April 7, 2022

SEO: Understanding Keyword Difficulty

Doing research on what keyword to target for your website's content is crucially important. But it's just the first step of a long process of ranking high on Google and other search engines. Once you've selected a couple of potential keywords, you need to dive into their difficulty levels. This is where keyword difficulty comes into play.

A lot of factors come into consideration when determining a keyword's difficulty level, and it can be tricky to get an accurate reading, so people who are new to SEO might not be sure what this metric actually is or how to measure it. That's why in this blog post, we'll discuss what keyword difficulty is, what goes into making it difficult or easy to rank for a keyword, and how you can measure it yourself.

What Happens in Keyword Research?

In order to understand keyword difficulty, you first need to understand what happens in a keyword research process. Keyword research is the way of finding and targeting the right keywords for your website. It involves researching what people are searching for on the internet, then selecting keywords that align with your business goals and target audience.

Doing keyword research will allow you to learn the different keyword variations and their monthly search volumes. You'll also get to see the level of competition for those keywords and find out what the top-ranking websites are doing to rank well.

This is why doing keyword research is so important – it allows you to identify the best target keywords for your website and understand how difficult it will be to rank for them.

What is Keyword Difficulty?

Keyword difficulty, or KD for short, is a metric used to measure how difficult it is to rank your website for a certain keyword. It gauges how hard it will be to beat your competition and rank in the top spots for that keyword.

There are a few different factors that go into making a keyword difficult or easy to rank for, and we'll discuss them below. But generally speaking, the higher the KD score, the more difficult it will be to rank your website for that keyword.

How Keyword Difficulty Score is Calculated

Keyword difficulty scores are calculated using a variety of factors, including:

1. Competitors

If you want to rank for a keyword, you'll have to beat your competitors. And the first step that you need to take is by knowing who your competitors are. This can be done through an SEO competitive analysis. There are three different types of competition that you'll be looking at:

Industry Competitors: these are companies that offer the same products or services as you do. They're your direct competitors, as you target the same or similar audience.

SEO Competitors: these are websites that produce content for a similar keyword as you do, and target a similar audience.

Keyword Competitors: these are the sites that are currently ranking in the top 10 spots for your target keyword.

These three types of competition will give you a good idea of who you'll be up against when trying to rank for a certain keyword. It's also good to note that your industry competitors are most likely to be your SEO and keyword competitors as well, so you'll have to beat them on all fronts.

2. Content Quality

Your website's content is one of the most important factors that go into ranking in Google. And if you want to rank for a competitive keyword, your content will need to be of high quality. This means that your website will need to have well-written, relevant, engaging, and informative content that's useful to your target audience.

There are various ways to improve the quality of your content, but some of the most important ones are:

Research your target keyword: before you start writing, make sure to do some research on the topic. This will help you understand what the keyword is about and what people are looking for when they search for it.

Write original content: don't copy and paste content from other websites. Not only is it plagiarism, but Google will also penalize you for it. Write your own unique content that's useful and informative to your target audience.

Include images and videos: a great way to make your content more engaging is by including images and videos. This will help break up the text and make it more visually appealing.

3. Backlink Quality

Backlinks are one of the most important factors that go into ranking your website in Google. Having backlinks is a sign of trust and authority, and Google takes them into consideration when ranking websites.

The quality of your backlinks is more important than the quantity, and it improves your domain authority. This means that you'll need to focus on getting links from high-quality websites instead of just any website.

There are a few things that you can do to improve the quality of your backlinks:

Guest blogging: one of the best ways to get high-quality backlinks is by guest blogging. This is when you write a blog post for another website and include a link to your website in the content.

Submit your articles to article directories: another great way to get backlinks is by submitting your articles to article directories. There are various article directories out there that are free to submit to.

Participate in online discussions: another way to get backlinks is by participating in online discussions. This can be done by commenting on other people's blog posts, forums, and social media pages.

4. Domain Authority

The domain authority is another factor that goes into KD. Domain authority is a metric that Google uses to determine how trustworthy a website is. The higher the domain authority, the more likely it is that the website will rank high in Google. It takes some time before you build a high domain authority, so it's normal that new websites will take some time before ranking for competitive keywords.

There are ways on how domain authority can impact your KD. The higher the domain authority, the easier it will be to rank for high-competition keywords. And if you have a low domain authority, you have to put in more effort to rank for high-competition keywords.

5. Search Intent

Another thing that you need to take into consideration when trying to understand KD. The search intent is the reason why someone is searching for a particular keyword. There are four types of search intent:

Informational: this type of search intent is when someone is looking for information about a particular topic. They're not looking to buy anything, they just want to learn more about it.

