This story should be familiar to most of you.
You’ve come up with an excellent idea for content—something you’re confident will resonate with your audience and bring in qualified leads. However, when it comes time to start researching keyword permutations for that topic, you’re met with a rather unpleasant surprise. No matter how you phrase or rephrase your terms, no one seems to be searching for the topic.
Back to the drawing board, right?
Maybe not. As it turns out, low-volume keywords can be just as valuable as low-hanging fruit, if not more so. As noted by marketing expert Neil Patel, this comes down to a few factors:
- Clear intent. This means that any content to which the search phrase is connected will be highly relevant.
- Low difficulty score. As you may already know, the lower a keyword’s difficulty score, the easier it is to rank for that keyword.
- Length. A long-tail keyword that contains a secondary, more valuable or higher-volume keyword may not appear worth targeting on the surface. However, it can still generate considerable traffic—and again, there’s the matter of intent.
- A highly niche topic. Some topics are going to be low-traffic no matter what you do—for example, a blog that exclusively targets business brokers and their clients may appear to primarily contain low-volume keywords. But the people who search for those keywords have high intent.
- Low cost per click. A keyword’s cost per click is another indicator of its competitiveness. Lower means the keyword has less competition, meaning it’s easier to rank for it.
There’s also one more factor to consider—your competition. Competitors are very likely taking the same approach as everyone else, targeting relevant keywords with a reasonable search volume and difficulty score.
By switching your focus to lower-volume keywords, you might well be able to get the jump on them from a marketing perspective. As long as you understand your audience, what they want, and what they search for, low-volume and non-competitive keywords can be just as valuable as high-traffic keywords. In some cases, more so.
“Ignore the metrics that everyone else is using to select their keywords,” advises SEO expert Dmitri Dragilev. “Instead, focus on keywords where you can intercept the customer in the middle of the purchase decision, piggyback on the authority of an established player in a related field, [or] offer a better solution to a problem posed by an established player in your field.”
At the end of the day, targeting low-volume keywords is really a matter of quality over quantity. After all, which would you rather have for your business?
- Content that brings in 50 qualified leads but generates no additional traffic.
- Content that brings in thousands of leads, but none of them convert.
It’s simple mathematics at that point, really.