As SEO specialists, we’re taught to target the high-volume, very popular keywords. That makes sense, right? Well, what happens when you have a client or work for a company whose target keywords have little to no search volume? Or when your domain authority is too low to climb the ranks in the SERPS for these high volume keywords?
What is a “Good” Keyword Search Volume?
A large mistake that a lot of marketers and SEO specialists make is thinking that this question has a straightforward answer. In fact, most questions within SEO and digital marketing do not have a simple answer. Often, the correct response to this question is:
In the case of this question, that is the correct reply. A “good” keyword search volume depends on a few attributes:
- How competitive your website can be in the search engine results page (domain authority, quality of optimization, etc)
- The industry that you are targeting
- How relevant the keyword is to your pages
For example, if your new website wants to target the keyword “sustainable dog toys”, you will soon realize that this has a very low search volume, about 10 searches per month.
However, if you attempt to target just “dog toys”, which has a search volume of 60,500, you will soon realize that the top-ranking sites for this keyword are the Big Dogs (pun intended) in this space. Amazon, Chewy (the largest online dog store), and PetSmart. If your small store has a DA (domain authority) of 18, and these sites have DAs in the 80s and 90s, you have a very slim chance of ranking.
In addition, if your site only sells sustainable dog toys, you may develop a high bounce rate if you were to somehow rank for just “dog toys”, due to a more irrelevant audience coming to your site.
So, now that you have decided that low-volume keywords may be your best shot at ranking highly in a search engine results page, let’s review how these little-to-no-volume keywords can benefit you.
The Advantage of Low-Volume Keywords
You may be feeling defeated that you cannot rank on the first page for the high-volume keywords you dreamed of. However, do not fret, there is much value and success to be had with keywords that are not searched as often.
- Trail-Blazer: Since you will be one of few sites targeting these keywords, and possibly one of the only ones using SEO tactics, there will be very little competition when trying to climb the ranks. If you are optimizing your pages correctly, you should have little trouble obtaining successful ranking positions.
- Keyword Ranking Increases: Once you begin targeting these low-volume keywords, their low-volume related keywords will follow suit naturally. With high-volume keywords, since it is such a saturated market, it can be difficult to naturally rank for more keywords without directly targeting them. With low-volume keywords, an accumulation of rankings will come much easier.
- Thought Leader: By ranking for many keywords in a niche industry, you begin to look like THE thought leader in this space. For instance, if your pages are on the first page or rank #1 for “sustainable dog toys”, “sustainable pet ownership”, “sustainability and pet food”, “sustainable pet products”, and more, the users searching these keywords will look to you as the know-all, be-all source for sustainable pet topics.
- Relevance: As we mentioned before, the users landing on your site from these searches will be your exact target market. They won’t just be looking for any old pet products, these are users that care about the environment AND their pooch. This increases the likelihood of a purchase or a conversion on your site ten-fold!
How to Succeed With Low-Volume Keywords
Like I mentioned earlier, every industry and every site requires a different strategy. However, there are some best practices that most sites can follow to have a better chance at ranking, and a better chance at success from the traffic you receive.
Conduct lengthy keyword research. Finding the best keyword typically does not involve just one search in SEMRush, or whatever tool you use. Since these are more obscure keywords, you may have to try many variations and scroll through the “relevant keywords” section to find the perfect keyword, with low competition and high relevance.
Ensure that you properly optimize your pages to target this keyword. Utilize every part of your page. Insert the target keyword, and its related keywords, into:
- Headings, specifically H1 and H2s.
- Alt text on images
- Anchor text for links (from other pages on your website)
Utilize Call-to-Actions. Since these keywords will attract such relevant users, you want to make sure that you are taking full advantage of this opportunity. If this page is a blog, input in-line or pop-up CTAs in order to catch the user’s attention. If this page is a core page, make sure you have CTAs above the fold and throughout the page to provide an accessible outlet for an interested user.
Low-Volume Searches Can Become High-Traffic Keywords For Your Site
Before you instinctively go for those high-volume keywords, I hope you slow down and do research to ensure that you are making the right decision. Low-volume keywords can not only provide some value to your website, they can be way more worth the time, money, and effort that goes into making your business the best it can be.