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How to Find "Low Competition" Keywords

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What are Low Competition Keywords?

Keywords in SEO are the building blocks of organic traffic to your website. Low-competition keywords are search terms that have a relatively low level of competition among websites trying to rank highly for those terms.  Such keywords tend to have fewer searches, but they can still be important for sites or businesses that are targeting a niche market or attracting long-tail traffic.

Low-competition keywords are an opportunity that easily ranks higher in SERPs with less effort than highly competitive keywords. Through the use of such less competitive keywords, you can get higher ranks and thus attract more targeted traffic, and in the end, we get more leads and sales to your business.

How to Find "Low Competition" Keywords

Finding keywords with low competition is done by combining research, analysis, and strategic thinking. Here are the steps you can follow to identify and target these valuable search terms:

Step 1: Seed Keywords 

Find low-competition keywords by brainstorming a list of seed keywords that are related to your business, products, and services. They should be rather general and not very specific so they can be applied to your industry or niche.

The process of brainstorming seed keywords is the basis of successful keyword research and finding low-competition rivals. First, create a list of words that are general and quite precise, which clearly defines your business, industry, products, or services. This seed keyword should be the essence of the topic and the concept that is the primary concern of your potential audience.

For instance, if you manage an online shop selling outdoor gear, you can have keywords such as "hiking," "camping," "backpacking," "outdoor equipment," etc., if you are a local plumbing service. Seed keywords would be "plumbing," "plumber," "drain cleaning," and the names of the areas you serve.

Coming up with seed keywords is a creative process that should involve input from diverse team members of your organization, like marketing, sales, and customer support team to break the keyword competition. Their views can lead you to discover the words and phrases that are highly relevant to your audience and their search behavior. It would also reflect their concerns, interests, and pain points.

Step 2: Explore Keyword Research Tools

You can make use of keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest to get ideas and to find information on search volumes, competitor levels, and related keywords.

Using keyword research tools is an important step in picking keywords with low competition. These tools are really helpful in getting data and insights that can help you find promising keywords, analyze their potential, and make informed decisions about which keywords are the right ones for your SEO strategy.

  • Google Keyword Planner (part of Google Ads): This free tool from Google lets you search for keywords and lets you know the estimated search volume data as well as related keyword suggestions. Although its main purpose is paid advertising, it can help us in keyword research as well.
  • Ahrefs: A comprehensive SEO toolkit that provides a powerful keyword explorer to optimize your content for your target keywords. Through Ahrefs, we can easily find out the search volume, keyword difficulty (which represents the level of competition), and comprehensive metrics about the top-ranking pages for any keywords.
  • SEMrush: Another search engine optimization platform that is extensively used and which is a powerful keyword research tool. The SEMrush tool gives you keyword volume stats, keyword difficulty scores, and competitive analysis for any keyword that you enter.
  • Ubersuggest: A free keyword research tool that not only proposes related keywords but also shows you search volume stats and a summary of the most popular pages for each keyword, allowing you to see the competition.

So, to conclude, After you have keyed in your seed keywords, which are the general and broad terms related to your business or niche, you should analyze the keyword suggestions and data. Target keywords with less search volume (lower than 1,000 monthly searches) and fewer competition scores (lower keyword difficulty). That being the case, these metrics show that the keywords have lower competition and probably are easier to rank for when search engines result.

Step 3: Analyze Search Volume and Competition

Use the search volumes and competition metrics data given by the keyword research tools. Keep an eye on the keywords that are not too popular, that are usually under 1,000 monthly searches, and are easy to rank for a low competition score or difficulty rating.

On the other hand, the number of searches is not the only factor that should be taken into account. Relevant and potential benefits should also be considered. Although it may be simpler to achieve first-page results with low-volume keywords, they will drive less traffic total to your website, which might prevent them from having a full impact on your website.

Different keyword research tools also give you a range of metrics that are intended to help you assess the level of competition for a particular keyword. This is the case with various metrics whose names are also different, e.g., "keyword difficulty," "competition score," or "competition level." Such competition metrics are generally determined based on the number and authority of the websites already ranking for such keywords, the quality and optimization of the top-ranking pages, the number of backlinks that are required for ranking, and more.

