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Targeting the right keywords is as crucial to running a successful website as creating eye-catching images or creating a winning URL. To assess which keywords are or are not worth targeting, webmasters use a variety of tools and techniques – by far the most popular is the Keyword Difficulty Score. It’s important that you only go for low-scoring keywords because the higher the score, the harder it is to target and leverage that keyword properly.
What is it and why should you care
Keyword difficulty is one of the most basic SEO metrics – a rating that tells you how difficult it would be to target a given keyword and optimize your web page. The higher the score, the harder it would be to get decent results focusing on a certain keyword, which also means that it would be harder for you to win against the competition and bring in new customers. to try your products. So, when conducting an SEO process, you should try to use the lower ranking keywords.
A high ranking keyword means that more of your competitors are actively trying to rank for that keyword, which means it would be hard to get decent results for a smaller freelance website because the competition is rough and opponents may very well have better SEO teams. Ranking for a highly rated keyword could be beneficial in the future once you build domain authority and your site appears in a decent position in Google search results rankings, but beginners should avoid it. Instead, try to rank for lower-rated alternatives, which offer decent abilities and can rank you for longer periods of time. Patience is a virtue: in time, you can focus on more advanced, higher-rated keywords, then, if all goes well, join the big leagues and try to rank among the most searched. those.
Related: 7 Steps to Building a Winning Keyword Database
There are different ways to use keyword difficulty to your advantage, but I’ll focus on the five most important ones.
1. Stick to long-tail keywords
Start with longer, lower-ranking keywords that potentially contain the shorter keyword. Phone long tail keywords, despite having fewer searches, can still be extremely beneficial, especially for niche businesses or websites targeting a single, clear group of users. They also have a much lower keyword difficulty, which means it will be easier for them to rank.
Until your website gains the necessary authority, it will be difficult to rank for popular and “hot” keywords alone. You can, however, succeed if you try to rank for long-tail keywords that contain higher-rated phrases. This will result in a much higher chance of converting random people visiting your website into loyal customers.
2. Start with low volume options
At first, aim for keywords with difficulty scores below 50. Try to make your approach a bit more paced and nuanced, and only try to rank for top rated ones when you’re sure the quality of the content of the site corresponds to the quality offered by websites generally targeting big keywords.
Of course, every site is different, but these days the internet is so densely populated with websites on just about any topic that you simply can’t expect yours to explode in popularity just because you have targeted a popular keyword. On the contrary, the sheer number of more recognizable alternatives would most likely cause users to ignore your site altogether. So spend the first few months developing its crucial elements, make sure it matches your vision, and don’t get too aggressive when picking new keywords to target. It is far better to achieve slow but steady growth than to completely disappear into the endless void of undiscovered places.
Related: How to choose your first SEO keywords
3. Keep User Intent in Mind
Before you try to rank for any given keyword, it’s crucial to understand your website’s audience and their needs – well enough to be fairly confident that you know what they’re looking for, even if their intention is not exactly clear. A great method is to target low-difficulty keywords that are also highly relevant to your chosen customer group.
For example, suppose a user searches for “dog snacks”. At first glance, this seems too broad and difficult to target. In this case, you can try to guess the user’s intent behind the query, but, again, you need to know your customers well enough to do this with confidence. Suppose your company manufactures treats that are perfect for small dog breeds. Wouldn’t it be better to opt for a long-tail keyword, such as “snacks for small dogs”, even if it is rated lower? Owners of Chihuahuas, Yorks, and other smaller breeds (i.e. your potential clientele) would have less trouble finding your site, while owners of German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers, etc. probably wouldn’t be interested in your services, regardless of the keyword. you choose.
4. Difficult Keywords Hub
Is there a particular high-ranking keyword you want to try and target no matter what? Then consider creating a hub page on your site, which will help you organize and gather the necessary information that you can offer to users searching for a high-rated keyword in the future. Be sure to fill the center page with as much detail as possible and at the same time provide outbound links to other more reliable sources. You should, of course, also create inbound links to your own subpages, which might be of interest to anyone searching for a given keyword.
Related: Market-defining keywords: find out where they’re used and how to use them yourself
5. Don’t forget the other aspects of SEO
Keyword difficulty is a vital consideration, of course, but there are other things to consider before deciding if a given keyword is worth targeting. Perhaps, even if the difficulty of the keyword is high, targeting it is worth it if the return on investment is attractive enough and the potential conversion rate is satisfactory. Or, on the other hand, even if a given keyword has a low difficulty level, is it really worth targeting if the ROI indicates that there aren’t many opportunities to profit and is seldom sought after?
One last thing to remember: good SEO optimization is a marathon; it will take time to unleash its full potential.