How to manually check if a keyword is low competitive or not?

iammunna

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Hello everyone, I am new to the world of blogging and still learning things from this forum.

I have a question that how to check manually if a keyword is low competitive or not.

I got a micro niche keyword which has nearly 100K search volume and according to Ahrefs, the keyword has only 0-1 keyword difficulty.

But when I search the keyword on google it shows websites with high DA. Though all the websites that ranks for the keyword is not relevent to the niche.

I want to create a micro niche website on that keyword with an exact match domain. Now I am confused whether I should go on or not.

Looking for some suggestions from experts how I can analyze the competition of the keyword manually.
Thanks in advance.
 
google have become a cheap wh*re lately because they intentionally ruin the SERPs so that people can keep searching and thus be exposed to more ads. So the tips I'll give you might not be valid anymore, especially since I stopped caring about SEO 2 years ago and these tips used to work well back then.

But no one's given you better tips yet, so here is what I know and how I assessed the real competition of a keyword 2-3 years ago when I still did keyword research (and by the way, the difficulty scores of the SEO tools should always be taken with a grain a salt, precisely because of the wh0*e that google have become by intentionally skewing results to f**k up with people)...

Tip #1 is just like you said... the sites ranking in top 10, that have high authority will quite often outrank less authoritative sites even if the big sites are not even relevant to the keyword. It sucks, yes, but it is what it is... Authority plays a big role nowadays and google loves big, popular sites, so they'll reward them with rankings even when it makes no sense. If you see only big sites ranking on page 1 for your chosen keywords this is usually a sign that those keywords might be competitive.

So again, like you said: if there are sites with high authority (for me, high means 30+ DR or DA - depending on which tool you use to check the authority - but for other people "high" means 50, or 80 or whatever. But my thinking is that if you can't beat a DR / DA 30 website you won't be able to beat a 50 DA / DR one even more, that's why I set the bar so low when checking the authority)...

So that's tip #1: you see only sites with DR / DA of 30+ in top 5 spots of google you usually skip that keyword if you're new to SEO and / or don't have a decent monthly budget for link building...

Tip #2... content quality. When google want to do the right thing (which still happens a lot, despite of my discontent with google :p) they will reward quality content with good rankings. By quality content I mean content that:

- is grammatically correct
- addresses the topic / keyword that it targets, in detail
- is well optimized with the right LSI terms / SEO entities

So, tip #2: if you see bad content (or content that you know you can improve / expand on) ranking in top 5 spots of google you have a chance of ranking for that keyword despite of what the SEO tools say about the difficulty of that keyword.

Tip #3... keyword's length and search volume.

This one's tricky, because it's a known fact that most highly searched keywords are also some of the most competitive ones. And most short (1-word, 2-words, 3-words, or 4-words) keywords are usually difficult to rank for because they have a lot of monthly searches and they're very appealing to most SEOs, so the competition is fierce for these keywords despite of the difficulty score that SEO tools give to those keywords.

Like, for example, the keyword you mentioned: it has 100k monthly searches, I can bet my a55 on a nickel that you're not going to rank for that keyword in the 1st year with a new site (I'm referring to you, specifically, here because you're a newb. Of course that pros might be able to rank within 3-6 months, but pros know a lot of stuff and have the right tools and enough money to target those keywords.)

So, in your case, that's one tough keyword, I wouldn't even consider it in the beginning (until you have few 100s pages indexed and ranking in google for at least 5-6 months and a few 100s keywords ranking in top 20 at least). That's the search volume part of tip #3...

The keyword length part of tip #3 is that - like I said - most short (1-word, 2-words, 3-words and 4-words) keywords are usually difficult. But you will also see long tail keywords (long tail keywords = keywords with lots of words, 5+ words is what many people call "long tail", but when I talk about long tail keywords I refer to 7-8 words long, even 10+ words long) that are also tough.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to teach you which long tails are competitive and which ones aren't (besides, maybe, checking the quality of the content and the authority of the pages ranking for those keywords, just like I've mentioned at tips #1 and #2) and you'll learn to tell them apart as you gain more knowledge and experience with SEO. But the point is that there are long tail keywords that are brutally competitive, I've seen such keywords in the pregnancy and car repair niches a while ago when I did keyword research for 2 of my websites.

