You come up with a great blog post topic that you know will be popular with your audience, but then you realize that it only has low search volume keywords. What do you do?
One of the biggest keyword research mistakes that bloggers make is trying to find a high search volume keyword that has very little competition. Those are unicorns, and while they exist, there aren't many of them. Yet, bloggers will spend hours and hours looking for one.
8 Reasons Why You Need to Target Low Search Volume Keywords
In this post, I'm going to share 8 reasons why you should target low search volume keywords instead.
- Keyword tools aren't always accurate
- Low volume keywords can be highly relevant to your readers
- Low volume keyword typically have less competition
- You can typically get to the first page of the SERPs more quickly
- You aren't going to rank for just 1 keyword
- Low search volume keywords may not stay that way forever
- Low search volume keywords can lead to high search volume keywords
- Takes the pressure off you trying to look for high volume keywords with low competition
1. Keyword Tools Aren't Always Accurate
I'm going to use my infamous armpit fudge post as an example. Keysearch says that there are about 1,600 global searches a month for the term “armpit fudge.”
SEMRush tells us there are about 1,300 global searches a month.
But my post gets almost 1,000 pageviews a month from search.
So if the tools are accurate, that would mean that I'm getting between 62% and 77% of ALL the searches in the world. While I would love to claim that, it probably isn't true.
Or maybe the keyword tools are just estimates? My money is on the keyword tools being estimates. That's my anecdotal example.
But don't take my word for it. Here's what John Mueller, Google's Search Advocate, tweeted.
“…All tools guess & simplify search volume, so the numbers you see in search volume tools will always be wrong.”John Mueller via Twitter
2. Low Volume Keywords Can Be Highly Relevant to Your Readers
A query can be highly relevant to your specific readers–especially if you have a niche site. Let me give you an example from Cub Scout Ideas.
One of the things that Cub Scouts learn is how to safely use and care for pocketknives. After they complete certain requirements, they earn their “Whittling Chip.”
Most people would have no clue as to what a Whittling Chip is, so they would have no reason to search for that term. But if your child is a Cub Scout, at some point, you'll want to learn what the requirements are, so you're likely to search for “Whittling Chip requirements.”
According to Keysearch, there are only 320 global searches a month for “Whittling Chip requirements.”
Instead of focusing on the fact that this keyword only has 320 searches a month, I decided to write the post anyway because it's highly relevant to my readers. That paid off because I get over 1,500 pageviews a month from organic search.
3. Low Volume Keywords Typically Have Less Competition
Let's use another example from my Cub Scout blog. Recently, I published a post about knot tying games. Here's what I saw in Keysearch for that phrase. Check out all those beautiful green keywords!
It's so much quicker and easier to rank when you don't have a lot of competition.
4. You Can Typically Get to the First Page of the SERPs More Quickly
While everyone else is chasing those high volume keywords, you can focus on the low volume keywords and rack up the first page rankings.
I published the knot tying games post on March 3, and I'm writing this on March 7th. The average position for post is already 23.9. That's page 3.
I'm ranking for 7 keywords already, and two of them are on the first page. In fact, one of them is in position 2.5.
Granted, there aren't a lot of impressions yet, but it's only been 4 days, so we know this will continue to go up.
5. You'll Rank for More than Just 1 Keyword
When I talked about my Whittling Chip post earlier, I mentioned that I was getting 1,500 pageviews a month from organic search. Those pageviews didn't come from one individual keyword phrase. Instead, they came from 547 different keyword phrases.
When you add up all those keyword phrases that only get 30 or 40 searches a month, you'll wind up with a lot of traffic.
6. Low Search Volume Keywords May Not Stay That Way Forever
Let's look at keyword “digital planners” in Google Trends. As you can tell, it's on the rise right now.
If you decided two years ago that there wasn't enough search volume to write about them, you would have missed out on a lot of traffic over time.
7. Low Search Volume Keywords Can Lead to High Search Volume Keywords
Holly Homer describes this best by calling it a keyword ladder. Let's say that you start with a low volume keyword like “easy bird feeder crafts for kids” with a search volume of 10.
As your post ages and you update it, you may find that you're now ranking for “easy bird feeder craft” with a volume of 210. Next, you could rank for “bird feeder crafts for kids” at 880 then “bird feeder crafts” at 1900.
And all of these help you on your way to rank for “how to make a bird feeder” with a search volume of 14,800.
8. Takes the Pressure off of You to Find High Volume with Low Competition Keywords
To me, this is probably the most important reason to target low search volume keywords. If you're like me, you have probably spent hours looking for just the right keyword for a blog post idea you have. You know it'll serve your readers, but you realize that none of the keywords have very much volume.
I've had entire posts outlined but decided not to write them because I thought the search traffic wasn't high enough.
What a waste of my time! And what a disservice to my readers.
So, the next time you have a topic that you know will serve your readers, do the keyword research, but don't let the search volume keep you from writing the post.
The bottom line is that our blog post are to help people–not to have some arbitrary search volume number.