zh
English Español Deutsch Français Italiano Português (Brasil) Русский 中文 日本語
Submit post
Go to Blog
updated

How to Find Low-Competition Keywords with SEMrush [Spoiler Alert - It's SUPER easy]

79
Wow-Score
The Wow-Score shows how engaging a blog post is. It is calculated based on the correlation between users’ active reading time, their scrolling speed and the article’s length.

How to Find Low-Competition Keywords with SEMrush [Spoiler Alert - It's SUPER easy]

Luke Harsel updated
How to Find Low-Competition Keywords with SEMrush [Spoiler Alert - It's SUPER easy]

When entering a new market with a new website, you’re gonna want to find the absolute best keywords for your SEO strategy.

While building your list of the most relevant search terms, keep in mind: At this very moment, your competitors are doing the same! Moreover, your strongest online rivals have already ranked not only on the first page of a search engine results page, but in its top positions.

Do you have any chance of overrunning your competition? Definitely! But, you have to be smart - and start by targeting the keywords with the lowest competition.

More on this How to Use SEMrush for Keyword Research Post Nikolai Boroda Learning how to do keyword research is essential for businesses. Just be careful when choosing them. Before you begin placing search terms you believe your potential customers would use to find your services or products on your site, make sure you have chosen enough low-competition keywords.

Low-competition keywords are indispensable for boosting your website’s rank. How can you find them? Follow the instructions below.

1) Build Your Initial Keyword List

Go to Organic Research, then enter a competitor’s domain name and click Search. You will get a list of keywords your competitor’s website is ranking for in Google’s top 100 organic search results.

organic-research-semrush

Use filters to find keywords that are most relevant to your business. For example, here’s how it looks with a filter for “vegan.” 

organic-research-filter-vegan

Generate an Organic Search Positions report for multiple domains, and export the results into an XLS or a CSV file. Plan to consolidate all exported files into a single file in order to have all relevant keywords in one place.

You can also use the Keyword Gap tool to view unique keywords per domain and export your results. To collect as many keywords as possible, set the match type here to “All Keywords”

keyword-gap-analysis

For example, we took the following five domains: fitmencook.com, sweetpeasandsaffron.com, projectmealplan.com, workweeklunch.com, and flavcity.com. In a few clicks, we built a list of nearly 200,000 keywords for the food blogging industry.

Tip: If you don’t know 5 domains that are in your website’s industry, use the Competitors report tab in Organic Research.

Export this report to another XLS or CSV and combine the list with your other exports so you can keep a master list going. The next step will help you find even more keyword ideas to add here.

2) Expand Your Keyword List

The goal of keyword expansion is to augment your initial keyword research with search terms and phrases you might have overlooked. After expanding the list as much as possible, we’ll go back and filter it down to find the most accessible targets for your site. 

  • To find phrase match keywords, go to the Keyword Magic Tool, enter a term from your initial list of search terms and click Search. You will get a list of expanded keyword phrases that include your queried term.

    keyword magic tool

  • To find related keywords, use the Related filter. This will list phrases that are semantically related to a particular queried search term and may not share the same phrasing but have similar search results. You’ll want to add some of these to your plan as well to cover your bases.

  • To find question keywords (which make for great content topics) use the Questions filter. This will display only keyword phrases that include who, what, where, when, why, or how. 

questions-keyword-magic

Again, export your results and continue collecting them into a consolidated file with all the other keywords you’d like to target.

3) Discover High-Volume Keywords with Less Competition

Average monthly search volume for each keyword shows you how much potential traffic you can receive. The higher your rankings for high-volume search terms are, the more traffic will be driven to your website. But unfortunately, competition for most high volume keywords is very high.

There's no sense in trying to rank for keywords you have no chance of ranking for; that’s why you need to find the right balance between a keyword’s search volume and its competition level.

To help you with this step, SEMrush has two main ways of filtering out keywords that are too competitive:

  1. Keyword Difficulty - an estimation of how difficult it would be to outrank the current websites and webpages ranking in the top spots on Google for a particular keyword.

  2. Competition Level - the density of advertisers using a particular search phrase for their ads. Although this metric refers to competition in paid search, it can be somewhat representative of organic search competition as well.

In all of your exports (or in the interface), you should be able to locate a column for these two metrics. Both metrics will help you find the best keywords to start targeting to find success. 

Estimating Keyword Difficulty

The keyword difficulty (from 1-100%) shows you an estimate of how difficult it would be to seize your competitors’ positions in the Google top 100 with a particular keyword . The higher the percentage, the more effort you’ll need to outrank your competition for targeted keywords:

  • Above 80%: The most difficult keywords. You’ll have to invest a lot of SEO and link-building efforts, as well as time before you’ll be able to enter the Google top 20. If you have a new site, you shouldn’t focus on highly competitive keywords.

  • From 60-80%: Keywords with average difficulty. Entering the Google top 20 with these keywords won't be easy either. However, with high-quality content and relevant backlinks, you'll be able to seize your competitors’ positions in time.

  • Below 60%: Keywords that are the easiest to rank for, but the most difficult to find. Discovering low-competition, high-volume keywords will require hard work and patience. But if you are lucky enough to find a strong list of these search terms and implement them throughout your site, you’ll have a very good chance of ranking high for these high-volume search terms.

Estimating Competition Level

For estimating Competition Level, we can assume the scale is roughly the same. The main difference here is that the metric is a decimal between 0 and 1 and that it measures the density of paid advertisers. 

The closer the score is to 1, the higher amount of advertiser density and therefore the harder it would be to stand out in the search results.

  • Above 0.80: These keywords are highly competitive among advertisers and therefore likely send traffic to paid results. You could infer that if a keyword has a high density of advertisers, the search has some intent on making a transaction. 

