Don’t know how hard it will be to rank on Google for any keyword? Don’t worry, the SEMrush keyword difficulty Score tool is here to help! Most SEO Tools will give keywords some score or rating to determine how hard they will be to rank for. This blog will use the SEMrush difficulty tool as an example.
The SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Score tool helps you find out whether your chosen keywords are easy or difficult to rank for based on historic data. Rather than guess what each keyword’s future difficulty will be, the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Score tool provides you with an accurate prediction based on data. You can use this information to make more informed decisions about which keywords are right for your website.
SEMrush Keyword Difficulty takes into account three key metrics (Volume (Estimated searches per month), Opportunity (Competition ), and Difficulty (Rank difficulty)) to show you how difficult it will be to rank on Google.
How to Calculate Keyword Difficulty
The SEMrush difficulty score ranges from 0 – 100. 1 being the easiest, and 100 being the hardest to rank for.
It breaks down as follows:
Very Easy (0-14): These are the greatest opportunities to get your new web pages into Google quickly without needing backlinks.
Easy (15 – 29): Although these phrases have some competition, they’re still doable to rank in when you’re just starting. You’ll need quality content focused on the user’s intent to rank for these.
Possible (30 – 49): Competition for this term is somewhat greater. You’ll need well-written and distinctive content that is appropriately optimized for your keywords.
Difficult (50 – 69): To compete here, you’ll need some backlinks and well-structured, useful, and optimized content.
Hard (85 – 100): There’s more competition. These keywords will need more effort to rank your well-optimized, helpful content among the top pages, especially if you’re looking to game Google’s algorithm in new ways.
So what does 50 mean if SEMrush uses a scale from 1 to 100?
Well, that’s a bit tricky.
You see, the keyword difficulty score is calculated using a variety of factors such as the number of referring domains pointing to a URL along with the ratio of dofollow/nofollow links.
If you have more referring domains and nofollow links it would be easier to rank for this particular keyword, however, if you have very few dofollow linking websites but lots of authoritative ones it’s going to be extremely difficult.
For example, imagine two people were trying to market their ebook about “how to start your own business”. Person A has only written one article they wrote themselves and has not published any kind of ebook, but they have 20 dofollow links that come directly from 20 different websites talking about business. They use the keyword “business” in their title and description tag.
Person B has also written an article all about how to start your own business, however, this person spends hours writing guides and ebooks on the topic, so they know it inside out. They too have linked to their page using the keyword “business” both in the anchor text, and within the H1 heading tag, however, all of these links are nofollow.
Which one would SEMrush rank higher?
Well, if you’re familiar with SEO (search engine optimization), then I’m sure you already know that Person A will outrank Person B.
So how can you use this knowledge?
Well, if you are trying to optimize your website for a particular keyword but know that it’s extremely difficult to rank for, instead of using the keyword itself in your title and description tag, try using variations on the keyword such as synonyms or related words.
If you have no competition then there is no reason why SEMrush should be telling you that it will be too hard to rank for that particular term. It could just mean that it doesn’t have much coverage online yet, so getting traffic would be relatively simple. Another point worth considering is whether the keywords qualify as long-tail or broader seed keywords.
If they are seed keywords (the most popular keywords in the English language such as “business”), then it will be tough.
A “Seed Keyword” is a more generic term for a keyword. For example, “business” is a seed keyword because there are multiple niches within the business, such as home business, blogging about business, etc.
A long-tail keyword is something longer and more specific which might include words like “Blogging tips on how to start your own business.” Long-tail keywords are generally easier to rank for because they’re more focused on one particular topic, whereas if you were trying to rank for the broad term of “Business,” you would have many competitors in your industry.
That’s why it’s good practice to use keyword variations, so SEMrush picks up slightly different suggestions rather than just telling you that it will be difficult to rank for.
So, when you receive a difficulty score for one of your seed keywords and wonder, there are many more SERPs for that keyword. This means that if you optimize your page correctly, the traffic will be greater than long-tail keywords.
Depending on your version, you might also see the Keyword difficulty option in the left column menu.
How to Check Keyword Difficulty
SEMrush’s Keyword Difficulty checker tool is a great way to determine which keywords you should target for your website. Rather than guessing each keyword’s future difficulty, the keyword difficulty checker provides accurate predictions based on historic data from billions of searches.
