Keyword Difficulty – All You Need to Know in 2023

Understanding keyword difficulty is a crucial component of SEO and content strategy. A keyword difficulty checker can assist you analyse a term that can help your business’ website reach, based on its search frequency and overall popularity.

The volume and difficulty levels of a term are critical in achieving your digital marketing objectives. In today’s digital marketplace, there is fierce rivalry, and the only way to succeed is to grasp how the web ranking system works. Let’s look at the complexities of keyword difficulty and how it affects SEO research.

What is Keyword Difficulty?

Keyword Difficulty
Keyword Difficulty

If you’re a new content developer, you might be wondering, “What is keyword difficulty?” Keyword difficulty, also known as keyword competitiveness, is an SEO measure that estimates the difficulty of ranking a keyword in organic search results.

The difficulty levels of keywords are determined by a variety of variables, including content quality, domain authority, and more.

Content Difficulty in SEO

The use of keywords in the content contributes to the website’s search engine optimization (SEO). When it comes to keyword difficulty in SEO, it’s determining the quality and amount of backlinks on the top 10 websites in the SERPs. Backlinks can be used to determine the popularity and authority of certain websites.

MUST READ: 10 Essential On-Page SEO Factors You Need to Know

Many businesses use SEO keyword tools to examine their domain and page authorities in order to investigate the SERPs. They are the domain and URL ratings, to put it simply. These indicators are used by well-known SEO firms to assess the value of competitors’ websites.

As a result, there are going to be some differences in the results, as well as the strength of the pages as SERPs.

You may determine the competitiveness of the top 10 pages of any search engine platform by evaluating the difficulty of a keyword. This will give you a rough idea of how difficult or difficult a keyword will be to rank your post above others who are currently using it.

How is Keyword Difficulty Calculated?

It is possible to determine the competitiveness of a keyword by examining its backlink profile. Using a keyword difficulty tool, you may assess the authority of your competitors in a variety of ways. You can look at their profile strength metric, which aids in determining overall quality.

It’s important to keep in mind that each of these instruments yields a distinct result. There are certain methods for calculating keyword difficulty levels, and the instructions below can assist you in doing so.

Step 1: Installing MozBar


MozBar is a free browser toolbar that can quickly determine the difficulty of a keyword. It’s as simple as installing it on your Chrome browser. To do so, go to their website and click the yellow “Download MozBar Free” icon in the centre.

Then, try looking for a website using a specific keyword. You may inspect the specifics of the first ten pages (SERPs) on MozBar whenever you do this. The domain authority, page authority, trust flow, and citation flow of a page can all be marked with MozBar.

You can discover your main competition by looking at the quality and amount of backlinks present in the first SERP.

Step 2: Checking the Site’s Authority

The authority of a website helps it rank higher in Google’s organic search results. A company’s page should be able to rank with suitable SEO strategies that assist it reach potential clicks in addition to its online brand presence and domain.

The page authority feature in MozBar can assist in determining a page’s authority. To determine its rank, look for a PA (Page Authority) number in the MozBar. Keywords with a medium or even high traffic can drive SERPs to achieve improved PA results. Keep in mind that these are high-ranking pages that will be difficult to overtake for any internet startup.

MUST READ: How To Use Long-Tail Keywords In Your Content

Instead, keep an eye out for sites with a lower PA. These have little to no competition and are simple to outperform. All of these processes are doable if you have a keyword in mind and concentrate on determining how difficult it is to rank for that phrase.

Step 3: Assess the Referring Domains

A page with more backlinks will have a higher ranking. The pages that appear at the top of your search history are those that have several hyperlinks to successful websites that support claims. If you post more hyperlinks with relevant and proven cases, you can always expect to rank well.

Keep in mind that most of these programmes will examine the same keyword, but the results and data will vary. It’s best to avoid any misunderstanding by grasping the logic behind the figures.

Of course, you may use Ahrefs or MozBar, two of the most useful SEO tools on the market, to get more specific information. They give you near-perfect evaluations of your target keyword directly from the SERPs.

Alexa Rank Checker
Alexa Rank Checker

If you have a MozBar Pro account, you can see how many referring domains a page has. Ahrefs can also be used to assess referral domains that link to a specific page.

Step 4: Check the Page’s Domain Authority

Google can assist you rank your page in the SERPs if you have backlinks from higher-ranking websites. Due to their domain authority, high-ranked pages such as Wikipedia, Youtube, Healthline, and Amazon can assist raise a page’s ranking.

While the majority of these rankings are based on the quality of the sites’ content, they are extremely beneficial in increasing your site’s chances of ranking at the top of organic search results.

These pages can sometimes be your biggest competitors, but when used wisely, they can help you outperform them. Check the domain and page authority of a page to see if it is deserving of backlinks. The rivalry is fiercer if their DA and PA are both high. Some of the top-ranking pages have lower DA and PA. These make use of lower-ranking keywords that can also be beneficial to you.

ALSO READ: What is Hyperlink? All you need to know

For start-up content providers and digital marketing organisations, keeping an eye out for competitors who can assist you rank is always beneficial.

