Keyword research is an essential step in the search engine optimization process. Rightly so, as your keyword strategy has the potential to make or break your overarching website strategy.
To that end, search marketers will spend a great deal of time identifying keywords based on their search volume: the average number of times a web user searched for that specific keyword in Google on a monthly basis.
The risk of targeting high-volume keywords
Most marketers assume that it’s always smart to target high volume keywords in their content as these keywords get the highest traffic numbers (or are searched the most). These are common, typically broad and often short tail keywords such as “mens jacket” or “black boots”.
Image vis Ahrefs
Here at Fire&Spark, we emphatically believe this emphasis on high-volume keywords misses the point. Marketers commonly go after high-volume keywords because they get the most eyes on your offerings. But high-volume keywords tend to be more competitive and difficult to rank for.
Your goal is to get your website in front of the most eyes and to get the highest number of those visitors to click through to your website. So, how can you get the most eyes on your content? By ranking on the first page.
Marketers make a dire mistake when they focus on high-volume keywords to boost a campaign’s traffic potential. To focus in this way is to deemphasize rankings. And that? Well, that misses the whole point of investing in search optimization in the first place.
Your ability to rank and achieve a boost in organic traffic is just as important as traffic volume when it comes to SEO success. Enter targeting low-volume keywords—the smarter SEO strategy.
What are low-volume keywords and why should I target them?
Low-volume keywords have low search volume. They are not searched often and tend to have no more than a few thousand average monthly searches.
Low volume keywords are generally long-tail, meaning they are lengthy and include multiple shorter keywords. For example, “womens black boots with heel” is a low-volume keyword and a long-tail keyword.
Image vis Ahrefs
Low volume keywords almost always have less competition than high-volume keywords. Keyword competition, or keyword difficulty, is a metric assigned by SEO softwares such as Ahrefs and SEMRush that predicts how competitive a keyword is. The higher these softwares deem a keyword’s difficulty, or the closer it is to a score of 100, the harder it will be for a website to rank in the Google search results for that keyword.
Most importantly, low volume keywords are often much easier to rank on the first page for in comparison to high-volume keywords. Plus, if you target enough low-volume keywords, you’ll find that the cumulative traffic across all those keywords quickly adds up. A keyword strategy that targets the aggregate volume of a large number of low-volume keywords will often generate more than one that targets high-volume keywords.
This isn’t to say you should ignore high-volume keywords; you just shouldn’t focus solely on them. Instead, take care when performing keyword research to identify myriad low-volume keywords that speak to your customers and deliver those alongside your core high-volume keywords.
How do I find low-volume keywords?
To identify low-volume keywords, we highly recommend that you start with data surrounding the words and phrases folks are using when finding you online. The goal is to begin building a list of keywords that your customers – and potential customers – are already searching for. This also includes topics that your industry is talking about.
Many paid SEO tools can also give you insights into low-volume keywords that may help make a great impact. If you have access to tools like Semrush, Ahrefs Keyword Planner, and Moz’s Keyword Research Tool, by all means, use them to identify phrases and perform competitive analyses.
Related Post: Content Over Keywords: How Targeting Search Intent Will Transform Your SEO
What should I do with Low Search Volume Keywords?
The best thing you can do with low search volume keywords is target low search volume keywords on the blog. This is where customers are further down the sales funnel and looking for information that will answer their questions, provide them with clarity, and offer recommendations for where to go next.
For example, publish a blog article about the best stores to buy boots in order to target and rank for the keyword “womens black boots with heel”.
Create articles around each of the low-volume keywords you previously identified and continue building out content of value that gives your customers what they want. In doing so, you’ll begin building trust with these customers while building out brand recognition, two things you’ll need a lot of when seeking success online.
Low-volume keywords allow you to speak directly to your customers on a topic that they’re already highly interested in. This means you’re delivering highly targeted content to your customers exactly when they want it.
Read how one company doubled its ranked keywords in only 8 months!
Which keywords are best to target in SEO?
Targeting low-volume keywords is a smart idea for any company, but it is especially important for those where online competition is fierce. The easiest way to rank on the first page is by targeting low-volume keywords. This is also how you’ll get higher click-though-rates on the SERPs, more organic traffic, and new customers that require a lower level of sales effort than those who did not find you organically.
That said, determining which keywords will work best for your overarching goals is something you’ll want to work on closely with your SEO consultant. Just remember that the one-size-fits-all approach of targeting high-volume keywords isn’t truly one-size-fits-all.
If you’re ready to rank on the first page, contact us for a smarter keyword strategy.