When searching for a keyword with low competition, you have to take into account the keywords with low competition scores or difficulty ratings. The scores, in this case, represent that the competition for this keyword is at a manageable level, which means that you might get better rankings with less effort. 

Step 4: Use Long-Tail Keywords

They have three or more words and are more specific, which can be a great low-competition opportunity. These low-volume keywords are not so difficult to rank for, and they bring highly targeted traffic.

The long tail keywords are highly specific search terms that often have three or more words. These phrases can be great for discovering keywords with low competition for an SEO campaign. While long-tail keywords generally have lower search volumes compared to broader, more popular keywords, they offer several significant advantages:

  • Lower competition: Because long-tail keywords are more precise and targeted towards a small niche of internet users, they usually have less competition from other sites that are trying to rank for them. With less competition for these keywords, we are more likely to achieve a higher position in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • High relevance and intent: As a rule, long-tail keywords are more precise and indicate the search intent of the user, which is more focused. By zeroing in on these search terms, you will invite visitors who are already looking for information, products, or services that are similar to your offerings, hence increasing your chances of conversions or engagement.
  • Qualified traffic: Although the searches for each long-tail keyword are lower, the traffic they send to your site is typically more qualified and in line with your business. These visitors have much better chances to find what they are looking for on your website, which will, in turn, result in higher conversion rates and better user experience overall.

For the purpose of SEO, to include the long-tail keywords in your strategy, begin with making a list of more specific versions of your seed keywords or study the related keyword suggestions from the keyword research tools. Seek for phrases that contain modifiers, locations, or extra meaningful words that narrow the keyword. Take the example of "running shoes" as a broad keyword. You can opt for long-tail keywords like "best running shoes for flat feet," "waterproof trail running shoes for women," and "lightweight running shoes for plantar fasciitis."

Step 5: Check Relevance and Search Intent

The keywords that you choose must be relevant to your business and fit with the search intent of your potential customers. Such words that indicate commercial purpose (e.g., "buy" or "purchase") are called keywords with commercial intent. g. "Buy," "purchase," or "shop" will be great for e-commerce sites, but informational keywords will be more proper for content marketing activities.

Through competitive keyword selection, you must make sure that they are related to your business and also that they follow the search intent of your target audience. Relevant and search intent factors are important for driving the appropriate audience toward your SEO campaign and getting the most from it.

There are many examples of this, such as keywords with commercial intent, like "buy running shoes" or "purchase outdoor gear," which normally show that the user is in a buying mindset and is interested in making a purchase. Those keywords can be important for e-commerce sites or businesses offering special products or services.

On the one hand, key terms like "how to bake bread" or "what is SEO" are used to indicate that the user wants to get information or knowledge about a certain topic; on the other hand, keywords like "buy now" or "order online" are used to show that the user is ready to make a purchase. The niche keywords may be more suitable for the content marketing side, where the goal is to educate and engage potential customers through content that is valuable and informative.

Through keywords that are low-competition, you can exploit the relevance and search intent of these keywords to attract focused traffic, which is more likely to engage with your content or turn into customers, thus enhancing the effectiveness of your SEO activities. 

Step 6: Analyze the Competition

Conduct a manual search for your potential low-competition keywords and examine the top-ranking pages in the SERPs. Assess the quality, authority, and relevance of the competing websites and content. If the competition appears manageable, these keywords could be good targets.

Bonus Read: Boost your SERP Ranking through Content Optimization

To analyze the competition, follow these steps:

1. Google the low-competition keyword you are planning on targeting.

2. Check out the first 5-10 ranking organic search results.

3. Evaluate the quality, relevance, and authority of the websites and content that are competing with you. Look at factors like:

  • It is based on domain authority and external link profiles.
  • The depth, quality, and optimization of content will be the key factors to consider.
  • User experience or website design of an online store plays a vital role.
  • Brand recognition and trust factors will be the main points.

In the case when the majority of top-ranking pages belong to low-authority sites with poor-quality content or suboptimal on-page optimization, the keyword may indeed be a low-competition opportunity.

However, It is possible that the top results are coming from sites with high authority and a long-lasting established reputation, with in-depth, high-quality content. In such a case, the keyword may be more competitive than it was initially thought to be. It is of great importance to assess the competition, whether it is possible to improve the existing top-ranking pages, and whether these keywords might be perfect targets for your SEO.

