Back to glossary

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty (KD) is a metric used in SEO to estimate how challenging it will be to rank for a specific keyword in search engine results.

This metric typically takes into account various factors, such as search volume, competition, and the authority of the websites currently ranking for that keyword.

A higher keyword difficulty score indicates a more competitive keyword, while a lower score indicates that it may be easier to rank for that keyword.

Why Keyword Difficulty Matters in SEO

  1. Prioritizing SEO Efforts Understanding keyword difficulty helps you prioritize your SEO efforts by targeting keywords that are more likely to generate traffic and conversions, while avoiding overly competitive keywords that may be difficult to rank for.
  2. Resource Allocation By focusing on keywords with lower difficulty scores, you can allocate your resources more effectively, potentially achieving better results with less time and effort.
  3. Competitive Analysis Keyword difficulty can provide insights into the level of competition in your niche or industry, helping you identify opportunities for growth and areas where you may need to improve your SEO strategy.

How to Assess Keyword Difficulty

Several SEO tools offer keyword difficulty scores to help you assess the competitiveness of a keyword:

  1. Ahrefs: Keyword Difficulty score ranges from 0 to 100.
  2. SEMrush: Keyword Difficulty score ranges from 1% to 100%.
  3. Moz: Keyword Difficulty score ranges from 0 to 100.

When using these tools, it’s important to consider additional factors, such as search volume and the relevance of the keyword to your target audience.

Tips for Targeting Lower Difficulty Keywords

  1. Long-Tail Keywords Focus on long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases that often have lower difficulty scores and are more likely to convert.
  2. Local SEO Target location-specific keywords to reach a more targeted audience and potentially face less competition.
  3. Content Gap Analysis Perform a content gap analysis to identify keyword opportunities that your competitors may be overlooking.

For more information on keyword difficulty and its role in SEO, consider these resources:

  1. Moz: How to Target Keywords with Low Keyword Difficulty
  2. Ahrefs: How to Gauge Keyword Difficulty