ranking for.
If you are on a budget, you can stick with Google Keyword Planner. But if you want to save time, find more precise competitive keyword information and also measure your site’s authority, you’re likely better off investing in third-party software.
The longer route to finding low competition keywords is to search high competition keywords on Google and then use Google auto-suggest, “Related searches” and the “People also ask” sections of the results screens to find long-tail low competition keywords. You can then analyze these keywords with the Keyword Planner tool to determine which of them are worth pursuing.
But the easiest option is to use software that lets you analyze your competitors. You simply paste their URLs into the tool and see the keywords they are ranking for. You can then filter these keywords based on competition, authority, and volume and quickly find keywords that are relevant to you.
So, make a list of competitors who have similar authority to you and begin analyzing their websites. Then save the keywords that will work for your website.
The above steps will help you quickly find some keywords. But just because you found a keyword with low competition, strong relevance, and solid volume, it doesn’t mean that it will drive a lot of traffic to your website.
This is because less than 50% of Google searches result in a click. Google’s made some changes over the years to keep people on its website for as long as possible. This is why fewer people are clicking on results.
So, before you choose keywords to focus on, check the click potential to confirm that people are clicking on the results. If it has a decent click-through rate, you can create content around it.
Keyword tools will sometimes show that certain keywords have zero search volume, but this isn’t always accurate. Google’s search engine processes some 8.5 billion searches every day, so it’s impossible for any keyword tool, even those owned by Google itself, to aggregate accurate volume data on all of them.
If you’re operating in a highly targeted niche, then this is to your advantage. Some of these keywords are actually getting a lot more searches and can help you drive hundreds and even thousands of visits if you rank for them. They’re also low competition, since your higher-budget rivals aren’t trying to rank for them, as the low search volume deters their interest.
But be careful with the zero search volume keywords you pick. Make sure you perform a detailed analysis to confirm that you will get some traffic from these keywords. A safer approach would be to use them as secondary keywords in a post that you optimize for a low competition keyword that you are certain has search volume.
This is the step-by-step process you need to follow to find low competition keywords you could potentially rank for. After you follow this process, the next step is to analyze the sites in the SERP and determine their intent.
If you find a buyer intent keyword like “best price wet dog food for senior dogs,” for example, you should create a product page or category page where people can find products. But if you find an information intent keyword like “how to make dog food” it will be better to prepare a blog post.
Try to find as many buyer intent keywords as possible and exhaust them first, as these keywords will help you drive more direct sales and shorten your funnel. You can focus on information intent keywords later. After all, you need to build a marketing funnel to accompany all of the targeted traffic you’ll start generating.
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