Low Search Volume Keywords: Why & How to Target Long-tail Phrases for SEO?

Last Updated: 26 Jan, 2023

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of digital marketing, and every successful SEO project starts with precise keyword research. The goal of keyword research is to identify the terms and phrases your target customers use to discover products and services, then optimize your website to rank well for those keywords. 

Most businesses and marketers focus on keywords with high search volume, ignoring the potential value of low search volume keywords. In this article, I’ll explain why it’s worth considering low or even zero search volume keywords as part of your SEO strategy and offer tips for effectively targeting these keywords.

What is the Value of Low-Search Volume Keywords? 

Many may think it is not a good idea to focus on SEO keywords with no search volume simply because search engine users rarely search for them. Even if your website gets ranked for those keywords, it will not likely bring decent organic traffic. Instead, keywords that have high search volume and are relevant to your business are always the primary target for SEO marketers. 

But there are exceptional situations that low search volume keywords can bring high value to your business. Let’s take a look into the potential benefits of targeting low search volume keywords: 

High Search Intent and Conversion Rates

If a keyword has a low search volume but is very specific and closely related to a product or service you offer, it is still worth including on your website. In many cases, low search volume keywords are long-tailed and specific, indicating higher search intent and conversion rates. 

These long-tailed keywords with low search intent have a good chance of bringing a small number of targeted visitors to your site who are more likely to convert into customers. For example, a person who searches “yellow iPhone case in hong kong price” shows a higher shopping intent than one who searches “iPhone case.” You will get more organic traffic from potential shoppers by including more product description-related keywords in your eCommerce SEO strategy. 

Take Advantage of Search Volume Increase in the Future

One of the potential advantages of targeting low search volume keywords is that they may become high search volume keywords in the future. This can happen for various reasons, such as changes in technology, shifts in consumer behavior, or increased interest in a particular topic.

For instance, a journalist who writes about a new technology or product that has yet to be widely known may contain only low search volume keywords in their articles. However, as the technology or product becomes more popular and more people start searching, the search volume for those keywords will increase. In this case, the journalist’s early coverage of the topic can put them ahead of the competition regarding search rankings and visibility, as he has already established a presence for those keywords.

The changes in search volume on emerging trends are particularly true for fashion, food, and other lifestyle-related niches. A business that targets low search volume keywords related to a new product or service they are offering may see an increase in search volume for those keywords as the product or service becomes more popular. By targeting these keywords with low search volume early on, the business can easily establish a presence for those terms and potentially reap the benefits of increased search volume.

Lower Competition and Difficulty

One of the main advantages of targeting low search volume keywords is that there is likely less competition for those terms, making it easier to rank for the keyword and bring organic traffic to your website.

The lower competition also means less website backlink acquisition and on-page optimization requirements. The business can achieve a higher ranking with fewer resources and effort than if they were targeting a high search volume and high competition keyword.

Help Improve Rankings of Primary Keywords

Another benefit you can get from targeting low search volume keywords is the overall improvement of your SEO strategy. Optimizing your website for a range of low search volume but related keywords can create a strong foundation for your SEO efforts and increase the chances that your site will rank well for more competitive terms.

If you sell handmade soap, you might target keywords such as “natural soap,” “organic soap,” and “handmade soap,” in addition to your primary keyword, “soap.” It can also be an excellent way to help your website rank for related, higher-volume primary keywords. 


Potential Drawbacks of Targeting Low Search Volume Keywords 

While targeting low search volume keywords can be a good way to bring targeted traffic to your website, carefully considering the potential drawbacks is essential.

Low Traffic

One of the main disadvantages of targeting low search volume keywords is that they are likely to bring a limited amount of traffic to your website. This can make it harder to see a significant return on your SEO efforts regarding organic traffic volume.

Limited Data

It’s worth noting that keyword research tools may provide less data on low search volume keywords, making it harder to accurately assess the value of a low search volume keyword.

How to Discover and Evaluate Valuable Keywords with Low Search Volume

Here are a few steps you can follow to discover and evaluate if a low search volume keyword will generate value for your business:

To Discover Valuable Keywords 

  1. Use Keyword Research Tools: There are many tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Trend, SEMrush, and Arefs, that can help you identify keywords that are relevant to your business and have low search volume. These keyword search volume checkers can also provide information on the level of competition for each keyword, which can help you prioritize which keywords to focus on.
  2. Analyze your Website’s Search Traffic: By looking at the search terms already bringing traffic to your website, you can identify low-volume keywords that may be worth optimizing for. This can be especially useful for finding long-tail keywords specific to your business.
  3. Use Customer Feedback and Surveys: Asking your customers directly about the terms they use to search for products or services similar to yours can be a great way to identify valuable, low-volume keywords. You can also use online surveys or questionnaires to gather this information.
  4. Look at your Competitors: Analyzing the keywords that your competitors are ranking for can give you ideas for low-volume keywords to target. You can use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for and determine if there are any low-volume keywords that you could also target.
  5. Use your Expertise: Your experience, intuition, knowledge of the industry, and marketing sense can always help you discover valuable keywords with low search volume. Use your expertise to identify keywords specific to your industry trends, business, products, or services. Sometimes this strategy can be more powerful than any keyword research tool that can only provide data from the past.

To Evaluate the Value of Keywords with Low Search Volume

  1. Determine the keyword’s relevance: First, consider whether the low-volume keyword is relevant to your business and your products or services. If the keyword is not closely related to your business, it may not be worth targeting.
  2. Assess the competition: Look at the level of competition for the keyword by using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or a paid keyword research tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs. If there is a lot of competition for the keyword, it may be challenging to rank for it, even if it has a low search volume.
  3. Estimate the potential traffic: Use a keyword research tool to estimate the number of monthly searches for the keyword and consider whether that level of traffic would be meaningful for your business. If the keyword has a limited search volume but is highly relevant to your business, it could still be worth targeting if the traffic it brings would be valuable to you.
  4. Consider the potential conversion rate: In addition to the volume of traffic the keyword might bring, consider the likelihood that visitors from that keyword will convert into customers. If the keyword is particular and closely related to your business, it may be more likely to result in conversions.

Considering these factors, you can determine whether a low search volume keyword will likely generate value for your business. It’s paramount to remember that it may take some time to see the results of your efforts to rank for a low-volume keyword, so it may be necessary to monitor your progress over time to assess the keyword’s value.

seo keyword low search volume

Conclusion: Include Both High and Low Search Volume Keywords to Maximize the SEO Results

In conclusion, working on keywords with low search volume can be a valuable addition to your SEO strategy. These keywords can bring targeted traffic to your website and potentially lead to a better return on your investment. By targeting long-tail keywords and creating valuable content, you can effectively target low search volume keywords and bring targeted traffic to your website.

It is important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and to stay consistent in your efforts. A well-rounded SEO strategy should consider both high and low search volume keywords, as they both have their advantages and can work in tandem to help your website gain visibility and drive traffic. High search volume keywords can bring a significant amount of traffic, while low search volume keywords can provide targeted traffic and potentially result in a higher conversion rate. Therefore, it’s crucial to include both types of keywords in your SEO strategy to maximize your chances of success.

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