Keyword Value and Keyword Competition: Find High-Value, Low-Competition Terms for SEO Success

The Real Power of Keyword Research

Why the keyword value matters?

Keyword research is one of the most important components of an effective SEO strategy. Finding keywords that have high search volume and commercial intent, but low competition gives you the best chance to rank highly and drive qualified organic traffic to your site.

In this comprehensive guide, we will analyze exactly why keyword value and difficulty matter so much for on-page and off-page SEO.

With over a decade of experience in technical and content-focused SEO, I have seen firsthand how targeting the right keywords can exponentially increase website visibility and conversions. Conversely, simply guessing keywords or failing to research difficulty leads to lackluster results.

By properly researching keyword value and competition, you unlock the real power to boost your SEO rankings and exposure.

Understanding Keyword Value

Not all keywords are created equal or in a better word: ranked equal. The three main factors that determine keyword value are:

Search Volume

This indicates how often a term is searched for. High search volume shows strong user intent and interest. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can estimate monthly volumes to find high traffic keywords.

For example, based on Ahrefs, “content writing services” only in the US has an estimated 2100 searches per month – decent but not huge volume.

A graph showing the search volume and keyword value

Relevance to User Intent

Keywords must closely match what users are searching for and expecting to find. For instance, “cheap writing services” indicates a different intent than “quality content writing”. Ensure your target keywords align with your offerings.

Commercial Intent

Searches for informational keywords like “how to write a blog” are less valuable than transactional ones like “hire blog writer for business”. Seek keywords with obvious commercial intent relevant to your business to attract qualified leads.

Researching Valuable Keywords

Here are seven proven techniques to identify your most valuable keyword opportunities:

  • Leverage Google’s autocomplete suggestions when typing in seed keywords. This shows actual high-volume search terms.
  • Analyze your competitors’ webpages and metadata to see which terms they are optimizing for.
  • Use Google Trends to view keyword search volume changes over time.
  • Check suggested bid estimates in Keyword Planner for high commercial value keywords.
  • Use tools like Übersuggest, SEMrush and Soovle to find long-tail variations.
  • Identify keywords in your niche that convert well by speaking with sales teams.
  • Go beyond generic keywords by including modifiers like location, device type and more.
A screenshot of google keyword planner showing the suggested bid estimates for the keywords  a screenshot of google keyword planner showing the suggested bid estimates for the keywor
πŸ’‘Tip: Search volume alone shouldn’t dictate priority. Balance volume metrics with relevance and intent.

Gauging Keyword Difficulty

Now that you’ve identified potentially high-value keywords, the next crucial step is researching competition. Avoid the common mistake of optimizing for keywords that are just too competitive to rank for.

Keyword difficulty depends on factors like:

  • Total number of competing domains ranking well
  • The overall domain popularity or authority and page authority of competitors
  • Quality of existing top-ranking content
  • Link authority of top results

Use tools like Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool to quantify difficulty on a 1-100 scale. Anything over 60 indicates very high competition.

You can also manually assess difficulty by Googling the keyword and evaluating the domains ranking on the first page. Compare their domain and page authority using Moz or Ahrefs. Check how long their articles are, their social shares and links etc. to evaluate the quality.

For example, for “content writing services”, the top results are established authority sites like Scripted, ContentFly and ExpressWriters with 1500+ word guides with hundreds of social shares. This signifies high competition – not ideal for newer sites without strong backlinks.

Targeting Low Competition Keywords

The real SEO power comes from finding “golden” keywords that have both high searcher intent/value and low difficulty.

Tactics to target these include:

  • Adding city names onto generic keywords like “accountants Cleveland” to narrow the competition.
  • Using long tail key phrases with 3-5 words like “eco-friendly skincare products”.
  • Identifying emerging trends and keywords before competition increases.
  • Optimizing pages for commercial keywords that convert well even with lower volumes.

Don’t obsess only over high search volume – conversion-driven keywords with under 1000 monthly searches can still be very valuable if competition is low.

Optimizing for these “low-hanging fruit” terms first helps establish your authority and build links. You can then progressively target higher competition terms once your domain gains strength.

Real-World Keyword Optimization Examples

Here are three real-world examples of optimizing for keyword value and competition:

Example 1: Food Blog, Target keyword: Healthy banana bread recipes

This has high search volume as banana bread is a popular baking item. The keyword clearly matches the intent for healthy variations. And it has obvious commercial value for a food blog with adapted recipe ideas.

Since the term “healthy banana bread recipes” is broad, competition is medium-high. So, optimizing a page for a long tail version like “gluten free paleo banana bread recipes” makes it much easier to rank.

Example 2: Local Plumber, Target keyword: Emergency plumber Limassol

A screenshot of a website that ranks highly for the keyword "emergency plumber limassol"

This city-specific, commercial keyword has intent to find a plumber available for urgent issues in Limassol. While the volume is lower, adding in the city narrows down the competition significantly.

A localized landing page on the plumber’s website optimized specifically for this term can rank well with some targeted backlinks, even without high domain authority.

Example 3: Backpacking Site, Target keyword: Gear list for multi-day hike

This keyword has strong relevance for backpackers looking for product recommendations to pack for long trips. But when researched, the top results are general hiking sites and ecommerce stores – not niche enough to warrant extremely high competition.

Creating an extensive, 3500+ word gear guide would make ranking achievable within 6-12 months.

Common Keyword Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you know how to assess keyword value and difficulty, be sure to avoid these common keyword selection mistakes:

  • Choosing generic, broad keywords with high competition and little chance to rank. Always check difficulty.
  • Optimizing for keywords unrelated to your content, products, or services. This results in a negative user experience.
  • Obsessing over volume metrics alone without considering searcher intent and relevance.
  • Assuming top-ranking competitors have extremely high authority. Check their actual domain/page strength.
  • Not filtering short-tail keywords down into more niche long-tail versions.
  • Only using one or two keyword tools rather than multiple for more data accuracy.
  • Failing to research historical trends and searcher demand.

πŸ—οΈKey Takeaways

  • Proper keyword research encompasses analyzing both keyword value AND current competition/difficulty. This is key for SEO success.
  • High value keywords are volumetric, aligned with searcher intent, and have strong commercial potential.
  • Focus on “low-hanging fruit” – optimize for longer tail variations of popular keywords that have lower competition.
  • Regularly assess trends and shift gears to target emerging high-potential keywords before competition increases.
  • To unlock the real SEO power, you must find that optimal blend of relevance, intent and low difficulty.


In conclusion – strategic keyword research is a fundamental pillar of effective on-page and off-page SEO. Finding untapped keywords offer truly valuable traffic requires analyzing much more than just search volume alone.

Dedicate time to researching both keyword value and competition to identify your best SEO opportunities. This will allow you to build momentum with easier-to-rank targets first, before moving up to more competitive keywords later. With the right keywords, you wield the power to dramatically elevate your website visibility and organic growth.

Now get out there and uncover your keyword gems! The rewards await.

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