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How keyword difficulty can help your content cut through the white noise

A first impression can make or break your business’ reputation and, in the digital age, your first port of call now is your website.

Google has intricate guidelines to ensure that the quality of websites is filtered in the search engine. Your SEO strategy should consist of keyword planners and tools as well as a detailed review of your competitors so that you can utilise keywords that can be localised on your website.

It will be much easier to plan your content and know where to prioritise your creative energy once you know which keywords will bring readers to your page.

Keyword research ensures that your content reaches your target audience across every communication channel your business uses, based on what you know about their behaviour.

Why keyword difficulty exists

Keyword difficulty is a metric that measures how challenging it is for your content to rank for a keyword on a results page. It’s calculated based on multiple factors such as domain authority, page authority and content quality. 

The higher the score, the more difficult it is to rank for that specific keyword on the top search engine results page (SERP). Your competitors will most likely be using similar keywords in their content, so it’s important to understand how keyword difficulty plays into the SEO strategy of your content marketing efforts. 

You can build a smart content strategy by balancing the search volume and the keyword difficulty of the terms you’d like to rank in the SERPs. For example, “content marketing” has a high search volume as well as keyword density, which can make it difficult to rank for that specific keyword. Localising the keywords you use (i.e. “content marketing services Melbourne”)  increases the likelihood of your page ranking. It also ensures that you reach your target audience while avoiding high competition.

Why should you calculate keyword difficulty?

Measuring keyword difficulty can help you make better decisions about your content strategy as it shows you the factors that go into keyword competition. Conducting keyword research can help you find the relevant keywords for the content you want to produce.

Understanding keyword difficulty helps you decide whether your business needs to optimise an organic page for that keyword or bid on that term in a Google Ads campaign. You can optimise your content by ensuring that all your headlines, as well as the body text, contain the target keywords. Content can greatly influence SEO so your search marketing strategy needs to be focused on reflecting the “E.A.T.” concept (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness).

If your content follows the “E.A.T.” concept, while keeping the keyword difficult in mind, then it can be much easier to convert viewers and get customer engagement, allowing you to gradually increase your rank in SERPs.

3 ways to use keyword difficulty in your content strategy

The following tips are jumping-off points for using keyword difficulty to improve your content strategy but are not the only ways to include this metric in your plan.

1. Utilise low search volume keywords first

Low search volume keywords will have less search traffic so the ranking of your ads or content won’t increase until the queries for that keyword increase. This can be a good strategy if you’re just beginning to use keyword difficulty in your content marketing. 

Platforms like Ahrefs can help you gauge what’s easier to target as you improve your plan, especially if your website is new and you’re just starting to build your content. Ahrefs provides tools such as the Keywords Explorer to help you calculate how difficult it would be to rank for a specific keyword.

Utilising low search volume keywords can be a good way to set yourself apart from your competitors, who may be using high search volume keywords in an effort to rank first in SERPs.

Each platform will calculate keyword difficulty differently, but the idea is to start small and work with low search volume keywords first so that you can build the authority of your website.

2. Be mindful of user intent

User intent is a crucial part of your SEO strategy as it helps you anticipate what your target customers will type into search engines. 

There are three main categories of user intent:

  • Informational – Your visitors will browse through your website to learn more about your products and services.
  • Navigational – Your visitors will start looking through the content that’s available on your website in an effort to learn more about your brand.
  • Transactional – Your visitors are decided on purchasing your products or services.

The right content will appear depending on what the audience types into the search engine. The SERPs will always be different depending on the keywords that a person types in, and they’ll learn different things if they enter “how to write a blog” versus “what is a blog”.

It’s important to optimise your content for each category of user intent so that viewers stay engaged on your website and eventually convert into actual customers. You also need to match user intent with the content you want to share on your official social media channels, this will ensure that your brand personality stays consistent across every platform.

3. Filter the negative keywords

There are different styles of content you can write, but it’s important to encourage positive associations so that you can build customer loyalty and trust. You need to choose the most optimal keywords for your content so that you can address the needs and concerns of your customers.

You can filter the negative keywords from your content by checking for duplicates in your shortlist. You can also do a quick search if there are negatively related terms–think legal disputes, controversy or related results–and remove them from the list.

Calculating keyword difficulty can be challenging especially when you’re just starting to create your content. It’s important to develop an SEO strategy alongside your content marketing efforts so that your target audience can find your content just as they’re searching for them online. 

Contact us if you’re ready to create content that cuts through the white noise on the internet.

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