Keywords are the building blocks of a successful content marketing strategy. They help you generate relevant organic search traffic.
Common keywords, which are usually short-tail, i.e., one to three words long, are almost always dominated by big companies with higher domain authority. Even if you could create better content, you may be unable to outrank them.
So, a better content strategy for small brands with new websites mjust starting with content marketing is to focus on long-tail keywords with low competition. These are like low-hanging fruits that your website can reap with minimum effort.
In this blog, we will help you understand keyword difficulty, the importance of low-competition keywords, and some amazing ways to find these keywords for your next content strategy.
What is keyword difficulty?
Keyword difficulty is a cumulative measure of keyword competition. It tells us how many websites are targeting a keyword and the quality and quantity of their backlinks (i.e., referring domains.)
It helps content strategists understand the effort it would take to rank for a keyword. A search term with a high keyword difficulty will be a tough nut to crack, and the ones with a low difficulty will be fairly easy.
Here, the goal is to find keyword opportunities with a high number of searches, a high level of intent, and a low level of difficulty. These are easier to rank than common keywords dominated by big players.
Why do you need low-competition keywords?
On the surface, it might seem like ranking for low-competition long-tail keywords is not a very successful strategy. But if you take a minute to understand the logic behind it, you may feel differently.
Common keywords with high competition and high search volume are never clear about the search intent of the user.
For example, take a keyword like “lawn mower.” On the surface, it might seem like a good keyword for lawn mower manufacturers. But this keyword does not offer any indication as to the intent of the search traffic.
A person searching for “lawn mower” could be casually looking for information about lawn mowers, wanting to repair their lawn mower, looking for lawn mower service providers, or simply looking to use “lawn mower” as an example in their low competition keyword blog.
The possibilities are endless.
That’s the problem with high-competition keywords. Users search for them a lot, but it's not clear what they're looking for.
On the other hand, a keyword like “new lawn mower,” “lawn mowers in Chicago,” or “new lawn mower in Chicago” is a low-competition keyword that clearly shows the search intent of users, i.e., to buy a lawn mower.
More often than not, low-competition keywords have a clear signal as to the search intent of users, and they can be a lead-generating gold mine for marketers.
They are also easy to rank for and may prove to be a source of relevant organic traffic. Not only that, but ranking on the first page for these keywords takes less time, work, and resources.
How to find high-volume, low-competition keywords
Now that you have an understanding of the importance of low-competition keywords, it's time for us to look at some amazing ways to find those keywords.
Method 1: Using Google SERP to reverse engineer keywords
Google SERPs are an ideal starting point for any kind of keyword research. If you want to find the words that work on the world’s largest search engine, the Google search bar is a good way to go about it.
Let’s say you are a content strategist for an email marketing SaaS platform. The natural keyword that comes to mind is “email marketing.”
But that keyword is a high-competition keyword. You can tell by simply searching for "email marketing" on Google.
As you can see, “email marketing” has more than 3 billion search results. It is definitely a high competition keyword.
Let’s try “email marketing for startups.”
So this one has fewer results, meaning fewer people are targeting the keyword.
Let’s look at “email marketing for budget startups.”
Now this one has even fewer results, meaning less competition.
Simply by looking at the number of results for keywords, you can gauge the difficulty in ranking for those terms. Other places to look for low-competition keywords are the "people also ask“ and "related searches" sections of Google SERPs.
You can easily pick up a few low-competition keywords from search engines without the need for additional software. If you want more help, you can use a keyword research Chrome extension like Ahref, Semrush, Keyword Surfer, or Keyword Everywhere; these work perfectly within the Google SERP and offer additional keyword ideas.
Method 2: Use keyword software to identify high volume and low competition keywords
Another way of finding low-competition keywords is by using a keyword tool. They help you find related search terms for your particular keyword.
Take Google Keyword Planner, for example. This free tool helps marketers find new keyword ideas based on their monthly search volume, competition, and how their search volume has changed from one year to the next.
We have covered the topic of keyword research tools in this ultimate guide on the best keyword research tools.
Method 3: Look at competitors to find low competition keywords with high traffic
Another method to find low-competition keywords is by analyzing competitor keywords. To do this, simply search for your primary keyword and look at the competitor websites that come up. Then click on the top 10 websites one by one and look at their content.
Press “ctrl+F” on your keyboard and search for the primary keyword again; you will find that your competitor has used many variations of that term. Make a list of all the variations you see and cross-check them for the level of competition by repeating the steps in the first method.
While this may take a lot of time, there is an easy way to do it. Refer to this in-depth Scalenut blog on how to search keywords on a website for more info.
Method 4: Identify content gaps to find low hanging fruit keywords
This method is every content strategist's go-to method. Finding content gaps and creating content around those topics is a surefire way to establish your company as a thought leader.
To find content gaps, search for your primary keyword and look at the content around that topic. You will soon notice that your competition has either missed a topic or has low-quality content on that topic.
These are excellent opportunities for you to make a mark in your industry niche. The content gaps you find are also low competition keywords waiting for a smart content strategist to target them.
Don’t forget to use topic-cluster approach of content strategy
Finding low competition keywords is just a small part of a successful content strategy. Once you have a list of keywords that you can rank for, the next step is to plan a content strategy around them.
We suggest following a topic cluster content strategy.
A topic cluster is a group of related topics that helps marketers plan content creation efforts in a way that generates natural interlinks and targets a group of keywords for the best results.
In this strategy, the content you create is not published in silos; rather, every content piece has a group of related blogs that it links to. Also, there is a central pillar page with all the information about a primary keyword.
You can use a tool like Scalenut’s Topic Cluster Generator to find the most relevant keyword groups for your low-competition keywords.
Just type in the keywords you find and choose a location, and the tool will give you multiple lists of keyword clusters that you can use in your topic cluster content strategy.
That’s all about low-competition keywords.
But the journey of a content strategist does not end here. There are many types of keywords that you should know to create the best content strategy for your company. Refer to this in-depth blog on 14 types of keywords that every marketer should know in 2022.
Once you know about all types of keywords, the next step is intensive keyword research. While we have covered the research process for low competition keywords here, if you require more information on other types, you can refer to this comprehensive knowledge resource on how to do keyword research for SEO and PPC.
Scalenut is an all-in-one AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform that helps marketers worldwide create high-quality and competitive content at scale. From research, planning, and outlines to ensuring quality, Scalenut helps you do your best at everything.
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