Back then I was using Ahrefs for keyword research and - in fairness - Ahrefs did mark those keywords as fiercely competitive (they had 60+ KD scores lol), but I didn't need Ahrefs to tell me they were competitive because I analyzed the top 10 ranking pages of each one of those keywords and I could see with my own eyes that they were very competitive.

And I'm talking about keywords with 20 monthly searches, or even zero monthly searches. There were such keywords that were 15-16 words long and which were very specific, and yet, all of the sites ranking in top 10 were having their pages 100% optimized for these keywords and each one of those pages had like 40 UR / PA and they covered the topic in great detail, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to do anything to beat those guys with my $50-60 monthly budget when the competition was webmd, healthline and the alikes. So, I gave up on those keywords in a heartbeat, of course. But it was still funny (for a neutral) and infuriating (for me, as a casual SEO) to see all of these multi-million companies chase after 15-words long keywords :D

So yeah... just because they're long tail keywords doesn't mean that they're necessarily easy to rank for. But how to tell whether or not they're easy to rank is an art in itself, and you'll learn this art in time when you do a lot of SEO. Basically, you'll develop a sense for keyword research and you'll be able to sniff the easy ones just by looking at the sites and pages ranking in top 10 for those keywords...

But, generally speaking, if you ever want to have a chance to rank fast and / or without stress you'll want to target long tail keywords more often than not. And again, when I say long tail keywords, I don't mean 5-words long. I mean 10-12 words long, although you will be able to snatch up a 5-6 words long gem that goes under the radar of everyone sometimes...

Anyway, long story short, tip #3 is: find keywords that are long tail (at least 5-6 words long, but preferably 9-10 words or longer), but also assess their toughness in conjunction with the other important details: search volume, authority of both the sites AND the pages that rank in top 10 (preferably in top 5 since that's where most of the traffic is), and the quality and value of the content of those top 5-10 pages

Tip #4... the type of websites ranking in top 10 for that keyword.

If you're doing keyword research in a niche... say, the pets niche, and many / most sites ranking in top 5 are always the big guns in that niche (I'm referring here to sites like Petsmart, Petkeen, etc)... or if you're in the gaming consoles niche and you see only big brands like Sony, Nintendo, etc. ranking in top 5 of that niche for all / most keywords that you're interested in you can be sure that those keywords are competitive.

On the contrary, if all you see in top 10 (but preferably in top 5) are sites like yours (affiliate sites, blogs).. or UGC sites like quora or reddit... or even forums... that sort of sites that are usually community-oriented and are not owned by big multi-billion corporations or by big media outlets, you're good. Such sites are usually very easy to outrank with good content, decent silo and topical authority, and a few good and well placed backlinks...

There are probably a lot more things to analyze / look out for, but I can't think of them at the moment, I've been out of this game for so long that I got a little rusty. But I think that I've covered most of the things that I used to look out for when I did my keyword research back in the day and when there was no AI bullsh*t or knowledge graphs and all other crap that filter the little guys out of the game to make room for the perennial multi-million budgeted sharks...

So anyway, to recap, until you develop an intuition for what constitutes an easy keyword, the 4 tips you can always base your decision on are:

#1... the authority of the sites (and also their pages) that rank in top 10 of google, but preferably in top 5 (for me, any site with less than 30 DR / DA and page with less than 10 UR / PA gets the green light)

#2... the quality and value of the content of the pages that rank in top 10 of google, but preferably in top 5 (content that's not well optimized or that I feel I can expand on, or address in more details is a go)

#3... the length and the monthly search volume of the keyword(s) of your interest (both of these metrics are subjective, but I used to go after keywords with less than 100 monthly searches and that are 8-9+ words long)

#4... the type of websites ranking in top 10 of google, but preferably in top 5 (I always like to see non-SEO'd websites, or community-oriented websites and forums or - if these websites are not present - then I'd like to see at least 2-3 affiliate sites / blogs that are not owned by multi-million companies / brands that can knock me out in a flash with their legions of VAs and marketers)

Hope this helps!

