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Why not every keyword is worth pursuing

Why Not Every Keyword is Worth Pursuing in SEO

Keyword research should lie at the heart of your on-page SEO strategy. However, just because a keyword is popular and gets lots of traffic doesn’t mean it’s worth pursuing. There are more important factors you should consider before settling on your choice of keywords.

It’s a well-known fact that keywords are essential for SEO. They tell search engines about the content of your website, and people use them to find products and services on offer. It’s really tempting to go “all in” and target high-competitive keywords. We see it often, particularly in companies that want quick SEO results.

Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that going after highly competitive keywords with substantial search volumes is a waste of time, especially if you have a relatively new website with low domain authority.

When you target keywords with high search volume, you’ll spend all your time, money, and effort trying to rank on the first page of the search engine, but you might not get there anytime soon. Not to mention that those competitive keywords are often too broad and users that use them rarely end up purchasing products or services they find.

Sure, if you rank for them successfully, you’ll definitely receive tons of traffic. But will that equate to more conversions and more money for your business? Probably not.

You’ll most likely get better results if you go after small keywords or “low-hanging fruits.” You’ll get quicker results, and once you get the ball rolling and start generating traffic and revenue, you can target slightly bigger keywords until you’re ready to conquer the “big guys.”

Why are keywords so fundamental to SEO?

Keywords are an integral part of any SEO strategy for any business for two main reasons. Firstly, keywords tell Google what your business’s website contains when its bots analyse the main topic of particular pages. But that doesn’t mean you have to repeat the exact search term as often as possible – SEO hasn’t worked like that for a long time. Careful: this tactic may even harm your website.

Google cares about the topic and content more than how many times a particular keyword is repeated on a page. You need to focus on creating user-centric content that answers user intent.

Secondly, keywords give us essential clues about who our users are, their interests, and what they search for. Keyword research tools such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer or SemRush can give valuable information about what things your target audience is interested in or what wording they use to find a particular topic.

This information can be helpful when you want to know which topics to include in your content plan or how to name a particular product or service you’re about to launch.

Why you’re better off targeting low-competitive keywords?

It’s time to rethink your SEO strategy and target low-competitive keywords with low search volume. This may sound counterintuitive, but it is one of the best keyword strategies – hear us out. Low-volume keywords are usually more specific search terms.

For example, let’s look at these three keywords:

Keyword 1: Shoes

Keyword 2: Red shoes

Keyword 3: Buy red running shoes

Which of these keywords has the highest search volume? If you guessed “shoes,” you are correct.

Broader keywords tend to be searched for more, bringing a lot of traffic. The problem is that there is usually no clear intent behind that search. A person might search for “shoes” to explore the topic, see what it’s out there, look for different types of shoes, see what’s currently trendy, or even learn the history of shoes. Evidently, it’s hard to guess from a single word.

Look at the last keyword: “Buy red running shoes.” This keyword is more specific, the intent is straightforward, and there are probably fewer people searching for it. The people searching this term are looking to purchase red running shoes.

If you decide to go after this keyword, your website traffic won’t be as significant as if you go for a broader option. But you’ll target people who already know what they are looking for and have a clear goal in mind. They want to buy red running shoes. It’s your job to convince them why they need to buy from you, but to do so, they need to see your result in the SERP.

Google pays a lot of attention to what people are doing on your website. Do people get the information they are looking for? Do they finish a purchase? Or do they close your website and go elsewhere? Google will definitely consider this to evaluate whether your website needs to go higher on the search result page.

Instead of focusing solely on search volume, use phrases with purchasing signals in them. Don’t target “red shoes,” target “buy red shoes,” “red shoes free shipping,” or “red shoes for sale.” These keywords show the buyer’s intent and are more likely to drive sales and conversions for your website. These keywords are apparent targets for e-commerce landing pages and product pages.

Google changes with each algorithm update, but it will always be a search engine. Google’s primary goal will always be to provide the most relevant information to its users based on their search queries. Users will continue to use keywords and phrases when searching for something. AI and voice search may change the terms people use, but keyword strategy will always be a significant part of SEO.

The benefits of targeting low search volume keywords

Targeting keywords with low search volume will not only help you outrun your competitors and drive search traffic to your website, but it can definitely improve your website’s conversion rate.

Here are some more benefits of targeting these keywords:

Keywords with low search volume are incredibly relevant. 

Keywords with low search volume are typically long-tail keywords. The phrases usually consist of 3+ words and provide more information to the search engine. The more relevant the content they land on is, the more likely it is for the users to convert.

Keywords with low search volume can help build interest around a particular topic.