Commercial: this type of search intent is when someone is looking to buy a product or service. They're usually at the beginning of the buying cycle and are looking for information about what they should buy.

Navigational: this type of search intent is when someone is looking for a specific website. They already know what they're looking for and just need to find the right website.

Transactional: this type of search intent is when someone is looking to buy a product or service immediately. They're usually at the end of the buying cycle and are ready to buy.

The key to ranking your website for high-competition keywords is to understand the search intent of the person who's searching for that keyword. You need to make sure that your content is relevant to their needs and provides them with the information they're looking for.

These five factors are some of the most important ones that go into KD. They're all being used by Google to determine how likely it is that a website will rank for a particular keyword. If you understand these factors, you'll have a better understanding of KD and how to rank your content for your targeted keywords.

Why is Understanding Keyword Difficulty Important to SEO?

Understanding keyword difficulty is important to SEO because it allows you to determine how competitive a particular keyword is. You need to make sure that you're targeting keywords that you have a chance of ranking for, and understanding KD will help you do that.

Many beginner SEOs make the mistake of targeting keywords that are too competitive and don't have a chance of ranking for. This can be very frustrating and can cause you to give up on SEO altogether.

Understanding KD is also important because it allows you to determine what content you should target. If you're targeting a high-competition keyword, you need to make sure that your content is relevant to the searcher's needs and provides them with the information they're looking for.

If you're not targeting a high-competition keyword, you can be a little more creative with your content. You don't have to target the latest trends, you can target long-tail keywords that have less competition.

The bottom line is that understanding keyword difficulty is important to SEO because it allows you to target the right keywords, and it helps you create content that's relevant to the searcher's needs.

Tools to Help With Understanding and Measuring Keyword Difficulty

There are a number of different keyword research tools that you can use to help you understand and measure keyword difficulty.

1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner

The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a tool that allows you to see how competitive a keyword is. You can see the monthly search volume, as well as the average KD. You can also see the competition for that keyword, as well as the number of results that show up when you type that keyword into Google.

2. Mozbar

Mozbar is a tool that allows you to see the KD of a specific keyword. You can also see the PA and DA of the websites that are ranking for that keyword. This is a great tool to use if you're looking to target a high-competition keyword.

3. KWFinder

KWFinder is one of the most popular tools that allows you to see the KD of a particular keyword, as well as the search volume and competition for that keyword. This is a great tool to use if you're looking to target a high-competition keyword.

4. SERPstat

SERPstat is another that allows you to see the KD of a particular keyword, as well as the search volume and the competition for that keyword. This is a great tool to use if you're looking to target a high-competition keyword.

5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an all-around great tool that allows you to see the KD of a particular keyword, as well as the search volume and competition for that keyword. This is a great tool to use if you're looking to target any type of keyword.

These tools are all great resources to help you understand and measure keyword difficulty. Use them to your advantage, and you'll be able to rank for high-competition keywords. The importance of understanding keyword difficulty cannot be overemphasized for people practicing SEO.

How to Use Keyword Difficulty Data to Your SEO Strategies

Now that you understand how KD is calculated, it's time to put that knowledge to use. Here are a few tips on how to use KD data in your SEO strategies:

1. Target Low-Competition Keywords

If you're just starting out with SEO, it's best to target low-competition keywords. These are keywords that have a KD score of 30 or lower. There's less competition for these keywords, so you have a better chance of ranking for them.

2. Target Long-Tail Keywords

If you're targeting high-competition keywords, it's best to target long-tail keywords. These are keywords that have a KD score of 30 or higher. There's less competition for these keywords, so you have a better chance of ranking for them.

3. Research Your Competitors

One of the best ways to determine how competitive a particular keyword is to research your competitors. Look at the websites that are currently ranking for that keyword and see what they're doing differently. Try to emulate what they're doing and you'll have a better chance of ranking for that keyword.

4. Use a Keyword Difficulty Tool

There are a few different keyword difficulty tools out there, and all of them work a little bit differently. The best way to find one that works best for you is to try a few of them out and see which one gives you the best results.

5. Stay Up to Date With Changes in SEO

Google is always changing its algorithm, and as a result, the KD score for a particular keyword can change. It's important to stay up to date with these changes so that you can make adjustments to your SEO strategies accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Keyword difficulty is an important factor to consider when doing SEO. It's essential to understand how KD is calculated so that you can use that information to your advantage. There are a few different tools available that will help you measure keyword difficulty, and it's important to try out a few of them to find the one that works best for you.

Stay up to date with the latest changes in SEO, and you'll be able to rank for high-competition keywords. Understanding keyword difficulty is just one piece of the puzzle. There are many other factors that go into SEO, and it's important to understand all of them if you want to be successful.

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