PS: there are also a lot of guides on BHW on finding easy keywords, at some point I've bookmarked 15-20 of them (but I've deleted them in the meantime). But the point is that you can find them easily with a quick search, just set aside 30 minutes of your time to look them up and I guarantee that you'll find them.

And they're even shorter and more to the point than what I've written here (but some of them will require that you use certain tools or browser extensions, so keep this in mind!)
 
Last edited:
Hello everyone, I am new to the world of blogging and still learning things from this forum.

I have a question that how to check manually if a keyword is low competitive or not.

I got a micro niche keyword which has nearly 100K search volume and according to Ahrefs, the keyword has only 0-1 keyword difficulty.

But when I search the keyword on google it shows websites with high DA. Though all the websites that ranks for the keyword is not relevent to the niche.

I want to create a micro niche website on that keyword with an exact match domain. Now I am confused whether I should go on or not.

Looking for some suggestions from experts how I can analyze the competition of the keyword manually.
Thanks in advance.
You can use KGR to calculate the competition level of a keyword
 
I personally like to use mozbar chrome extension to check the metrics of already ranking pages of competitors for any given keyword.
 
But when I search the keyword on google it shows websites with high DA. Though all the websites that ranks for the keyword is not relevent to the niche.
If all the sites ranking for the keywords are not relevant it should be a bit easier to rank for. But of recent, Google has been prioritizing strong websites over content relevance or accuracy. If no weak site at all is ranking on page 1 for that keywords, I'll recommend you avoid it and look for an easier keyword.

Alternatively, you could create content for it and related keywords and interlink them. Then wait amd watch what Google does.
 
You can use tools, etc. or you could also go on Google yourself and check the search results manually and see how many results show up, what domains show up and how the content of the Top 20 is. Of course, this requires some SEO knowledge to understand whether the KW is competitive or not.
 
Thank you so much for your comment. You have cleared every point in detail and I learned some new things from your comment.
One more thing I want to address that, the keyword is not any traditional buying or commercial keyword like pets or equipment buying or something. It's an informational keyword and I believe I can give better content than the sites ranking. But then again High DA is a big concern and you also cleared that in detail. Hopefully I will look into the keyword again and see if there is any scope for new sites or not.
Thanks for your suggestions. Really appreciate.
google have become a cheap wh*re lately because they intentionally ruin the SERPs so that people can keep searching and thus be exposed to more ads. So the tips I'll give you might not be valid anymore, especially since I stopped caring about SEO 2 years ago and these tips used to work well back then.

But no one's given you better tips yet, so here is what I know and how I assessed the real competition of a keyword 2-3 years ago when I still did keyword research (and by the way, the difficulty scores of the SEO tools should always be taken with a grain a salt, precisely because of the wh0*e that google have become by intentionally skewing results to f**k up with people)...

Tip #1 is just like you said... the sites ranking in top 10, that have high authority will quite often outrank less authoritative sites even if the big sites are not even relevant to the keyword. It sucks, yes, but it is what it is... Authority plays a big role nowadays and google loves big, popular sites, so they'll reward them with rankings even when it makes no sense. If you see only big sites ranking on page 1 for your chosen keywords this is usually a sign that those keywords might be competitive.

So again, like you said: if there are sites with high authority (for me, high means 30+ DR or DA - depending on which tool you use to check the authority - but for other people "high" means 50, or 80 or whatever. But my thinking is that if you can't beat a DR / DA 30 website you won't be able to beat a 50 DA / DR one even more, that's why I set the bar so low when checking the authority)...

So that's tip #1: you see only sites with DR / DA of 30+ in top 5 spots of google you usually skip that keyword if you're new to SEO and / or don't have a decent monthly budget for link building...