These low-volume keywords can help you identify what questions people are asking in the niche and allow you to be the first one to answer these questions.

Keywords with low search volume can bring great ROI

Keywords with low search volume bring little but relevant traffic to your website. Even the lowest volume keywords can result in sales and improve the overall conversion rate of your website.

Keywords with low search volume can bring diversity. 

Yes, low-volume keywords don’t have much traffic potential, but these phrases are relatively easy to rank for. You can try to target a wide variety of low-volume search phrases with one piece of content and multiplying the traffic potential of that content.

How to find the right keywords to target

To decide which keywords to target, you need to go way back. Ask yourself, who is your target audience?

For example, if you sell financial software, ask yourself what kinds of people are interested in the topic and who would buy your product. What are they looking for in a product like yours? What language do they speak? What advice can you give them to make their lives easier? Where can you find them online?

By finding answers to all these questions, you will be able to find keywords that will bring you success. Don’t just rely on your intuition of what people are looking for, do your research so you can back your assumptions with actual statistics.

Do you want to learn how to do keyword research the right way? 

Read “How to do keyword research.

Not all keywords with low search volume have the same potential. You need to be selective. Here are some things you can do to find the best keywords for your content strategy.

Identify which are the “low-hanging fruits” in your niche.

When doing keyword research, focus on low-volume search terms. Make a list of all search terms with search volume between 0 and 100 per month, whilst keeping them relevant to your service or product. These are the low-hanging fruits.

In the SEO world, “low-hanging fruit” are called keywords that you believe you can rank for with little effort from your side. These keywords carry minimal risk, and they’re worth including in your SEO strategy.

Here’s how you can identify the “low-hanging fruits.” Look for keywords that are:

  • Extremely relevant to your target audience
  • Show user intent to buy a product or service
  • Show signs of informational user intent or are questions that users search for
  • Your competitors are not targeting these keywords yet

Target low-volume keywords with transactional intent.

Finding and targeting keywords that have the potential to bring people to your website who already have the intention to buy your product is one of the best keyword strategies.

Keywords with transactional intent often consist of terms such as:

“Best deals for….”


“Buy …”

“… for sale”

“Offer for …”

“Purchase …”

People use these types of keywords when they have already done their research. They decided to purchase a product and service, and they are simply looking for the best option and the best price on the market to determine where to buy from.

If you’re not already targeting transactional keywords with your website, reconsider it. These keywords may not bring the best traffic volume, but they target people who look for the best deal. Don’t miss the opportunity to be that for them.

Bring the user’s attention to your business niche

Some keywords don’t have much search volume because users don’t know what the terms mean or haven’t thought to use them before. This can usually happen if you offer products or services in a relatively small niche. If you sell innovative products, it’s your job to educate your users about the solution you provide to their problems.

You can do that by targeting informational keywords that relate to the issues your product or service is solving. Target “how to…” or “… solution” keywords.

Create a solid content strategy around educating your users about the solutions you can provide. Add dedicated pages and an FAQs section; you can even include visual content. Images and videos are great when you want to present solid information.

Target a wide variety of keywords with low search volume.

As mentioned above, small keywords can quickly build up and increase the amount of traffic you receive. It’s simple maths. Targeting five keywords with 20 search volume is equal to targeting one keyword with 100 search volume.

You can easily rank for several keywords with a single piece of content. Of course, these keywords need to be similar. You can incorporate several synonyms and variations of the main targeted keyword on your page, and this will increase your potential for organic traffic.

Try the Keyword Golden Ratio Method.

The Keyword Golden Ratio (KGR) is a well-known strategy in the SEO industry. It’s used for finding long-tail keywords with colossal potential.

The ratio is essentially the number of Google results with the particular keyword in the title, divided by the amount of monthly search volume. The search volume must be below 250.

The Keyword Golder Ratio idea was first presented by the marketing guru Doug Cunningham. He believes that if you use the Keyword Golden Ratio correctly for your keyword, your article should rank in the top 10 results within days.

These are the rules he presents:

  • If the KGR index is below 0.25, you should rank in the top 100 when Google indexes your page.
  • If the KGR index is between 0.25 and 1, you can still quickly rank in the top 250.
  • If the KGR index is greater than 1, the targeted keyword is very competitive and will be challenging to rank.

Final thoughts

When wondering what keywords to target, always think of your target audience, what terms they use, and what they’re looking for.

It’s not just about ranking for any keyword out there. Targeting relevant and quality keywords can bring better results to your business, increase the quality of the traffic, and improve your website’s conversion rate.

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