This information can help you make more informed decisions about which keywords are right for your site and how much time it may take to rank them on Google search results pages. If you’re unsure if this free trial period would benefit your business, let us know!
We’ll provide feedback with our own professional insights to guide you toward the best decision for you and your company. You can cancel anytime before the trial expires without penalty or obligation.
Ranking for Keywords
Many factors are in play when Google determines which page to return in the SERP for a particular query.
In short, it is a mix of on-page and off-page factors that give you an edge. On-Page factors that influence the ranking include the quality of the content and how well the content matches the user’s intent.
Some standard on-page SEO practices include:
- Keywords in the title, URL, meta description, and headings using H1, H2, and so on Ens
- Optimizing images with alt tags
- Optimizing the content for readability and flow within paragraphs.
- Internal links from other valuable pages on your website
- The use of rich media such as images, video, audio, graphs, etc.
Off-page SEO includes
- High Page Authority
- Keywords in the anchor text of the link from trusted sites
- The quality and relevance of referring domains
- High click-through rate from impressions on Google
Therefore, a few of the main. Considerations for ranking are:
- EAT (Expertise of the Author, Authority of the Domain, Trust of the Website)
- Topic: Is this website an authority on the subject? Is the author an expert on this topic?
- Response: How well does this page respond to the user’s intent?
- Quality: Is the content well written? Does it have images, video, or any other valuable items?
- Does the page reference other authoritative websites?
- Do other authoritative websites reference this page?
Using rank brain, Google will test the positions on the search engine results page (SEO). This artificial intelligence measures what happens after a user performs a search and clicks on a response.
If a significant number of users click back to Google and perform a new search (pogo-sticking), then Google assumes that the page is not a relative response to the query.
The SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Score tool is a great way to accurately predict how difficult it will be to rank for a keyword. This information can help you make more informed decisions about which keywords are right for your website. If you have no idea where to start or have been struggling with ranking, the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Score tool might just be what you need!
Finding Low Competition Keywords by Reserve Engineering Competition
One of my favorite strategies using the SEMrush tool is entering a competitor’s domain in the search bar and then looking at the keywords they rank for. I sort them by lowest difficulty to highest after using the filter to choose only keywords with a count of 3 or more words, plus a cost per click value of $1.00 or more, and a search volume of at least 140.
You don’t need to use the filters, but large sites have many keywords, which pull the cream of the crop to the top as far as opportunity goes. The goal is to return the most relevant page, answer, product, video, etc., for that user assuming the user’s intent.
For Example, if I want to build a website about pets and build a topic cluster for rabbits, I might research the keyword “Best Rabbit Food”. I head to SEMrush and type Best Rabbit Food into the search bar. Under the list of keywords with data are a list of websites that rank high for that term.
I look at their total search traffic and choose the top traffic earners that are directly related to my website. In this example, let’s use https://rabbit.org. It’s the one at the bottom of the image below
Keyword Difficulty Software
When I click that link, SEMrush opens a dashboard that tells me more about that website, and the pages and keywords it ranks for. By viewing this page, SEMRush shows that this website has 453 keywords that it ranks for. By clicking on ‘View all 453 organic keywords’, I can go to the next page and start filtering the keywords including keyword difficulty.
Next, I can sort by clicking KD, which will pull the easiest difficulty words to the top. You’ll notice the green color icon to identify the easy category. I start with the lowest difficulty and make a spreadsheet to list them in order of lowest difficulty to highest difficulty. Using SEMrush’s keyword manager, you can also simply add them to a list that lives within SEMrush by clicking the + icon.
I realize that based on my competitor’s data, the following topics might be worth writing about, beginning with the low difficulty scores.
In addition, I can see the estimated search volume (although all keyword tools are “guessing” at some level, and nothing is absolute).
The SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Score tool can help you find out if the keywords that are right for your site. It takes historic data about how difficult it is to rank in search engines and provides an accurate prediction of future difficulty based on this data. This information will help you make more informed decisions about which keywords are best for your website, making sure they have a higher likelihood of ranking well in organic searches.
Take advantage of a free SEMrush trial today to try the keyword difficulty check tool!