  • From 0.60 - 0.80: Keywords with an average density of advertisers. You could experiment with advertising on these keywords if your organic efforts don’t work out, but it won’t be a quick win on any of these keywords, either.

  • Below 0.60: Keywords with the lowest density of advertisers. This could either mean that they are under the radar of most competitors that advertise in your niche, or they are simply not profitable to advertise on. Keep this in mind when dedicating 

Learn more about SEMrush metrics

in the SEMrush Knowledge Base

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

4) Filter your master list to find low-competition keywords

Now, once you understand the range of difficulty you want to attack, it’s time to dive into your master list and filter based on these competitive metrics. 

Start with a filter for KD to only look at keywords with a KD score less than 75. This should still allow you to find some high volume targets that won’t be extremely difficult to rank for. 

filter-your-export

Use the Keyword Difficulty Tool

A quick way to estimate the competitiveness for keywords in bulk is by using the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty tool.

Perhaps you have a previous list of keyword targets, or a list of keywords your site ranks for exported from Google Search Console. You can drop that list in here and quickly see how we rate the difficulty of each keyword. 

In the Keyword Difficulty Tool, you can view the keyword difficulty of up to 100 keywords at once. Enter one search term per line, and click the Show Difficulty button.

keyword-difficulty-tool

The report will give you the KD scores of your unique batch of keywords. 

Spot Featured Snippet Opportunities

While you’re in the Keyword Difficulty Tool, you should be able to see which keywords trigger SERP Features like Featured Snippets or Instant Answers. Featured Snippets are those pop-up answers at the top of the search results page that gives searchers an answer before having to even click on a result. 

These are HUGE for SEO and you should take note of each keyword in your plan that has a Featured Snippet. If you compose your content in the right way, you just might be able to take over the Featured Snippet with your link. 

featured-snippet-opportunities

Recap

Learning how to do keyword research is essential for businesses. To do it well, you just need to be careful when choosing your targets. 

Believe in your SEO success, and follow these steps:

  • Analyze competitors and build an initial keyword list

  • Enrich it with related keywords, phrase match keywords and questions 

  • Estimate your competition and your competitors’ keyword difficulty

  • Implement keywords through your website

  • Conduct research of low-competition keyword regularly

  • Track your rankings to see if they’re growing!

All you need for keyword research!

SEMrush Keyword Magic tool

Please specify a valid domain, e.g., www.example.com

Luke Harsel
SEMrush

SEMrush employee.

I write articles on the SEMrush Knowledge Base and blog to show people how the tools on SEMrush can make it easier to participate in digital marketing. When I'm not at work I like to write music and spend time in nature.
Share this post
or

Comments

2000
Ashif (Ace) Rashid
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Thanks for this simple and straight forward step-by-step checklist for finding good keywords for quick ranking.
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Good one
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Calculating kyeword difficulty is very confusing for me. Some niches shows 50+ KD but my site ranks for it very easily, however, sometimes for KD less than 10 would make very difficult for me to rank in. Its really confusing and i think focussing more on good SEO techniques could be the best idea no matter what KD you see in SEMrush.
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Hello
What if the Keyword difficulty is less then 30 and with high volume but the Domain Score of our Competitor are high like 70 to 90?
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

I used both ahref and semrush, both tools are very good, but I am also confused to find low competition keywords both tools show different kd for each keyword.
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

But why is it that both Kwfinder and semrush show different keyword difficulty
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Yes, Its difficult to find keyword with high search volume and low competiton. Why Ahref and Semrush shows different difficulty level.
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

jim morison
All the tools are sucking it.Each one fucks by its on way.No one is 100% right.
Anastasiia Nesterova
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

zulqarnainsabir6@gmail.com
Hello guys! Keyword Difficulty is not a precise metric, especially as long as different tools use different algorithms to calculate it.

As far as I know about the Ahrefs tool, they analyze the search results for a given keyword and look at the number of referring domains the Top10 ranking pages have. The more domains, the higher the keyword difficulty.

At SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool we take into consideration the _authority_ of the domains that are showing up on the results page for a keyword. The more traffic they have, the higher the KD :)

You can learn more here by the way: https://www.semrushchina.cn/kb/261-keyword-difficulty-tool
Clinton Aribogha
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Nice one baba, nice one. Elena try
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Hey Informative article though, I was looking for factors Semrush take into account in determining the KD for a particular Keyword. Like from 1 to 100 scale, what it actually takes(Out of 200 ranking factor) to rank for a keyword with a KD say 25 on top 20 results in SERP?
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Thanks for this article - really useful - many of the links seem to be broken.
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

i am using this semrush since one year and its gives me great result [link removed by moderator]
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Uhh thanks for this educative article. I am just a writer and never had time to build back links so I have been searching all this while how to find keywords with high volume search and low competitors to rank my health niche blog [link removed by moderator]. I have read many forums and other online articles non seen to help. But here you ve made it clear for me to understand it thanks.
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Your last point is:
Track you rankings.
How do I do that?
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have Keep up the good work you are doing here.Well, got a good knowledge.
[link removed by moderator]
Anvesh Goud
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Thanks for the information, it helped me.
Enthusiast

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Can you confirm us if keyword difficulty is a logarithmic scale? Thanks!
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

very energetic article
Evans K. Ngeno
Newcomer

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Great.
Darren DeMatas
Helper

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

I love this article. I am a sucker for low competition keywords ;)
Kathleen Garvin
Pro

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Darren DeMatas
Glad you found it useful, Darren!

Send feedback

Your feedback must contain at least 3 words (10 characters).

We will only use this email to respond to you on your feedback. Privacy Policy

Thank you for your feedback!