Understanding SEO Keyword Competition and Why It Matters

It’s hard to imagine that one word can make the difference between your website ending up in front of thousands of eyes or fading into the back pages of Google, but SEO keywords can do exactly that. And with so much business happening online, you’re giving your company a death sentence if you refuse to play the keyword game. 

But how can you find keywords that elevate your webpage to the top of the list?

Well, we’re glad you asked. It’s time to take a look at our guide on understanding competitive keywords in SEO and why it’s important!

So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

What are Competitive Keywords?

Competitive keywords refer to the practice of finding a unique keyword to use in tandem with your SEO (search engine organization). The keywords you use should get you a top spot in search engines without clashing with keywords used by rival companies. This competition grows fiercer and more difficult based on how popular the field your company specializes in is.

For example, you’d have a harder time finding unique keywords for a company that sells video games than one that sells a more niche product like tiny flower ornaments. 

One of the main perks of competitive keywords is that they provide a strong buff to your SEO without needing other parts attached. In contrast, SEO tools like domain authority and title tags lack the same kind of bonus unless integrated with other methods. 

Why are Low-Competition Keywords Important?

So why use low-competition keywords over the ones everyone else uses? Well, if you use the same keywords as your competition, the SEO benefits of that keyword will lessen and your click-through rate will plummet. As a result, you’ll have to rely on other boosting factors (strong backlinks, metadata, etc.) to compensate.

This is especially critical if you’re facing big-name competition like TIME or Amazon. This is because they’ve built up a high domain rating through previous SEO work and notoriety. This means that when it comes to things like backlinks, they will beat you 100% of the time until you put in the work to reach their level. 

Another perk of low-competition keywords is that they tend to consist of long strands of words. This allows you to create precise keywords, letting you target specific audience niches with your content. Working with these niches helps you get your content in front of people looking to engage with it, resulting in a better ROI (return on investment). 

You can also use multiple low-rank keywords at once to get better ranking. You also avoid falling into oversaturation problems as easily as you do with high-rank keywords. 

Don’t Dismiss High-Rank Keywords

This isn’t to say high-rank keywords are invalid if you’re a smaller company, however. If you plan to use a lot of authoritative links or attract other companies to use your site for guest posts, high-rank keywords accomplish this goal better than low-rank keywords. You can also mix high-rank keywords into your post to get the benefit of the authoritative links other companies attached 

In addition, you can use buying keywords (things like “purchase cheap X” or “best discounts on X”) to bring in more of a consumer base actively looking to purchase your wares. After all, all the clicks in the world don’t mean much if your visitors aren’t engaging with/buying things off of your content. 

How to Research Competitive Keywords

One of the best ways to get started when dealing with competitive keywords is to think up some sample keywords or keyword topics (multiple keywords put together) that apply to your business. For instance, a movie blog could try keywords like “films”, “trailers”, or “most anticipated movies”.

Once you’ve got that basic framework, use a keyword planner tool (many of which are online for free, including this one here). From here, enter the keywords you thought up earlier. The tool will show you how much competition the keyword has and what kind of rewards (search volume, cost per click) the keyword provides.  

Remember when you’re looking at search engine results to review more sites than Google. While Google is the king of search engines, other engines like Bing can provide useful clues towards finding low-rank keywords you’d miss out on with Google.

If the keywords you chose have a lot of competition, try coming up with some more ideas or applying a “low-competition” filter. Some planner tools will also provide you with a list of similar keywords to the one you entered. You can then use this list to review the options you missed and find keywords that fit your SEO needs better.  

Additional Strategies

You can also use rank checker tools to take a look at the top-ranking sites within your industry. Study what keywords they use, and find a low-competition keyword (with backlinks) alternative. While copying them wholesale will throw you into a disadvantageous position against the competitor, altering the strategies to fit your needs is a great way to get a quick SEO boost without developing ideas from scratch. 

Another strategy when it comes to competitive keywords is exploring the different types of keywords. Broad keywords (generalizations like “dog food” or “tires”) are the most common and have the biggest reach. However, they can end up putting your product in front of someone looking for something else.

To use the previous example, someone who wants car tires and finds your site selling bicycle tires is not going to engage with your content. 

However, opting instead for exact keywords (keywords that have to go into a search engine verbatim to show up) gives you a less common tool you can exploit to court that specific audience. You can also mix phrases into keywords to help find a compromise between the two. 

Next Stop? Top of the Charts

So, now that you have our guide on competitive keywords and why they’re important, it’s time to take your website from zero to hero and hit the top of the search engine charts! And if you’re still looking for more tips to give your SEO that extra kick, check out the other articles we have on our website!

Don’t think we’ll take it easy on you when it comes to our keyword usage, though. We play for keeps here.

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