Tip #2... content quality. When google want to do the right thing (which still happens a lot, despite of my discontent with google :p) they will reward quality content with good rankings. By quality content I mean content that:

- is grammatically correct
- addresses the topic / keyword that it targets, in detail
- is well optimized with the right LSI terms / SEO entities

So, tip #2: if you see bad content (or content that you know you can improve / expand on) ranking in top 5 spots of google you have a chance of ranking for that keyword despite of what the SEO tools say about the difficulty of that keyword.

Tip #3... keyword's length and search volume.

This one's tricky, because it's a known fact that most highly searched keywords are also some of the most competitive ones. And most short (1-word, 2-words, 3-words, or 4-words) keywords are usually difficult to rank for because they have a lot of monthly searches and they're very appealing to most SEOs, so the competition is fierce for these keywords despite of the difficulty score that SEO tools give to those keywords.

Like, for example, the keyword you mentioned: it has 100k monthly searches, I can bet my a55 on a nickel that you're not going to rank for that keyword in the 1st year with a new site (I'm referring to you, specifically, here because you're a newb. Of course that pros might be able to rank within 3-6 months, but pros know a lot of stuff and have the right tools and enough money to target those keywords.)

So, in your case, that's one tough keyword, I wouldn't even consider it in the beginning (until you have few 100s pages indexed and ranking in google for at least 5-6 months and a few 100s keywords ranking in top 20 at least). That's the search volume part of tip #3...

The keyword length part of tip #3 is that - like I said - most short (1-word, 2-words, 3-words and 4-words) keywords are usually difficult. But you will also see long tail keywords (long tail keywords = keywords with lots of words, 5+ words is what many people call "long tail", but when I talk about long tail keywords I refer to 7-8 words long, even 10+ words long) that are also tough.

Unfortunately, I don't know how to teach you which long tails are competitive and which ones aren't (besides, maybe, checking the quality of the content and the authority of the pages ranking for those keywords, just like I've mentioned at tips #1 and #2) and you'll learn to tell them apart as you gain more knowledge and experience with SEO. But the point is that there are long tail keywords that are brutally competitive, I've seen such keywords in the pregnancy and car repair niches a while ago when I did keyword research for 2 of my websites.

Back then I was using Ahrefs for keyword research and - in fairness - Ahrefs did mark those keywords as fiercely competitive (they had 60+ KD scores lol), but I didn't need Ahrefs to tell me they were competitive because I analyzed the top 10 ranking pages of each one of those keywords and I could see with my own eyes that they were very competitive.

And I'm talking about keywords with 20 monthly searches, or even zero monthly searches. There were such keywords that were 15-16 words long and which were very specific, and yet, all of the sites ranking in top 10 were having their pages 100% optimized for these keywords and each one of those pages had like 40 UR / PA and they covered the topic in great detail, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to do anything to beat those guys with my $50-60 monthly budget when the competition was webmd, healthline and the alikes. So, I gave up on those keywords in a heartbeat, of course. But it was still funny (for a neutral) and infuriating (for me, as a casual SEO) to see all of these multi-million companies chase after 15-words long keywords :D

So yeah... just because they're long tail keywords doesn't mean that they're necessarily easy to rank for. But how to tell whether or not they're easy to rank is an art in itself, and you'll learn this art in time when you do a lot of SEO. Basically, you'll develop a sense for keyword research and you'll be able to sniff the easy ones just by looking at the sites and pages ranking in top 10 for those keywords...

But, generally speaking, if you ever want to have a chance to rank fast and / or without stress you'll want to target long tail keywords more often than not. And again, when I say long tail keywords, I don't mean 5-words long. I mean 10-12 words long, although you will be able to snatch up a 5-6 words long gem that goes under the radar of everyone sometimes...

Anyway, long story short, tip #3 is: find keywords that are long tail (at least 5-6 words long, but preferably 9-10 words or longer), but also assess their toughness in conjunction with the other important details: search volume, authority of both the sites AND the pages that rank in top 10 (preferably in top 5 since that's where most of the traffic is), and the quality and value of the content of those top 5-10 pages

Tip #4... the type of websites ranking in top 10 for that keyword.