Should You Avoid High-Competition Keywords?

Low-competition keywords can bring some targeted traffic and better rankings to your site, but it is not usually recommended to stay away from high-competition keywords. These keywords can be very popular terms within a niche with high traffic and commercial value.

Instead of ignoring high-competition keywords, consider the following strategies: To Increase Your Website's Visibility in the Long Run.

1. Take on High-Competition Keywords The first step is to develop a content strategy and optimize your website to gradually build authority and relevance for these competitive terms. With time, if your website has more backlinks, superior content, and user engagement, it will be easier for you to rank for the well-maintained keywords.

2. Maximize the Various Long-Tail Variations Besides the Head Term (e.g., "running shoes"), which may be highly competitive, you can also target long-tail variations. g. ("Best running shoes for flat feet") that are not as competitive as your business but still of interest to your business.

3. Combine low and high-competition Keywords: The SEO strategy should include both low and high-competition keywords. Work on the low-competition keywords with the low-hanging fruits to start with, and gradually rank for the high-value keywords that are highly competitive.

Finding the Low-Hanging Fruit in SEO

The keyword phrases with low competition can be referred to as "low-hanging fruit" in the SEO world. Those terms are the key; they can help you win the race and bring steady, targeted traffic to your website. Nevertheless, it's important to approach this strategy with realistic expectations and a long-term mindset.

While the keywords with low competition may not bring in lots of traffic individually, when you have a lot of them and rank for all of them, it can have a great impact on your traffic. Moreover, having those keywords is a doorway, which makes it possible for you to catch the users who may then explore your site and possibly convert them into clients or subscribers. 

Think About Search Intent

The evaluation of Low-competition keywords requires awareness of search intent, which is the main factor behind a query. The comprehension of search intention can point you to the key phrases that are of great value and create content that meets the user's needs perfectly.

Here are some common types of search intention to keep in mind: Here are some common types of search intentions to keep in mind:

1. Informational Intent Users who are looking for information, solutions to problems, or general knowledge (e.g., "What is SEO?", "How to bake bread").

2. Navigational Intent Searches for webpages or online resources (e.g., "Facebook," "YouTube").

3. Commercial Investigation Intent Searches that are generally connected with exploring goods or services before buying them (e.g., "best-running shoes," "affordable web hosting").

4. Transactional Intent Searches, which are aimed at making a purchase or taking some action in particular. (e.g., "buy running shoes online," "sign up for web hosting").

Through the selection of an accurate keyword that has low competition and the corresponding search intention, your content can resonate with your audience, and the probability of getting a higher ranking and targeted traffic increases.

Final Thoughts

Finding and targeting low-competition keywords is an integral part of every successful SEO campaign, whether it is for a new website, a small business, or a website functioning in a highly competitive market. By focusing on these less competitive terms, you can increase your chances of achieving higher rankings, driving targeted traffic, and gaining a foothold in your niche.

However, it is also necessary to find the middle road between low-competition keywords and highly competitive ones with a greater value. Although the easier keywords can bring you quick wins and sustainable traffic, it is advisable to mix them up with the keywords that have high competition in order to gain long-term success in organic search.

Keep in mind that keyword research is a continuous process in which you need to monitor your target keywords to keep up with the website's development and authority. Through regular tracking of your keyword performance, checkup of search trends, and adjustment of your strategy, you will be able to achieve this goal and fully use the potential of your SEO efforts.

Conclusion

Finding low competition keywords is crucial in SEO to drive targeted search volume and organic traffic to your website. These low competition keywords which typically have lower search volumes but higher relevance, present golden opportunities to rank higher with less effort. To uncover these gems, you can use free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest.

These tools provide valuable data on keyword competition levels, search volumes, and related keyword ideas. Target keywords with low competition scores or keyword difficulty ratings, usually under 1,000 monthly searches. Additionally, explore long tail variations of your primary keywords, as they tend to have less competition yet attract qualified traffic aligned with your business offerings.

By strategically combining low competition keywords and gradually building authority for high volume terms, you can drive sustainable organic search traffic and outrank competitors in the ever competitive digital landscape.

Blog Post written by:
Brandveda
Digital Marketing Institute