Keyword Research

Keyword Research

This article examines low-competition keyword research. There’s no silver bullet with SEO. In fact, one reason it’s so complex is because of the myriad of things you “must” do. That can feel overwhelming.

But who has time to check every single box on the SEO best practices checklist?

If there is one thing you can’t skip, it’s keyword research.

It’s the foundation of a good SEO strategy. But how do you choose the best keywords?

Finding the best keywords for your website is the foundation of a white hat SEO strategy.

With a white hat keyword strategy as a base, everything you do to optimize for search is built on stable ground.

Finding low competition keywords

The reality is that new domains and websites don’t do well on search engines initially. There are only about 10 search results for most SERPs on the first page, so your website won’t be at the of the SERPs if you are just getting started with SEO. This is a process that takes time. And while reaching the Top 10 may be the ultimate goal, first we would like some measurable growth for our organization and to establish our SEO on the web presence.

We begin by finding keywords with low competition. Once results are achieved in this area then higher competition keywords may be selected and targeted.

“With greater competition comes greater search volume.”

  • Ben Parker

SEO experts often advise finding high volume low competition keywords, however we recommend not focusing too much on high search volume keywords at first, although they are good to know about.

Our goal is to choose the ‘best’ possible keywords, and the white hat way is to instead, focus on finding keywords that are relevant to your subject matter and your business.

The first priority is knowing your target audience and your business. This is kind of more related to market analysis and Software Engineering and Project Management.  Where discovery of requirements and business processes lead to deliverable documents describing the fully fleshed out details of it. This is a time consuming task.

“Asking the right questions will take you far.”

  • Corporal White

The second priority, finding low competition keywords, requires knowing your site’s Competitive Power.

So focusing on low competition keywords and not aiming too high in the beginning can be a good way to get started.

So how low competition should you go?

It is different for each site. It depends on how convicted the client is about staying true to the brand messaging.

How new is your website? How new is your domain? How much content do your have on your website?

The answers to all of the above paint the picture of your site’s competitive power and domain authority.

How to find low competition keywords

It is supposed to be easy when using the alexa difficulty keyword difficulty tool. We find it difficult to use. However there are other tools as well on the Internet.  Keep in mind that alexa is a difficult premium subscription service and a free account with them is only slightly better than a kick in the pants.  I actually prefer to use Google instead of alexa since about 20 years ago.

The keyword planner that Google AdWords provides helps you find keyword ideas, based on:

  • Relevance to the word or phrase you input
  • Avg Monthly Searches
  • Competition
  • Suggested Bid (for AdWords plans)

When browsing the results of keyword ideas, be on the lookout for relevant ones that have low competition and high average monthly searches.  This emphasis on relevance means the signal-noise ratio is high. Focusing only on keyword ideas that are truly related to what is being searched for is definitely a time saver.

Now it’s time to review the keywords that are being used in the website project and apply the new ones found on the keyword planner.

Have fun!

References for Keyword Research:

  1. Keyword Planner – Google Adwords
  2. The Art & Science of Website Optimization – Yoast
  3. Free SERP Checker