If you're doing keyword research in a niche... say, the pets niche, and many / most sites ranking in top 5 are always the big guns in that niche (I'm referring here to sites like Petsmart, Petkeen, etc)... or if you're in the gaming consoles niche and you see only big brands like Sony, Nintendo, etc. ranking in top 5 of that niche for all / most keywords that you're interested in you can be sure that those keywords are competitive.

On the contrary, if all you see in top 10 (but preferably in top 5) are sites like yours (affiliate sites, blogs).. or UGC sites like quora or reddit... or even forums... that sort of sites that are usually community-oriented and are not owned by big multi-billion corporations or by big media outlets, you're good. Such sites are usually very easy to outrank with good content, decent silo and topical authority, and a few good and well placed backlinks...

There are probably a lot more things to analyze / look out for, but I can't think of them at the moment, I've been out of this game for so long that I got a little rusty. But I think that I've covered most of the things that I used to look out for when I did my keyword research back in the day and when there was no AI bullsh*t or knowledge graphs and all other crap that filter the little guys out of the game to make room for the perennial multi-million budgeted sharks...

So anyway, to recap, until you develop an intuition for what constitutes an easy keyword, the 4 tips you can always base your decision on are:

#1... the authority of the sites (and also their pages) that rank in top 10 of google, but preferably in top 5 (for me, any site with less than 30 DR / DA and page with less than 10 UR / PA gets the green light)

#2... the quality and value of the content of the pages that rank in top 10 of google, but preferably in top 5 (content that's not well optimized or that I feel I can expand on, or address in more details is a go)

#3... the length and the monthly search volume of the keyword(s) of your interest (both of these metrics are subjective, but I used to go after keywords with less than 100 monthly searches and that are 8-9+ words long)

#4... the type of websites ranking in top 10 of google, but preferably in top 5 (I always like to see non-SEO'd websites, or community-oriented websites and forums or - if these websites are not present - then I'd like to see at least 2-3 affiliate sites / blogs that are not owned by multi-million companies / brands that can knock me out in a flash with their legions of VAs and marketers)

Hope this helps!

PS: there are also a lot of guides on BHW on finding easy keywords, at some point I've bookmarked 15-20 of them (but I've deleted them in the meantime). But the point is that you can find them easily with a quick search, just set aside 30 minutes of your time to look them up and I guarantee that you'll find them.

And they're even shorter and more to the point than what I've written here (but some of them will require that you use certain tools or browser extensions, so keep this in mind!)
 
You can use tools, etc. or you could also go on Google yourself and check the search results manually and see how many results show up, what domains show up and how the content of the Top 20 is. Of course, this requires some SEO knowledge to understand whether the KW is competitive or not.
Top 20 sites doesn’t have that much quality content on that keyword but they got a high DA which is my main concern. Looks like the keyword is more competitive than I thought.
 
One more thing I want to address that, the keyword is not any traditional buying or commercial keyword like pets or equipment buying or something. It's an informational keyword and I believe I can give better content than the sites ranking.
that's even easier then as info keywords are usually the easiest to rank. Don't rely on the authority alone to decide whether a keyword is worth going after, you need to analyze a bunch of factors in conjunction with each other.

But yeah, info keywords are usually easier to rank, I think you'll manage...

Thanks for your suggestions. Really appreciate.
no problem :)
 
Even if the keyword looks easy, check if the websites ranking for it are relevant and good quality to decide if making your micro-niche website is a good idea.
 
To see if a keyword is easy to rank for, search it on Google and see if big sites dominate. Look for ads and how many results show up.Also,analyze the number of search results and consider using tools like Moz andSEMrush. Trust your gut when deciding if it's worth targeting for your website.
 
I use Moz, SEMrush and Ahrefs to check the competitiveness of a keyword
 
If you see high DA sites ranking but their content isn't closely related to the niche, this signals an opportunity. The key is to assess how well the top-ranking pages match the search intent for your keyword. If there's a mismatch, and you can provide content that better fits the search intent, you're in a good position.
 
I personally use both Semrush and MOZ for keyword competition checking manually.
 
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