Step 5: Check the Spammy Backlinks

Spammy Backlinks
Spammy Backlinks

Spammy backlinks are a major hindrance to SEO keyword research. You can come across high-ranking websites that connect to spammy and deceptive sites. Not to mention the fact that these are websites that quickly fall out of the top ten rankings.

If you come across terms that appear to be competitive but aren’t, do some investigation. Look for inauthentic backlinks in the link’s profile. The majority of these links contain the following characteristics of black hat SEO strategies:

  • Spam comments on the blog posts
  • Article directories
  • Web directories
  • Blog networks

Adding keyword-optimized external links on anchor texts is also a sure-shot way of detecting black-hat SEO strategies.

Why do I need to care about Keyword Difficulty?

As a blogger, you may have professionally written content that is well-optimized. However, as time passes, you may notice that these articles are no longer appearing in Google’s organic search results.

If there is a single keyword, more organisations are likely to utilise it to rank their pages, making it more difficult for you to use as an anchor. As a result, when conducting SEO research, it’s best to consider keyword difficulty because it can help with:

  • Choosing the best keywords for your niche
  • Getting a better understanding of alternative keywords that can help your page rank higher.
  • Using focus keywords to help page results with medium to low authority rise in the rankings

Knowing how tough keywords are to employ can make it easier to use phrases that add value to a page.

How Can I Use Keyword Difficulty in our SEO Strategy?

Here are four steps to using keyword difficulty in SEO:

Three-Factor Assessment

Three-Factor Assessment
Three-Factor Assessment

When you’re looking for appropriate keywords, you should take keyword difficulty into account. Three characteristics can help a term stand out from the rest of the pack. They are as follows:

  • Keyword popularity
  • SEO difficulty for ranking
  • Keyword relevancy

A keyword must be popular enough to receive a significant volume of searches. Next, make sure that the SEO difficulty is appropriate for your page. Before taking on competitors, the page for a start-blog up’s or website must be well-optimized. You should also consider the keyword’s relevance. Is the goal to attract more customers or to outperform the competition? Before you use it in your content, be sure you know what it’s for.

There will be no traffic if the keyword’s difficulty and search relevancy are poor. Before including a keyword into your SEO plan, make sure the keyword’s purpose is balanced.

Assess SERP Results

While figures can aid in the conclusion of an experiment, they are never a guarantee when it comes to keyword tactics. You can use it to see what your competitors are up to, and be sure to utilise it to analyse your SERP. Examine the websites that appear in the SERP results to determine why their metrics are so high.

This clever step can teach you a lot of things, including:

  • The competitor’s keyword’s search intent (was it an informative article or a product review?)
  • The type of content that ranks well for the keyword
  • The quality of research that goes into the overall content

SEO layout, keyword relevancy, and search volume are all important factors in a website’s ranking. Additionally, examining keyword difficulty might aid in the analysis of these characteristics.

Understand High Difficulty Keywords

Don’t be put off by a keyword with a high difficulty level. The purpose of a difficulty measure is to provide you a basic overview of your competition, including the keywords they utilise for their position and how to outperform them.

Here’s how you may employ a highly competitive term that perfectly fits your content strategy to rank higher than your competitors:

  • Content Quality: If your content demonstrates excellent research, highly expert writing, and overall high quality, it can outrank your competitors even when targeting a keyword with a high difficulty level.
  • Backlinks: Having relevant backlinks from websites with a high domain authority can help you rank higher for high-difficulty keywords.
  • Importance of the relevance: With well-researched backlinks from reputable websites, you can keep your content relevant.

Use One Tool for All Comparisons

On the internet, you can find a variety of keyword research tools. Each will give you a different result in your search, which can be perplexing at first. Every tool has its own backlink database, techniques, and difficulty calculation methods. Instead, for more efficient evaluation, stick to one research instrument. websites.

Keyword Difficulty in PPC

In PPC, keyword difficulty is graded on a scale of low, medium, and high. These rankings represent how competitive a keyword is in comparison to other related keywords for a certain topic. PPC (Pay-Per-Click) keywords are similar to SEO keywords in that they follow the same pattern. This implies that they adhere to and maintain a high volume to low frequency ratio. High-volume keywords or phrases can assist in attracting traffic at a reasonable cost (due to lower demand).

When you bid on a keyword, you’re competing with other relevant pages for that term. The volume of a keyword and its intent on the page are both important factors here. It also assists in determining the keyword difficulty score. Short, one-word keywords have a lot of competition and a lot of volume. While they ensure a steady stream of visitors to your site, they necessitate more expensive bids and high-quality marketing efforts.

Keyword Difficulty, Not So Difficult Anymore

The takeaway here is that keyword difficulty is proportional to its search volume and desire to improve a page’s online ranking. It’s the final piece of the puzzle that helps a website rank among its competitors by resolving all difficulties. A keyword’s importance cannot be overstated, whether it is used for sponsored or organic search. It’s the most important statistic for determining your content’s existing authority and ranking, as well as a tool for pushing it into the top ten SERPs.

All you need to know is how to incorporate keyword difficulty into your marketing efforts, business goals, overall budgets, and contests in a seamless manner. The internet world is your oyster when you combine SEO keyword strategy with brand marketing.

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