5 Tips for Successful SEO with Low-Volume Keywords

If you’re tired of struggling to rank on page one of Google, you’re not alone. Search engine optimization (SEO) can feel like an uphill battle when you’re competing for popular keywords. There is, however, a quicker way to achieve a place in those coveted top ten results. You can rank far more easily for less competitive, low-volume keywords and still gain significant traffic. These five tips will show you how to do it.

Target As Many Low-Volume Keywords As Possible

Low-volume keywords are more valuable than most people realize. They often represent searches from highly targeted readers and customers. A search for “best home elliptical machine for weight loss” clearly represents a very interested, buying mindset. But this keyword might only get 100 searches a month, while “elliptical machine” gets tens of thousands.

Attracted by the bigger number, most companies spend all of their SEO budget going after the highest-volume keywords in their niche. Those who achieve a first page ranking for these main keywords are usually the most established brands and websites, with the deepest pockets.

Rather than trying to compete against the behemoths of your industry, consider instead going after keywords with negligible competition. With high-quality content and a solid strategy, you can reach a page one ranking for a low-volume keyword within a few months, or even a few weeks.

Is it worth the effort? In fact, it really is. A mere 100 searches a month might not seem much, but remember that your piece of content will almost certainly also rank for two or three other very similar low-volume keywords, which might add up to 300 or 500 total searches a month. If you can rank overtime for a few hundred such keywords, the overall numbers start to become very attractive indeed.

So, with low-volume keywords, it’s important to aim for quantity. Keep targeting and publishing, over and over, and watch your traffic grow.

Dominate Each Keyword with Quality and Word Count

It’s a mistake to assume that a low-volume keyword only deserves a short, rushed, poor quality post. Instead, seek to dominate each keyword with incredible content. Study competing results on page one of Google and go several steps beyond.

Spend time researching, use photos or videos, link to resources, do all you can to delight and help the reader. Write comprehensive, long-form articles. If you can create a 1,500 or 2,000-word post that serves as an ultimate guide to the topic, you’re far more likely to rank faster and stay at the top longer. Over time, you’re also more likely to see your post shared and gain natural backlinks.

You can even use content-optimization tools such as Clearscope, MarketMuse, SEMrush, Surfer, or Frase to further optimize your content and ensure a quicker ranking.

Target the Lowest-Hanging Fruit First

The usual SEO mindset is one of scarcity. Most people don’t realize how many valuable keywords there are out there. Almost every industry has thousands of potential low-volume keywords. Ahrefs recently reported that 69.7% of searches are formed of four words or more. That’s a vast number of long-tail keywords.

With this in mind, take the time to patiently search for keywords in your niche with the least competition you can find. Use good keyword tools to speed up this process. In Ahrefs, select keywords with 0-5 on the difficulty scale. In Ubersuggest, aim for under 0.1 or 0.05 in competition strength. Look for keyword competition of less than 15 in LongTailPro.

These are the keywords that require minimal backlinks to rank for. Sometimes no backlinks at all are needed. Even if your website is older and more reputable, and you know you can compete for slightly more competitive keywords, it still does no harm to pick the lowest hanging fruit first.

While Researching, Prefix and Append Common Words

A key to success in SEO for low-volume keywords is simply to do better keyword research than your competition. With a little creativity, you can find rare gems which others have missed entirely.

One powerful trick to this is to add common words at the start or end of your keyword phrase. For example, rather than searching for “gym equipment” you might add “best” or “at home” or “DIY” at the start. In the end, you might add “for elderly” or “for home gym” or “to lose weight.”

As you delve into the research for your niche, you’ll come across plenty of these prefixed and appended phrases. Collect them all in a list that you can later reuse when researching other keywords. Also, sit down and think of common added words people might be using in your particular industry.

Study Your Weaker Competitors for Keyword Ideas

Here’s another step most people neglect to take. Study your competition with care. Read their content and pay attention to the titles and subtitles throughout each post. You’ll come up with heaps of long tail keyword ideas this way.

You can take this strategy to the next level by focusing on competing websites with lower domain authority. Use Ahrefs or a similar tool to see which low-volume keywords these less established websites are ranking on page one of Google for. Then go ahead and target those keywords yourself. With longer content and better quality, you’re far more likely to outrank a weaker website than if you go up against a market leading brand.

Successful SEO needn’t be a frustrating struggle. Follow these five tips to claim page one positions for multitudes of highly targeted, low-volume keywords. Be persistent and over time you’ll see your rankings rise and your profits grow.

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